Introduction

This list was compiled by Columbia College with input from various others to help everyone through the long days staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. By compiling the list, we hope that everyone that looks through it finds some help and reassurance through its ideas.

We are always happy to hear new ideas that could be added to the list. Please email columbia@columbia.ab.ca if you have any suggestions.

Mental Health Breaks

If you are finding the constant influx of news about COVID-19 is impacting your mental health, take a break from it. It shouldn’t make you feel anxious or distressed, and if it does limit your exposure to it for a while. The news will still be there once you distance yourself from it for a bit.  But do follow the directions of Alberta Health Services.

If you are not feeling well mentally, there are many resources available including Alberta Health Services page for Mental Health Service, which can be found here.

Reputable News

Do not panic over sensationalized “news” articles. Make sure the information about COVID-19 you are receiving is from reputable sources. Some examples of reputable sources are The Government of Alberta, The Government of Canada, and the CBC.

Check out the Good News Network for some uplifting news to remind you that the world isn’t all doom and gloom.

For Parents with Children in School

For parents with children in grades K-12, the CBE has posted some information, tips, and suggestions about how the school year will be finished online, which can be found here.

Learn and Improve your Skills

Free Online Courses

Being stuck at home is a great time to learn new skills or improve on those you already have. There are over 2500 free courses on various subjects offered by 140 educational institutes, which can be found here. If you are interested in learning a new language, you can use Duolingo or other online learning tools. For any other skills, Youtube has a plethora of tutorials and do it yourself videos.

Prepare a New Dish

Try making that dish you’ve always wanted to but put off due to the time and effort needed. You’re stuck at home with ample time on your hands so why not try making something new.

 

Let Your Creative Side Loose

While you may not think of yourself as a creative person, this is the perfect time to use and improve those skills. There are many creative arts and crafts challenges you can find online, from sketching to colouring to something even more challenging like pottery. The possibilities are as limitless as you are willing to allow them to be.

Practice Self Care

We’re usually too busy working, going to school, and doing other things to really sit down and take care of ourselves. You can take advantage of staying at home by practicing and improving your self-care routine. Take some inspiration from Marie Kondo (watch her Netflix show if you don’t know about her) and get rid of what doesn’t bring you joy in your home, and catch up on those things you’ve been putting off.

Phone Maintenance

Everyone’s phone is full of things they don’t even remember being on there. Use this break to sort, clean, and delete things from your phone, giving you a better experience using the piece of technology we use the most. You can do the same with your computer and/or tablet as well!

Routine

Try to maintain some sort of routine to help with the mental stress involved with staying home. A routine will keep your mind working, and allow you to not get stuck in a rut.

Exercise

As gyms and recreation centers are closed, it is important to keep active. This can be done by going for a walk/run outside or starting a home workout routine. There are countless workout routines you can find online (via web search) that require no equipment, and are catered to numerous different goals. Yoga is another equipment free form of exercise that is easily accessible through YouTube.

Journaling

Keeping a journal can be a good way to distress. Let all your feelings flow through the journal. Write down things you wish you could do when social distancing, and then after the outbreak passes, you have a list of new and exciting things to try and look forward to doing.

 

Stay Social

While we are practicing social distancing, that does not mean you should isolate yourself from your friends and family. While you shouldn’t visit them, video calling is a great way to continue socializing and pass time. If you and your friends would like to watch Netflix together from your home, the chrome extension Netflix Party allows you to sync Netflix videos with your friends and comes with a built in chat feature.

 

Fun Activities for the Whole Family

Virtual Field Trips

If you are tired of being stuck home with the same surroundings, there are over 30 virtual field trips you could take to various different places. A list of them can be found on a google doc here.  One virtual field trip that is not listed on the google doc is Disneyland, because who doesn’t want to pretend they are at the happiest place on earth? The YouTube videos can be accessed here.

Board Games and Card Games

Playing board/card games with your family that you are home with is a great way to spend time together, and also keep your mind off of the not so great things going on in the world right now.

Music

Use this time to create playlists with your favourite music. This is fun because you get to listen to music you love, but also create something to listen to while working and completing tasks. Plus you can have some impromptu dance parties to lighten the mood and get some exercise.

Brain Stimulant Activities

If you have a giant puzzle at home, crossword puzzles or Sudoku laying around at home crack them open and give yourself a challenge. Best thing about these is you can work on them for as long as you like, put them down, and then pick them back without any issues!