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What am I going to do with all this time?

Over the last few week I have spent a number of sessions discovering how clients are keeping busy, and how many new things they would like to try. Some things are old hobbies that they haven’t had time to engage in because of long commutes, family demands or they’ve simply moved on to new, brighter, shinier things.

Other people are trying completely new things. Things that may have been on their mind for a while, but they just hadn’t had a chance to get started.

As with everything isolation, these new or reintroduced tings are being worked into the new schedule. In some cases, they are being set as a SMARTER goal. This will ensure the new endeavour doesn’t go the way of the New Year’s Resolution.

Binge watching your favourite television program has its benefits. Personally I’ve been watching a few episodes of ‘Jack Ryan’ in an evening as I quilt my latest project. I’ve also been listening to more music than I have in a while. And the excitement when the vinyl of one of my favourite bands ‘The Basics’ arrived earlier in the week, was ridiculous. Sadly I didn’t have any one to share it with immediately, so I had to wait to Zoom a mate in a different time-zone to be up and ready.

Keeping busy and connected is important, so I thought I would compile a list of ideas of things that you can do. Whether you're alone or with others, hopefully there is some inspiration on this list.

Make the next weeks or months a time that you reflect on as a time that you physically distanced but socially connected. Use this time to communicate and discover each other all over again.

1. Play board games

2. Play trivia. Take it in turns to write the questions

3. Play ball games in the house, with a balloon

4. Learn magic and/or card tricks and entertain each other

5. Read to each other

6. Watch comedians and laugh together. Laughter is important now

7. Gather objects from around the house, make up a story and tell it to each other. You can do this via video chat as well

8. Figure out your ‘Love Language’ and discuss how you can put it into action in your household

9. Start a new habit or change a current not helpful habit

10. Have a paper airplane competition

11. Write each other letters of gratitude, love, or thanks

12. Declutter or clean up a space. Don’t try and do too much at once e.g: the second drawer, a wardrobe or spare room. Do one at a time.

13. Visit an online museum, gallery or zoo

14. Listen to some music you haven’t listened to for ages, then share stories about what the memories it brings up

15. Sing!

16. Cook together

17. Make a funny video together

18. Do some home improvement project together

19. Listen to a podcast or audiobook together, and talk about it afterwards. You could also get friends to listen and have an Online meeting about it…instant Book Club

20. Plan a trip together

21. Camp in the garden (if you have one)

22. Do a puzzle, but don’t go out just to buy one. You can buy them online

23. Sculpt with Play-Doh. You can also get this online, or make your own

24. Blindfold taste test. Keep it clean or make it dirty

25. Play sock dodge-ball…throw rolled up sock balls at each other

26. Enjoy the stars. Get out the star charts and see how many constellations you can identify

27. Make up dance routines to your favourite songs. Video them and share with friends and family

28. Enjoy the sky. Spot shapes in the clouds or watch a sunset or sunrise

29. Discover your local wildlife. What do you have living around you and how can you learn to share your space better

30. Build an indoor fort and watch a film together in it.

This picture cover No 34 and No 75

31. Build an indoor (or outdoor) assault course and see who can run it the quickest.

32. Draw together. Draw a still life or each other. It doesn’t matter if you can’t draw, it might give you a laugh

33. Pick a TEDTalk or documentary and watch together, discuss afterwards. You could also do this with extended friends and family via online chat or video

34. Foster a pet and get them settled in. Be sure to pick one that will fit in with your lifestyle once you’re back to working out of home

35. Have a picnic outside, remembering physical distancing

36. Have a social media and screen detox

37. Raid your wardrobe and play dress up, fancy dress or costume

38. Play scissors, paper, rock. Create a league table

39. Find a new online game you can play with remote family and friends

40. Play beer/soda pong (drink responsibly)

41. Cook together. If you are alone you could cook with someone else over video chat

42. Learn how meditate and practice. You might like to start with guided meditations

43. Learn how to be mindful and practice it

44. Learn Yoga and practice. You could create an online practice group

45. Take an online course. There are lots of options out there.

46. Join a special interest group on social media.

47. Have coffee or drinks with friends in other cities via chat groups/video

48. Journal your experiences during this time. Use pictures, news clipping, videos, and your own stories. It can be serious, funny or both.

49. Ask each other random questions. There are loads of things going around on Facebook, and I’m sure a Google search will bring up a few suggestions.

50. Learn to dance for TikTok via YouTube videos

51. Create a bucket list

52. Create a ‘vision board’. Here’s a How Too

53. Share skills. Teach each other a skill the other one may not have. Make it fun.

54. Create a time capsule. Here’s a How Too

55. Build LEGO

56. Rediscover each other’s bodies (for couples) Try Sensate Focus.

57. Learn how to breathe. Slow steady breathing can help reduce anxiety and stress.

58. Read

59. Learn how to sew, quilt, knit, crochet...

60. Start a gratitude journal. List three things daily that you’re grateful for

61. Make an indoor scavenger hunt

62. Get out in the garden.

63. Go for a walk/cycle. Discover your own neighbourhood

64. Make some bird/possum boxes

65. Play cards (Patience, poker, rummy, bridge, etc) It you don’t know how, Google is your friend

66. Play spin the bottle or truth of dare

67. Paint or draw. If you don’t know how, learn

68. Play Charades or Would you rather

69. Colour in

70. Do some ‘at home’ science experiments

71. Build a potato gun

72. Send a letter, card, or postcard to someone

73. Write a story or poem together. One person writes a few lines, then the next person, then the next. Until it feels done

74. Plant some seeds

75. Play or start playing Pokémon Go. It gets you walking and you can connect with others, virtually

76. Try your hand at bird watching

77. Learn photography. Here’s a how too

78. Join an online chat group, such as ‘Talk with Strangers’, ‘Aussie Chat’, and ‘Siko Chat’. Use the usual online precautions

79. Make a sock puppet and make short videos

80. Masturbate. Use your imagination to conjure the imagery rather than porn. Ladies, it's great for the pelvic floor and body discovery. Gents, it's a muscle

81. Start making positive affirmations. Say into a reflective surface, I am ___ You are ___ let your brain be rewired away from the negative.

Of course with all of these suggestions, only do things that suit you and those taking part. I have made a few suggestions of sites, by these are by no means recommendations or endorsements. Work within your own physical and mental health limitations.

Take time to play. @PhysicalDistanceSocialConnection

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