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Tina Bridenstine: An introvert's advice for keeping busy

Tina Bridenstine
Peak into a virtual visit of the Paris Catacombs at http://catacombes.paris.fr/en/virtual-visit

With social distancing and so many trying to do their part to slow down the spread of the coronavirus, I’ve noticed a serious upswing in the activity on social media.

It doesn’t take long for people to get bored. There’s a lot more out there to do, though, than just posting memes and binging “Tiger King” on Netflix, so your friendly neighborhood introvert is here with some ideas for things to keep you busy.

• Take a walk

Social distancing doesn’t mean you have to stay cooped up in your house for all hours of the day. Take advantage of the spring weather and go for a walk. Get some sunshine and check out the flowers in bloom all over.

• Do some spring cleaning

It isn’t fun, but what better time to work on some deep cleaning? Even if you’re low on cleaning supplies and don’t want to brave the stores for more, you can always use the time to de-clutter and get to those closets and storage areas you tell yourself you’ll clean out some other time.

• Dabble in the arts

There are so many creative things you can do — painting, sketching, writing, photography and sewing, just to name a few.

If you’re a beginner, you might find tutorials online, or maybe even live stream events where you can engage with others in the comments while you participate.

The Art Sherpa on Facebook, for example, sometimes does live streams of paintings, and then leaves them up for those who can’t tune in until later.

National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo.org) isn’t until November, but April is Camp NaNoWriMo, when participants can set their own goals. If you’ve ever told yourself that one day you’ll write a novel, maybe now is the time to start planning. And leading up to April, the NaNoWriMo website has started Stay Home WriMo, where daily writing prompts and self-care tips are offered.

Or look online and you might find any number of creative challenges — thirty days of photography or poetry or sketching — to inspire you.

• Learn a new skill or practice an old one

Maybe its time to dust off an old instrument you haven’t played in a while or even your vocal cords. You can even find free tutorials online with tips from professionals.

Or perhaps there’s a language you’ve always wanted to learn? There are resources for that as well. Just one example is Duolingo, a free language learning app you can get on your phone or your computer (feel free to connect with me on there as Tina Bridenstine or Alicorne137, and then you can make me feel bad about how much I’ve been slacking off).

• Take a staycation

There are actually a lot of things being offered right now because of the ongoing situation — free concerts being streamed, artists and writers posting videos or free content.

Several area museums and attractions have offered online videos and streaming, including the Mabee-Gerrer here in Shawnee, the Oklahoma City Zoo, and the Cowboy Hall of Fame.

The same is true of locations all over the world, though. The Van Gogh Museum, the Winchester House, and the Catacombs in Paris have all offered some form of a glimpse into their attractions. Do a little searching, and you might be surprised what you find that’s available.