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5 Ways to Stay Entertained at Home While Social Distancing

By: Justin Chaplin
March 26, 2020

We hear all about the risks of coronavirus and social distancing, from physical to mental health. However, boredom ranks high on people's lists of the struggles they're facing while keeping their distance. 

When you're accustomed to a vibrant social life with plenty of entertainment, it can feel daunting to stay at home. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to stay entertained with a device and a reliable internet connection. Here's what to do to have some fun while social distancing.

1. Shows and Movies to Watch

The first place people are turning to is their television screens. Here are some of the things we are watching to make things feel calm and familiar during these strange times.

Raise Your Spirits with Feel-good Films

Need something to lift your spirits? Grown-ups and kids alike can get lost in a massive selection of Disney classics with Disney+. The movie juggernaut is saving the world by bumping up the streaming dates for releases like the newly available Frozen 2 and the upcoming Onward. A free seven-day Disney+ trial can introduce you to all your old favorites and new films.

Other feel-good favorites that are currently available to stream across the usual streaming services Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Grease, Little Miss Sunshine, Notting Hill, and Forrest Gump. Something light and uplifting is just what you need!

Re-Binge the Tried and True Classics

There's something comforting and nostalgic about re-binging on your favorite TV shows. Catch up with old TV friends from:

  • Seinfeld
  • Friends
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Game of Thrones
  • The Wire
  • Lost
  • Mad Men
  • Breaking Bad
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • The Office

You'll probably still cry when Jim finally asks Pam on a date, and when Ross and Rachel go on a break. Pick a series you haven't watched for a while and take it straight from the top. 

To take the sting out of social distancing, turn your binge-worthy feat into a Netflix Viewing Party with loved ones. You can sync up in real-time, watch together, and even leave comments for each other during all your favorite parts.

Keep up with the world and tune into what's trending. Not sure why everyone is talking about Jessica from Love is Blind? Now’s the perfect time to find out. 

Still out of the loop on all of the Baby Yoda memes? Dive into The Mandalorian series before season 2 comes out later this year.

Rewatch all your favorite episodes from Schitt's Creek while waiting for the last episode to arrive. Then, catch up on all the new shows you've been hearing about but haven't had time to watch, like Locke and Key and The Witcher. And what is all this chatter about a "Tiger King"?

Pro Tip: Is there a movie out there that you have been dying to watch, but you are not sure if it's available to stream anywhere? Search the movie on JustWatch and they'll tell you where you can find it.

2. Podcasts to Listen to

If you're worried your mom is right and your mind is going to turn into mush watching so much TV, switch to podcasts. You can learn something new or just stay wildly entertained while catching up on all your favorites. 

Pair any of the below with a puzzle, solitaire, or cooking up a new recipe to make a productive night of discovering your new favorite podcast. Below are a few of our favorites, but there is a whole world of podcasts out there, so go exploring!

  • Get in your pop culture fix with Morning Toast
  • Investigate a murder with Serial
  • Get a quick snapshot of Wall Street & beyond with Morning Brew's Business Casual or Robinhood Snacks
  • Listen to comedian Chris Gethard answer calls from anonymous people in Beautiful Stories. Doesn't sound too entertaining? Read the beginner's guide to Beautiful Stories, and then give an episode a try. You'll be hooked in no time.
  • Enjoy your late-night fix and snack with Conan O'Brien and Friends. With all of the shows
  • Hear Guy Raz chat with successful entrepreneurs on How I Built This to talk about the story of how their businesses were built. You'll be hooked and might even use your quarantine time to dig into your side hustle.

3. Books to Read

Ready to expand your mind and horizons? Now’s the time to read all those books you've meant to get to for years. 

Scour Amazon's Kindle library. You can also see what you can virtually borrow from your library to expand your mind. 

If you're not into reading, grab a free trial with Audible to find thousands of audiobooks. 

Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts by Kate Racculia: When an eccentric billionaire dies and leaves behind an epic treasure hunt through the city, a puzzle-loving Tuesday Mooney joins the mystery hunt. It's fun, funny, and a mystery wrapped up in Edgar Allan Poe-inspired clues.

_The Summer Boo_k by Elizabeth Gilbert: Missing travel? Get lost in the middle of nowhere on an isolated island in the Gulf of Finland. This clever, light read is a fun and earnest tale of a girl and her grandmother with nothing but time.

The In-Betweens by J. Courtney Sullivan: A whimsical, fascinating book about the true story of Camp Etna. If you want to know where spiritualists and mediums go to explore the possibilities of their spirit and universe, The In-Betweens is your jam. 

Wild by Cheryl Strayed: Get your adventure on with Cheryl Strayed as she heads on a 1,100-mile solo hike along the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert to Washington State.

Grit by Angela Duckworth: If you've wondered if connections and an iron-clad network gets you ahead in life, read Grit. A self-help and business book rolled up in one, the author explores how the power of passion and perseverance is what really gets you ahead.

Make Your Bed by Admiral William H. McRaven: Sometimes, life's most complex problems need simple, straightforward solutions. It's the book to read when you feel like the world is falling apart behind you. It explores the small changes you can make to change your life and the world. 

Deep Work by Cal Newport: Author and Professor Cal Newport delves into the research that focus without distraction is the deep work we all need to quickly master complicated information in less time. Newport argues it's not the elusive hunt for passion that fulfills us. Instead, it’s the sense of fulfillment and craftsmanship that comes from doing the deep work. 

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling: Need I say more? Always a classic crowd-pleaser that you could spend weeks reading, followed up by all the movies.

4. Broadway Shows to Sing Along To

Who says you need to head to New York or even leave your house to enjoy the Great White Way? Broadway shows are taking pity on the very dramatic situation we're all in and releasing shows for streaming. Here are a few to watch through BroadwayHD.

  • Oklahoma!
  • An American in Paris
  • Kinky Boots
  • Holiday Inn
  • Cats

Grab a free trial. Then, stick around to stream more musicals and stage productions, including Romeo and Juliet with Orlando Bloom.

5. Concerts to Attend Online

If you can't get to the concert, bring the music home to you by attending virtually. Scour Instagram for all your favorite artists who are offering free, virtual concerts all month long. Catch up with the performing artists who have been taking over Instagram feeds.

  • Pink
  • John Legend
  • Death Cab for Cutie
  • Sufjan Stevens
  • Keith Urban

Want to catch all of them in one place? Popsugar put together a list of the performers who have taken concerts online.

Some artists are even taking fan requests! Plus, don't forget the scores of free concerts, clips, and interviews with your favorite musicians on YouTube. Connect with a friend on FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom, and share the experience to turn it into an event.

How are you staying entertained and sane while stuck inside your apartment? Let us know by tweeting us @ApartmentList.

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Justin is a Content Manager and contributing author at Apartment List, helping people navigate the world of renting. Justin previously spent his time earning his BBA in Marketing from Boise State University. Read More
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