How do you unwind? Summer is here and you may have free time to spare! Take some well-deserved me time and indulge in relaxing pastimes. As social distancing restrictions vary by province, we’ve put together a list of hobbies you can partake while social distancing or with family members.
A little friendly competition never hurt! Pick a day of the week and bring your family together over a game of Scrabble, Monopoly, Chutes and Ladders, Sorry!, Clue, or your favourite game of choice. Not only will it offer a few hours for everyone to unplug, some kids board games provide an opportunity for cognitive learning in children, and studies show that keeping the brain active could protect thinking skills at later stages in life.
If your family is socially distanced at the moment, you can also play board games online. While you’ll still be plugged into technology, this offers an interactive aspect to connect with family during your time online.
Another terrific activity to do with family (or alone to clear a cluttered mind), jig-saw puzzles allow you to focus on the task at hand, and for some people can even block out unwanted worries and stress. Fitting together pieces until a full picture is formed in front of your eyes is one of life’s simple joys. A puzzle could take up to an hour or more—making it a continuous activity to return to over the course of a day or week. Discover some mind-bending visual puzzles here.
Do you have a creative side you’ve been wanting to explore or a project you’ve wanted to do, but have just never gotten around to? Now’s the time! Whether that’s painting, scrapbooking, or knitting, get your artistic wheels spinning by working on a tangible project, where the only goal is to have fun. Making art offers a relief from daily stress, and could even lower the stress hormone, cortisol.
Not sure where to start? Try an online art workshop to get your creative wheels spinning.
There are plenty of best sellers to sink your teeth into this summer. The following books will bring you elsewhere to navigate new environments with their thought-provoking stories.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This award-winning novel follows the lives of high school classmates, Ifemelu and Obinze, who are young and in love in military-ruled Nigeria. When Ifemelu immigrates to America to study at university, she must grapple with life in a new country. An exploration of race, migration and love—this is a deeply powerful and passionate story.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
This novel follows the life of a girl named Kya from 1952-1969, North Carolina. Growing up by herself in the marsh, she’s dubbed the “Marsh Girl” by locals in her small town. As she grows older and learns about the environment around her, she is swept up in a life of competing desires, romance and survival.
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Just Mercy is a non-fiction recollection of the author’s coming of age as a lawyer and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative. Stevenson describes one of his first cases defending, Walter McMillian, a man who was wrongfully convicted of murder. This eye-opening memoir is both moving and educational. A film by the same name was released earlier this year.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
In this NYT bestselling novel, a quiet suburb in Cleveland gets turned upside down when a single mother and her daughter move to town. A riveting story that explores the effect of keeping secrets, readers will be engrossed in the community dynamics and intertwining storylines. Once you read the book, check out the Hulu series of the same name.