We live in a fast-paced world so now that most of us are self-isolating at home, adjusting to the new ‘normal’ and finding things to do can be difficult. Remember this is only temporary, we will get back to our busy lives again and when we do, we will be wishing we could slow down again. Try and embrace this time and appreciate being safe at home. Fortunately, there are so many fun things to do during self-isolation or shielding, which I’ve gathered and listed below. I hope to add to this list as and when I come across new things/links.
Have fun reading, learning, exploring the world and playing from the safety of your home. #StayHome and stay safe.
Getting lost in a good book can pass several hours of your day, which can come in handy if you are struggling a little during self-isolation. Reading is also a great way to relax and de-stress. If you have already read all your books and don’t fancy re-reading them, now is the perfect time to escape into the world of online books.
Check out the following:
Haymarket Books – ten free ebooks available.
Audible – hundreds of free books available for the duration of school closures.
Many books – over 50,000 free ebooks waiting to be discovered.
Open Library Access – a digital library of free books.
Listening books.org – a selection of high-quality audiobooks for people with an illness, physical or learning disability or mental health condition, which impacts their ability to read or hold books.
Kids books – Storybooks read online.
Audio Books from David Walliams – free audio story from The World’s Worst Children 3.
Theatre & Musicals
We all enjoy a good night out at the theatre and live music events every now and then. Fortunately, we don’t have to miss out or even leave the comfort of our homes to watch our favourite plays, musicals or bands. With most of the world on lockdown, it means musicians are also spending time at home and are taking to social media to delight us with mini live concerts. I’m all for that.
Below are some West End productions, theatre shows and live music performances you may enjoy from home.
WhatsOnStage.com – a list of shows that can be streamed online.
Wind in the Willows the Musical – The live recording of ‘Wind in the Willows the Musical’ from the London Palladium available to stream online for free.
BroadwayHD – stream hundreds of fantastic Broadway productions. Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, you can get a seven-day free trial. Afterwards, you will need to pick a payment plan. Productions include Peter Pan, Oklahoma!, Kinky Boots, Romeo & Juliet and so many more.
Paris Opera – The great opera classics available online for free
The Shows Must Go On – stream full-length musicals every Friday at 7pm GMT! Available for 48 hours so you can watch anytime over the weekend.
Virtual Museum Tours
Museums around the world may be closed for the foreseeable future, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still explore them. Google Arts & Culture have an extensive online collection of museums and galleries you can take a virtual tour around. So if there is a museum you have always wanted to visit, now is a good time to browse the collection and learn about the art and artefacts. This can also be a good way of selecting which museums you would like to visit in person when everything is back to normal.
You can browse the entire collection, which includes some of the worlds most popular museums such as:
Fun Activities & Things to Do at Home for Kids
Staying home during self-isolation or shielding can be difficult at the best of times for adults, but keeping kids entertained and motivated to learn can be more challenging. Personally, I don’t have children, but I’ve enjoyed sharing ideas with my sister of things she can do with my nephew while being at home. They have their own schedule for school work and play, so I’ve just been giving them suggestions of fun projects, crafts and experiments to try.
Here are some of the cool activities and things to do at home with kids:
Cool Science Experiments – 85 awesome science experiments to try at home.
Fun at Home – over 1000 ideas for art projects, games and more.
Magic Tricks – 54 cool magic tricks.
Nature activities – 10 nature activities for kids if you’re self-isolating at home.
Family activities – Activities for families during self-isolation
Sensory Learning – 150 Sensory Learning Ideas
Get arty – Make a rainbow and hang it on your window for passerby’s to see it. Brings positivity to others on their daily walks.
Geography games – World geography games.
Kids Yoga – Cosmic Kids Yoga Adventure
The current lockdown can be particularly tough for all the travel lovers out there. Use this downtime to plan your future travels. However, if that’s not enough, thankfully there are lots of places to explore online to feed your wanderlust.
Here are just a few destinations (and planets) you can visit virtually during self-isolation:
Yellowstone National Park – touring some of the main attractions around the park.
Visit Planet Mars – explore the surface of Mars which was recorded by NASA’s Curiosity Rover.
EarthCam Live – transport around the world and explore different locations through live camera technology. Visit New York’s Time Square, Europe or Niagara Falls. It’s also a good way to check if people are practising social-distancing.
Great Wall of China – visit China’s most famous attraction and wonder of the world, the Great Wall of China. The Great Wall is over 2,000 years old and stretches more than 3,000 miles across several provinces of northern China.
Aurora Borealis – watch the Northern Lights in Churchill, Manitoba in Canada live.
Machu Picchu, Peru – an in-depth tour with 360-degree views of this 15th century Incan citadel.
New Orleans – tours with 360-degree views so you can get a taste of some of the best experiences including riding in a streetcar down St Charles Avenue, discovering the swamps or exploring highlights like the Commander’s Palace.
Entertainment, Podcasts & Music
Take a break from all that virtual travelling and kick back with a good movie/TV show or podcast. There are so many TV and movie streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime etc. You really can’t beat some good old Netflix and chill or listen to a fun and interesting Podcast. I’ve even seen a new hashtag for #GuarantineAndChill which is very fitting for the current situation we are all in.
If you enjoy watching TV/movies or Podcasts then check these out:
Netflix Party – watch Netflix with your friends or family online.
Tune In – audio streaming service delivering live news, radio, sports, music, and podcasts.
Virtual Disney World – Virtual 360º video experience of all the rides including Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Star Wars and many more.
Live performance – check out your favourite bands and artists on social media, many are doing live performances from their own homes.
Spending lots of time at home in self-isolation or shielding is the perfect opportunity to learn new skills, work towards gaining a new qualification or learning a new language. If there is something you have always wanted to do but never find the time to work on it, now is the time. Just go for it and enjoy.
These are a few examples of places to learn:
Learn sign language – pay what you can (limited time).
OpenLearn – free, online courses, Open University.
Open Culture – 1,500 free courses from some of the top Universities.
Open Culture – Learn 48 Languages Online for Free: Spanish, Chinese, English & More.
BBC languages – Learn languages online free.
Art Classes – 10 University Art Classes free online.
Creative courses – 10 Creative Online Courses free online.
Mindfulness & Mental Health
You may still be feeling a little unsettled or anxious after doing all the things you enjoy. That is completely understandable. That is why it’s so important to take care of our mental health and wellbeing during isolation.
Below are just a few examples of things to do to practice mindfulness and look after your mental health:
Colouring books – there are thousands of adult colouring books that are great stress-relievers.
Meditation – Free daily meditation sessions online
Mental health tips – 7 Ways To Manage Your Mental Health When Self-Isolating
I hope you found this resource list of things to do during self-isolation helpful. Please share below any resources, advice or information you have of things to do during this time – I will gladly add them to the list. I will also add to this resource list as and when I come across other helpful links.
I really hope you are all safe and keeping well.