Have you been battling getting your kids (or yourself?!) off screens since the COVID quarantine began? Take a look at these 25 Things to Do When You Are Bored (without a screen). Thanks so much to my amazing 14-year old daughter for her charming illustrations :) Do you have ideas for 25 MORE Things To Do When You Are Bored? Let us know!
1. Maintain regular sleeping and eating routines.
-even though baking is a fun quarantine activity, overeating will lead you to feel sluggish and unhappy. All food is good food – but everything in moderation!
2. Keep up social connections.
-schedule some Zoom or Facetime chats with friends each week. If you find it difficult to make casual conversation, plan to play a game or discuss a book or movie with your friend(s).
-take advantage of “social events” offered by groups you feel connected to – like your church/synagogue, volunteer organizations, schools, etc.
-Have the patience to help older relatives and friends get up to speed with new technologies so that they can feel connected too.
3. Get exercise every day, preferably outdoors.
-Be mindful of keeping a safe distance.
-Be creative – find a wall on which to play solo tennis, make a hopscotch course on the driveway, do yoga on your porch, explore new streets in your neighborhood.
4. Make sure that each day includes activities that give you a sense of MASTERY.
-mastery activities are those that give you a sense of accomplishment. These are the activities that might not necessarily be fun, but feel good to check off the “to do” list.
-make sure you set reasonable goals each day for mastery activities. Rather than setting the goal of cleaning your whole house for example, plan to clean the bathrooms one day and vacuum another day.
-examples of mastery activities are school work, work, household chores, etc.
5. Make sure that each day includes activities that give you a sense of PLEASURE/FUN.
-pleasure activities are activities that give you little lift because they are fun!
-make sure that screen time is not your only source of fun. While some time on Netflix is indeed fun, sitting for hours watching TV tends to not be good for our moods.
-examples of fun activities include listening to or playing music, doing a craft, doing something physical or athletic, playing with a pet, gardening, reading, etc.
If you are finding the days under quarantine very aimless, try making yourself a daily hour-by-hour schedule. Make sure that you include all of these items in your daily schedule – healthy meals, a good night’s sleep, exercise, social time, mastery activities and pleasure activities.
I've created a new In the News page for articles about COVID-19 . My goal is to keep adding to my blog with helpful resources by colleagues and friends - there is an overwhelming amount of good information out there for kids and families. I'm trying to get this done between online therapy sessions; helping with homeschool; getting some exercise each day; doing endless cooking, cleaning, and laundry; and (ironically) reviewing an upcoming book about repetitive negative thoughts. More to come....I promise!
On April 9, 2020, Governor Wolf announced that PA schools will not re-open until the Fall. With this in mind, I will continue sessions by tele-therapy until further notice. I have adjusted my schedule to accommodate the competing demands of my practice and my family. You may receive an email with a rescheduled appointment time in the next few weeks. I am trying to spread appointments evenly throughout the week. If you receive a new time that does not work for you, please write me back and we will work it out!
When we first began to shelter at home, I was not taking new patients, thinking that I would rather meet new families in person. Seeing that this might be quite a while off, I will be taking a limited number of new patients "remotely." Please fill in the new patient information form and we can discuss further whether tele-therapy is appropriate for your family.
Please let me know if there is any desire for some zoom therapy groups. I was thinking about parent support groups; groups for kids whose parents work in the healthcare field; and groups for kids whose senior year of high school or college has abruptly ended. Sharing these experiences with others in the same boat can be very comforting. Drop me a note to let me know if these groups interest you: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please stay well, and let me know how I can best support you!
I am a licensed psychologist working with kids, teens, and adults with anxiety disorders.