Here's how to stay busy while you're staying in.
An escalating effort to contain the outbreak of the new coronavirus means that millions of people are now working or studying from home. Though self-quarantine might sound manageable or possibly appealing at first, even the most introverted of us is going to go stir crazy after a bit -- especially if you've got kids cooped up inside.
We've rustled up some of our favorite ways to stay entertained if you're self-quarantined or practicing social distancing in the weeks to come.
1. Visit a museum (digitally, of course)
Thanks to technology, spending the day at a museum is still an option, even if you can't leave the house.
2. Host a Netflix viewing party
If you and your friends or family have a Netflix subscription, you can schedule a time to watch a movie or show synced together. A free Google Chrome extension called Netflix Party syncs video playback so you can play and pause at the same time. It also has a group chat feature so you can keep the conversation going while you watch. Everyone in the party has to have a Netflix account though, so it's not entirely free.
3. Do some spring cleaning now
Some of us reserve cleaning for weekends, but if you're stuck at home, you've likely got some extra time on your hands. While you're cleaning, don't forget to tidy your tech, too.
4. Stream concert, opera or TV show
5. Read something new
You may have more than enough books on your shelves -- and tablet -- to keep you busy for a while. But you can also buy or borrow books, magazines and newspapers fast on Nook, Kindle and the Apple News app for iOS. But be warned: Even though digital books are often discounted, the cost can still add up if you're a reading fiend.
There are also ways to download free eBooks to your tablet, computer or phone. Websites such as Authorama and Project Gutenberg have hundreds of public domain works including Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland available for download.
6. Get your game on
Playing video games is another option to pass the time if you're stuck at home. On top of the games you might already own or have downloaded from the Play Station or Microsoft Store for Xbox, there are other ways to play.
If you're looking for a new gaming experience, streaming servicesGoogle Stadia and Apple Arcadeare worth trying out for their exclusive content. Google also offers a Play Pass for a more affordable gaming experience (in comparison to Stadia). If you're a PC gamer, check out a plethora of game options on Steam.
7. Take up an exercising regime
Relaxing on the couch can be fun, but you might get restless after a while. There are dozens of virtual fitness programs to choose from that you can do at home, but it's ultimately about finding the one that you like and that fits your lifestyle. Some fitness apps are free, like FitOn, and are packed with features that other apps would charge for. Other apps, such as Pocket Yoga, have free features but require subscriptions for the full experience. You can also workout with your Google Home or on YouTube.
Working out at home definitely doesn't require an expensive home gym. Depending on the workout you want to undertake, you only need to clear out a small amount of space. For example, resistance training, some barre exercises, pilates and yoga only require a few square feet and typically don't require any equipment. In addition, some Instagram fitness trainers, like Jaclyn Ho, have started streaming live classes on IGTV and you might be able to convince your super fit friend to share their workout on Facebook Live.
8. Start prepping your garden
Sometimes nice weather comes early. If you have a yard or planter box and get a few sunny days, maybe think about readying your garden for summer. Being outside can help with staving off cabin fever, too.
More fun things to do:
Search for adult coloring books and puzzles you can print online
Check Pinterest for a baking project for you or your kids
Dig out your pack of cards and teach yourself a new game
Play online games with family and friends over video chat