The Grapeshot team reveals the blissful ways they quell boredom in self-isolation.
Netflix Party Extension
For all the movie and TV fans out there who miss going to the cinema or buddy watching things with your friends, Netflix Party is the solution for you. Downloading this free chrome extension allows you to chat with all your friends in a side-bar while watching the show. Since it is free, it can be quite glitchy so it could take a few tries before you’re able to start the watch session, but it’s well worth the wait. Alternatively, starting a zoom call and using the share screen feature lets you watch movies or tv on non-Netflix platforms. While it can be a little laggy, this way you can also see your friends and chat normally on the side. So microwave some popcorn and get those virtual movie nights started!
Gartic.io/Skribbl (Online Pictionary)
Sick of playing online Cards Against Humanity and want another more wholesome suggestion? Try Skribbl/Gartic.io, free online Pictionary games you can play with friends. Just like in Pictionary, one friend must digitally draw a suggested word, while the other players have to guess. With Skribbl, you also have the option of including your own word pack meaning there are virtually unlimited possibilities. In Gartic.io you can choose a theme to draw to: Marvel/DC, Pokemon, Food. Draw responsibly folks :)
Club Penguin is back and better than ever. Because guess what, we’re all members now! Despite being hosted on a slightly shifty looking website, the new club penguin brings back all the features you know and love along with the added bonus of plenty of nostalgia. Bonus tip: if you use server ‘Walrus’ your penguin is allowed to swear. But be prepared to watch a whole lot of fights break out. Trust me, it can get intense in there…
Animal Crossing and Intermittent Gardening
If you don’t have Animal Crossing: New Horizons and have been wondering whether the painful cost of $79 for the game is worth it, I’m here to tell you it is. The joys of customizing your own island and growing digital trees cannot be understated. This is a therapeutic way to waste hundreds of hours. While I was marvelling at the sapling that had grown into a shrub in just one day on my Switch, my mum was marvelling over the fact that her real-life plant had sprouted from its seed. Rather than gardening through a simulation, try actual gardening, even if you’re under sixty you still might enjoy it.
One walk a day keeps cabin fever at bay.
Zoom Study Sessions
You never thought this day would come, you miss the Macquarie Uni Library in all its silent and stressful glory. My friends and I have come up with an odd alternative. Using my zoom account (which is a MQU staff account therefore has unlimited meeting time duration), we turn on zoom and study ALL DAY. Coming and going in and out of the call as we need to, for lunch breaks, for breakdowns etc. My study buddies: Avni, Eric, Shruti, and Pegah, have each developed their own quirks in isolation. Avni is perpetually frustrated with Eric who uses screenshots of her exasperated face as his background, Shruti is always shrouded in darkness in a dimly lit room, and Pegah exists in pink robes and leopard print ‘oodies’ – oversized blanket hoodies. It’s a weird way of staying connected but oddly, it works. Apparently my quirk is mentioning Animal Crossing: New Horizons every five minutes.
House Party App
This app is a really cool way to stay connected with your friends and family! With hundreds of games to choose from, you’ll be having your own little isolation party in no time. My particular favourites are Quick Draw! And Heads Up; attempting to guess or explain hilarious drawings always makes me laugh.
Exercising With A Friend Or Family Member Over Facetime
When you have siblings that don’t live with you anymore, it can be a little tricky to spend quality time together, especially during a pandemic. Enter: Facetime and exercising. What better way to get your daily workout in than to workout online! I tried this out last week with my twin and older sister and it was so much fun. Now we all have an excuse to get fit and do awkward pilates moves together! Bonus tip – keep your laptop out of reach from your furry friends. My cat decided to lay across my keyboard, making everything freeze! It made for really cute photos though.
Face Masks/Dyeing Hair Sessions
Facemasks have always been a great way to relax, feel all slippery and a chance for you to become the cloth monster you’ve always wanted to be – or is that just me? Now face masks can be even more entertaining if you do it online with your friends – especially if you pick the masks that burn your face when the packaging clearly says tingle.
Now that we’re all in isolation, I’ve also seen a lot of videos and memes circulating about one thing in particular: changing your hair. I think now is a great time to experiment with your hair as no one but you is going to see it anyway (you can always hide it under a hat during Zoom meetings). So Facetime a friend and grab some dye – we’re going to get funky #isohair.
Make a music playlist from your childhood
After playing ‘Super Bass’ on repeat for an hour, I decided to make a playlist of my favourite childhood songs. Now I actually want to stay at home so I can listen to my 27 hour playlist. I recommend digging deep into those forgotten hard drives and USB sticks, and copying over those music files you illegally downloaded before Spotify and Apple Music existed.
Watch Broadway shows from your bedroom
Pro-shots of musical theatre shows have been released by Andrew Lloyd Webber on a YouTube channel named The Shows Must Go On! If you’ve ever wanted to watch The Phantom of the Opera or marvel at the absurdity of Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat, now is the time.
Yes, knitting is hard.
Yes, knitting will make you look like an old woman.
Yes, knitting needles can be used as a weapon to hurt your annoying housemates.
I’ve always enjoyed baking. The feeling you get when someone tries your baked goods and they tell you how much they like it cannot be put into words. But my quarantine baking obsession has been so over the top, that I have made my housemate gain 5 kilos in a week. To counteract the weight gain, substitute an electric mixer with a hand whisk and there’s your bicep workout. You’re welcome.