April 28 2020 – Talya Cayce
On the nth month of quarantine and getting tired of the daily activities of what has become the new same-old, same old? Last month, we shared some ideas of fun and productive things to do while hunkering down. If you haven’t seen the list yet, click here.
Below are more fun, fab, and productive activities to experience and enjoy, as well as we can during this time.
Use quarantine time to get in shape and hone your dancing skills. If you’ve always wanted to learn new dance steps or perfect dance moves you already know, as they say, there’s no better time than the present. With the of pluses having the comforts of your own home, no traffic, no worrying of looking sweaty and awkward, and no gym bags to lug around.
There are hundreds of free dancing video lessons online, starting from Youtube to websites such as Learntodance.com and howcast.com/4-dance. If there’s a willing partner to learn dancing with, you can pick up new ballroom dancing skills, such as tango and swing!
You might think that you’re coming out of this lockdown in the same shape as you went in it. But realistically, there are only two shapes you can come out of this quarantine: ripped from a combination of lack of food choices (closed drive-throughs and restaurants) and regular workouts or several pounds heavier (hello, comfort eating).
For better health and fitness, set up or maintain a home workout routine. You can find easy to learn workouts for beginners online. If you’re an advanced exerciser, there are tons of challenging at-home workouts with or without equipment as well. Youtube, Vimeo, and other video streaming sites will be your workout buddy. If you’re just starting out, search for ‘low impact beginner workout’, low impact workouts are easy on the knees and ankle - no jumping.
Want to learn or continue with your yoga practice? Besides the video streaming sites mentioned above, you can try YogaInternational.com for a free 30-day premium membership. MyYogaWorks also offers a free month to new subscribers. Use promo code YOGA to avail.
Take Online Courses
Ever wanted to expand your views on any subject or sharpen existing skills? With everything being ushered by the modern age and nudged by the pandemic into going online, learning is at the forefront of being delivered digitally. Boost your resume by taking online courses. Below are some of the courses made available for free.
With the intent of helping quarantined folks have further ability to stay informed and productive in the world of imaging and optics, Japan-based Nikon corporation is offering free photography and videography online classes in English. https://www.nikonevents.com/us/live/nikon-school-online/
Ivy League school, Harvard University is making available over 55 online courses for anyone who wants to broaden their knowledge. The duration for these courses ranges from one to 15 weeks. View their ongoing course catalog at https://online-learning.harvard.edu/catalog/free.
Find more free online courses made available due to the global #stayhome situation, some courses are being offered by Ivy League schools at https://www.classcentral.com/report/.
Level up Cooking with Chefs
Watch how famous chefs cook during quarantine, and if you have the ingredients, you can cook along with them. At the very least, you can learn cooking tips from these culinary experts. Michelin three-starred Italian Chef, Massimo Bottura, restauranteur of Osteria Francescana has opened his kitchen to the public, well, virtually. He has been sharing easy recipes, the ingredients of which can be found in most homes’ refrigerators. His nightly live cooking streams is appropriately named Kitchen Quarantine. Watch him work his magic even with leftovers whipped up into a delicious meal. Follow him on Instragram, @massimobottura.
Rachael Ray’s 30 Minute Meals started airing on November 17, 2001 and ceased production by the end of April 2020. But that hasn’t stopped her from sharing cooking tips and tricks. Along with her husband, who became the video guy, she went on to make a 52-minute episode on her personal Instagram page. Checkout more Insta-cooking shows on her Instagram and IGTV page, @rachaelray.
When the cruise ship Diamond Princess was hit with the virus outbreak, Jose Andres’ nonprofit World Central Kitchen rose to the task of feeding passengers and crew on board. Aside from being involved in feeding the needy, Jose Andres also tasked himself to help homes cook smarter and, of course, yummier with his #RecipesForThePeople project. He shared recipes that everyone can make with what they have in their pantries or can obtain from their local grocery store. Follow @chefjoseandres on Instagram.
Write, Write, Write
If you’ve ever wanted to write that engaging novel or that enlightening nonfiction, now is the best time to do it. Forced to isolate from society and slow down life’s frantic pace, finding the time to sit down and pen your dream book is absolutely possible.
As an inspiration, it is well to note that William Shakespeare wrote plays such as King Lear while in isolation. In 1606, a plague hit London forcing the theatres to close and sending the playwrights and actors to quarantine. Before the year was over, Shakespeare wrote not only King Lear but Antony and Cleopatra, and Macbeth as well.
Writing a book too daunting a task? Try writing a journal. Or writing a couple of paragraphs from writing prompts such as those found on creativewritingprompts.com. Write often to get that creative, literary juices flowing.
Read or Listen
Now is also a good time to read; books that you have long wanted to read or finish the ones you’ve been meaning to finish reading. However, not all people are willing to sit down and devote time solely to reading.
Enter audiobooks. Imagine learning something new or listening raptly to a riveting mystery or swooning to an enchanting love story while doing the dishes, cleaning the house, or doing any other chore that aren’t that fun to do. Watch your productivity shoot up while having fun ‘reading’.
Visit Librivoz.org for hundreds of public domain audiobooks for free. OpenCulture is another resource for free audiobooks http://www.openculture.com/freeaudiobooks. Amazon Prime and Audible websites offer a 30-day trial with three free audiobooks.
For the kids or the young at heart, Audible offers a multitude of children’s audiobook titles. Although no downloading is allowed, streaming from the website (stories.audible.com/discovery) is available 24/7.
While we’re on the subject of listening, guess who you can hear reading Shakespeare sonnets on Twitter? Sir Patrick Stewart! That’s right, the classically trained iconic actor of characters Captain Jean Luc Picard and Professor Charles Xavier reads a different sonnet daily. Tune in to his readings on his Twitter account, @SirPatStew.
And there’s another celebrity reading to the public, this time reading to kids. Dolly Parton, American country music royalty, reads children’s bedtime story once a week. Watch and listen to her story-of-the week, and catch up on previous stories at https://www.youtube.com/user/imaginationlibrary.
Coloring for All Ages
Grab your colored pencils, and just for a few minutes, forget the news. Get immersed in the wonderful world of coloring. You’ve loved this activity when you were little. Now that you’re an adult, you’ll find coloring to not only be a fun and a creative outlet, it’s also relaxing, even meditating.
Good thing, you don’t have to color in Superman, Barbie, or Pokemon drawings (unless you want to), because there’s a myriad of adult coloring pages and books available: order coloring books online, print coloring pages from the net for free or download adult coloring apps on your smart device. Visit these websites for free downloadable and printable coloring pages: https://www.bestcoloringpagesforkids.com/category/adult-coloring, https://www.triedandtrueblog.com/coloring-pages/ and https://www.crayola.com/featured/free-coloring-pages/
Instead of getting lost in Youtube or Tiktok, or getting buried under a mountain of worrying news and social media posts, listen to your body and relax. There’s only so much a person virtually locked in the house, under community quarantine, doing the same things over and over can take. Your systems might be screaming for a break.
Stress dulls your immunity. De-stress whenever there’s a need for it. Meditate, write a gratitude list, do your craft projects, take a relaxing bath, maybe put on a beauty facial mask, and listen to your favorite music.