It's safe to say that most of us weren't counting on spending early spring cooped up inside, but we know that staying in means keeping others safe right now. What that doesn't mean is that we have to feel deprived of all the things and people that bring us happiness!
Most of us have at some point over the last two weeks confronted different feelings associated with being stuck inside away from our regular routines and lives. Turns out that feeling is grief, which when you think about it totally makes sense. We've had a big piece of what makes "normal life" feel, well, normal taken away. So what can we do to feel a little bit more normal right now? We can use the tools we have to stay connected, to find entertainment, to chat with others about how we're feeling, and more.
Check out the list below for a bunch of great apps and sites to help you thrive during your time inside, we've even included promo codes and discounts that you can take advantage of right now.
A face-to-face social network, HouseParty lets you connect with multiple friends in video chats while you play games and socialize. This is such an improvement on your basic skype or FaceTime because you won't be stuck in an endless conversation out of boredom.
Okay, so Marco Polo is basically if Snapchat and FaceTime had a baby. It's asynchronous video (like Snapchat), but with groups who can view and respond in their own time (so especially good for friends and family in different timezones). You can also doodle, use filters and more, plus you're not limited to short video snippets like on Snapchat.
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp
Undoubtedly you've heard Animal Crossing talk almost non-stop the last week or so, but good news, you don't have to have a Switch to enjoy this lite version of Animal Crossing. Pocket Camp is the iOS and Android app from Nintendo that allows you to build and design in a camping theme. Make your own camper, or design your campsite and connect with friends in a virtual world that doesn't involve video chat.
You've probably played the board game version of this classic word game where each team is trying to "contact" their spies/agents driven by clues given by a Spymaster. Now it's online and you can easily share your gameboard across teams. One thing, you'll want to brush up on the rules here before playing as their not included with the digital version!
Mental Health + Wellness
Talkspace provides mental health services through licensed therapists you connect with via their app. We're all dealing with a lot right now, and sometimes having a professional to help us sort through those feelings can be really helpful.
Promo: Get $100 off with code 1004U at talkspace.com
Meditation is nothing new, it has been around for thousands of years and its benefits are well known. Meditation increases our awareness, gives us time to self-reflect, and even has physical effects on our body. Now is a great time to add meditation to your routine!
Promo: Headspace is offering several free meditations in response to Covid-19. Find them here.
The Science of Well-Being
Yale's super popular course on happiness is now FREE online through Coursera. You'll learn the science of happiness and how to build habits that improve your overall well-being. Plus you'll learn about common misconceptions and blockers to happiness. No time like the present to focus on improving happiness!
Promo: None needed. Just visit Coursera to sign up!
Stay Home, Take Care from Girls Night In
Girls Night In, are undoubtedly the pros for suggesting ways to have fun and relax at home, created a campaign designed to give you a site full of activities, resources and recommendations for staying busy while stuck inside. This includes TV shows to binge, lots of cute animal photos, resources for helping, and some fun and games, too. It's all based around how you're feeling or what your current mood is!
Promo: Totally free!
It's easy to overeat while stuck inside, get sick of boardgames and FaceTime, but it goes without saying that sex or masturbation can be an ahh-mazing way to release stress and we bet you won't tire of it as quickly as some other activities. Dipsea has an app packed full of sexy short stories to read on your own or share with a *special friend*.
Promo: Free to get started. Sign up here.
There's no better time to spruce up your at-home school/workspace right now. We all know that a fresh, well-designed space is one of the keys to feeling productive, which is a priority when we're trying to make life feel a little more normal. Insert Havenly, the online interior designers. They'll collaborate with you to help you design a space you'll love.
Promo: Design services for only $50 with code HARDLYALONE