Whether you’re doing online school or working from home, you probably have more free time than ever before to figure out how to pass time during lockdown.

Since March, the US has been dealing with the pandemic. COVID-19 has torn through this country leaving things upside down and people in an uproar. 2020 has been a year of illness, resilience, triumph, and well, boredom. As intense as this year has been, there has been so much time sitting at home. Wondering how to pass time is on many people’s minds.

There has never been a time quite like this. It isn’t safe to have social gatherings, go recreational shopping, or plan fun activities with friends.

This has been about family. We’ve spent a lot of time with our families if we are lucky enough to live with them. This means there could be a lot of tension without the errands and chores of everyday life to keep us busy.

Netflix only has so many new shows to keep us occupied. Once you’ve gone through your queue and stack of board games, what else is there to pass time during lockdown?

Ways to pass time during lockdown

Passing time can come in different ways. It’s up to you if you want to do something to simply occupy your mind so you’re not bored or really get something accomplished.

There are things you can do to work on your memory or your health that simply make time move faster. But there are things you can do in your new free time to feel accomplished.

With all that is going on in the world, it can feel like we aren’t doing enough. Sitting at home playing games with the family is helping. When you’re home, you’re not out collecting or spreading the virus, but we can also be proactive.

There have been marches, protests, and big changes this year, but not all of us feel comfortable going out to help make a difference.

If you want to learn how to pass the time with a simple hobby, I have some ideas. And if you want to know how to pass time with action, I have ideas for you too.

How to pass time during lockdown

Lockdown has been a tough time for everyone. And not to make light of the fear and life-changing lives we’ve been living, but let’s be grateful we are here and hopefully healthy.

With that gratitude, we can make the most of our time in lockdown. Sure, it sucks we can’t go out, but it is for our health, the health of our loved ones, and the greater good. I know that sounds intense, but it is true.

Learning how to pass time during lockdown is the least we can do to help others and ourselves. So let’s brainstorm.

#1 Organize. I know this is boring, but since you’re spending so much time at home, you might as well make the most of it. Clean out your attic, basement, and closet. Donate what you can. Reuse what you can. Move things around to make your work and personal spaces feel comfortable and practical.

#2 Research small businesses. We all know small businesses are suffering right now. Everything from shops to restaurants are closing down across the country. Since you have more time now, you don’t have to take the convenient way out by ordering from stores that are thriving like Amazon.

Instead, take the time to research small local shops in your area. Do some shopping on Etsy. Forgo the chain restaurants and try some places nearby for takeout that you may have overlooked for convenience sake in the past.

#3 Read. I know this sounds obvious, but don’t just skip over this and keep looking for things outside the box in how to pass the time. You know you miss reading. You know you always feel better when you read. I know I do. Whenever I make the time to read just one chapter of a book before bed I ask myself why I ever stopped.

You’ve watched enough TV, take just a little time for a book. Use your own imagination to create characters in your mind.

#4 Learn about your ancestry. Whether you sign up for 23&Me or AncestryDNA or just talk to your family, take some time to learn about where your family came from. Ask your parents about their childhoods. Ask your grandparents about theirs. Talk to your cousins about what they know.

This may not alter your life, but it is beautiful to learn about where your family has been and where it started. It can be humbling, inspiring, and bring you and your family closer together.

#5 Play games. I know you’ve all done this. You’ve pulled out your old board games and played everyone until you couldn’t anymore. But you can play other games that use your mind instead of Scrabble.

Play crosswords, word games, old card games. Even learn new games. Games aren’t just for passing the time. They can help with your memory, focus, and other parts of your brain that may be suffering without external stimuli.

#6 Share and donate. We are all struggling right now. Whether you’ve lost work hours, been furloughed, or are struggling with bills, it is important to give back where you can. Research charities to help COVID patients. Donate old coats, canned foods, and other goods to a local shelter.

Do the leg work. Do the research. Learn about systematic racism in our country. Watch documentaries, read books, and don’t ask your friends of color for guidance. This isn’t on them. Find a cause that is important to you and help. If you can’t donate, share on social media. Start a dialogue with people.

#7 Reach out. It is a scary time to reach out to old friends. With so much happening in our own lives, it can seem daunting to reach out to someone and hear more bad news, but now is the time. Reach out to your old college roommate or friends from high school who you lost touch with.

You have the time to chat, so do it. Ask how they’ve been and how they are handling things. Catch up. Video chatting is a tool at your disposal, so use it.

#8 Adopt or foster a pet. Since so many of us are home right now, we have the time to devote to a fur baby. Cat, dog, hamster, or rabbit, all of them are in need of good homes. If you can’t commit for the long haul, then foster to let the animal out of the cage until they find their forever home.

If anything, figuring how to pass time in a satisfied way is cuddling with a furry friend. My cats have brought me so much joy during this time, and I’ve even taken in a stray a couple of weeks ago. Trust me, they will help you pass the time even more than you’re helping them.

#9 Help a neighbour. Next time you go to the store, call your neighbour to see if you can pick up anything for them so they don’t need to do an extra trip. My guess is, next time they’re out, they’ll do the same for you.

If someone you know is struggling with their bills but their kids have online school, let them hook up to your internet in the yard or garage. Just because people don’t ask for help doesn’t mean they don’t need it.

#10 Be a positive influence. Doing these things is great. Spending your time making a difference, even in a small way is wonderful. But, if you can inspire others to make those changes, it’s even better.

There is nothing wrong with watching TV and vegging out on the sofa, but with just some of the time you have, talk to those in your life about what they can do too.

You don’t have to devote your life to a good cause or make this your mission, but learning how to pass time productively will make you and others feel better about the world.

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