In many parts of the U.S., people have now been in quarantine for weeks in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. But remaining quarantined isn’t easy. Restlessness sets in quickly, especially if you are usually an active person or have children. That’s why the TracSoft team has pooled our ideas to bring you some fun and unusual boredom busters!
Take A Virtual Tour To See Something Other Than Your Living Room
No matter how much you love your home, staring at the same walls day in and day out can make anyone fidgety. But with these boredom busters you’ll find yourself exploring new places all over the globe! These are great options for keeping kids occupied while stimulating their creativity and sense of wonder, but adults will find themselves equally entertained and enlightened.
- In 2015, the British Museum began a partnership with Google Arts and Culture to digitize the museum’s holdings. Using technology utilized in Google Street View, you can now tour many of the most famous galleries from the comfort of your own home. There are dozens of rooms covering history from around the globe, all of which you can find here. In addition, there are podcasts and a YouTube channel linked from the museum’s blog. And although the British Museum was one of the first to offer such an extensive digital tour of its collection, it’s not the only game in town. TravelAndLeisure.com has compiled a list of 12 famous museums from around the world that offer virtual or video tours.
- If museums aren’t your thing, you might enjoy taking a virtual tour of a zoo. You can enjoy cute animal antics without the heat or mosquitoes you’d usually encounter! The Atlanta Zoo offers a live “Panda Cam,” and the Georgia Aquarium lets you watch an assortment of underwater critters including beluga whales, penguins, and sea lions. One of the most complete virtual zoo tours is offered by the San Diego Zoo, but if you’re looking for full zoo immersion, Good Housekeeping has compiled a long list of live animal cams you can track.
- Maybe roller coasters are more your style. In that case, a quick search for “virtual amusement park rides” will bring up hundreds of links to rides at Disneyland and Disney World, Six Flags, Sea World, and Universal Studios. Or you can download RollerCoaster Tycoon (available on Steam) to build and ride your own!
Try A Free Trial To Get Fit Or Develop A Hobby
Many companies are currently offering free trials to give customers an incentive to stay home. These boredom busters can also help you alleviate stress and improve your health or creativity. Some of these trials are considerably longer than typical free trials last, so this is a great time to test out a service you’ve really been interested in or one you’ve never even heard of.
- Fitbit is currently offering a free 90-day trial of their Fitbit Premium service. The service offers thousands of workouts, many of which require no equipment and can be done in your home. If you own a Fitbit device, you’ll notice that a premium gives you access to more data about your health, overall fitness, and sleep habits. Even if you don’t own a fitness tracker, this can be a fun way to make the most of your time in quarantine. Fitbit Premium usually costs $9.99/month with a 7-day free trial. You can find out information about this special longer trial here.
- Apple Music is offering three months of free access to their music library. Their extensive library contains 60 million songs, so there’s plenty to keep you occupied for hours whether you’re completing school work, pushing through in-door workouts, or working from home. Typically, an Apple Music subscription runs $4.99/month for students, $9.99/month for individuals, or $14.99/month for families, and users can download up to 100,000 songs. You can sign up for your free trial here.
- Nikon cameras are some of the best in the world. Along with Canon, they are consistent favorites among award-winning photojournalists, including many at National Geographic. What you might not know is that Nikon offers some great online courses covering topics like photographing pets or making the most of lighting. Currently, ten of their most popular courses are available for free here. Most courses last for about an hour, after which you can start documenting your quarantine experience for posterity. And if you manage to master all of those courses, you can still check out Nikon’s live events where you’ll hear from professional photographers about their experiences capturing everything from weddings and conventions to wildlife.
- Fender, the maker of some of the most iconic electric guitars to ever power rock and roll, launched an online learning platform in 2017. Since then, Fender Play has garnered hundreds of positive reviews from beginners and pros alike. The platform has lessons for acoustic and electric guitar, bass, and ukulele. For a limited time, using this link to sign up will get you three months of this service absolutely free. The typical length of a trial on Play is 14 days (some of their guitars come with a 30-day trial if you purchase them new), and the service costs $9.99 per month or $89.99 for a 12-month plan after the trial ends.
- With the Olympics postponed and most cities under quarantine, professional sports are on hold for a while. However, that doesn’t mean you have to go without! The NFL is offering free trials to their streaming service, Game Pass, through May 31. During that time you can replay games from 2009-2019 or watch movies in the NFL Films Archive. Content can be watched on your smartphone, tablet, or connected TV device. This service usually costs $99.99/season, but you can signup for the trial here.
- If basketball is more your speed, the NBA is offering free access to NBA League Pass, their own streaming service that allows users to watch full and condensed broadcasts of games from the 2019-2020 season as well as classic games. Regular prices for NBA League Pass depend on whether you pay for the entire league or an individual team’s games. Reviews.org has a clear breakdown of regular pricing and what each package includes. Register for your free trial here.
