Nobody likes to be stuck at home for too long. Even the most prolific introverts felt the pangs of isolation after months of quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some people wisely took the extra time to implement healthy life changes, new hobbies, and the like. Since most of the country is still social distancing and living with restrictions, it’s not too late to learn new skills yourself. Here are five home activities you can practice while being stuck at home to impact your future positively.
1. Learn to Make a Budget
Making and abiding by a budget is a critical life skill that kids don’t commonly learn. Learning how to live off what you earn as a youth can set you up for success as an adult, and you know how to live within your means by setting goals for fun items as well as building savings or financially supporting a great cause (you can donate to Lakeside here). Parents can work with their kids to teach them this valuable life skill, or you can take advantage of online resources and apps.
2. Enjoy Weekly Family Dinners and Game Nights
Both the number of dinners families eat together each week and the time spent eating meals together have significantly decreased over the past 20 years, and most families say they wish they would do it more. As busy as family life is, you may never get the opportunity again for as much free time with your family. Why not take advantage of it and schedule at least one entire family night where you eat a nice, homemade meal together and play a family game?
3. Overcome Device Addiction with Tech-Free Tuesdays
Do you cringe when you get those weekly screen time reports? Devices, and social media, in particular, can be addictive, and too much screen time is never good. Dole out screen time according to what is age-appropriate and consider identifying one night a week where the whole family goes sans-electronics. It may make you feel anxious at first, but families are sincerely grateful when they make an effort and see how close it brings them to one another.
4. Make a Quarantine Time Capsule
2020 should provide you with a year of memories like no other. It is a year of anomalies and memorable events. Make the most of it and collect items and documentation that represents the year well. You can include printed news articles, pictures, memorabilia, and more. This is a great family activity for any year, and 2020 is no exception.
5. Practice Your Cooking Skills
Take a break from ordering out and make a family meal. Even younger kids can get to something to prepare or clean up after. Buy a recipe book and teach your kids to prepare at least a small repertoire of culinary delights. Once they do well under your supervision, you can even assign a weekly night for each member of the family to prepare dinner. Your kids will be well-prepared for adulthood by learning valuable skills, such as this.
6. Do Brain-Builders
We already discussed how too much screen time is harmful. Did you also know it can rewire the brain? Balance out the screentime with activities that increase brain functioning and thinking processes. Crossword puzzles, sudoku, puzzles, and board games like Scrabble utilize different parts of the brain and improve critical thinking, cognitive processing, and problem-solving.
7. Plant a Garden
Getting out of the house is just as important, if not more, than incorporating healthy activities inside the home. Vitamin D is an essential element for mood and state of mind, and the sun is an excellent source for it! Plant a tree, food item, or an entire garden if you have space and tend to it daily. Gardening will help create responsibility in caring for a living thing, produce literal fruit (or vegetables if you prefer), and get you out in the fresh air. That’s not a bad combination.
8. Incorporate Self-Care
While all of the activities we’ve listed contribute to positive life skills and overall well-being (even if indirectly), you should still be intentional about positive self-care. Incorporating time for rest, exercise, self-reflection, restoration, and the practice of self-regulation and healthy coping skills is beneficial now and throughout your entire life. Since people respond differently to different activities, use this time as a period of exploration to learn new skills and figure out what is most helpful to you. Finally, incorporate time for self-care into your weekly schedule to become a consistent part of your routine.
Contact Lakeside Academy
We understand that many people have experienced the negative side of isolation and quarantine with consequences such as mental health issues and substance abuse. If this is you or your teenage son, Lakeside Academy can help. We exist to serve today’s community of teenage boys and the unique struggles they face. We have COVID-19 precautions in place, and we can discuss if our programs are right for you. Call us at (844) 768-8336 or fill out our contact form.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock/Dejan Dundjerski