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Having just returned from my yearly winter staycation to find myself under quarantine and isolation due to the global Corona virus pandemic, I'm hard-pressed to find interesting things to do. Writing this blog post provided me hours of stimulation and research. Catching up on monotonous household chores was an option too. Replacing lost buttons and repairing seams and hems on shirts and pants worked for awhile. I've already reorganized and color-coordinated my clothes closet. Shoes have been cleaned and polished too. Appliances are squeaky clean. Now what to do?
Never having dealt with the likes of this situation, and always being gainfully employed, I have a whole new respect for what our ancestors went through during pandemics like the Black Plague and Spanish Flu.
Thankfully, today there are a number of online activities you can partake in to deal with the potentially negative effects of isolation on our psyche and the boredom factor too!
Start A Blog!
Hey, if I can figure out how to do it, so can you! There are some great websites online that can tell you everything you need to know. Designyourownblog.com;creativebloq.com;markosaric.com;websitesetup.org; and ryob.com are just a few. I'm currently using Wix.com which I found incredibly easy to navigate but there are others you may want to investigate, such as Blogger.com;Wordpress.com; and Squarespace.com. Blogs are great for sharing your skills and interests and learning new ones. If you are business savvy you may want to add a store to it. A lot of people are making good money from online blogs and stores so definitely look into it!
Upgrade Your Skills
While you are sitting idle for who knows how long, surf the web for online courses that improve your skills. I've taken everything from computer upgrading to personal development and everything in between. There are free courses such as the ones offered by GCFLearnFree.org that offer basic to advanced courses in Microsoft Office and XP; Internet courses that teach you how to use everything from Skype to Tumblr; Math, Reading and GED Prep courses. Who knows, you might be able to find a better job once the economy gets rolling again!
Learn a New Language
If you've ever wanted to learn a second language, now is a great time to get after it. There are several free sites that teach every language around the globe, from Spanish to Welsh to Latin and Esperanto. One good one I have found easy to follow is Duolingo.com, but there are others that are completely free as well, such as ElanguageSchool.com; Foreign Services Institute; and LingQ. Learning a second language is not only fun but it's another great way to make yourself indispensable to employers!
Take a Personal Development Course Online
If you've ever wanted to improve your self-esteem, better learn how to cope with stress, or develop a creative edge, there are a number of great online courses to help you do this. Udemy.com is a wonderful site that offers courses at reasonable rates ranging from $13.99 on sale to $204.99. They are a "learn at your own pace" online education site that offers courses in a variety of personal development fields from health and fitness to spirituality to parenting. They also offer courses in business, finance and accounting, IT & software, and design. You can learn about music, photography, writing or calligraphy if you're so inclined. The range of course offerings is quite extensive and you will receive a completion certificate when you're done. It's a win-win!
With all the online resources available today you don't have to spend a lot of money on gym memberships to get a little exercise; in fact you don't have to spend any at all! Just pull out your laptop and surf the web. Here you can find some great workout sites like "Map My Fitness" by Under Armour; likewise.com who offers the Zumba Awesome Legs & Booty System or Rumble boxing on Instagram live, or CrossFit classes; makeyourbodywork.com who offer 50 free at-home workout resources and month-long yoga challenges; or fitnessblender.com who offer free workout video's. Keeping fit while under isolation is a no-brainer with so many great options to choose from!
Keep Those Kids Entertained!
Most people today have children and are not accustomed to having them under foot for weeks on end. To keep your sanity intact during times like this you need to find stimulating activities to keep them occupied for hours! Most kids are computer literate and can do this pretty well on their own but if they become easily bored or distracted there are some options you may not know about that will keep re-entertaining them.
1. Disney is offering online resources for parents by going behind the scenes with artists and engineers to see how they design and build their world attractions and characters. "Inside the Magic" offers "Imagineering in a Box" to keep older kids entertained for days. Simply go online to the Disney website and click on "Inside the Magic" to access it.
2. The Kennedy Space Center is offering science lessons on Facebook Live about rocketry from the Saturn 5 Center that teaches how to make rockets at home from recycled materials you have around the house. Just click on the "Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex" link and view the video feeds.
3. Mindgames.com. This site has hundreds of free online brain games, puzzle games, word games, etc. that will keep kids learning and occupied for hours.
Times like this require innovative solutions to keep your mind and body active, healthy and safe. The most important thing you can do for yourself is keep fear and stress at bay. Be flexible, get creative, and stay focused by practicing mindfulness and taking things day by day. Overreacting and worrying won't change a thing. Take ten deep breaths when you feel overwhelmed, do some exercise or focus on something pleasant. There are a lot of resources online if you need help, whether it's finances, psychological wellbeing, or physical health. Reach out to family and friends rather than tackle the situation on your own. You are not alone and you will realize this as soon as you make contact with others. Namaste and Be Well!