The old fart’s top news story today is about 50 great things to do alone while self isolating and practicing social distancing. I’m writing about it because of the sudden social isolation of millions has led to a lot of bored people. If you’re one of them, and you’re looking for ways to occupy yourself while alone, here are fifty wonderful, cheap, and easy ways that this old fart recommends to relieve your boredom. Most involve things you likely already have laying around your home. The following tips are all courtesy of the good folks at Okay Today Calls.
50 Cool Things To Do During Self Isolation
1. Make your own paper. Use old scraps of other paper, such as newspapers, receipts, etc.. There’s a sense of pride and joy felt by recycling something which would have otherwise been thrown away, and creating something unique and beautiful in the process. To get started, check out some online tutorials.
2. Go on a tour. As the world self isolates, many are turning to virtual tours to still visit and explore the world’s marvelous places. Here’s a link to get you started🙂
3. Write a letter to yourself. Take the time to write yourself a letter that communicates of all your troubles and concerns, hopes, dreams and ambitions. Be brutally honest about what’s on your mind, then actually go and mail it. You’ll be amazed at the insights it will give you during the process, and when it arrives, it will help remind you of how quickly some things change.
4. Learn to play an instrument. You’ll be amazed at what you can do with a little instruction and a LOT of practice. With free online lessons, it’s never been easier to do, so release the inner musician in you.
5. Create your own custom calendar. It’s super easy. Assemble the pictures that you want for each month, write something witty to go with them, then send it all off for printing. We made one with funny family pictures and gave them as holiday gifts. The family loved them. There’s no end to what you can do.
6. Become an globe trotter. Explore the world with Google Earth. Zoom to your house, or anywhere else on the planet, then dive in for a 360° perspective with street view. It provides worldwide satellite imagery 3D buildings, and terrain for hundreds of cities. Or, take a guided tour around the globe with some of the world’s leading storytellers, scientists, and nonprofits. Immerse yourself in new cultures, and test your knowledge of the world, and it’s all right at your fingertips. It’s a great way to revisit old home towns and to expand your mind. Here’s the link to Google Earth.
7. Be a non-romantic anonymous admirer. Lift someone’s spirits by sending them a series of friendly letters that tell them what a special person they are. Imagine their surprise to hear from someone unknown who thinks they’re wonderful, and why the admirer feels that way. Be sure to encourage them to do the same, because we can all use a little encouragement and surprise now and then.
Tools To Fight Boredom
8. Adopt a senior. Contact your local senior’s centre, explain who you are, what you’d like to do, and ask if there’s someone who could really use a friend. It may be dinner once or more a week, treating them to an occasional movie, chatting on the phone every so often, having them over for holidays and special occasions, or simply sharing coffee and conversation. For no matter what our age, we retain the capacity to love, and the desire to be loved.
9. Colour. That’s right, colouring isn’t just for children anymore. Now there are all kinds of ‘adult’ colouring books that range from wildlife to books best not left out when company comes. Colouring’s therapeutic, great fun, and wiles away hours in a hurry. Here’s a link to few Canadian ones.
10. Build a castle! There’s lots of free building materials, from sand to snow, and from Styrofoam to modeling clay. The castle’s shape and dimensions are limited only by your mind. Recreate Rapunzel’s tower, or reconstruct Camelot, the home of Arthur’s round table. Make it as simple or as elaborate as you choose, and decorate it however you want. Release the inner architect, and go forth upon thy quest with faith and bravery.
11. Become a pilot. Combine aviation with origami and become a paper aviator. Most of us once made paper airplanes, but as we grew older we forgot just how much fun they can be. There’s so many different ways of making them, and it’s always a thrill to watch them fly. And, as an added bonus, if you make a few and leave them lying about at work, on a bus or train seat, in lobbies, etc., and watch for a while from a distance, you’ll be amazed by the number of people can’t stop themselves from giving them a go. Here’s a free site with all kinds of designs and the instructions needed to make them
12. Start a long distance relationship. Become a pen-pal. People have been doing it for centuries, and it’s never been more relevant than it is today. Pen-pals are not people who want to date, they’re people who just want to communicate. Pen-pals are friends, and friends are nice to have when you live alone. They’re people who care and love to share, and we can all use more of them. Here’s a place to help you start.
13. Become Post It Bandit: Leave random and anonymous post it notes of encouragement when no one’s looking. Be sure to also put them in odd and unusual places (like under a chair, in a drawer, etc.) to add a whole new level of intrigue.
