What to Do When There’s Nothing to Do

Written By Channing Icenogle

It’s day who-even-knows-anymore, and you’re still stuck in quarantine. It could be a week, a month, maybe even a year, but for all you know it feels like it’s been eternity. Everything has become a monotonous routine now. You get up, do some school work, maybe watch some tv or read a book, go on a walk, and finally go to bed only to wake up and do it all over again. This change, in more than one way, has been rough on all of us. One of the big things that we have lost mainly is socialization. Sure FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom is ok but it can never compare to actually hanging out with friends and family. So what do we do now that we have all this free time? Well, The Spotlight is here to provide you with some ideas to occupy your time during this isolated period. For those who are sick of just doing the same thing over and over again, here are some ideas to keep you at least somewhat sane in this insane time. 

Entertainment for the Artist

While some people are excellent artists, others aren’t as skilled and that’s okay! These are some activities that artistic people of any skill level will have fun trying. The first activity that nearly everyone has tried is drawing. But I am not talking about normal sketching. Online there are a ton of websites like Artgraphica that can teach you anything from basic shading, to entire portraits. If you are not a fan of realistic drawing, there are also options to draw patterns or simply doodle to keep your mind occupied. Another activity I would recommend is water color painting. During these stressful times it is important to take some time to relax and watercolor can help you do this. Watercoloring doesn’t even need to be a formal picture at the end. You can just use colors to make an abstract piece, or if you want to, you can look up tutorials on techniques to create intricate pieces. One activity that will keep your mind focused and keep your hands moving is Embroidery. It’s important to note that for this one you will need needle, thread, and fabric which can all be ordered online or found at home. The type of fabric does not really matter; you can even embroider a tee shirt! Embroidery consists of basic stitching to create patterns or a design. Websites like Sublime Stitching and DMC have a massive collection of patterns and tutorials that explain how to properly make your design. 

Art does not only consist of visual arts like drawing and painting either, during this time you could also keep your musicality sharp by practicing/learning an instrument. According to a study at Harvard, it can help boost your serotonin levels and even improve your cognitive functioning skills. You can also improve your handwriting this break by learning cursive or calligraphy using online tutorials. There are plenty of other artistic activities to indulge into this break, these are just a few that are easy to get started on. 

Athletic Activities 

For those who are looking for something to do to get in shape, look no further as these activities will help with skills like endurance, strength and flexibility. One of the easiest ways to start exercising is through yoga. There are apps, websites and tutorials for people of all levels of experience. According to Psychology Today, yoga not only helps with strength and flexibility, but can also rewire the way your brain works and combat symptoms of depression. If you are interested in an activity that will get your heart rate up, try running! Running is an excellent way to help beat the “Quarantine 15” by strengthening your cardiovascular system and your muscles. There are many apps to help track your distance, time, and calories burned while running. One app called Zombies, Run! encourages runners to build endurance through the use of an apocalypse scenario and allows customizable distance and speed settings. Another great way to exercise is through online weight training videos or routines. Even if you don’t have weights at home, there are plenty of exercises you can do that use your own body weight to help you gain muscle mass.

Tasks for the Productive Person

Now these activities are for the people who are looking for a change in their life be it because they are simply bored or are wanting a new outlook. The first one and probably the easier is to clean and redo your room. What better time for a room makeover than now? You can start out with something as simple as cleaning or going through your clothes. If you’re really feeling adventurous, you could paint your walls, move your bed to a new spot, or add decorations to change it up. During this time you could also get a pen-pal. There are plenty of organizations that can connect students from all over the world so you can meet new people and learn about their cultures. A pen-pal is also a great way to learn another language as you can ask a native speaker questions about pronunciations and slang that you wouldn’t learn in class. If you are looking to learn a language, there are also many online programs and classes right now that can help you expand your speaking abilities. Finally, if you have been wanting to do a project but just haven’t had the time, do it now! There’s no reason not to wait anymore so just get started on it! Everyone has their own interests, so during this quarantine try many different activities and see which ones are most exciting to you!