Stay-At-Home Orders: Passing The Time

On March 20th, Governor Pritzker joined other states in issuing a Stay At Home Order, calling on people to stay home as much as possible. Of course, not everyone can stay home, as doctors, nurses, first responders, and many others are essential. Still, those who are able to work from home are doing so. There are also those who are out of work and at home. For those folks, it may become increasingly more difficult to stay home. However, for the safety of all of us, we all need to keep our distance from each other and stay at home if possible. So in order to pass the time we thought we would share some ways to occupy yourselves as we wait. 

What Is A Stay-At-Home Order?

First and foremost, what is a stay-at-home order and what does it entail? For starters, the order lasts until April 7th and makes it effectively closes all restaurants, bars, gyms, and other public gathering areas. Along with public gatherings, the governor askes that all non-essential workplaces shut down and people work from home. Illinois state government released a notice about who and what workplaces are essential.  

Business deemed essential

  • Hospitals, grocery stores, police and fire stations, insurance agencies and companies, pharmacies, gas stations, and public transportation and public works. 

In short, any occupations that involve food, medicine, or public services must remain open during this time. Obviously not everyone works an “essential job,” so many people find themselves at home either working or looking for ways to occupy their time. Unlike a vacation or paid time off, you can not go out and do many of the things you would normally be able to do while under a stay-at-home order. So what’s there to do at home?


For those who like to keep themselves in shape through exercising at a gym, times may be tough, but there are solutions. Simple household items can often be used as makeshift gym equipment. For those who have some basic equipment such as dumbells, barbells, or other pieces could try these programs. At this time, keeping up with our physical health is, for a lack of better words, essential. While our physical health is very important, keeping our minds healthy and stimulated during this time is as well.

Mental Health

Under the stay-at-home order, many people are beginning to run out of ways to pass the time. Outside of going to get groceries, going into work, or getting gas, there really seems to be a few options for people. So what can people do at home? 

For children, defeating boredom often comes in the form of visual entertainment. TV shows and movies offer a great distraction where people can escape their current circumstances. Video games also offer a great distraction, but where we only watch movies, games offer an interactive experience. Again, in a time where people feel they have lost some control or freedom over what they can do, games and movies come in handy. 

The great thing about games and movies is that they can be enjoyed by all age groups and some offer a way to stay connected. For example, Netflix Party allows multiple viewers from separate locations to sync up and watch the same movie/TV show together. Many online video games offer the same kind of experience where players from around the country can connect. 

Lastly, another great way to occupy time for all age groups is puzzles and books. Similar to movies and video games, books and puzzles offer an escape. Puzzles allow a person, or a group, to solve a problem over time. The satisfaction of completing a puzzle could give someone even a small bit of relief. Books can be read aloud to children, or by yourself, but in either case, a good story occupies time.