14. Become a sculptor. All it takes is a little modelling clay and creativity. Sculpting allows you to bring the world of your imagination to life, and the more you do, the better you’ll get at it. From figurines to dioramas, using clay or a man-made modeling medium it can be great and rewarding fun.
Being Alone Doesn’t Have To Be Boring
15. Become a culinary creator. Invent a new dish to add to your family recipes. Almost all of the foods we know and love were once created by someone. And, if your gastronomical masterpiece turns out to be ‘less than’ tasty, well, only your taste buds will pay the price.
16. Become a picnicker. You don’t need anyone else to enjoy great food, amazing scenery, and relax. And here’s a news flash, picnics aren’t just for outside anymore. They now take place in living rooms, on rooftops, balconies, and high indoor vistas too. Basically anywhere with a good view of things beautiful and interesting will do. Picnics are ‘braincations’; mini-vacations for both mind and soul.
17. Become a contestant. Win great prizes and get free samples. It’s like playing a lottery that you don’t have to pay to play. They’re free to enter, fairly easy to find, and don’t require too much time or effort. Do a online search for ‘free contests’ and you’ll find lots of websites that list them. Just be sure that you’re eligible before entering. Here’s a link to get you started.
18. Become a nominee. We all know people and organizations worthy of special recognition, so why not nominate them for an award? We always assume that they know how awesome they are, but they often go without thanks or appreciation. Nominating someone is actually quite easy to do, and secretly ever so satisfying. Here’s a link to a list of some Canadian awards available.
19. Become a puppeteer. Set up a little stage, use your phone or digital camera to record your show, and then post the finished product on YouTube. All it takes is a couple of socks, some yarn, paint, doodads, and a whole lot of silliness. It’s entertaining, stress relieving, and allows the kid in you to have some fun!
20. Become an anonymous artist. Painting rocks, and then re-introducing them into the environment for other to be surprised by and enjoy, is an awesome hobby that’s currently ‘trending’. You can even combine art with positive and encouraging messages. It’s super easy, inexpensive, and brightens our world – one smile at a time.
21. Become an inventor. You don’t have to crazy, just creative. Think of something that people need or want, and they’d use often. Improve an idea, reapply an idea to a whole new purpose, etc.. And, never forget that some of the greatest inventions were made while trying to invent something else, Coca Cola for instance.
22. Adopt avians. Wild birds have less and less natural habitat each year, and those losses include food sources. As a result, many thousands of our feathered friends starve each year. So please, feeds the birds near you. How we treat and manage wildlife in own backyards is now critical to the future of wildlife existence and conservation. Feeding them insures the air continues to be filled with their sweet songs, and provides us with the opportunity to interact with beautiful wildlife without ever having to leave home.
23. Take up topiary! Topiary is the art or practice of clipping plants, shrubs, or trees into ornamental shapes. Topiary varies from the ancient Japanese art form ‘Bonsai’, which is forming miniature trees to look like full sized trees. Anyone can do topiary, indoors or out. It takes few tools, and helps us to appreciate and enjoy plants in whole new ways.
Rethink, Repurpose, Renovate
24. Travel back in time. Drag out those dusty old photo albums and browse through them. It will help reconnect you to your roots, bring a few smiles to your face, and keep the memories of loved ones alive and well.
25. Become an amateur comedian. The world desperately needs more laughter. Practice at home by recording yourself with a phone. The when the flu season is over, practice your skills in nursing homes and long term care facilities, because you’ll rarely find a tougher or more humor savvy audience anywhere. You don’t have to be great, you just need to be fun.
26. Perform random acts of patriotism. Pick a few random local phone numbers to call, and when answered, tell them that as a fellow Canadian, you’re calling to thank them for their help in building a better nation for us all. That’s it. You’ll be amazed at the responses you get.
27. Become a braider. Search your closet, ask friends, local thrift shops, etc. for old clothing and materials that will be tossed out, then cut them up into strips and turn them into braided mats for the homeless. It’s super easy, inexpensive, relaxing, recycles, re-purposes, and little comforts us more than giving comfort to others. There are many tutorial videos and step by step instructions online.
28. Be outrageous! Pick a day of the week to be your ‘outrageous day’. And to celebrate it, style your hair differently, dress completely out of character, walk funny, and speak with a strange accent. You’ll be amazed at who comes out of you, and how much fun it is.
29. DYI (do it yourself). Renovate something at home, find objects and restore them, or rescue something from going to a landfill and give it a whole new life. It costs very little, there are a zillion ideas on Pinterest, Etsy, and sites like them, and an equal number of video tutorials on YouTube. You can do it!
