Coronavirus: Keeping Busy And Connected
Let’s face it, we’re all going to need things to keep us busy over the next few weeks. By choosing to do something, whatever that something is – whether it’s exercise, crafting, reading, watching TV, DIY, gardening, studying etc – we’ll keep our minds occupied and help stop those anxious thoughts taking hold and spiralling. We might also find that have skills and interests that we didn’t even know about before.
We also need ways to feel connected and part of something. We might be physically isolated, but we don’t need to feel lonely, or disconnected – there are ways to forge connections.
We’ve created an ever-growing list of activities, groups and resources that can help us keep busy and stay connected during these strange times. If you’re particularly looking for resources for children, we’ve got you covered too: find those here.
'Some people look for a beautiful place. Others make a place beautiful.' - Hazrat Inayat Khan
Get Crafty And Cultured
- Activity Pages from Adam JK
- Alphablots Colouring Sheets
- Amazon have made some books, videos and music available for free.
- Artsy: Creative Online Courses
- Coping Calendar – 30 actions to look after ourselves and other
- Creative Isolation: The MARCH Network has gathered some home-based, creative ways to support mental health during these unique and uncertain times.
- Eleanor Bowmer Colouring Sheet
- Isolation Wildlife Photography Awards submissions of photography from your home or garden, encouraging people to stay creative
- Lego 30 Day Challenge
- Libby – many libraries now have ebooks and audio books available online. Some use Libby App but check with your local library to see what platform they use before signing up.
- Look At Paintings – uncover the stories of different paintings through audio guides
- #MuseumFromHome on Twitter lets you experience over 500 museums, from all across the world, from your home
- Nature And Place Poetry Competition 2020 – The Rialto in association with RSPB, Birdlife International, and Cambridge Conservation Initiative. Open to anyone over 18. Closing date: May 1st 2020.
- Paperjoy downloadable and printables
- Quarantine Soirées – free nightly online concerts from one of the world’s top orchestras
- Royal Opera House – streaming free ballet and opera
- The 75 Best Virtual Museum Tours Around The World (Art, History, Science and Technology)
- This Expansive Adventure – mindful moments photography challenge
- The Wildlife Trusts – looking after yourself, and nature.
- Virtual Museum Tours
Chatterpack has put together a huge list of resources and activities – find it here.
Never Too Old
- Blocky Games: beginners computer programming
- Cards Against Humanity Family Edition: free, printable cards.
- Class Central: Free online courses
- CrashCourse hosts loads of free educational courses on YouTube – useful for kids off school, and for adults who want to learn some new stuff
- Creative Writing Classes – weekly tutorials, teaching the craft of writing and offering ideas and inspiration
- Duolingo is a free app teaching you a variety of languages in just short blocks of time (5-20 minutes) every day
- Letters From The Allotment: weekly creative writing classes, connecting to nature through words.
- Open Culture: 1,500 Free Online Courses from Top Universities
- Open Learn: Over 1000 free, online courses
- Open University: Free courses
- Recovery College have over 30 free online mental health and wellbeing courses
- Teach From Home is a temporary hub of information and tools to help teachers work remotely.
- The Biology And Contagiousness Of Kindness: Free 4-part course.
Let’s Get Physical
- 305 Fitness – streaming dance classes everyday on YouTube
- Barry’s are streaming high intensity workouts on Instagram
- Blogilates – Pliates
- Dolly Trolley is hosting online Drag Aerobics classes
- Kate Stanforth live streams free, accessible dance classes every Monday at 5pm.
- LV Yoga Fareham is streaming yoga classes every week via Facebook. There are light classes, and family yoga too.
- Gorka Marquez of Strictly fame is running online dance classes over on is Instagram.
- POPSUGAR – workout classes
- Rumble Boxing are streaming boxing-inspired daily workouts on IG
- Seen on Screen are streaming dance classes on IG that teach you routines inspired by artists like Beyonce, Rihanna, and Britney Spears
- Sport England: Stay In, Work Out – tips, advice and guidance on how to keep or get active in and around your home.
- The Fitness Marshall
- Yoga With Adriene
'When you’re curious you find lots of interesting things to do.' - Walt Disney
Online Groups And Activities
- At Home With Penguin: connect with authors in their homes every Tuesday at 5pm.
- Coping Calendar – 30 actions to look after ourselves and others
- Covid Symptoms Tracker App
- Free Access To Wellbeing Apps For NHS Staff
- Free Mental Health and Debt booklet from Money Saving Expert
- Government Guidance for the public on the mental health and wellbeing aspect of coronavirus.
- Government Launches Coronavirus Information Service On WhatsApp
- Gareth Malone’s Great British Home Chorus
- Headspace: Free content for all school staff.
- #hometasking – if you’re a fan of Taskmaster, join in with Alex Horne’s #hometasking on Twitter
- #JackMonroesLockdownLarder – Jack Monroe very kindly giving tips and ideas on meals you can make with the ingredients lurking at the back of your cupboard
- Mark Kanemura is hosting dance parties on Instagram
- March Network Covid 19 Social Study: if you want to and feel comfortable doing so, you could commit to this research about how the current situation is affecting people.
- National Garden Scheme – virtual garden visits.
- Online Mental Health And Emotional Wellbeing Support for frontline workers.
- Online Pub Quiz on Facebook
- RAMP Study – if you want to and feel comfortable doing so, you could commit to this research about the impact of the current situation on our wellbeing.
- Staying Safe from suicidal thoughts.
- Virtual Choir Practices from Sing Out Strong.
- Virtual Church Services on Sunday Mornings (the BBC are also looking ways to support other religions and denominations too – particularly in the run up to Ramadan)
- Virtual Meet-Ups For New Mums – daily meet-ups online, open to all Mums.
- Covid-19 Mutual Aid local groups
- Call for volunteers to support the NHS
- Involving volunteers – advice on involving and managing volunteers during the coronavirus outbreak from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.
- Refuge In Grief: A message from Megan about the Covid-19 Crisis
- Cruse Bereavement Care: Coronavirus: dealing with bereavement and grief
- Grief after bereavement or loss – advice from NHS UK.
- Marie Curie UK: When someone dies
- Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland Covid-19 Response
- The Irish Hospice Foundation: Covid-19 Care And Inform
- Cruse Bereavement Care: Local Services In Wales
- Care for the Family: A long list of Bereavement support organisations
- Griefcast: a podcast examining the human experience of grief and death – but with comedians, so it’s cheerier than it sounds.
- Memorial Videos – free socially distant memorial videos to help those affected by Covid-19 for free.