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Indoor and outdoor activities to do during the pandemic
The pandemic has changed the way we live, work and play. For many of us, we’ve had to make significant changes to our daily routines in order to adjust to a new normal, where the majority of our days and weeks are now spent avoiding large gatherings, practising safe distancing and staying in. This can at times feel incredibly challenging or overwhelming.
In the current situation, it’s more important than ever that we keep active and healthy, and carve out time to take care of our physical, emotional and mental well-being. There’s plenty of things to do at home or outdoors to nurture these different aspects of your well-being, and with the hours you’ve saved from commuting, you can now get down to checking items off your to-do list—whether that’s learning a new skill, picking up a new hobby, engaging in mindfulness practices or just enjoying leisure time with family.
Expand your mental horizons
There’s a plethora of educational resources to choose from. Online learning platforms such as Udemy and Coursera offer courses covering a diverse array of topics, ranging from machine learning and artificial intelligence, to brand management and psychology. Or learn from some of the world’s very best on Masterclass, where some well-liked figures share about their work and creative processes.
Podcasts are also a great way to learn while you tackle some chores or have a meal. Craig Groeschel’s Leadership Podcast offers insights and actionable takeaways on leading your team or organisation, while China EconTalk delves into China’s economy and dynamic technology landscape.
You’ll easily find a variety of educational websites catering to young children and teenagers too. These include subscription-based platform IXL, game-based learning platform Kahoot!, free online learning resource Khan Academy and Crash Course, a YouTube channel for high school students.
Exercise at home
While gyms and fitness studios have resumed their operations in Phase 2, there may be many who are inclined to work up a sweat in the comfort of their homes. Exercising at home will by no means feel mundane, thanks to the wide array of YouTube fitness channels and virtual fitness classes available.
You can search and find many platforms that provide virtual classes that specialise in areas from high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts, yoga, Zumba, dance classes and many more other awesome activities. These are available via their website or app, and are suitable for different ages, dance experience and fitness levels. Try out Switch+, which provides a curated library of on-demand classes created by some of the top instructors across the world. Check out Benedicte Alice Kapur, who has an extensive list of sessions for beginners and experienced yogis alike, which is perfect for calming down or awakening.
These are stressful times, and many of us may find ourselves feeling more easily overwhelmed, anxious or irritable than usual. This is where mindfulness practices come in, to help instil a sense of calm, reduce our stress levels and strengthen our resilience. It’s key that we make these practices a habit—even in the busiest of days, setting aside five minutes a day for mindfulness can make a difference.
Calm is a great app for all ages. There’s a range of meditations, whether you want to focus on relationships, self-care or relieving anxiety. Calm’s Sleep Stories feature has bedtime stories for kids and grownups, which are especially helpful for restless nights.
If you’re finding it difficult to meditate, a little movement can help to settle your mind and make you feel more grounded. Opt for slow and rhythmic exercises that incorporate deep, relaxed breathing, such as yoga, tai chi or qigong. Take your pick from virtual classes conducted by local studios like the Art of Yoga and Terra Luna Yoga, or check out YouTube videos on channels like Mark Tanaka and Nick Loffree: Bioenergetic Health.
Indulge in creative pursuits
There are numerous benefits to engaging in artistic hobbies. It taps into your right hemisphere, which is stimulated by activities centered around our imagination and curiosity. Hobbies also enable us to flex our creative muscles, and offer a healthy coping strategy for dealing with stress.
In the digital age, tabletop games and jigsaw puzzles can offer a refreshing change from digital media entertainment and devices. Round up your family for crowd favourites like Monopoly, Scrabble and Jenga, or try out popular strategy games such as Ticket to Ride, Catan and Horrified. Telestrations and Llamas In Pyjamas are games that cater to younger ages.
Piecing together a jigsaw puzzle is also a great alternative to hours of video watching or online gaming. 300 to 500-piece puzzles with distinct colours are ideal for beginners new to jigsaw puzzles, while 1000 to 2000-piece puzzles with defined colours or images will suit intermediates looking for a challenge. You’ll be able to purchase jigsaw puzzles online for all ages through retailers like Perfect Fit and Jigsaw Puzzle World.
Bask in the great outdoors
Since the start of Phase 2, many of us have taken to outdoor attractions for a change of scenery. Enjoy a scenic stroll at the National Orchid Garden, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve or Fort Canning Park, or visit well-loved family attractions like the Singapore Zoo, River Safari or Forest Adventure. Hiking enthusiasts may sign up for ExplorerSG’s events. As part of their current Abandoned Railway Line series, Explorer SG will take participants for a hike to locations like the Green Corridor.
Or make an escape to Coney Island Park, an offshore island located off Punggol. The ecologically sustainable park is home to white sand beaches, mangroves, wildlife and picturesque tree-lined pathways. You’ll also find obstacle courses that will keep the little ones entertained.
Stay connected with friends and family
On days that you decide to stay in, you can tap into technology to get your daily dose of social interaction. Get creative with your virtual hangouts; you can play games together using the Houseparty app, or do a socially distanced movie marathon through Netflix Party.
Call up your loved ones for a chat through video communications platforms like Zoom or Google Hangouts. On especially busy days where scheduling in a video call is a challenge, turn to apps like Marco Polo instead. Rather than chatting in real time, you can send out a video message to a friend or a group chat.
Above all, keep safe
These are stressful times, but even within the constraints that social distancing measures present, there’s still plenty that we can do to keep ourselves and our families occupied. And whatever you do, remember to always keep safe: observe good personal hygiene habits, wear a mask when you head outside and be socially responsible.
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