By the third or fourth week of government-sanctioned isolation, you probably started to get bored. Yes? Of course you did. And while Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent declarations may have all of us wondering if now’s the time to start packing restaurants and nail salons, we know that remaining locked down is assuredly the safest bet. Luckily for you, the Fort Worth Weekly has some fun activities you can do to burn some time, keep your mind sharp, and maybe even make you happy.
For those of a competitive nature, each activity comes with an optional challenge to keep you motivated. If you take us up on it, share your progress with us on social media with the hashtag #FWWeeklyLockdownChallenge. Who knows –– we might even share it! (But we’re not promising anything.)
Free up some of your space by getting rid of unwanted clothing, books, old DVDs, whatever is clogging up your home and adding to your already stressful situation. You wouldn’t want to spend time in a friend’s filthy house, so why not make your isolation chamber as nice as it can be? Motivation can be tricky for this one, so get yourself ramped up and ready to vacuum by watching some Marie Kondo or tap into that long-buried internal guilt reservoir left over from your childhood.
Your challenge, should you choose to accept it: See how many things you can throw out or sell on eBay. (Yes, eBay still exists.)
Try cooking a family recipe
Get your fire extinguisher ready. It’s time to attempt to create sustenance. See if you can craft an actually edible dish out of ingredients you already have at home –– which saves you the trip to the grocery store and the struggle to actually find anything there. It’s good to keep your mind creative, and you’ll have something to brainstorm over with your family. Your mom will be thrilled to hear from you when you call her up and ask for the recipe for that one thing she used to make. Plus, your spouse is sick of you not pulling your weight around here, so get your act together.
Challenge (optional): Cook something that both looks and is edible. Extra five points if it’s something your kids actually like.
Learn your kids’ names
Spouse getting upset because you can’t remember the name of that one kid? You know the one, the little one. Make a game out of learning their name by putting together fun, color-coded flashcards so you can kill a few hours and be productive at the same time. Your kids can even help you decorate them –– that’ll give you some extra bonding time with Jimmy. Or Frankie. Whatever the little bugger’s name is.
Challenge (optional): Learn to spell all of your kids’ names and then write them backwards.
Do yoga or meditate with your kids
In all seriousness, it’s important to make sure you and your family are taking care of yourselves. Yes, things might be nerve-wracking and scary right now, but yoga and meditation are effective ways of bringing yourself back into the present and escaping your worries. Yoga has been shown to help ease stress and anxiety, reduce inflammation, and increase your chances of unironically shopping at Gaiam.com.
Meditation takes some practice, but if you’re going to have the extra time to sit around your house, you might as well not think while you’re doing it. There are lots of guided meditation tutorials online, along with helpful tips and articles to start you on your path to enlightenment.
Challenge (optional): Open your third eye.
Craft your little heart out
This is the scenario that Pinterest was (probably) made for. Don’t know what to do with your time but know you’ve got to do something other than spend another hour skimming your unsatisfying Netflix options? Get out the pencils and see if you still remember how to draw. Can you make a realistic reproduction of that wine glass? Better yet, make a lightbulb vase, fairy light jar, a hazmat suit made of duct tape? The possibilities are limitless.
Crafty people will already have crafting supplies in their homes, so this is a great time to dig through your significant other’s stash. Just be sure to ask their permission first, or they’ll get pissed.
Musical people obviously can practice their instruments, but please remember that other people have to listen to you. Don’t be an ass and practice your drumming at 2 a.m. That’s how you make enemies.
Challenge (optional): Make something Pinterest-worthy.
Plant a garden
This is only a good option if you have some land readily available and you have something growable –– maybe save and dry seeds from the fruits/veggies in your kitchen or plant those magic beans you’ve had tucked away for a special occasion. Hacking away at weeds, digging a hole to transplant a shrub, or tilling a small plot for a vegetable garden are great ways to occupy yourself and vent frustration. If you’re patient (which, in these times you have to be), you’ll be able to see hard work pay off and maybe discover a renewed love for Mother Nature.
Those with no yards to dig up can still try their hand at growing seedlings in empty tins or jars. After all, you’ve got your tinned goods piled up in your bunker already. Might as well do something with the remnants.
Challenge (optional): See if you can grow a weirdly shaped vegetable.
Those with a brown thumb can still try out the following pastime.
If you’re going to spend more time indoors than usual, it’s safe to assume you’ll create more trash than usual, too. Composting is a great project to help minimize the waste and refuse you send to the landfill.
Basically, if you have any spots in your backyard (or even a large bin going unused), you can start composting by putting together a mixture of “brown matter” (like paper, cardboard, dried leaves, wood, and dryer lint) and “green matter” (fruit/veggie scraps or peels, egg shells, coffee grounds, teabags, and grass clippings). Add a bit of water and keep the compost outside making sure to give it a turn every few days. Eventually, microorganisms will break down the ingredients into a dark soil-like matter. Done properly, you’ll not only have nitrogen- and carbon-rich compost to add to your garden or potted plants, you will also cut down on the roughly 6,351 pounds of trash, according to Saveonenergy.com, that your average American family produces each year.
Sure, this suggestion wasn’t funny, but it’s still a good idea! Whaddayou want from us?
Challenge (optional): Actually do this. Go ahead and prove us wrong!
Veg out in front of the tube
This is a given and probably something you’ve already done in abundance. Still, it’s also a good opportunity for you to try out some genres you wouldn’t otherwise consider. Check out some documentaries, Korean dramas, or even some gawdawful reality television. When else will you get the chance to burn off your PTO by discovering a new guilty pleasure? We won’t judge as long as you don’t start pestering us with spoilers.
Challenge (optional): Watch at least three episodes of a new series before giving up on it.