Things You Can Do During Social Distancing

Unless you’ve been living in a cave recently, you can’t have failed to notice that things are a little crazy right now

One of the recent changes has been social distancing.  We all need to be doing our part to help ease the spread of this virus in order to flatten the curve of new cases.

If you are able to work from home, you may already be doing it.  But social distancing can bring its burden, especially to people who aren’t used to it.  Working from home is one thing, you’re working… but what about other times?  When you’re not working?  What do you do?

Some of you will have no issues finding things to do, but some people still struggle to make the transition from being able to go out and do things to being constantly indoors.

So I thought I’d share some ideas for what you can do during these social distancing times.

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Money-Free (ish)

Blog Images - Money

A quick note – I know some people’s budgets are becoming tighter.  Whether it’s job losses or lower wages while companies try and retain staff but ease the pressure, money has become a little tighter.

Also, even if money hasn’t become tighter for you specifically, with places closing and social distancing becoming the norm, spending money to entertain yourself isn’t as much of an option.

That’s okay because what I’m sharing here is aimed at things you shouldn’t really need money for.  Or things you can possibly get pretty cheap, and delivered (to stop you having to go out).

I’ve also included some recipes or links for things you can make yourself.

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Get out the “odd Jobs” list

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Let’s be honest, we ALL have a list of things we know we need or even want to do, but they are low priority and often considered to be done “later” or “when I have more time.”

Well, now that we are limited in where we can go, grab that list and see what you can get done!  Yes, some of those things might be tedious, but just think how great it will be once they are done and ticked off!

Here are some ideas of things you could be doing on the weekends:

Go through your photos

Whether that is pulling out stacks of photo albums, that box you have just dumped old photos in and forgotten about or sitting down to your computer, phone and/or tablet, take the time to go through all those pictures.

In the digital age, it’s so easy to snap a million pictures and not think twice.  But they do take up space and can make it harder to find photos you really WANT to see.  We’ve all been there while someone scrolled through thousands of pictures on their phone as they wanted to show you something specific and just couldn’t find it.

So, go through and find all your photos, take some time to check each one.  Do you want to keep it?  Do you have 3 more that look almost identical?  Is it really a good picture?

If you have physical photos, maybe scan them onto your computer and save them in Cloud Storage as a backup.

Reorganise your photo albums, add dates and details so that you always have notes about what the photo shows.  Trust me, that helps as you get older and your memory loses some of that detail.

Scan / Shred

Do you have a pile of papers that need to be scanned or shredded?  These are those tedious jobs that we always put off to do “later” or until the pile begins to take over the room.

Well, get it done and out of the way and then you can strike it off your list!  If there is loads, then block out 10, 15 or 20 mins a day to do some.  It will feel good getting that pile down.

Fix something

Who doesn’t have a list of things that need doing? From reattaching buttons to clothes, clearing out the closet, repainting the garden fence or oiling the squeaky door.

We all have a list of jobs that remain just out of reach – in that magical space called “when I have time”…which doesn’t happen very often.

So use this time when you aren’t able to go out as a perfect opportunity to rally the family together and clear off some of those smaller maintenance jobs.

Clear out your Christmas decorations

If you are one of those people who, after Christmas, just takes down the decorations and packs them away without much thought, maybe take this time to go through them.

Pull out all the boxes, go through each item and decide if you really want to keep it.  Is the tinsel a little worse for wear?  Fairy light bulbs need replacing?  Cracked or broken ornaments you just never got around to throwing away?  If you do decide to get rid of anything, make a list of what you need to replace.

Maybe you just want to take this time to reorganise and pack your items better, you may even manage to make more space.

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Learn and Teach

Blog Image - Cropped photo of a man holding a book, carrying a satchel and standing before a chalkboard covered in equations.  Image from Pixabay

Learn something new

This is the perfect time to learn something new.  Want to learn to juggle?  How about a fancy card shuffle?  Or what about learning a language?

There are tons of videos on Youtube where people share their knowledge and techniques from anything to completing the Rubix cube to fixing a washing machine or learning sign language.

You can also look at some of the online learning platforms, like Skillshare, Udemy, TabletWise etc, many of them have a free plan that gives you access to some of the classes.

Teach something

Do you have a skill that you could share?  Whether you want to share it online on a video channel or a blog or via video calls with friends, let’s spread some community spirit.

I recently have a video call with my sister where I taught her how to do Powerpoint presentations.  It doesn’t take much to share your knowledge, just a little time and effort.

