How to Pass the Time at Home during the Coronavirus

New social recommendations and restrictions put in place to minimize the impact of coronavirus and “flatten the curve” of the disease have changed life as we know it – both inside the walls of Hampton Plaza and all over the world. We’re all taking life one day at a time right now – and we’re all in this together. 

Social distancing is strange but it’s also an opportunity to explore new interests and hobbies. Whether you’re a parent with an apartment full of young, active children, a retiree living on your own, or anyone in between, there are plenty of ways to keep yourself occupied during this time. In addition to the usual suspects – watching movies, reading books, cleaning out your pantry, trying to teach your child 4th grade math – we’ve compiled some fun ways to pass the time while you are home:

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Get Fit

It’s important to keep moving! Fortunately, there are tons of options to help you get motivated. You might even find a new workout routine you love during this time of social distancing. Baltimore magazine has rounded up links to many local trainers and exercise studios that are offering classes online. Read them all here: Fitness
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Other local fitness professionals sharing classes include Timonium-based barre studio Barrevolution, which is offering short free classes on its Facebook page, and Baltimore yoga teacher Abir Alzenate, who is sharing free classes on her website.

You don’t need a computer to work out, of course! Even starting each day with a simple stretch – arms up, then fold forward, then back up – will help you wake up and add some pep to your step.

Please note that in accordance with state guidelines, Hampton Plaza’s fitness center is temporarily closed. 

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Explore Museums

We might not be able to venture out to museums right now, but that doesn’t mean we can’t explore them. Google Arts & Culture has teamed up with a whopping 2,500 museums around the world to create virtual tours of their collections. This includes some of the world’s most spectacular spots in the world, from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris (home of some of the most famous works of Impressionism) to London’s National Gallery, to Baltimore’s own prizes, The Walters Art Museum and The Baltimore Museum of Art.

The list expands beyond art museums, too: you can also learn about history, science and many other subjects via the virtual tours.

Walk Down Memory Lane

Now is a great time to dig out old photo albums and boxes of saved memorabilia to organize them – and remember. Write names and dates on photos and capture stories and memories on paper, and have fun remembering the good times and sharing them with others.

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Get Musical

Musicians from U2’s Bono to Chris Martin of Coldplay to John Legend have taken to Facebook, Instagram and their own websites to perform concerts for the quarantined masses. NPR is keeping a running list of links to concerts that have been played and are coming up.
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If you’re interested in Baltimore musicians, keep an eye on the Gordon Center for Performing Arts’ Facebook page. The Owings Mills venue is working with local musicians to put together live streams.
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“Go” to the Zoo – or the Aquarium

Get your animal fix via live cam from the San Diego Zoo, which puts a spotlight on a bunch of different animals, from penguins to pandas to polar bears.
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Right here in Baltimore, our own National Aquarium has cameras focused on its Blacktip Reef, Jellies Invasion and Pacific Coral Reef Exhibits.
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Get Cooking

Food is on everyone’s mind these days – and if you have the resources in your apartment, it’s a great time to experiment in the kitchen. For inspiration, check out Epicurious, the app and website run by the team behind cooking magazines like Bon Appetit. Both the app and website are easily searchable and offer tons of ideas and useful tips and instruction for what to cook right now and always.
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Embrace Meditation

This is a stressful time – but meditation can help calm anxiety and the busy thoughts inside our heads. Healthline gathered a list of the best meditation apps available at the end of last year; they include some free options and many that will help guide newcomers to meditation through the process. Even without an app, doing simple breathing exercises – breath in for a count of four, hold for a count of four, then breathe out for a count of four – will help keep you in the moment and quiet your mind for a minute.
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Host a Happy Hour

We might all be sequestered but that doesn’t mean we have to be completely alone. Apps like Zoom and Google Meet provide ways to virtually get together with groups of friends and family all at once. Schedule a time to gather together online, so you can see each others’ smiling faces and chat.

Learn Something New

The website Free Code Camp has links to free classes offered by Ivy League universities, covering a wide variety of topics, from the humanities to art to business to engineering.
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The website and app Duolingo offer a free way to learn new languages.
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And for a local spin, Baltimore’s FOX 45 news team is hosting a daily “weather school” session every day via Facebook.

Keep a Journal

There’s no question that we’re living through unprecedented times and one day, we’ll look back on these days and want to remember what we did and how we felt. Keeping a daily journal of activities, thoughts and feelings is a great way to record history as it happens. 

Journaling can be a great activity for people of every age – the youngest journalers might not do much more than scribble, while older writers can draw on past experiences to compare what’s happening now and how they feel to other times in their lives.

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Keep Us Posted

During this time, the Hampton Plaza desk is staffed; if you have questions or need assistance, call us at 410-296-6600.

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