Budget-friendly activities for social distancing

Combat cabin fever while staying safe at home

As classes are being moved online, and more businesses close to the public, you might be finding yourself spending more time at home than usual. If you’re starting to feel cooped up and need some new ways to occupy your time, check out these free suggestions:

Watch a movie together…apart

Feeling alone? Throw a Netflix Party with your friends! This free Google Chrome extension allows you to sync video so you can watch your favourite shows together. It even has a chat feature if you feel like adding your own colour commentary.

Stay well-read

If you’re more of a bookworm, take advantage of the ebooks and other online resources you can access from the Calgary Public Library. If you don’t have a library card, don’t worry — it’s free to obtain one online.

Feeling the urge to connect? Why not virtually gather a group of friends and start a book club. Penguin Random House has a helpful guide for starting one.

Take advantage of free learning

Got an itch to learn something new? Thanks to the internet, you can access high-quality programs and courses from renowned institutions or experts for little to no cost:

  • LinkedIn Learning: If you’re looking for some professional skill development, LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda) has courses on the Adobe Creative Suite, music, design, programming, and more. It’s also free with a Calgary Public Library card.
  • Coursera: Get access to MOOCs (massive open online courses) from universities and organizations around the world for free. If you prefer learning in a more structured environment, this is a great choice.
  • Duolingo: Duolingo offers fun, interactive lessons to make learning less of a chore. You can even compete with friends! It’s available for free if you don’t mind a couple of ads.
  • TEDEd: Familiar with TED Talks? The team from TED has compiled a number of bite-sized educational videos on fun topics like the link between stress and memory, the physics of opera, ancient architecture and plenty more.
  • Skillshare: Feeling a little more creative? Skillshare provides structured courses from creatives around the world on topics like illustration, photography, lettering and videography. While it’s not completely free, you can get two months free!
  • YouTube: Don’t think this site is only about old Vine compilations and cat videos. If you’re looking for a tutorial on something, you’ll likely find hundreds of videos here to help you.

Stay active

Incorporating some activity into your day is key to maintaining your mental health. Fitness studios and gurus are now offering free live stream workouts that you can follow at home. Check out a list of free workouts here.