If you have children who are now off while the schools close, use this time to teach them some great life skills (depending on their age) – how to change a plug, change a tyre, sew, knit, cook, iron, balance a cheque book, create a budget, manage their money, put up a shelf etc.

NB: If you are reading this and have a Youtube video or a blog article where you share your knowledge of how to do something, drop it in the comments below and I might add a link to it in this article.

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Play games

Blog Image - Photo of the boardgame Monopoly, with several pieces on the board, cards, money and dice

Drag out those board games that you have stashed away.  Or what about that pack of cards?

When I was back at Christmas, I taught my family how to play a card game called Jack-Change-It.

Here are some card games you might want to play:

How to play Rummy

How to play Spoons

How to play Hearts

How to play 5-Card Draw

On your own?  What about playing solitaire?  Or building a house of cards?  Or maybe learning a card trick?

If you have board games, these can be great to pass the time and certain games can be beneficial to children.  Use the game Monopoly to teach your children about money.  Use Scrabble or Boggle to teach your children new words and encourage learning.

How about some mind games?  Check out places like Lumosity that has “brain training” games.

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Catch up on your reading

Blog Image - Woman knelt on a bed and books flying around her. Image from Pixabay

You know that massive TBR list you have?  Then why not start digging into it.

Maybe even do what I do, as mentioned in my article “How I’m tackling my TBR list” and put them in an order for which books you want to read next.

Made a solid decision to read the books you already have, that are sitting on your bookshelves, unloved.

If you have small children, take some time and read to them.  Help inspire their love of books and stories!

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Start a Blog / Website

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Have you always wanted to start a blog or create an Author website?  This is a great time to give it a go.

If you want help with starting a blog, check out my Blogger Series which has several articles that go through each step of the process from picking your platform and blog name, to picking topics and working on SEO.

For suggestions on what to include in an author website, check out my How to Create an Awesome Author Website article.

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Do something creative

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Draw a picture

Fun for kids and adults alike, all you need is a pencil and some paper. Give that creativity a chance to express. Not sure what to draw?

Find a photo or an ornament or even a piece of fruit and draw that. You are not looking for perfection you are looking for creativity.

So try different styles and perspectives, see what you are comfortable with. Developing a skill for drawing comes with practice.  Get the children involved and have a drawing day.

Paint a picture

You don’t need fancy paints to paint a picture if you have some simple paintbrushes and a few home ingredients you can make your own paints or how about print painting?

Create a Treasure hunt

Figure out a simple prize, hide it somewhere then work out simple (or complicated… depending on who the treasure hunt is for eg: young children or your adult roommate!) create some clues and hide them around the house (and garden if possible).

This can be a great way to keep children entertained.

Treasure Hunt Ideas for Adults

Indoor Treasure Hunt for Children

Create an Indoor Scavenger Hunt

Create your own playdough

Using some simple ingredients, you can make your very own play-dough.  Here’s the recipe:

  • 2 cups of plain flour
  • 2 cups of boiling water
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 1 tbsp of cooking oil
  • 1 tsp of cream of tartar
  • Various food colours

Put all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk thoroughly until smooth.  Put mixture into a microwave-safe contain, cover with clingfilm (pop in a few holes)  Cook in a microwave for around 4 minutes on high setting.

Since each microwave is different, you may need a little more time, but don’t overcook it.  Take it out and let it cool.  Once it cools, shape it into balls and store in an airtight container until using.

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Create your own Time Capsule

Blog Image - Collection of old black and white photographs. Image from Pixabay

These are always fun, especially if you have small children. All you need is a box (shoebox is a good size) then start to gather items to include.

Remember it needs to be things that represent the now. Good things to add are newspapers, photographs, greeting cards, a drawing your child made or their report card.

Get everyone to write their future selves a letter or make a video and include a digital card in the box (though be careful, technology changes so fast these days, the item might be obsolete and unreadable by the time you open the capsule).

When it’s full, tape up the box completely, then add a sticker with the current date and then the date you are allowed to open it. Make it sometimes like 15 / 20 years. You don’t need to bury it in the garden or anything, just put it on top of your cupboard or in the attic.

These can be fun to make for your children. Make one for each child, add in things from their life up to a certain age then close the box. Give it to them when they are older such as on their 21 birthday as something fun to open.

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Spring clean your computer

Blog Image - Vector image of an open laptop with an arm coming through the screen holding a spanner. Image from Pixabay

When was the last time you cleaned up your computer?  Is it stuffed to the gills with random files you can’t even remember you have, duplicates and programs you no longer use all taking up much-needed space?

