During this difficult and unusual time, you may be struggling for ways to keep your mind occupied (outside of assignments or essays). Below, I offer suggestions for activities to partake in during this isolation period.

Engaging with family members

Is key to remaining engaged during this quarantine. Some ideas I have already done myself and have helped keep me sane (and out of the bedroom!) during this time. This includes a simple conversation with my family over dinner. Taking advantage of the weather so far, myself and my parents have set the outside table and eaten together outside and held conversations regarding the food. My dad cooks on his newly constructed barbeque!

As a parent myself…

I have watched movies and shows with my daughter. Using the ‘Disney +’ app we spent one day watching High School Musical 1-3. We have also played board games, such as ‘Frustration’ and ‘Monopoly’ outside in the garden. In my admittance, I have taught my daughter a little too well and now she is the family champion at Monopoly. Keeping engaged in activities such as these have kept us both occupied quite well.

Alongside this, we have played X-Box games and also watched the majority of new and old Disney movies. Our current favourite, apart from ‘Aladdin’ and ‘The Lion King’, is ‘Moana’! We love a good sing along, so with this in mind – we have both watched YouTube karaoke videos and sang along (badly) to Disney songs!

Further suggestions are painting and drawing

Also making use of YouTube, using music videos or exercise videos has proven another effective way to remain fit and healthy while being indoors. There are plenty available, but the popular one to use has been ‘Exercise with Joe’ who runs daily P.E. sessions to do together. We have also used our one-hour exercise allowance a day to go out on our bikes around the neighbourhood. I personally have used YouTube to watch ‘Harry Potter Bloopers’!

To remain in contact with friends and family, there are many simple ways to keep in touch and stay safe

FaceTime and regular phone calls being the obvious one. There are also apps, social media platforms and online games for those who aren’t faint of heart – such as ‘Cards Against Humanity’. There are many online social media platforms to remain connected. Set up a Facebook group with your friends and encourage daily conversation or play online games! This will aid engagement and help break up the day!

There are also many Facebook and Twitter groups that the University and its dedicated staff members have set up to help support students and keep conversations between staff and students open

There are also Newman group chats that you can request to get involved in. Quiz nights every Friday with Zoe Harrison, and on Tuesdays a conference via zoom with Leoarna Mathias and further daily communication with SU president Chris Black via Newman social media and zoom.

This is also an ideal time to learn a new skill or pick up an old hobby perhaps

Learning a new language via Duolingo app, or heading to Futurelearn.co.uk, where you can learn something new and make use of your time indoors! Don’t forget, exercise is important! Newman’s dedicated sports staff host live exercise classes!

I hope these suggestions are useful, have fun and stay safe!

– Dan –