15 Things to Do When You’re Stuck at Home

Bored at home

We’re living in a time of uncertainty, with most of us staying home to avoid spreading the coronavirus. But there are many activities we still can take part in while we wait it out — fun, educational and simple activities for adults, children, families and even pets!

  1. Get outside, but keep your distance. As long as you don’t have symptoms of the virus, you can walk, hike and bike in your neighborhood, at a nearby park, along the water or wherever you like. Stay at least six feet away from others to keep from spreading or getting the virus.
  1. Gardening gets you outside while you’re still at home, and now is the time to rake and prep your beds. Indoors, you can plant seeds to jumpstart vegetables and flowers for planting later.
  1. Throw a “six feet party,” now popular in neighborhoods around the country.
  1. While many museums and movie theaters are closed, some feature free virtual tours and streaming movies online. The North Park Theatre in Buffalo offers streaming movies — and purchases help support the historic not-for-profit theatre. The Albright-Knox Art Gallery provides activities for adultsfamilies and kids of all ages, and videos of its AK Public Art projects. Check the websites of other cultural institutions for more possibilities.
  1. With shopping malls, eateries and bars shut down, many restaurants have switched to offering takeout food via curbside/no-contact pickup to keep customers and workers safe. Some even offer delivery or pickup of both food and cocktails.
  1. Or cook something new yourself: Bon Appetit magazine and the Food Network are just two sites that have a tempting array of recipes to try.
  1. Read, watch or listen: Browse suggestions of books to read, music and podcasts to listen to and popular TV shows to watch.
  1. Many of the nation’s orchestras have had to cancel their seasons, but their performances are as close as your computer. Check out the Toronto Symphony’s rendition of “Appalachian Spring” and this concert by the Minnesota Orchestra, whose musicians gathered at the Mississippi River (six feet from each other!).
  1. Try something fun and delicious with your kids. Here’s Rachel Simson, MS, RD, CDN, a clinical dietician at Roswell Park, showing two of our pediatric patients, Emmett and Ahhabya, how to make chocolate banana popsicles.
  1. Roswell Park’s Creative Arts team provides inspiration for making art postcards. Create a mailbox to keep inside your house with messages for family members, the way the Louisa May Alcott’s family used to do, or make postcards to mail to friends, relatives and neighbors you miss. (The U.S. Postal Service and World Health Organization advise that there is no evidence that COVID-19 is being spread through the mail.)
  1. Download Duolingo or a similar app to learn a foreign language — for free!
  1. Keep doing something you already know how to do and love: sewing, knitting, journaling, doing puzzles — crossword or jigsaw — playing cards or board games, practicing a musical instrument.
  1. Take a virtual class to learn a hobby or craft.
  1. Set up a Zoom meeting with family, friends, your book club or exercise class. It’s free!
  1. Remember to take care of your own physical and mental health: stretch and work your muscles on your own, or try one of Roswell Park’s online yoga classes, meditation sessions or breathing exercises.           

Whatever you do during this time, remember to stay positive: take deep breaths, practice patience, be kind to yourself and others, and be grateful for what you have. We are in this together, and that is how we will get through.