Tired of TV? Try some unconventional shelter-in-place activities

By:  Diti Kohli

There’s nothing wrong with binging TV, baking bread, and taking much-needed long walks while dredging through the days under a stay-at-home order. Though at some point, the hours blur together, and everything becomes jaded in horrendous monotony. So step away from the screen (or the oven), and try your hand at something new. 

Here’s some ideas. 

Productivity may not be the priority right now, but one of the best ways to stay sharp is by dabbling in a foreign language. There’s a million websites and apps at your disposal. Maybe brush up on French through Duolingo to prepare for your post-quarantine European adventure? Or dive back into Spanish, German, or even Korean on Babbel? It’s true, you may be confined to your bedroom for the time being. Still, one day the world will open up again — with everything at the touch of our fingertips. Make sure you’re ready for it. 

Another one of life’s simple pleasures is painting. If you haven’t been gifted with artist talent (or simply don’t have the patience to practice), invest in some paint-by-number kits. Amazon sells a hearty collection, as do dedicated websites like All Paint By Numbers and Canvas By Numbers. Nothing beats the convenience of kits that come ready with a canvas, paints, and brushes. And there’s something especially relaxing about filling in the little pieces to make colorful scapes of nature, streets, and animals. 

Or start writing three-line-novel novels every day. French activist Felix Fénéon published hundreds of what he called “novels in three lines” in 1906. It turns out that there’s a lot you can do in just a couple dozen words. What will you come up with? Plus, jot them down in a crafty journal you can look back at when self-isolation ends. 

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