30. Meditate. Meditating relieves stress and dissipates worry by allowing thoughts to pass without judgment, making it much easier to learn and think through real concerns. It’s a sure-fire way to live a more peaceful life, and increase your intelligence.
Silhouettes Are Cutting Edge
31. Become a silhouette artist. Silhouettes turn shadow into artistic miniature portraits that preserve memories. They’ve been treasured by both the very rich, and by the very poor, for hundreds of years. But today it’s almost a lost skill. Making silhouettes is very inexpensive to do, takes very little equipment or space, and can be done at your leisure. Here is a link with more information.
32. Become ambidextrous. Learning to use both hands equally helps to rewire the brain, and comes in very handy if injured. Start with easy things, like eating with your ‘other’ hand, and work your way up to handwriting. There are lots of tips and videos to help you online.
33. Become a video critic. YouTube has millions of videos, and while some go ‘viral’, many get next to no views, and even fewer comments. They would love to have someone rate and comment on their videos, which provides you with something to do, and them with an honest opinion about their work.
34. Become an online editor! If you want to contribute to human knowledge, become a editor on a topic you know all about. For instance, ‘Wikipedia’ is a human maintained encyclopedic website. Use your knowledge and research abilities to make sure the facts it lists are true, the information is correct, and share the power of your mind with the entire world for generations to come!
35. Become an amateur scientist. Relive the excitement of your childhood and explore the frontiers of basic chemistry using stuff you already have at home. YouTube also offers some great ideas. You may never win a Nobel prize, but you can suck an egg into a bottle, make the world’s coolest model volcano, and precisely measure and mix ingredients into the most delicious concoctions.
36. Become a book reviewer. Authors all over the world are looking for people to read and review their books online in order to help promote themselves and their work. For more information, we suggest you visit this resource.
37. Build a model. Models are a great way to keep yourself occupied. You don’t even need a kit. Build a sugar cube castle, a Popsicle stick cabin, and more. For those who prefer to use a kit, there’s really great choices available for every taste and budget.
38. Provide a little social kindness. Put an illuminated large number digital clock in a window facing a street or alley, with the numbers facing outward. You may never know who or how many, but you’d be amazed how many people will see and be grateful for it, and even come to rely on it.
39. Become an ‘Influencer’ on YouTube. Use your cell phone, video cam, or digital camera to record and share your opinions about how well products work in honest, funny, and creative ways. You can review anything, such as movies, make-up, gadgets, recipes, prepared foods, clothes, and so much more. Before you know it, you’ll have companies asking (even paying) you to test their products, and a large fan base all around the world:-)
40. Become a Repurposer. Find creative and imaginative ways to reuse things. It’s amazing what can be done. For instance, the Buddhist temple Wat Pa Maha Chedio Kaew in Thailand, more commonly know as “The Million Bottle Temple” or “Wat Lan Kuad”, is decorated with more than a million recycled bottles.
There Is Magic In Everything
41. Learn how to do magic. Amaze and wow friends and family with uncanny and unnerving acts of almost supernatural agility and ability. It’s easier than you think, and the internet makes it super easy to see how things are done.
42. Release your inner poet, and you’ll feel better before you know it!
43. Start a blog about you and/or your interests. It will help connect you to like minded people all around the world.
44. Become a ‘doodle sculptor’. One that puts things together to create art, rather than chipping them away. All you need to start is a glue gun, a few bits of this and that, and a little imagination.
45. Write or record an autobiography. Share your experiences, wisdom, and feelings with future generations.
46. Set a simple and fun fitness routine for yourself. For instance; put on some music, then do the ‘Two Stair Shuffle’ (up one stair, one down, then up two, one down, repeat), the ‘Mean Lean’ (stretch in all directions), ‘Double Trouble For Belly Bubbles’ (sit, rise, and sit repeatedly), and the ‘Flyswatter’ (move limbs in a crazy, fun, disorganized and disjointed form of Tai Chi).
47. Rearrange and redecorate things around the house. It’s fun, good exercise, and adds new interest to your home.
48. Have ‘Recipe” nights. Make something you’ve never made before. It doesn’t have to be a whole meal, just a new dish or dessert for you will do.
49. Audio-books are perfect for those who find reading difficult, and to listen to as you do chores, or while relaxing. There are thousands of titles available online for free.
50. Take up scrap-booking. It’s easy, fun, and super inexpensive. It’s a creative 3 dimensional way of capturing memories and telling stories.
So, there you go, 50 great ways to occupy yourself when alone provided by Okay Today Calls! We hope you like them and share them, because there are a lot of people who have suddenly found themselves alone at home.
To check out more top news stories click here, and be sure to browse my other news topics too!