Can you even begin to imagine combining boredom with stress? If you have ever been in that situation, you will know what it is like to be antsy, grouchy, depressed, and useless all at the same time. Who has not been there and done that?
As simple as it sounds, as part of your preparedness planning I would like to suggest you put together a list of things to do when you are required to hunker down in place to wait out a storm, wait for the power to come back on, or otherwise wait until it is safe to leave your home.
Let me start things out with some suggestions. Note that some of these suggestions involve the use of power so they may not be applicable to all situations. Still, they are good to keep in mind for those times you are sick or when you feel like you need a break from life.
How to Occupy Your Time When You Hunker Down At Home
1. Read a physical book
When is the last time you picked up a physical book and read it? There is something satisfying about reading a book that is not in the digital format. For maximum relaxation, read something you can classify as a guilty pleasure, such as a thriller, western, or romance novel. This is not the time for serious reading!
2. Play a board game (or a card game)
My favorite games are Ticket to Ride, Scrabble, Canasta, and Rummikube. The later two are ancient; they are housed in scrappy boxes that have been moved around from house to house over the course of the last 40 years.
I also like Mexican Train which is played with dominoes. For fun, I even have a little toy train that blows its whistle. Stupid, maybe, but fun. You can find directions online here or search Google for lots of variation.
3. Put together a jigsaw puzzle
Talk about mindless distraction. Caution: be careful when picking these up used at thrift stores or garage sales. You don’t want missing pieces.
4. Have a family sing along
I happen to be married to a songbird who sings all of the time whether I like it or not. That said, sing-alongs can be a hoot, especially if there are a lot of people. Couple that with the next item and you will have a hunker-down blast.
So what if you don’t have power? Do the hokey-pokey or something else that you can sing. We do Hava Negila but for us, it is a cultural thing. If you do have power (or a small generator), you can play dance music on your phone or laptop. Try line dances even the goofy ones you dance at weddings such as YMCA or the Macarena. Or, if you are so inclined, do some ballroom dancing.
6. Roast marshmallows or make smores
This is a lot easier to do if you have a wood-burning fireplace. On the other hand, if it is safe to go outdoors, use your rocket stove or fire pit. Keep in mind that portable propane stoves should not be used indoors.
7. Bake “no-bake” cookies
These will usually require a source of heat for melting the butter and or chocolate but beyond that, no-bake cookies are easy-peasy of often used pantry stable items.
I grew up on these chow-mein noodle cookies although mine did not have nuts in them.
8. Adult coloring
Drag out the coloring books or pre-printed coloring book pages and start coloring. Most of you know that this is my personal, number one, stress reliever. I am addicted and have gone way overboard on supplies: pencils, gel pens, coloring books, printable coloring pages, sharpeners, the works.
Note: Virtually all eBook versions of coloring books include a link where you can download the pages and print them out yourself. Not only that, they are frequently offered for free on Amazon.
Additional reading: Nine Reasons Why Adult Coloring is Important to Preppers
9. Catch up on sleep
If you are sleep-deprived, take this opportunity to sleep in. Go to bed early with a good book and sleep in late. Think you don’t need much sleep? Think again after reading Get Some Sleep! 7 Reasons the Well-Rested Prepper Will Prevail.
10. Listen to an audiobook
This, too, will require some power or, at the very least, some charged up batteries or a battery pack. The advantage of an audiobook over a physical book or digital book is that your entire family can enjoy the book together.
Hint: Listen to an audiobook while coloring give you two boredom and stress-relieving tactics for the price of one.
11. Binge watch a TV series
The last item on my list is binge watching an old TV series (try Hulu for the best shows) or Amazon streaming (free with Amazon Prime). If you do not have Amazon Prime, consider a 30-Day Free Trial.
The Final Word
Speaking from experience, the one thing you are not going to want to do while temporarily hunkering down is make To-Do lists. Worrying about everything you have yet to do will set you on a downward spiral of stress and will make matters worse.
Instead, kick back, go with the flow, and embrace the time off from chores. Have some fun secure in the knowledge that when things get back to normal, you can once again tend to chores, work, and the never-ending list of things to do!
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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Bargain Bin: Below you will find links to the items related to today’s article.
EasyAcc Monster 20000mAh Power Bank: This is a robust power bank that can be charged from your laptop, a wall charger, or a solar charger. This one is beefy, with 4 USB ports that can be used at once. It also appears to hold its charge for a long time. I charged mine up then set it aside for a couple of months, When I pulled it out of its box, it was still fully charged. A nice unit if you are interested in this sort of thing.
Ticket to Ride: When it comes to board games, this is my favorite. (It helps that I usually win.) This is fun for the entire family. Warning, you and your gift recipient will become addicted and will often ask the question: Want to play train aka “ticket to ride”?\
Bicycle Canasta Games Playing Cards: This timeless classic will keep the entire family occupied when the power it out. Playing cards or board games should be in everyone’s preparedness kit.
Mexican Train Game: This is a fun game that uses dominoes. It can be quite social (as well as cut throat!) and is a lot of fun for friends to pay while drinking coffee or sipping wine.
Color Me Calm: 100 Coloring Templates for Meditation and Relaxation: Those of you that follow Backdoor Survival on Facebook know that I have become a coloring maniac. This book is my latest splurge and what a fantastic adult coloring book it is! This is another one of my favorites: Balance (Angie’s Extreme Stress Menders Volume 1) Yes, I am totally addicted.
Prismacolor Pencils: I have two sets and paid close to $70 for each. In the past month, I have seen the price come down to under $50. Perhaps demand has caused a drop in price? If so, I say Bravo because usually the opposite happens. I love these pencils because you can do so much with them shading and blending wise.
LolliZ Gel Pens 48 Gel Pen Tray Set: I have branched out to coloring using gel pens which are great for use on Mandalas or for highlights. The glitter pens are awesome. Bargain priced at less than $10 and so far, they are lasting quite a long time and there is no bleed through.
Roasting Sticks: These are great. I am not such a purist than I don’t enjoy an occasional roasted marshmallow or hot dog.
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