Take An Online Class For A Boredom Buster With A Payoff
For those who are spending more time alone than usual, quarantine offers a unique opportunity for self-development. Is there a hobby you’ve always wanted to try, but never found time for? Is there a subject you’ve wanted to learn more about, but never had the motivation? Now might be the perfect time to dive in using one of the many online learning platforms available today. With these boredom busters, you might find a new stress-reliever you love or develop some skills you can use at work to get ahead!
- The Great Courses Plus is a collection of some of the most thorough online courses available today. They are developed with leading researchers in subjects ranging from the history of secret societies to quantum physics. Typically, access costs $19.99/month or $10/month when paid quarterly, but currently they’re offering full access to their course catalog for an entire month instead of their usual 7-day trail. This special trial is only available here, so be sure you sign up on the correct page.
- While The Great Courses is offering a generous free trial, it’s not the only option for learning new skills. Now would be a great time to brush up on some skills you can apply at work. If you’re looking to advance and or move in a new direction, check out our blog post “Using Professional Skills Courses To Advance At Work” for a breakdown of some of the best options available today and some tips for making the most of them.
- For those who are young—or young at heart—another great option for online learning is the newly-launched Hogwarts is Here. Users have the option to enroll in different Hogwarts classes like astronomy or charms. Classes are broken into modules that each involve reading coursework and then completing short quizzes over the material. Although Hogwarts lore is woven into them, the courses actually involve real learning. In the astronomy class, for instance, students will learn about real “muggle” tools for studying space, while the charms class has a section on learning to focus one’s attention.
Connect With Friends And Family In New Ways
Apps like Facetime, Skype, and Zoom are bringing the world closer together, allowing us to see our loved ones even when they’re far away. But if conversation is running dry, introduce a little fun by connecting with family and friends in a different way. Use these quick and easy boredom busters to generate conversation and laughter, and to keep your relationships fresh.
- Netflix Party is a Chrome extension that lets you watch Netflix with your friends. Simply go to netflixparty.com and install the plugin. Once your family and friends have installed the plugin, go to Netflix.com and choose something to watch. Click the Netflix Party icon in the top right of your browser window (the letters “NP”) and choose “start the party.” The plugin will give you a URL to send to whoever wants to join you. When your loved ones open the link, they will log into Netflix and begin watching whatever you’re watching. There’s even a chat feature so you can send messages back and forth as you watch together.
- Millennials may have killed many (many) things, but one thing they’ve brought back is board games. As PBS’s Independent Lens reports, board game sales are rising fast, and the board game and puzzle industry is expected to be worth $29.96 billion by 2025. This interest in tabletop games has, somewhat ironically, led to whole websites dedicated to offering a board game experience online. On sites like BoardGameArena or Tabletopia, you can play real board games or assemble puzzles with friends virtually. Most sites give you the option to play on PC, Mac, or mobile devices.
Give Back To Your Community
The best boredom buster of all is to find ways to support others in your community who may be struggling. Quarantine is hard on everyone, but it hits some of us harder than others. Working to support those who are most vulnerable is a great way to feel connected even when you can’t be connected in the same place.
- Bluprint is offering a free no-sew face mask pattern on their website. If you have spare fabric sitting around, making masks like this can help protect you and those around you when you do have to be in public. But these masks can also be life-saving for healthcare workers who are pulling long hours with few supplies to protect them. Even just a few of these masks can mean a lot to doctors and nurses in your area.
- Become a listener on 7 Cups of Tea. If you haven’t heard of it, 7 Cups of Tea is a website that offers emotional support to people who need a friendly ear. While users can sign up for a monthly plan that gives them access to a licensed therapist, it’s primarily volunteer-run. Listeners complete online training in how to listen actively and provide non-judgmental support. It’s a place for people who just need someone to listen. Right now, many people who are used to seeing family, friends, and coworkers daily find themselves extremely isolated and may need a little human contact. And that’s exactly what 7 Cups of Tea listeners are for.
- Donate to your favorite charity. This may be difficult for some people during a time of uncertainty, but donations at many charities have fallen sharply at a time when unusually-high numbers of people need what they offer. If you can spare a little extra, it can go a long way toward providing relief for those who are most in need. And if your favorite charity isn’t set up to accept online donations, let them know that TracSoft can help them making online donations easy and fast.
Boredom Busters, Or A Time For A Chance For Self-Improvement And Connection?
Quarantine is hard. But as with all life’s circumstances, we can make choices that make our situation better or worse. Time stuck at home can be more or less miserable. Take advantage of our boredom busters to reconnect with loved ones or pursue that hobby you never have time for, and before you know it, we’ll emerge together back into the world. Be sure to share your favorite boredom busters with your friends!
If you’re a non-profit looking for a way to accept online donations, contact TracSoft to find out how our web-based donation app can make accepting donations easier than ever.
Are you having trouble adapting to remote working? Check out TracSoft’s blog posts about succeeding while working from home. We offer tips on staying productive and important advice for improving your cybersecurity.