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Whether you’re self-quarantined or under restrictions to stay home, spending extended periods of time indoors may be starting to take its toll. At best, you may be painfully bored; at worst, you may be suffering from anxiety over the world-wide crisis at hand. That’s why it’s critical to find ways to build some fun into each day spent at home.

The following ideas are designed to do two things: take your mind off the serious issues of the day and trigger a few – or hopefully, a lot of – laughs. Laughter is essential now more than ever as it decreases the body’s stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies. So turn off the news and try one of these fun-filled activities:

Dance like nobody’s watching (because nobody is!). Turn up your favorite genre of music – ‘70s disco, heavy metal, punk rock – move the furniture, and dance the stress away. In the privacy of your own home, you can really let loose, so use this as an opportunity to bust out some new moves.

Break out the Twister mat. If you’ve got Twister gathering dust in the back of the closet (if not, now may be the time to order it), break it out for some sure-fire fun with your partner or the whole family. This is one activity where it’s nearly impossible not to laugh!

Family portraits. No artistic talent required here – in fact, the less you have, the more fun this will be! Just grab some paper and your favorite medium – pencils, crayons, paint – and choose a subject. Then create your own interpretive portrait of your favorite family member or pet. The key to having fun here is letting all inhibitions go and being ok with poking fun at yourself!

Have a water-gun fight. If you’ve got a nice mild, sunny day on your hands, indulge in a little silliness – and get some exercise and vitamin D – by having a water-gun fight in the backyard. Depending on the number of inhabitants in your home, you can either break into teams or have a one-on-one battle. Just make sure it remains friendly!

Have a bake-off. Cooking and baking can be therapeutic…not to mention delicious! Challenge your family members to a bake-off to see who can come up with the most delectable sweet-treat. Model your contest after some of the most popular cooking shows by giving your bake-off a theme or requiring the use of certain ingredients, such as chocolate or cinnamon.

Whatever fun activity you choose, make sure it remains a stress-free zone. No news updates or worrisome thoughts allowed!

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