This article is by staffers Kristen Quesada and Alyssa Herzbrun
With this large amount of free time dropped into our laps, it can be overwhelming to decide what to do with it. Read on for some ideas.
Prep for doomsday
For those who want to experience potential worst-case scenarios, this section is for you. Read how different super-pandemics played out in “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel or Stephen King’s “The Stand.” Play Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, set in a flu-ridden world. Watch in fear as immune systems fight with no hope in the thriller “Contagion,” rentable on Amazon Prime Video. Binge “The Walking Dead” for what survival is like in the midst of a global zombie virus or check out many of the outbreak-focused docuseries available on netflix.
You’ve probably seen your neighborhood streets filled with people compared to the usual lone jogger. Take your newfound freetime to better your body, whether going on a daily bike ride or committing to a 30-day ab challenge. Through YouTube and other workout apps, you can establish your own weekly workout program. If working out isn’t your thing, try taking a walk outside for a short while. Check out our article on how to stay fit during quarantine.
Get into gaming
One person can only watch so many movies before wanting a change of pace. Make yourself the main character by picking up some video games. Whether using your brother’s Xbox or your old Wii, gaming is bound to make isolation more fun. If you have a computer, check out Steam and build yourself an on-demand PC gaming library. If you don’t have access to more advanced gaming platforms, mobile games are also a great alternative. Check out the Apple Arcade free trial for a month of hundreds of fun games or go with the classics, like Clash of Clans or Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp.
Have social distancing movie nights with friends
The Netflix Party Chrome extension allows users to sync up on a specific movie or TV show and watch together in a chatroom. Make some popcorn and curl up under the covers as you and your friends comment on every detail of the movie as you remotely watch it together.
Work on your cooking skills
With restaurants closed and no more lovely ladies in the kitchen serving lunch, boxed pasta and microwaveable meals can get boring quickly. Try out some easy cooking recipes. Visit the AllRecipes or Buzzfeed Tasty websites for step-by-step recipe walkthroughs.
Learn something new
We don’t need school when we have the internet! Learn to code with Codeacademy. Learn a new language with Duolingo, found in the AppStore. Take out your sketchpad or canvas and visit YouTube for virtual drawing lessons. If you prefer other things, order projects such as DiamondDotz, Paint By Number and even coloring books to test out your craftiness. Ivy leagues such as Harvard, UPenn and Princeton are offering free online courses on anything from American capitalism to the technology inside your cell phone. You can easily sign up for courses through the website Class Central which provides a list of all possible classes, a quick view into what you will learn and the amount of time it takes to complete a class. Be the master of your destiny and return to school with more knowledge than you had before.
Do something productive
Don’t fall prey to going to bed at 3 a.m. and waking up past noon; take this time off from daily school requirements to improve yourself. Challenge yourself to read a book (or part of one) every day. The New York Public Library has created the app SimplyE which allows anyone with a library card to borrow from the 300,000+ e-books in their collection. You can also check out OverDrive and sign in to your local library with your own card. If you don’t have your own library card, you can always create one online. Clean out your closet and set apart clothes you can donate. Write a guest article for iPatriotPost. The options are endless! View this time off as an opportunity, not as a setback.
If you’re having trouble figuring out what you want to do during your free time, take this quiz to find out.