There are many options for free online stress relief and entertainment. Read on for some great ways to engage and occupy yourself while social distancing and being at home. As the world opens up gradually, we may not be compelled to stay indoors as much. However many of us have to, or prefer to work or study from home. Some parts of the world are yet to open.
The advantage of getting the extra hours at home can be a boon at times. You can venture into doing things that you lacked time for. If you are interested in or have hobbies like gardening, baking, photography, sketching, reading, and so on this is a perfect time to pursue it.
“In times of great stress or adversity, it's always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.” – Lee Iacocca
If the hobbies mentioned here are not your cup of tea and you prefer online entertainment, no worries! There are plenty of choices there as well. It's amazing how online entertainment can bring a whole new world into your home. Not only is it a great source of entertainment, but also a great stressbuster. If you have never explored online activities like virtual museum tours, live streaming parties, online video games, and the like that are available, you may want to try them. The best part is that they can be enjoyed from the comfort of your home and are usually free.
Tour Virtual Museums , Zoos , Theme and Natural Parks
Google Arts and culture has thousands of leading museum virtual tours and online exhibits around the world. This is a great opportunity to explore all the places you always wanted to visit sitting in the comfort of your home. To explore the most popular Guggenheim in NY, Louvre in Paris, The British Museum in London, the Vatican in Rome, Smithsonian in Washington and many more places for free should undoubtedly be a great experience. You can walk up the hallways virtually and see up close all your favorite exhibits. It is a great way to expand and improve your general knowledge in history, science, or art. Do check out the virtual museum tours if they interest you. They can be a great source of free online stress relief.
If you love animals and like to explore zoos yourself or with kids, there are many online exploration options. The popular Sandiego Zoo, Smithsonian Zoo, Houston Zoo, Bronx Zoo, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and many more have live webcams and pre-recorded sessions to watch and enjoy. It is definitely time well spent with family and friends.
Virtual Theme Park visits can be a wonderful online entertainment too, you can search up for many of them online. Whether you want to enjoy the classic Jurassic World ride at Universal Studios Hollywood or Disneyland fireworks, it’s all there!
Some of the best nation’s national parks can also be toured from the comfort of your home. There are many to choose from Big Bend National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and Yellowstone Natural Park. National park virtual tours are a great source of entertainment.
Visiting these places virtually gives you a sense of being connected to the external world even though you are indoors.
Online Video games
One of the popular forms of entertainment online and the best way to reduce stress is playing video games. This is definitely a great free online stress relief source. Video games can help to unwind, focus the mind and cope with stress. They help you get fully engrossed and engaged in one activity which is said to bring in a "flow state". This makes your mind one-pointed. When your mind is so focused on the activity that you are performing it stops generating other thoughts. This is quite similar to a state reached in meditation. We all know how meditation helps with stress relief. Video games also help with instant gratification. It releases dopamine that makes you feel good with all the small achievable goals at every step. But it can be addictive so proper judgment should be used while indulging in it.
There are many online video game sites available. You can easily play them from your PC or laptop these days. A games console is not necessary. I personally like simple, straightforward, non-complicated games without too many instructions. Plays.org is a fabulous site that offers plenty of great collections of games that one will really enjoy playing. They can be really addictive at times, but a great break from work for a couple of minutes to recharge you.
The best part about this site it has no advertisements and does not need any login access. You can just jump on and start playing. One of them that I tried and loved is the Open Restaurant simulation game. It is a simulation of what happens at a restaurant, makes you think and take actions accordingly. This game involves seating customers at the hotel, taking orders, serving, and collecting cash.
You basically tap on the menu to find how many guests are at a party and then tap on a table to seat them. When a food image appears, tap to take the order. When the bell rings, get the food from the kitchen to the table of the diner. When money appears above the table, tap once to receive the payment and tap again to clear the table. The restaurant has a daily earnings goal you must meet to advance to the next day. When you initially begin the game, you think you are in control and can handle it. But as soon as the number of customers starts increasing, it gets all crazy and you have to multitask (think and take action) and have quick thinking skills. I really enjoyed playing this game.
Flight Simulation is another interesting game on the same site. It involves trying to land multiple flights safely. I also enjoyed Racecar drifting game where racing cars go forward and right without crashing into a wall. Do check out their site for many more interesting games.
Virtual Socializing, Entertainment and Social Media
For folks who miss get-togethers and in-person time with friends and family due to social distancing, there are apps like Zoom and Houseparty that have helped connect people so they don't miss out on special moments and occasions. For more virtual socialization Netflix has options to watch shows and movies with friends at the same time. You get synched video play and group chat as well. You can also listen to lots of your favorite music online that are free for entertainment. Social Media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and many other channels are great sources of entertainment.
Staying indoors has brought out the best chef in us. For foodies, food lovers, and food blog owners this has been a great time to experiment with new dishes. Cooking and especially baking can be a great source of stress relief as well as entertainment. There are many great recipes out there to try out. I found some really interesting ones from the 50 most popular recipes of all times from the NY Times. Another interesting one the most popular lockdown recipes. They are worth checking out!
Health and Fitness Online Resources
The internet is the best resource for keeping you fit and a source of free online stress relief. Whether it is Workout, Meditation, Yoga, or any other form of exercise there are so many choices. There are so many resources, videos for a workout that you can follow to keep you active and be stress-free.
Hope you enjoyed reading this post. If you have any other options to add that I missed, would love to hear them in the comments below. Stay safe and take care.