11 ways to pass time while social distancing at home

Many of us may be finding ourselves suddenly home-bound over the next little while as we practise social distancing to help contain the spread of COVID-19. But being at home ain’t so bad! If you’re looking for some ideas to fight the boredom and stay healthy, sane and connected to your loved ones, we’ve got it all under one roof.

Group chat movie night

It’s like one of those old fashion movie nights where you have friends around, order some pizza in and put on a movie – except this time, the twist is you are doing it online! Today, you can synchronise popular streaming services and start a movie off while getting your besties on either a voice call, video chat or text thread.

You can do it the lo-fi way of calling and counting down together to hit the play button at the same time or you might even be able to use a Google Chrome extension like Teleparty which allows you to synchronise playback across multiple users. Oh, and don’t forget to order the pizza!

Rediscover how to please yourself

This might be obvious, and some of you might feel like you’ve exhausted your quota for masturbation. But it doesn’t need to a plain or ordinary experience. In fact, each time you masturbate why not try something new? A new way of touching yourself or a new way to physically position your body. If you usually watch porn, try it without, and if you don’t watch porn, maybe try watching some. There are heaps of ways of mixing it up.

You won’t have to rush yourself either, give yourself time to explore what feels good! Maybe you’ve got a sex toy stashed under your bed or you’ve been thinking about purchasing one online – either way, toys are a great way of bringing new types of pleasure into your self-loving routine.

Do a deep clean

No one likes housework, but this is the perfect time to do a good and thorough clean. (C’mon, make mum proud!) Do a sweep through of your house; what haven’t you used for a while, what books, objects or other things could you tidy up and put aside to donate? Maybe you’ve been neglecting a proper purge of the pantry, or the bathroom tiles could use some bleach. Whatever form your deep clean takes, it can do wonders for mental health to have a clean space around you.

Cook something special

Whether you are holding a virtual date night, or you just want to do something nice for yourself, spending time to cook is a great way of applying focus – not to mention getting something delicious out of it!

Have a poke through some old cookbooks or maybe there’s a recipe online that you’ve been wanting to try for a while.

Don’t be afraid to get creative either. It might be a little difficult to get all ingredients required in these times, so substituting ingredients is a great way to add your own special touch. If you’re not sure what to substitute something for, head online – there are many gurus with an idea of what will carry a similar flavour or texture in place of a missing ingredient.

Phone a friend (or mum, dad, bae or baes)

Feeling lonely or for lack of a better word, isolated? Chances are there is someone out there you know who is feeling the same way. Pick up the phone and give someone a call; whether it’s someone close to you or perhaps someone you’ve not spoken to or seen in a while. It’s important to acknowledge that this has been a big disruption to how many of us socialise and enjoy our lives. However, make sure to include discussion topics other than the other big C (AKA COVID-19). Talk about personal interests, new TV series you’ve been watching and take a moment to humble brag about that deep clean you just finished. You did finish it, didn’t you? 😉

If you are struggling at the moment and don’t feel like you have anyone you can talk, there are lots of services out there including LGBT+ specific services that may be in a better position to understand your needs and experiences in this time.

Spend some time in the sun and exercise your green thumb

Gardens, much like our homes can become cluttered over time. But a period like this could be the perfect opportunity to get your hands dirty. Whether you have a sweeping backyard, pocket courtyard with a smattering of pots, or a curated indoor garden, spending some time trimming, repotting and watering can do a world of good for you and your green buds.

Try something new (or bring back that hobby)

Ever thought about following along one of those YouTube make-up tutorials? Maybe you are an avid knitter or haven’t picked up your sketch book in a while. Or maybe it’s time to start learn a new language (spoken or signed) or just brush up on your French (oui oui!) It pays to think outside of the box and trying something you wouldn’t usually do is a great pass time – who knows, you might just discover a new passion!

If you’ve been spending a lot of time video gaming, why not trade some screen time with a physical deck of cards? Crack out a board game between yourself and your housemates and get some healthy, socially-distant competition going.

Devise a new living room workout routine

Gyms are not the be all and end all of exercise. You can actually get a great workout at home without having to sanitise every surface you come into contact with! In fact, there are heaps of personal trainers with online channels ready to give you an idea or two of what a workout routine could look like in your own home. You could also consider getting in touch with a personal trainer that you know and see if they can give you a personalised workout routine, that way you’ll be helping support their livelihood too.

Head outside for a walk… with care

Let’s be honest, being stuck indoors isn’t for everyone, so stepping out into the neighbourhood for a stroll or exercise can be tempting. Government advice around movement in public places is constantly changing so before you venture out, be sure you know what the latest info is.

Make sure you take care when touching surfaces and if you can, keep some hand sanitiser with you should you need it. Above all else, breathe in that fresh air and enjoy the outdoors scenery around you.

Spend the extra time with your furry loved ones

Hanging out around the house with pets often offer hilarious relief. It may well be time to try a new route for your dog walk (again, being considerate of the advice around being in public spaces) or pull out that laser pointer and watch the cat give chase. Pamper them, clip and file their nails, give them a wash and a brush. Also, couch cuddles are not to be underrated!

Get unplugged and practise self-care

Taking a break from constant news coverage about the coronavirus can leave you in a heightened state of anxiety. It can be a good idea to put your own boundaries on how much media you consume and the sources you choose to engage with.

You can find factual information about COVID-19 from reliable sources such as NSW Health’s COVID-19 page or other trusted organisations such as the World Health Organisation.

We all must put special focus on looking after our own mental health during this period through acts of self-care, and there are so many ways to do it. Stay socially connected, make time for hobbies you enjoy, look after your diet, physical health and consider using relaxation, meditation and mindfulness exercises to keep yourself feeling good and balanced.