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45 Things You Can Do At Home That Don’t Involve A Screen

We're less than a week into the CDC's social-distancing decree to stop the spread of the coronavirus, and people are already running out of analog activities. If previous crises are any indication, screen time is likely to skyrocket. (According to data from the market-research company Nielsen, streaming jumped 61% during the January 2016 snowstorm and 2017's Hurricane Harvey.) Considering that multiple studies have found social-media use having an adverse reaction on well-being and mental health, preserve your unplugged time.

So whether we're social-distancing for a few weeks or a few months, streaming movies and refreshing Twitter will get old quickly. Here, 45 things to do at home sans screens.

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC or NHS 111 in the UK for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all Bustle’s coverage of coronavirus here, and UK-specific updates on coronavirus here.


Put on a Spotify playlist and Marie Kondo your intimates drawer. Underwear with holes or stains? They do not bring joy. Here, the decluttering wizard shares 10 tips on tidying up.

Experts have that said a regular cleaning schedule can help reduce stress.


Have some old art supplies lying around? Dig out the paint, a paintbrush, and a piece of canvas to make a drip painting, the abstract style popularized by Jackson Pollack. Lacking the appropriate supplies? Test out a spoon or spatula as a paintbrush, and cardboard as a makeshift canvas. Here's a handy how-to.

Like board games, studies have found that puzzles can improve memory, problem solving, and spatial reasoning skills. You'll be surprised at how quickly you can get lost in a 1,000-piece puzzle.

It's time to discover what lurks in the deepest corners of your pantry — a monster, mouse, or very expired potato chips.

Take the old saying literally. But really, unveil that cocktail attire in the back of your closet and have a night out inside.


The COVID-19 outbreak is not a snow day, but cull some winter-storm activities to boost your spirits, like a pillow and blanket fort, complete with flashlights and ghost stories.

Use a foam roller or tennis balls to massage stiff muscles. My recommendation? Place two tennis balls in a long sock, leaving 2-3 inches between them, and tie a knot at the open end. Lay on the floor, placing one ball on either side of your spine, and slowly roll them up and down your back.

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According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, journaling can help people manage anxiety by allowing them to prioritize their problems and worries, and write positive messages to themselves.

Break out the yearbooks and albums. Feeling artsy? Create a makeshift gallery wall, or tape up your favorite images around the home.

None of us do this enough. Now's the time to build a routine.


Challenge your parter or roommate to a cooking contest à la MasterChef. Set a timer, establish the viable ingredients, and begin the battle.

On March 17, the U.S. Postal Service said it had experienced "only minor operational impacts in the United States as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic." It's the perfect time to write heartfelt messages to loved ones.

Multiple studies have found that boredom can be good for creativity and productivity, but with smartphones and streaming services, people are rarely bored. Take some time to stare out the window.


Get a few snacks or a meal together for an impromptu picnic — on your porch, in your yard, or on the floor of your studio apartment.

Get out construction paper and Elmer's glue, forage for flowers or leaves outside, and put your crayons to work.

Cracking knuckles? Credit your good hand-washing hygiene.


It's an easy process, requiring just a few household ingredients. If you don't have a bath-bomb mold, consider using a muffin tin.

Can you remember the last time you ate alone without watching TV or scrolling through your phone? I can't. Try being present in the moment.

Get out a pencil, paper, and a mirror, and draw yourself. Consider using a famous portrait for inspiration.

Reading 2010's best sex tips is funnier than you'd expect. My favorite is from Cosmopolitan, which suggested grasping a penis "with both hands and twisting them in opposite directions."


If you're more coordinated than I, play a favorite song and choreograph a dance. It'll be like middle school all over again.

Let out some of those emotions.

My list would include porch hangouts, making coffee, stretching, reading, and playing Justin Bieber's "Beauty And A Beat." Don't judge me.

Getting your heart rate up for 1-2 minutes releases those feel-good endorphins. Feeling ambitious? Make them burpees.


As Dolly Parton says, the higher the hair, the closer to God. Challenge accepted.

The best time to belt it out? When you're home, alone, and in your pajamas. Now's the time to rehearse those high notes.

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