One way or another most of us will be spending a lot of time at home in the coming weeks. But if we are fortunate enough to be well, once we’ve watched all the slow speed Netflix we can possibly stomach and rediscovered the lost art of conversation, we’ll be looking for other options. I could suggest you practise gift wrapping all day but that would be a stretch even for me.
Current circumstances provide an opportunity to do some things that will stretch mind, body and soul and that can’t be a bad thing. Even better if the stretching, literally and figuratively, is free or at a minimum very low cost. With that in mind, here is my initial stretched itinerary – 30 Ways to Keep Yourself Stretched During Self Isolation – by learning, puzzling, crafting, self-caring and organising.
Learning – Stretch your brain!!
- Learn a new language. I am teaching myself German using the free version of Duolingo .
- Take a Wikipedia Walk – click on a subject and then click on every related link – I started with the topic Hugh Grant but you could start anywhere.
- Memorise the periodic table – real show off status!
- Teach yourself a card trick, or given my entry level card rookie status learn how to shuffle cards.
- Take a course – more of a time commitment which also gives you the chance to say you studied at a prestigious university (ish). Do have a look at Yale’s The Science of Wellbeing . In order to appear smarter, I am heading into The Science of Everything – Learn How to Think Better, Argue Better and Choose Better from the University of Queensland but that’s just me and there are plenty of MOOCS – which are free to access – from which to choose. I suggest starting with the list of the top 100 free online courses.
Puzzling – Stretching the Brain in the Other Direction!!
- Try Words with Friends – competitive scrabble in a virtual group – my nonagenarian mother is playing with her two granddaughters and beating them might I add.
- My mother is not, however, quite as good in the virtual charades games my sister is leading over out WhatsApp family group chat. Really Mum – how could anyone confuse Dances with Wolves and Bambi? Best we’re honest before we get to Voice charades!
- Learn origami – make hearts, paper ninja stars or stockpile Christmas decorations – fabulous in newspaper or magazine paper that you aren’t forced to repurpose.
- Make an infinite paper flipper – infinite hours of fun
- Learn how to master the Rubik’s Cube – who hasn’t wanted to do this?
- Dust off your Jigsaws – and for the A type personalities – time yourself to complete each one. Want a stretch goal? Teach yourself the Wallace and Gromit skill of stop animation to capture your jigsaw progress using a free stop animation app
- Investigate gaming with others – eg kongregate. It boasts 126 813 free games though some look a little violent for me
- And who could go past a legathon? Not just for AFOLS! Best Lego Activities Ever is a top resource but there are dozens and should you long for lego but don’t have the bricks you could always stretch your nerd language working through the Lego Glossary of Terms.
Crafting – Stretch your creativity and your fine motor skills!
- Create handmade cards so you have a stash. There’s tons of instructions and videos from which to choose, particularly pop up greeting cards which pack an extra punch.
- Make your own envelopes
- Make a batch of play doh for the little ones or the slightly older ones who love a little bit of modelling
- Create/ update photo albums and put captions to physical or digital photos
- Make a gift for a family member/friend about to have a bub. Check out Feltmagnet . My favourite is the crocheted sandals from the Misadventures of Handmade. I can’t crochet but maybe I could teach myself that too because those bubba sandals are seriously soooooo cute.
- Make a photo frame for all those special snaps.
Self Caring – Stretch the body and the spirit
- Write a list of 100 quotes you love – and share with others
- Undertake tasks with your non dominant hand – from drawing patterns to cleaning your teeth.
- Stretch – yes exercise is essential but so is stretching given so many of us spend a lot of time at a desk – or perhaps in coming weeks – on a couch. Stretching for just 10 minutes a day can make a major difference, is a confined spaces winner and doesn’t require a visit to the gym.
- Make and pop on a homemade face mask made with fresh herbs and veggies. Everyone looks better with a couple of cucumbers on their eyes
- Ditto pore cleaner or deep conditioner. You could even share pics for a laugh.
- Learn a new style of dancing – Bollywood, belly dancing, line dancing in a line of one, or play the classic Jane Fonda workout tapes. If you’re like me and could look and listen to Tristan Mc Manus all day long so do check out his cha cha lesson on Facebook and remember #dancelikenooneswatching
Organising – Stretch that’s sense of achievement
- Archive paper documents or scan and keep digitally
- Make pots, pans and cutlery sparkle with homemade cleaner
- Clean out your pantry, colour block your spices or make a recipe with the ingredients you discover . This is a close relation of organising your wardrobe by category then colour.
- Marie Kondo fold all the items in your drawers . But rolling works too if you can’t summon the energy to park joy just a the moment.
- Have a mend and zjoosh sewing sesh – mend hems, sew on or strengthen wobbly buttons, depill knitwear and other fabrics and add embellishments such as recycled lace or ribbon to for a new look.
In fairness to my husband, I probably should add in a final point in this organising section – sort your gift wrapping ribbons by type, colour and length using the smaller remnants to create a collage while resisting the temptation to reclassify the items you have unearthed in your pantry as present toppers. That would be a stretch goal. Vielen Dank für das Lesen meines Blog.