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5 Things You Can Do at Home Besides Just Watching TV

We’re living in an era where staying at home has suddenly become crucial. So, if you’ve spent the last few days in a health crisis-induced state of isolation, plugged into Netflix like it’s the Matrix, and you’re starting to feel a little, well, out of touch with the real world, here are some other things you can do instead.

Learn a New Skill

keyboard piano learning laptop
Patrick Tomasso

Learn to Play an Instrument

Research shows there are many benefits to learning an instrument: stress reaction, improved coordination, and enhanced mental agility. In fact, there is no other activity that activates more areas of the brain at once than playing an instrument.

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Learning to play the piano is the easiest and most practical place to start when learning an instrument. A piano is laid out in a way that helps you better understand music theory and it’s easier on your hands than learning to play guitar, for example. Find a cheap, used keyboard in your area, then browse around YouTube for the channel that best suits your learning style and needs. Decide if you want to play classical music or pop, then find that channel. There are many that offer free lessons. Here’s one for those interested in basic lessons and music theory. Music theory can be daunting, so learn to play and have fun before you jump into mastering the circle of fifths. 

Learn a Language

Learning a new language is great for your brain, too! Not only that, but it can also increase your job skill set dramatically. Rosetta Stone is an excellent software that teaches language in the same way native speakers learn, visually and fully immersed. Its only drawback is price. Fortunately, Duolingo is there if your budget is more like, “free.” Here are more of our favorite language-learning apps.

Learn to Draw

If you’re a college student or have a city library card, chances are you have free access to Kanopy. Kanopy is a streaming service like Netflix, but has more of a PBS vibe with Criterion films, documentaries, and educational programs featured. There’s a drawing course we like that’s taught by a professor at the University of Washington that offers 18 hours of instruction. If you think you have zero talent as an artist (raises hand), you’ll be amazed at how much you can improve with a little technique and practice. Create your Kanopy account and search for the video collection “How to Draw.”

Learn a New Job Skill

If you’ve always wanted to beef up your job skill set, now’s your chance. Check out LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda) or Udemy. Some of these online classes start at just $9.99 and can sharpen your writing, marketing, project management, and software skills.

Connect with Others

video chat online connect others
Anchiy/Getty Images

Start an Online Book Club

This is really fun! Invite friends from all around the world, pick an e-book, read a chapter, then meet via Zoom or Skype to discuss it. Choose a book that’s light and fun, and have a glass of wine or beer on hand to toast one another. Reading has been proven to increase our empathy, and sharing a drink with friends both near and far is possibly one of the greatest things the internet has given us.

Create Your Own Cookbook and Share It

If cooking is your thing, now’s the time to perfect your recipes and collect them into a shareable PDF. Send it to your friends and family, since most of us are cooking at home right now. Come up with a fun title, then fill it with digital pics of your tasty dishes and you’ll be in full chef mode. Dedicate each recipe to someone special or write its origin story. Sharing recipes in a heartfelt way is a tradition that we need now more than ever. You can also sharpen those cooking skills by taking free online cooking classes with Gucci Osteria’s Massimo Bottura.

Home Organization

man cleaning window
Gravity Images/Getty Images

There has never been a better time than now to clean out your closet, garage, drawers, desk, cupboards, etc. Move the couch and vacuum behind it. Wash those dusty curtains. If you have a yard or garden, clean it up with the tools you already have on hand. Cleaning is a great way to be physically active, release stress, and have everything looking and feeling orderly. It’s an actionable way to create order amongst chaos.

Yoga and Meditation

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Hatha Yoga is a great choice right now because it’s gentle and relaxing. Yoga also improves muscle tone, even though you don’t feel like you’re doing much work. Best of all, you get that post-yoga feeling of tranquility and well-being.

Or, try practicing meditation, especially if you’re having a hard time quieting your worried brain in this stressful time. There are many approaches to meditation, so I recommend trying a few different techniques to see which one works best for you. Even just sitting quietly and focusing on your breathing for 15 minutes can be beneficial.

Pursue the Arts

guggenheim museum virtual tour
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation

Many arts organizations are currently putting content online for the public, allowing you to become a virtual visitor to museums and live performances.

Put on your best suit, sip a glass of wine or sherry, and watch an opera at The Metropolitan Opera. Paris Musées, a collection of 14 museums in Paris, has uploaded 100,000 high-res images of their artwork online. Better yet, you can do an online tour of the Louvre or the Guggenheim. Again, enjoy some wine while you’re at it! Or beer. Or whiskey. Or absinthe.

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F1 Saudi Arabian GP live stream: Watch Formula 1 for free
Formula 1 driver exiting turn.

The F1 Championship continues with the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix commencing soon. It's going to be an exciting race with Max Verstappen sure to want to build on his victory in Bahrain earlier this month. If you're keen to see the latest F1 Saudi Arabian live stream, there's a particularly great way to do so and even better -- it won't cost you a cent. Intrigued to know more? Here's all you need to know about how to watch the thrilling race.
Watch the free Saudi Arabian GP live stream
The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix is being aired for free in Austria and Luxembourg. This is great news for those in the countries, but devastating for residents traveling abroad who want to watch the action unfold live in their local language -- especially when it's free-to-watch at home. It's only fitting that an Austrian currently in the United States would want to watch the race in Austrian and not English, right? This is completely safe and legal to do with a VPN like NordVPN. Just install it, choose to the location you wish to connect to, then fire up broadcast. The free streams are ORF in Austria or RTL Zwee in Luxembourg.

Unfortunately, there isn't a free Saudi Arabian GP live stream for residents of other countries. Elsewhere, folks will need to tune in through a local broadcast partner. The race is available on ESPN in the United States, and the best way to tune in is through fuboTV, which offers a one-week free trial to new customers In the United Kingdom, it's available on Sky Sports F1, and over in Canada it's being broadcast in English through TNS and in French through RDS. There are some other options available as well -- below we'll talk you through the different ways you can tune in locally in the United States in more detail.

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Calvin and Hobbes mastermind Bill Watterson is back – but no tigers this time around
Calvin and Hobbes comic Bill Watterson is back with a project nothing like his famed comic strip
man reading

Get ready, comic and graphic novel fans. Calvin and Hobbes comic strips provided daily humor to newspaper readers for more than a decade. Now, its creator, Bill Watterson, is returning with a grown-up tale that’s nothing like his famous comic strip featuring a cute six-year-old boy and his even more adorable stuffed tiger.

The Mysteries, authored by Bill Watterson and illustrated by John Kascht, will of course be picture-perfect. However, the tale will be a dark one. Its description on Amazon calls it a “fable for grown-ups.” Readers will head back in time to a long-ago kingdom experiencing unexplainable challenges during The Mysteries. A king wants to end the madness and sends his knights to figure out why these calamities continue to inflict on the kingdom.

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Side by side: See how a pitcher changed his windup because of new MLB rules
The MLB rule changes are altering the game. Perhaps most noticeably, the new rule book is changing the ways pitchers pitch.
baseball on pitchers mound

If you didn't think the new rules changed the way big leaguers play the game, think again. The newest rule book additions, covering everything from enlarged, pizza box-sized bases to how infielders can line up before a pitch, are being felt by players and viewers alike. For some players, it's out with the old and in with the new, as the old ways are no longer legal.

Perhaps the most obvious comparative look comes from this Reddit thread, which highlighted a post from @pitchingninja. It shows Luis Garcia, pro Venezuelan baller and Houston Astros pitcher, throwing as he might have last season versus this season, when the new rules took effect. It's a dramatic before and after that shows just how significant some of these MLB rule changes may prove to be.

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