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#stayhomestayhopeful - At Home Leisure Activities

April 14, 2020

By Leigh Giacometti, LRT/ CTRS, Recreational Therapist

During this time of social distancing and quarantine it is important to remember to engage in healthy leisure activities. It is easy to get sucked into Netflix, TV, video games, and social media but it is more important to take time for yourself away from the screen. This is a list of ideas to engage in while stuck at home.

A good rule of thumb is to limit your screen time - for every hour of TV, try to do something away from the screen for an equal or longer amount of time.

Side note:  Some of these activities may include the use of a device but it is being utilized in a way to aid in your self- care.

Here is a list of leisure activities to engage in while stuck at home during coronavirus:

  • Coloring

This is a great way to quiet the mind. Playing calm music and coloring is an effective form of meditation and helps to stay present in the moment. There are plenty of printable coloring pages online. If you are at home with your children, Crayola has a bunch of resources and kid-friendly options!

  • Zentangle

This is another mindfulness, relaxation option and is great if you don’t have coloring materials at home. You only have to have a pen and paper! Start with the outline of a shape, object, animal, etc. and fill in the space between the lines with different patterns! Even if you make a mistake keep working. At the end the mistakes make it beautiful. Check out Zentangle for more information, tips, and tricks!

  • Read a Book

Do you have books laying around that you have always been too busy for? Now is the time to read them. You can even connect with friends via FaceTime or the WhatsApp to start a virtual book club. If you have a Kindle, download something new from your local library. Bookbub is offering free sign up and offers free and discounted books. If you have a visual impairment or prefer to listen, download an audio book from Audible. All you have to do is start a free trial or log in with your Amazon account! 

  • Do a Puzzle

Pull out those old puzzles that you’ve been meaning to work on! Puzzles keep your mind active by helping with visual scanning skills, problem solving skills and patience. This is a great activity to do with your family to increase team building and communication skills. Whether you complete the puzzle alone or with family, you’ll have some great to show at the end.

  • Home Fitness

It is important to continue with physical movements, whether you want intense exercise or light stretching. There are plenty of online options, both nationally and locally, and many of them are FREE! Check out fitness brands like CorePower Yoga for their On Demand streaming or Planet Fitness who is offering free live stream classes on Facebook Live at 7pm ET daily. Fitness Blender is another option that provides a customizable exercise routine for your at home workout needs.

  • Get Outside

It is important to get outside for fresh air as much as possible, but make a goal to do it at least once a day, if even to just sit on your patio. You can social distance by going for a walk around the neighborhood, go on a nature scavenger hunt, ride your bike or take your book outside to read. Utilize nature and the sunshine to help brighten your mood.

  • Have Fun with Music

There are so many options when it comes to music genres and also so many options for streaming. Broadway is offering virtual shows and many performing artists are doing living room performances. Sirus XM is even offering music festivals through streaming. This is a great time to expand your horizons and introduce yourself to new things.

  • Listen to a Podcast

This is also a great time to catch up on any podcasts episodes or listen to that podcast that your friends have been raving about. Apple, Spotify and iHeart are some of the many places to find podcasts.

  • Play Word Games

Keeping your mind sharp is important and word games are a great way to test your skills. If you don’t have any word search books, print some puzzles from The Word Search or Online Crosswords which uploads new puzzles daily. You can also play word games with friends through apps like Words with Friends or Scrabble.

  • Play Board Games

Board games are a great way to spend your time while at home.  If you have several games, try to play a new game every day. If you don’t have games at your disposal try Charades or Pictionary. You can enjoy these games as a “FreePlay” option where the players make up their own cards.

  • Card Games

This is another great way to stimulate your brain and have a little fun. You can play games with your family or alone. Here are 40 Great Cards Games.

  • Write in a Journal

Journaling allows for self-expression and can help you cope with your emotions. You can use these journal prompts to try to help you get started.

  • Cook or Bake

Have you gone through all of your quarantine snacks? Now is a good time to try those recipes that you have been wanting to try. We all know that food and mood are connected, and studies show that baking and cooking can help lower stress. Plus, there’s a yummy treat to show off your hard work! 

  • Learn Something New

Have you always wanted to learn a new language or figure out how to work the camera? Take some time to research “how to” videos and learn how devices work. Lifeprint is a great resource to learn American Sign Language and DuoLingo can help you learn Spanish.

  • Go Virtual

Explore new places without leaving your house. Several National ParksMuseums, and Zoos are providing free virtual tours. Even Disney has virtual interactive rides Disney Virtual Rides.


Learn More About Recreational Therapy


Editor’s note: This blog post is presented for informational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness. If you have any health concern, see a licensed healthcare professional in person.