If you’re required to stay at home for a long time, whether it’s due to the COVID-19 virus, an injury, or recent surgery, you may experience loneliness, depressed feelings, and extreme boredom.

One of the most important things you can do for your emotional well-being during this time may be to change your perspective. While it’s easy to feel as if you are in solitary confinement, instead try to consider this time an opportunity to do the things you’ve wanted to do over the years but never found the time for.

Learn Something New

Interested in art but never seemed to have the time to pursue it? Well, now’s the time. A Google search on “Drawing Tips,” “How to Paint Portraits,” or something similar should find enough YouTube tutorials to keep you entertained—and educated—for months. In fact, you can learn almost anything on YouTube: auto repair, DIY home renovation, gardening—you name it. If you don’t know how to cook, why not learn some recipes now? I checked out 5 Easy Mediterranean Recipes and Making Falafel, but you can learn to prepare your favorite foods or discover something new from almost any country.

Catch Up on Your Reading

What about those times you wanted to read a great book but didn’t have the time? You may be able to check out digital books on almost any subject for free online from your local library.

Although you might not find them at your library, here are a few amputation-related books that may interest you:

A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II

(Yes, she was an amputee.)                      

Shattered Dreams, Broken Pieces

Rewired: An Unlikely Doctor, a Brave Amputee, and the Medical Miracle That Made History 

Amplitude’s Guide to Living With Limb Loss

You can find many more titles by typing “amputee” at www.amazon.com.

Issuu is a great website that offers free magazines and books on a wide variety of topics. Books such as the nearly 500-page Directory of Illustration #36, which showcases the work of many of the top illustrators in the nation, and Howard Zinn’s nearly 450-page A People’s History of the United States are available in full on the site.

For those who’d rather listen than read, there’s also great news. For a while, Audible will allow anyone to listen to hundreds of its books for free.

And if you want something for the kids, many illustrated children’s books are also free to read online. I especially like the International Children’s Digital Library. Some of my favorites are It Takes a Village, The Boy Without a Name, and The Amazing Adventures of Equiano. Also note that more than a hundred museums have turned their collections into free downloadable coloring pages. Check out the variety of collections at https://library.nyam.org/colorourcollections.

Be Entertained

Of course, during this time, you may also be able to play video games or watch lots of movies without feeling as guilty as you normally might. Games and movies galore are available through services such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon. Make up a batch of popcorn and enjoy—unless you feel too guilty, that is. Your call.

If you’re looking for video information about amputation-related topics, check out some of the YouTube channels Amplitude has posted about in our Best YouTube Channels by Amputees Series:

My Single-Handed Pursuit 

Footless Jo



Stump Kitchen

Take Care of Your Health

While at home, you’ll also need to exercise. If you don’t already have an at-home fitness regime and you’re cleared to exercise by your doctor, now might be a great time to develop one. If you’re at home long enough, you might even develop a longtime habit. Ottobock is offering at-home adaptive workouts on its Facebook page (bit.ly/2xvVFPz) as well as its free Fitness for Amputees app at bit.ly/2JsXnUF and apple.co/2yiG0n3. Additionally, the National Institute on Aging offers information on exercises at https://go4life.nia.nih.gov/exercises. Note that you may have to adapt some of these exercises to your type of limb loss.

Go Places

Of course, some people will still want to travel and see the world. And you can—well, sort of. Several museums around the world, for example, offer online tours (https://yhoo.it/2wYJbjj). As an art lover, I especially enjoyed touring the online Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam where I discovered many artworks I’d never seen before. If there are any museums that interest you, feel free to visit as many as you’d like—no accessibility issues to deal with and no human contact required.

Whatever it takes, try to stay engaged with life and keep your spirits up.

– WORDS Rick Bowers