As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, you wouldn’t be alone if you felt a little bored. With Australians urged to stay home except for essential trips, our own four walls have become a very familiar sight.
1. Take in some art and culture
You might not be able to visit the Louvre in person any time soon, but you can tune in to one of its virtual guided tours of the most popular exhibits.
Washington’s Smithsonian Museum offers an online virtual tour of the entire grounds, while the Vatican is touring the museum grounds and iconic exhibits — including, of course, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling. It might be your best chance to view it without the crowds! Closer to home is the National Gallery of Victoria alongside other Australian institutions.
Theatre lovers don’t need to miss out either. The Australian National Theatre is streaming live performances, as is the Met Opera and of course the best of Broadway. Grab a glass of wine and settle in for a night of entertainment.
Australian musicians have banded together to create Isol-Aid, a socially distanced music festival running every Saturday and Sunday during the pandemic. Crank up the tunes and get dancing to artists from Sarah Blasko to Montaigne – after all, there’s no one to see you!
2. Keep the kids busy
If you’re a parent, you already know that keeping the kids entertained during lockdown is a tough call. Dance class is cancelled, the grandparents can’t come and take them for an afternoon and school closures have taken a serious toll on their social lives.
Luckily, plenty of other people recognise that too – including Sport Australia, who is offering Tiny Trainer Challenges to keep kids active at home, Cosmic Kids Yoga for finding their inner zen, and PE With Joe for a serious kids’ workout.
3. Enjoy creature comfort
Have you been thinking about adopting a kitten or puppy but worried you’re away at work for too long? Now’s the ideal time to add a new fluffy family member. Head to the RSPCA website or your local pet rescue to see who needs a new home.
Young animals do take a lot of time while they learn toilet training and socialisation skills, so make sure you’re prepared for that. With everyone home, you can give it all the cuddles and playtime it needs, but you may also need a little patience.
If adopting an animal isn’t an option, why not invite the local zoo into your lounge? Many zoos are live-streaming their animals while they’re closed to visitors check out giant pandas, mischievous meerkats and more!
4. Explore your surroundings
Guidelines vary from State to State on how far you can travel from your own home. In some States, driving to a national park or beach is discouraged for fear of crowds, while others are more lenient.
No matter where you are, why not get to know your own neighbourhood better? A long rambling walk around the local streets can yield many treasures, from beautiful garden displays to quirky architecture, or a handy shortcut you never knew about. You might even discover a new favourite cafe – for takeaway coffee, of course.
5. Prioritise family time
Look on this time as an opportunity to slow down and reconnect. You no longer have to ferry the kids to extra curriculars, or head out at dawn for a grueling commute. Why not use it to play a family board game or share a movie night instead? Getting out for a shared bike ride or walk is another way to find out what’s going on in the world while connecting with the people closest to you.
If you live alone, make time to reach out to friends for a chat. There’ll never be a better excuse to share a glass of wine and a gossip in your pyjamas! And use the opportunity to test out projects you wouldn’t normally have time for, like a complicated choux pastry recipe or foreign language course.