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7 DAYS (OR 28 WAYS): ENTERTAINING IDEAS FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING:

Staying Inspired 7days 28ways shut in3 23 20While we wait out the effects of Corona Virus, things are getting more and more restrictive. There are fewer places to go if we want to leave our houses. Many who can, are working at home. Kids are out of school. Everyone’s already a little stir crazy. Right?

Though we probably have a year’s worth of projects on our “to do” lists, maybe we can challenge ourselves to have some fun (especially to relieve stress - since we have little control over anything else).

Cleaning house and organizing gets boring after a while. What else can we do to Stay Inspired – and keep ourselves entertained?

These days, the ability to use technology ties us to our various devices. Sure – there are lots of videos, social media posts, free concerts by laymen and professionals, e-books, etc. We are conducting business on our devices, (posting blogs J), and joining virtual classes/services/community meetings. You name it! It’s probably available.

There are certainly worthy things to do with our time right now - like raising money for nonprofits or your favorite small business to help them until they can reopen their doors. There’s still volunteer needs in the community – and even remotely – through some organizations. I’ve seen a lot of offers to assist neighbors on Next Door, as well.

I learned some creative thinking skills from my Dad:

Family vacation driving trips seemed incredibly long. (“Are we there yet?”). Dad found a way to keep fun in every mile we traveled. He had us singing together, playing “I spy”, identifying words alphabetically on road signs, tracking license plates from different states, playing “G H O S T” (a word game – Wikipedia describes it https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_(game) ), making up stories including random words/objects, etc. Dad also had a knack of reading signs backwards pretty quickly! We had some friendly competition, learned a bunch, and laughed a lot.

Dad also used the expression “Mind over Matter” and tried to live by it when he was troubled: I adopted that philosophy later, when I thought I wouldn’t be able to get through a workday without being overstressed. I found ways to entertain myself during breaks & 30 minute lunch hours. This included walking/talking with co-workers, and - at some point - even short line dancing “classes” in our conference room. (I wish I’d thought of that one myself!). To keep motivated on my tasks, I challenging my mind with little games to accomplish sections of work. For instance, I timed my speed or set a short numerical goal (i.e. – finish 100 of these) before moving on to something else. The next day, I tried to beat my goal. Destressing while being in a stressful environment helped me return to work refreshed each day. It also enabled me to keep perspective by recognizing the successes and rewards within the job process itself.

By example, sometimes we just need a little distraction from the world and its problems (or to get through a tedious, long ride). This is why I decided to compile a list of ideas – just for fun - to take us through at least another week of staying in place and/or social distancing.

Find 7 idea categories (one for each day of the week) below - in no meaningful order. Each has 4 related options. That’s a potential of 28 days’ worth of activities!

1) Puzzles:

  • Start a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle (and keep going until you finish it)
  • Make your own puzzles out of paper, cardboard, recycled cereal boxes
  • Take apart an object and figure out how to put it back together
  • Try to follow directions to put together a piece of furniture!

2) Games:

  • Invent a card or board game (call it the “Bored” game?!)
  • Marathon sessions/all-nighters of your favorite game
  • Gambling – using whatever you have in the house to create a worthy exchange for winning (dry pasta, beans, socks, whatever!)
  • Paper and pencil games (I’ve known one as DOTS but apparently it’s called “Dots & Boxes” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dots_and_Boxes per Wikepedia)

3) Shop: (Yes – we know many stores are closed)

  • Envision your dream home by tracking unique features you see/imagine in your neighbor’s homes/yards as you walk through the neighborhood
  • Shop in your own closets as you do your Spring Cleaning (I always find new ways to use old items and different combinations)
  • Play “The Price is Right” with your grocery list. See if you can guess how much you will actually spend if you stick with your list
  • See if you can get something everyone else is looking for but can’t find!

4) Music:

  • Play guitar or other instruments &/or sing on your front porch to entertain all those walking in your neighborhood. (OR Invite people to bring a blanket and sit on your lawn if you have the space – 6 feet away from each other - of course)
  • Serenade a neighbor with a special greeting (at a distance) outside their home (like a troubadour)
  • Have a percussion band with the kids – (pots and pans, plastic containers, loose change, beans) – indoors or out
  • Listen to a new radio station – or a station that features local original music (Try Imurj Radio – here in the RTP, NC https://radio.imurj.com/ )

5) Creative Projects:

  • Finish a creative project you’ve been thinking about (i.e. – book, painting, songwriting)
  • Write poetry or songs about the current situation
  • Have a family Sewing/Quilting/Knitting/Crocheting Bee
  • Family Story Telling – make it up as you go, write it down (could become a book for later)

6) Cooking:

  • MasterChef (or child MasterChef) challenge – using items in your kitchen right now – each individual – or team - create recipes using only those items for a meal or snack (then taste test it all – of course)
  • Bake cookies!
  • Make smiley face pancakes
  • Cut vegetables, fruits, breads, or something else – into funny shapes or faces to eat later or decorate the food plates at a meal.

7) Movie Marathons:

  • Find a movie for every letter of the alphabet and watch them in alphabetical order
  • Watch movies by year released, from most recent to oldest - (how far back can you go?)
  • Video tape a HOME movies of how you are keeping busy with silly things
  • Write or tape a NEW movie plot/script - including family members as the cast

If you have some great ideas to share about what you/your family are doing to have a fun while staying at home, just connect. I’d love to post them in a future blog.

Let's all Stay Inspired,

Paula C Snyder

 

**Staying Inspired Artwork/Layout Created and Article/Blog Written by Paula C Snyder © 2020 – All Rights Reserved**

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2013 Paula C Snyder and Grandma Paula photos by Chris Florio were made possible by the Regional Artist Project Grant.  The Regional Artist Project Grant is funded and administered by the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County.   This project is supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.   The program is operated in partnership with the  Franklin County Arts Council, Johnston County Arts Council, Vance County Arts Council and Warren County Arts Council.  http://www.unitedarts.org