As we’re all practicing social distancing right now, we find ourselves in closer contact than ever with those we share a home with. While many people I know are practicing this Safer at Home Order (this is what California calls it… for you, it might be shelter in place or something else) with their kids, some of us childless Millenials find ourselves at home all day with just one other person.
I know many of us are busy working during the days, but when the computers go off and we can relax, what are we supposed to do?
We can’t just sit and watch movies and shows all day… I mean, we can… and we have… but this thing is going to last a while, and vegging out for weeks on end is not advisable.
Instead, now is the time to laugh, make some memories, and make the most of the time you and your
cellmate housemate have to spend together. Here are some things that Chris and I are doing to pass the time and have fun together:
Board Games and Puzzle Night is Every Night
We’re a game household, so we already had a few games on hand. The downside is that we had a very limited number of two-player games (most are for 4 or more). I added to our game and puzzle collection via Amazon, because social distancing, and I’m including a few links for you here. There are obviously tons of games out there for two players, but these are some of the games I recommend.
Note: When you order, remember that all resources are first going where they are needed — getting food and essentials to where they need to go. We can usually rely on Amazon Prime to deliver within a day or two, but deliveries are, understandably, taking a bit longer right now.
- Chess – We play Wizard Chess.
- Code Names Duet – We love playing Code Names with our friends, and I’m so excited to play this two-person version.
- Cribbage – Neither of us have played in a very long time, and I’m terrible at math. Very interested to see how this one goes…
- Jenga – Finally, something collapsing faster than our economy! Sorry… too soon? (Before anyone comes for me, just know that some of us deal with trauma in different ways.)
- Mancala – A classic from rainy day recesses as a child. I remember playing this in the third grade with my best friend, and I’m very excited to play again. There’s something so soothing about this game to me.
- Othello (also known as Reversi) – My mom taught me how to play this on the single worst camping trip my family ever went on (maybe I’ll save that story for another post). Playing this game in the car with her was the best part of the whole trip.
- Paperback – This game is kind of like Scrabble, but with a twist. And it’s so fun. And I CRUSHED it (I played the word “pixelated” and blew everyone out of the water. This information is 100% pertinent in your decision to purchase this game, btw) and now Chris won’t play with me. I love this game!
- Puzzles – Puzzles are so underrated. We got a Norman Rockwell 100 piece puzzle, but there are SO MANY to choose from, based on what you’re into.
- Scrabble – Ah yes, the original Words with Friends!
- Trionimos – Oh good, another math game! We’ve never played this one before, but the box has a child on it, so I’m hopeful.
Do Some Yoga/Workout
According to the local and state government, WHO, and the CDC, we can still go outside and take walks. The problem? There are still other people out, and I’m a bit paranoid. We do walk to the store when necessary, or down to our Amazon hub to pick up the games and other things we’ve ordered, but for the most part, we’re staying inside. I like to balance out the coach-potatoing with a little physical activity, and since I’m not going to my spin class anymore, I’m taking the workout inside.
Chris is still in recovery from his ACL/meniscus repair surgery, so there’s not a ton he can do at the moment; however, we both feel it is important to move our bodies and practice mindfulness. In order to help us do both, we have been watching Yoga with Adreine. Anything Chris can’t currently do as he continues to heal, he modifies or sits out.
For more core and strengthening work, I watch MadFit and workout to her videos. What I love about these is that the workouts are generally bodyweight workouts and I can use chairs and other furniture in the house to do the exercises. Rebecca Louise Fitnessis another great option for at home, no equipment workouts. If you have some weights or other equipment at home that you want to use, check out Kayla Istines’ Youtube.
Play Video Games
I’ll be honest, I’m not HUGELY into video games (shocker, I know). But right now, we don’t have sports, and I gotsta have my fix! Chris is very into FIFA and MLB The Show, so I’ll play on occasion. What we’re both really into playing together, and have been since long before this outbreak, is Spyro. We both played (and beat) this game well over a decade ago, but it’s a lot of fun replaying it now and creating a new experience. Sometimes we lose hours to this game.
Watch a Streamed Concert
With all the bars and venues closed down, artists are streaming concerts. They’re so much more intimate, and they often respond to the audience. It’s pretty awesome. The other day we enjoyed Chris Martin of Coldplay streaming live, and we’re excited about Ben Gibbard’s daily Facebook Live concerts. Keep an eye out on Instagram and Facebook for random or announced streaming performances, or check out Billboard’s list of upcoming virtual shows.
Remotely Visit A Museum
This is one I’m so excited about (and one that I’ll probably use as a virtual field trip for my students during distance teaching)! There are TONS of museums offering virtual tours right now for free. We’re going to pick a museum, airplay it to our TV, and enjoy a trip around The Lourve, Acropolis Museum, and (mostly read) the Harry Potter: A History of Magic Exhibit at the British Library.
See Google Arts & Culture for a massive list of cool museums and where to find them.
Virtually Visit a Zoo
There’s a certain amount of irony about being cooped up inside and turning to other animals also cooped up inside to ease your worries, but at least maybe we’ll learn to have abetter appreciation for these critters.
The San Diego Zoo is online, offering live cams and archived footage. If it’s pandas you’re looking for, check out Atlanta Zoo’s Panda Cam. If you’re looking for something a little tranquil and ze, you can opt for one of my favorites, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Jelly Cam, which is set to soothing music. They have a number of other live and prerecorded streams to enjoy as well. While you’re are one of these zoos, consider donating!
If you’re looking for more ideas for things to do together (or more likely, things to do on your own to save your sanity and give you both a break from each other), check out my 20 Things To Do During the COVID-19 Outbreak post. You may also want to check out my Social Distancing Watch List for a shared experience where you don’t have to talk to (or look at) each other 🤪
Stay healthy, safe, and sane friends!