With Gov. Jay Inslee’s order to Washingtonians to stay at home to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, we’re going to have to figure out different ways of still having fun and being productive while practicing social distancing. It’s easy to binge watch a TV show or plow through some books, but when you want a break from those things, here are eight activities to try.

Do a puzzle

Puzzles are not only fun, they’re also a great way to get your mind to focus on something else. I know I’ve found it hard to pull away when I’m in the puzzle zone, and in a time with so much anxiety and uncertainty, it is important to unplug here and there. Puzzles are also the perfect activity to do while listening to a podcast or relaxing music. Plus, depending on the size of the puzzle, you might be at it for a while. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could attempt a 4,000-piece puzzle like Ellen DeGeneres.

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Let’s see how this goes.

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Have a dance party

It may sound silly, but dancing is a great way to get on your feet and shake off some stress. Why not make it a party and get the whole family in on it? To help you make your dance party the best ever, I put together this playlist of upbeat songs to get you moving. Watch out for the furniture!

Cook or bake

How many times have you told yourself you need to start meal-prepping? Now is the perfect time to try new recipes, plan meals and experiment in the kitchen! Just be sure to wash your produce well. If you’re looking for inspiration, try these soup recipes from local chefs.

Practice your hobby/passion

What do you love to do, but don’t get to do often because of time? Now is the time to pick up that instrument again or start writing that book or learn that new language. It might be hard to keep up at first, but devoting a little time each day to whatever you want to craft will make a huge difference. There are plenty of resources out there to get you going. If you’re looking for some inspiration and want to get collaborative, HITRECORD is an online platform that allows creatives to share and make art, whether it’s music, film or writing.

Organize your space

I know, how dare I suggest this?! Hear me out, you’re going to be spending a lot more time at home, so you might as well make it a place you’re comfortable in! I’m not saying you need to go full on Marie Kondo, although you could if you wanted, but rearranging some furniture or decluttering your coffee table might make a bigger difference to how you feel about being home than you would think. You might want to dust off your old Pinterest account for this one.


Look at old photos

One of my favorite pastimes is to look through old photos. My family has shoe boxes and shoe boxes full of them, so I’ve spent hours reminiscing. Photos are also a great way to connect with your family and friends. Whenever I look through them, I can’t help but take photos of some of the funniest or cutest ones and text them to my family. You could also watch home videos! Which, depending on how you have those saved, you may need to digitize them. Another great way to spend time!

Video chat with friends

Staying connected with loved ones is more important than ever right now. FaceTime, Skype, Zoom and other video chatting platforms are great tools we can use to virtually interact with friends and family. You can even get creative and share a meal or watch a movie at the same time. The Chrome extension Netflix Party allows you to watch movies and TV shows in sync with your friends! If you’re itching for a game night, Tabletop Simulator is a platform that allows users to play and create games with other users.

Rest and help others

Something we all need to do during this time is allow ourselves to rest. If you have the means to do so, use this time to take a step back, breathe and take care of your mind and body. Try to help others who are high risk or those who don’t have the luxury of being able to stay home. Maybe a neighbor of yours is part of the vulnerable population and needs help getting groceries. Perhaps their garden needs some tending. Even giving a call to someone quarantined could brighten their day. As difficult and uncertain as this time is, there are still many ways we can take care of ourselves and those around us.