A screen-less quarantine

A screen-less quarantine

April 17, 2020

Being stuck at home sucks. But with sitting at home all day, it is very easy to end up spending days and days on end staring at screens (alternating between your computer and phone). So in case you need ideas of fun screen-less things to do, you came to the right place. 

Now is the perfect time to learn how to cook or improve your cooking skills. I have been enjoying exploring new creative recipes, especially now that I have so much time on my hands. If you are not sure about making a full-on meal, there are a lot of snacks you can make, or you can try baking dessert (I strongly believe that homemade baked goods are better than store bought ones). There are a lot of recipes you can find on Google or Pinterest, even those that don’t require any perishables. I am also doing a series on the Brandeis Campus Activities Board Instagram, so come find out how to make my favorite pasta, lava cake and soft pretzels.

 If you are feeling even more experimental you can do the “Chopped” challenge at home: Have someone else choose a few ingredients and come up with a dish using them! Although I haven’t tried this yet, it is definitely on my to-do list. 

 If cooking is not your thing, don’t worry, there are a lot of other things you can do.

Personally, I have had a lot of time to get back to my hobby: cross-stitching. I am biased, but I think that it is one of the best things you could do: It is therapeutic, easy to learn and you produce beautiful works that you give to your friends and family… until they no longer want them anymore. 

A more practical but more complicated hobby is knitting. I have to admit that I am not great at it, but looking at all the cool things you can make encourages me to get better at it. You can make scarves, gloves, socks, blankets—pretty much anything you want. 

Of course, you can always do basic crafts such as drawing or painting. I’ve wanted to paint my nightstand for a while now, and this is the perfect time for me to do it. You can also keep yourself busy by making cards for your family members that you cannot see for the holidays. Also, you could try getting a coloring book. I personally do not find coloring theraputic (I never learned to color inside the lines), but a lot of people do, so I think it’s worth a try.  

One word: puzzles. I love puzzles. I received a four-thousand-piece puzzle for Christmas, which is currently keeping me entertained. An hour a day and by the time we can all go outside again, it’ll be done. Or you can start with something a little easier; there is a much wider selection of patterns in smaller puzzles. 

Remember board games? Those things you played with your family or friends in the Stone Age? Well, now is the perfect time to take them out and have some family fun. Tired of arguing about the same things? Add something new to argue about by playing Monopoly: intensity guaranteed.
Speaking of games, there are so many games you can play with cards, you could probably learn a new card game every day of the quarantine. I love card games, I spent most of my childhood playing various card games with my parents. Doesn’t everyone want to learn how to play poker?  

If regular cards aren’t your thing, there are a bunch of other card games you can play. I know that playing Cards Against Humanity with your family might not be the best thing to do, but maybe you could play Cards Against Humanity with your friends on Zoom. Or Uno. I don’t really like Uno personally, mainly because I always forget to say Uno and then lose. It’s truly sad. I’m also a sore loser.

One of my best friends gave me Exploding Kittens for Christmas this year, and it has definitely been our go-to games ever since. In case you haven’t heard about it before, basically you pick up cards until you get to an “Exploding Kitten.” When you get one, you have to defuse it with the Defuse card—if you do not have one, you lose. There are also other fun cards and combinations you can use to ensure that you don’t lose. It is a lot more fun than it sounds and involves a lot of strategy (I also have the not safe for work edition, which makes it that much more fun). 

Read a book. I feel like this is the time to catch up on everything you have wanted to do for so long but never really had the time. I have over 50 books I want to read, and I am happily making my way down that list.
You can try to make your own soap. I only ever tried to make soap for a science experiment, but I do think it is a cool thing to do. I have friends who only use soap they make themselves, and the finished products look incredible.
My mother made me include this: meditate. I am not someone who can sit in place without thinking or anything: I have a motor up my butt. But my mother finds that spending 15 minutes a day clearing your mind and body is something very good for your mental health. 

If your hair is long enough, practice your braiding skills! I am very excited to switch out my regular braid for a cool fishtail braid. 

I know that spending the entire day in bed is very tempting (and let’s be real, hard to resist), but it is important to get some fresh air at least once a week. Although leaving the house is not recommended, you don’t have to go far, even just into your backyard. Or at least open a window. 

Although these are hard times, there is no shortage of things to do. Find the silver lining in a new, fun hobby! 

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