Ideal for those who find themselves with some free time on their hands.

If you’re at home currently with a little more time on your hands than usual, then you’re probably wondering how best to keep yourself entertained without going outside. What initially seems like a treat – to have the excuse to lounge around at home, not doing very much – can quickly turn into cabin fever unless you keep busy. Sure, we’ve all got a Netflix account to grip us with the paradox of choice, and admittedly, scrolling through Twitter can bring pain and pleasure in equal measure, but there must be more to solitary confinement than that. There is, and it’s these; our 5 ways to keep entertained online from home for free.

FREE GUIDED MEDITATIONS

The constant, rolling news of disaster and dismay is enough to cause distress in even the calmest soul. If you find yourself at home with the days stretching ahead, make sure you don’t neglect your mental health. Though it might be the last thing on the priority list during a tough time, introspection and self-care is vital for a balanced, nuanced understanding of fast moving world events.

Use the downtime to good effect, and make the most of it by ‘taking a moment’. Indeed, just ten minutes a day can do wonders in realigning your perspective. If you’re new to the wonderful world of meditation, there are plenty of apps offering guided meditations and mindfulness exercises which have free versions. What’s more, London based company Beejameditation is now offering a daily (at noon) guided meditation for free via webcam. Now, are you sitting comfortably, with a straight back and hands folded in your lap?

FREE ONLINE COURSES

Speaking of making the most of your downtime, if you have some free hours ahead of you, why not use them for something productive and fulfilling? There are loads of free online courses out there, primed and ready to get you educated on a new subject or adept at a new skill. 

The Open University are offering thousands of free courses and interactive videos in everything from Sports Psychology to Politics, from Law to Languages and more. If that wasn’t enough to satisfy your insatiable appetite for academia, Harvard University also have a catalogue of great, coin-free courses on offer, too. Some of them are properly, thrillingly esoteric; three week immersive course on Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring: Modernism, Ballet, and Riots, anyone?

ONLINE GAMING

Who can blame you for wanting to kick back with your feet up and enjoy some recreation while at home? Fortunately, there are loads of online games available for free. 

Prefer to unleash the King’s Gambit or lean more heavily on the Sicilian Defence Dragon’s Variation? If you’re flummoxed by this obscure terminology, it might be time to sharpen up those chess skills. Seeing as you’re confined to your four walls for the day, your board will be online, and your opponents strangers from across the globe (or friends if you can persuade them to sign up to the same app and dedicate a large portion of their day to a game). We’ve found our preferred app in a pretty crowded field is Chess With Friends, as the chat feature offers easy interaction with your competitor, if that’s your thing.

While we’re talking about interactive games, there are many more out there. Should fantasy be more your thing, we’ve heard Fortnite’s pretty big right now, and Fortnite: Battle Royale is free to download and play. If you fancy ramping up that escapism, online casino games have no-financial-commitment features allowing you to play with imaginary money; sure to distract you from the apocalyptic conditions outside. Check out Televega review for a reputable free spin service. 

LIVE STREAMING OF AQUARIUMS & ZOOS

Though they may have been locked down, and advised to remain at least two metres from human contact, the animals and sea life of zoos and aquariums nationwide are still very much there, prancing about, feeding and being their always entertaining selves. Though you can’t currently visit their gaffs and interact first hand, many of the country’s zoos and aquariums have live streams, 24/7. On their website, Edinburgh Zoo, for instance, has a hugely uplifting, hidden camera in their penguin enclosure. Go on, click it. We know you want to. Just don’t forget about us, we still need to explain about free digital concerts! 

FREE DIGITAL CONCERTS

Phew, we’ve still your attention. Well, you’ll be richly rewarded for bidding those penguins adieu and returning to us. Because since the closing of Berlin Philharmonie, you can now watch concerts free of charge in their ‘Digital Concert Hall’. Following suit, New York’s Metropolitan Opera will broadcast free shows every day at 19:30 EST. Not to be outdone, popular singers like Chris Martin and John Legend have also put on free shows over Instagram in recent days. Every cloud and all that.