Fun ways to pass time during your social distancing

We’re only a few days into our social-distancing. And it sounds like we have a long way to go. My husband (Ryan) and I are both working from home indefinitely with our rescue pup, Joey. And while I love their company, I suspect we’re all going to get sick of each other after awhile.

Luckily, I’ve seen tons of awesome resources and activities floating around my friend groups and social media. So many that I can barely keep track. I’ve compiled my favorites here for you and your families, in a variety of categories.

My weekend is booked

I’m planning to fill as much time as possible digging into the unread books filling my book shelves and book cart (and I’ll be sharing more book reviews here soon). If you aren’t a book stockpiler, like me, you’re in luck.

  • Scribd is offering a free one month subscription for their e-books and audiobooks.
  • I’ve recently been getting into audiobooks, and is my favorite audiobook platform. If you’re a current member, if you purchase a gift subscription by March 31, 100% of the sale goes to the local bookstore of your choice. If you’re a new subscriber, you can get two books for the price of one with code SHOPBOOKSTORESNOW and still support your local bookstore.
  • Your local library – most local libraries offer eBook and audiobook apps, which means you can read for free even if your library is closed. If you already have a library card, just create an account (or log in) to use. If you don’t, check if your library is offering online card applications.
  • Share Kindle books with friends – You can loan many kindle books to someone else for a 21 day period of time. Here’s how.
  • Connect with authors. Stimola Live has a ton of free author chats and activities for kids and adults. And MYVLF is an online book festival that connects authors to readers. Several Kid Lit authors are also participating in the Everywhere Book Fest in May, online.
  • For kids – virtual story times – A ton of libraries and publishers are offering virtual story time sessions – perfect for working parents who want to keep their kids entertained with educational activities. Several famous actors are as well. And even more can be found at Storyline Online.

Working on my fitness

The best thing that may come out of this social-distancing period is that I’m on my way to establishing a set workout routine. I’m mixing up Pilates (I love the Balanced Life), boxing on our at-home boxing bag, Yoga, and our elliptical.

Not sure where to start with your routine? Here are some free or affordable ideas for you (and a couple for your kids, too).

  • Yoga – Power Life Yoga is offering free live workouts at noon and 5 p.m. on their YouTube channel. And they have several other workout videos for you to use at your convenience. If you’re a total beginner, Yoga with Adrienne has many routines for beginners on her site.
  • Planet Fitness is live-streaming workouts on their Facebook page several times per day.
  • For your kids – a local non-profit, Opportunity on Deck, is live streaming sports “practices” and exercise ideas for kids on their Facebook page. Hy-Vee is also sharing “30 days of play” activities to get kids moving. And Cosmic Kids Yoga is popular among my friends with kids.

Getting cultured

Missing trips to the museum or zoo? There are a ton of virtual options for that.

Get the show on the road

Love musicals? Concerts? you’re in luck, too.

  • You can stream many Broadway plays and musicals with your existing streaming subscriptions.
  • John Legend blessed us with a live at-home concert.
  • NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series features a ton of favorite musicians, stripped down. T-Pain’s is my personal favorite, because, well, just watch it. I knew T-Pain could sing before he blew our minds on The Masked Singer. And so did anyone else that watched his Tiny Desk Concert.

Education and personal development

  • The Thrive Together conference for bloggers and influences is now being offered online, for free. And they have tons of speakers on a variety of topics lined up.
  • Udemy has a variety of courses – paid and free – in different topic areas.
  • Catch up on some TED talks on whatever topic strikes your fancy.
  • Simple Habit is an app to help you track all kinds of habits and prioritize meditation. And, they’re opening up their programs for free through April.
  • On that note, mindfulness activities can be a great way to support your mental health in this stressful time. Get started here, and find even more resources here.
  • For kids – Scholastic has launched a free online learning program with daily activities.

There are a variety of other resources out here – but this list includes many of the favorites I’m saving for my own social-distancing.

Have an awesome idea I missed? Share it in the comments below to continue the conversation! If I love it, I’ll add it to this list too.

Stay safe, healthy, and sane out there, friends!

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