Rather than just running the odd “Disk Cleanup” every now and then, use the below guide from Avast to go through and give your computer a really good clean up.

How to Clean Up Your Computer (Windows 7 and 10)

How to Clean Up Your Mac

The above guides are designed to give you SPACE, they aren’t for speeding up your slow computer.  For that you need the below guides:

How To Speed Up Your Computer (Windows)

How To Speed Up Your Mac

 

These are just a few random ideas for what you can do while you are at home during this time of social distancing.  Feel free to leave a comment and add your own ideas and suggestions!

Happy writing

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17 thoughts on “Things You Can Do During Social Distancing

  1. You’ve got some great tips there Ari and it must have taken you an age to complete this post. One thing I have been doing is clearing up my laptop. I need to go through a few more of your tips 😉

    1. Thanks so much, glad you liked this list. lol I was building it for a while on my phone until I felt I had enough for a blog post.

      I definitely need to do that, clean up my laptop and sort very old, probably duplicated files.

  2. Great ideas. I’m sitting here at my computer, realizing that the bulletin board I face everyday is filled with papers that need to be cleared away. Come to think of it, my whole office needs a thorough cleaning 🙂

    1. lol I do exactly the same, I have a large whiteboard opposite me desk that I see every day and I finally looked at it to see all the things I am supposed to be working on, some done others totally forgotten!

      Good luck with your office clean, I think when I get through this week of playing catch up, I’ll be doing the same myself… maybe even a rearrange of furniture too 🙂

    1. Hi Trish, thanks for the comment. I am really glad you liked my post. 🙂

      We are hoping the weather holds until weekend as my partner and I want to go out into the garden and start getting it all tidied up. I want to start some little pots of veggies and have a great book on growing edible plants in pots and I’m so eager to try it out.

  3. I’m trying to do the clear out some reading, but I’m thinking about trying to record stuff like a podcast or something. Not that I’m practiced; it’d just be for fun and probably stop as soon as quarantine is over.

    1. Have you managed to make a dent in your TBR list then? I have been shocked that I’ve managed to read like 9 books this month…and the month isn’t over!

      You should do that! This is a great time to start new ventures and projects, even if they are just for fun and only for a short time. If it’s something youve been thinking about, why not, you might find you love it.

      How has it been where you are?

      stay safe

      1. Definitely made a dent – got that Sanderson book finished! I’m not sure I’ll get around to the podcast, though, because pollen season is in full swing and I’ve got scratchy throat from that (pretty sure I’m not sick – it’s just scratchy throat and eyes). If I’m still quarantined when the pollen slows down, I might try something out.

        So far, the virus hasn’t taken us over in NC. That being said, Americans are apparently saying, “we hate our elders and will sacrifice them to the almighty dollar,” so no telling how long that status lasts.

        Stay safe yourself!

      2. Maybe this quantining and social distancing will have people actually completing their TBR lists!

        Sorry to hear about the pollen, I don’t suffer it myself but I know people who do and it’s horrid!

        Aww that’s awful, it’s so sad when profit comes before everything else. We’re seeing reports of people stealing things from hospitals and schools – it’s like, we’re suffering globally and some arsehole still has to take from others!?

  4. Thanks for the ideas and the sites for learning Ari … they will be helpful the deeper we go into this Coronavirus madness. Do I ever have little things that need my attention! I’m embarrassed how many years of paperwork needs to be shredded – a least a decade. I have a whole Rubbermaid tote full of it – I dump more in, close the lid, out of sight – out of mind.
    But first the housework – this is something I hate to do and since we had a beautiful and mild Winter, I was out walking each weekend, turning a blind eye to things that need my attention in the house. I think worldwide we will emerge from this pandemic as new people – let’s hope we all stay safe and healthy as well.

    1. Glad you found the post useful! I am definitely trying to get on the learning sites every day.

      LOL I have a large bin under my desk that is choc full of shredding. My little shredder can only run for like 5 mins before it over heats, so I tend to go days between shredding.

      I know that feeling of out of sight, out of mind. I have to go through a massive stack of data CDs, check, wipe and recycle them all…. it’s going to be so boring but I think I’ll be glad when it’s done.

      I think ignoring housework is totally fine, I do it myself as often as I can get away with it 😀

      1. The same with my shredder – it begins to groan and chug and heat up. Off it goes and that shuts down the project. It doesn’t take much for me to turn off the “housework project” either. Finally, we’ll have a rainy weekend, so I’ll make an effort.

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