Sick days as a kid were pretty fun. Cartoons, soup in bed...even if all you could do was sleep, at least you didn’t have to go to school! Now things are a little different, and folks everywhere are social distancing and self-quarantining at home to #stopthespread of COVID-19. But we’re all starting to feel a different kind of fever...cabin-fever. If you’re starting to go a little stir crazy, have no fear! We’ve put together 20 things you can do to keep yourself occupied while staying safe and healthy at home.
1. Tour a Museum Virtually
The Detroit Institute of Arts allows you to browse the collection online, watch private screenings from the Detroit Film Theatre, and take a school field trip from home (www.dia.org/athome).
Pure Michigan will be regularly posting virtual experiences on its Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels in the coming weeks as people continue to follow the stay-at-home order.
2. Practice an Instrument
Do you have an electric keyboard serving as a side table right now? Or perhaps an instrument in a case in the attic? Now’s the perfect time to dust it off for a jam session! And with so many YouTube music tutorials, and with composing software like Apple’s GarageBand, anyone can try their hand at a little music making, even if all they have is a smartphone or laptop!
3. Write a Note
There is something special about hand-written notes letters to family and friends. Send your love to your Great Aunt or grandchildren! The Reconnect Postcard Set is available from Peninsulas : 15 beautiful Michigan-themed postcards and a set of stamps for $20. Just enough space to jot a quick note to tell friends and family that you are thinking of them.
You could also draft a thank-you note to someone who went out of their way for you or leave a positive review online for a local business.
4. Try a New Home Exercise
Working out is a bit of a challenge when your go-to gym is closed. But there’s nothing stopping you from working out from home! Practice your favorite martial arts moves, yoga poses, or reps right in your living room. Even if you’re not a regular gym-goer, physical exercise can be as fun as putting on some tunes and getting down. Dance like no one’s watching! (Because they’re not - they’re at home too). Pro tip: water bottles or milk jugs filled with water make great dumbbells in a pinch!
5. Coloring Books!
Fun for all ages! You can be creative even if you prefer coloring inside the lines! Coloring books and pages can be found everywhere, ordered online, or even offered as free downloadables. Speaking of, we’ve created our own free coloring book to download and print, just for you! Check it out here.
6. Take Up Bird Watching
Many birds are migrating back to Michigan this Spring - and many can be seen from your kitchen window! A true sign of spring is seeing the American robin, Michigan’s state bird. If you would like to know what birds to look for in both the Upper and Lower Peninsulas, be sure grab Birds of Michigan Field Guide by Stan Tekiela. This book features 118 species of Michigan birds organized by color for ease of use. Do you see a yellow bird and don’t know what it is? Go to the yellow section to find out. Crisp, stunning full-page photographs present the species as you’ll see them in nature.
7. Get Crafty
We all have a little creativity in us, let it shine! Make a collage from old magazines, whittle out of a branch from the backyard, or pick up that old knitting project you have sitting in your closet (don’t lie, we know it’s in there and we don’t judge)! Even if all you have is a pencil and some paper, you can try a still life or self-portrait sketch!
If you would like to channel your inner Bob Ross and paint some mighty mountains and emerald lakes, consider visiting TwoInchBrush.com, a "database listing all Bob Ross Paintings, various guides to get you started with painting, a great search function to help you find your next painting, and a wonderful community you can share your masterpieces with."
8. Break Out the Puzzles and Tabletop Games
Gather the family around for a game of Scrabble, chess, Monopoly, or bananagrams! Puzzles and solitaire are also a lot of fun.
9. Finish up That Lingering Home Improvement Project
Of course, now is also not the time to shop at stores for nonessential items, but perhaps there is a cupboard or bookshelf that needs organizing, walls that can be touched up with spare paint in storage, gutters that can be cleaned, or art to be hung. Staying inside while the weather is getting so nice can be frustrating, but you can bring a little bit of that spring feeling inside by freshening up your own space!
10. Try a New Recipe
Lose yourself in the kitchen cooking and baking! Both activities are good de-stressors. You can create something new from scratch - and eat it too! If you are interested in a cookbook stuffed full of tried-and-true recipes for Michigan recipes, be sure to check out My Little Michigan Kitchen. Mandy McGovern includes classics such as "Secret Ingredient" Tart Cherry Pie, UP North Pasties, Detroit Coney Dogs, Mackinac Island Fudge, Detroit Deep-Dish Pizza, Boston Coolers, Smoked Whitefish Chowder, Hot Fudge Cream Puffs, and more.
11. Movie Night
Watch the same movie as a friend and call each other to chat about it immediately afterwards. There are also a number of apps such as Netflix Party, Rabbit, Watch2gether and Gaze that let you simultaneously watch videos with your friends.
12. Kick Back with a Book
Whether it’s a stack of magazines or novels, many of us have a “To Read” pile. What better way to spend a day indoors than with your favorite drink, working your way through that backlog?
If studying fascinating subjects is more your style, there are a huge variety of free articles and courses available through online learning sites Coursera and edX - many of which are from Ivy League Schools.
13. Make a Photo Album or Scrapbook
Often when we’re not busy with daily work in life, we get the chance to reflect on the past. Take advantage of that time and make a photo album or scrapbook of your favorite memories!
14. Pet Your DogOr cat, bunny, hamster... Your pet is super happy to have extra time with you!
Journaling can be very beneficial to your mental health during stressful times - anything can be a journal, from the highest quality moleskin to a stack of stapled printer paper - the important thing is to get your honest thoughts down. If you want a little more flair, check out our variety of notebooks!
16. Drink Your Coffee on the Porch
Fresh air and a bit of relaxation are a lovely way to start your day!
17. Stream a Live Concert
A number of popular musicians and venues are taking their shows online. You can watch everything from Miley Cyrus to Bruce Springsteen to New York Metropolitan Opera. Billboard.com shares who has announced live streams and virtual concerts and iHeartRadio has free music, radio, and podcasts.
18. Practice your Photography Skills
Even if it is just leaves in the backyard shot with your phone camera, you can get creative with photography. If you need inspiration, check out the Northern Michigan-based and internationally renowned photographer, Bill Schwab. Bill has a really neat series of night time photography titled "I Can See Stars."
19. Take a Bath
Nothing says “self care” quite like a nice, hot bath! Light some candles, pour in some bath salts, and enjoy a spa day at home.
20. Interview a Family Member
Prepare a list of questions such as, “What is your earliest memory?” or “Did you have a favorite pastime growing up?” or “What hairstyle was popular when you were in high school?” Call up a family member and begin your interview - you may be surprised at how much you learn about someone you know so well!
Staying at home doesn’t have to be boring! Try some of these tips to spice up your work from home or staycation life. Then tell us how it went on facebook or instagram with #mipeninsulas!