What a week, huh?
Last week I emphasized the importance of not letting fear into our lives as this crazy coronavirus continues to spread. I truly believe God is bigger than any virus, and because he is in control, we don’t need to fear!
But after several days of quarantining, I know a lot of us are bored. My extroverted friends are especially going stir-crazy, and everyone’s looking for fun things to do that won’t break the bank.
Personally, there are few things I love more than being stuck at home (haha), and I see this as something of a forced Sabbath – which I am not always great about practicing, so what better time to change that? I think it’s a perfect time for all of us to get quiet with God, say the prayers we never get around to the rest of the time, and simply, truly REST. None of us are stellar at resting in this society, but it’s something we need – God designed us this way! – and right now we finally have the opportunity. Don’t miss it!
The thing I’m trying not to do right now is overspend on things I don’t really need just because I’m bored. While I do want to support the economy (and that’s important right now!), when I can’t go anywhere, it’s tempting to buy more than I usually would by shopping all the online sales, signing up for streaming services I’ll never get my money’s worth on, and taking advantage of Target’s free two-day shipping over and over (and over and over).
But I have good news for us all: we don’t need to do any of those things, because there are plenty of free resources available that will more than tide us over until this whole coronavirus thing has passed! Better yet, these are all things I’m actually really excited about; they’re not amazing just because they’re free.
Here are some great freebies I’ve come across this week (including a few that are available anytime):
- Free 30-day trial of REFIT® On Demand. REFIT® is a fun, family-friendly dance fitness experience that’s typically available both online and in face-to-face classes across the nation. Since large group classes aren’t exactly an option right now, REFIT® On Demand is the next-best (or equally best) thing! I’ve been following them on YouTube for years and I’ve been an instructor for a few of those years. It’s my favorite way to get a workout in without feeling like it’s work! Use the code MONTH4FREE to activate your free trial.
- Free e-book and four-week study from Kris Vallotton. Until April 30th, the book Spirit Wars is free on Amazon, Google, Apple, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. This is a book on spiritual warfare I already own and have personally read, and I highly recommend it! You can sign up for the accompanying free devotional series here, which begins March 31st.
Free book series by Amy Matayo on Amazon. This isn’t just one free book; it’s the entire series – books one, two, and three! That basically never happens, so this is a literal steal. You just need to download the free Kindle app if you don’t already have it, and you can read it from any device, including any smartphone. I’ve read one book of Matayo’s before and I’m excited to dive into this series. *UPDATE: This deal has ended and the books are now $3.99 apiece. However, there are still lots of other free Kindle books out there, so browse through them and see what you can find!
- Free 30-day trial of Netflix for new subscribers. Are you one of those disciplined unicorns who’s never used up your free Netflix trial? Now is the time! You’ll never run out of things to do once you go down this rabbit hole.
- Free trial of Disney+ for new subscribers. This one’s only seven days, but that’s still seven whole days of the greatest streaming platform to ever exist (in my humble opinion). If you’re a Disney+ member already, you and your family will be happy to know that Frozen 2 was released early on this platform only as a result of coronavirus, so you can keep your kids occupied with a new movie they probably haven’t already seen 27 times! Onward is also coming to Disney+ on April 3rd (It’s already available for purchase on several other platforms).
- Free 30-day trial of Kindle Unlimited or Prime Video. If you haven’t already taken advantage of one or both, this is a great time to do so. (You don’t have to use both free trials at once; you can stagger them.)
- Extended free trial of Bethel TV for new subscribers. I really love Bethel’s content, and while their free trial typically only lasts a week, right now it’s extended until Easter if you’re a new sign-up! That’s extra-generous and gives you extra time to watch some great messages and conferences (The School of the Prophets is amazing). You can also get 20% off anything in their online store right now with the code PEACE20.
- Free e-books from Christian Book Distributors. This is my go-to book supplier, because their prices are usually even better than Amazon’s! Better yet, they regularly offer free e-books. (Most of them are novellas, but hey, you’ll get closer to meeting your yearly Goodreads goal, and a few of them are full-length reads!)
- Heads Up! This app has replaced Apples to Apples as my favorite game, and it’s always a crowd-pleaser at family events and social gatherings. You only need two people to play, so it’s perfect for social distancing. Okay, you do have to pay 99 cents for the app itself (It is literally the only app I’ve ever purchased), and there are several decks available for purchase within the app, but there are quite a few free decks within the app. There are also free decks throughout the year.
- Free movies on YouTube. Did you know you can watch select full-length movies on YouTube with ads? They’re completely legal, good-quality, and uploaded in entirety (no part one, part two, or deleted videos to worry about here!).
- Sermons on YouTube. Church closed down? You won’t hurt for spiritual content on YouTube! I just started Michael Todd’s Relationship Goals series (I know, I’m late to the game) and it’s so good! VOUS Church also has several relevant messages I’ve enjoyed.
- RightNow Media. Check to see if your church is a subscriber! This is like the Netflix for churches, and although you can’t get an individual account, many churches are a part of this streaming platform. There are tons of Bible studies and videos for adults and kids alike, and you don’t have to worry about any of the content being unwholesome.
Basically, guys, now’s the time to take advantage of all
those free trials you’ve been saving up…I’m sure there’s at least one of them
you have yet to use!
What else did I miss on this list? I’m sure there are many more activities and freebies I have yet to come across. Share your ideas with the rest of us, and may your social distancing days be happy and productive! I see this as a gift, not a life sentence. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll just be hibernating with all of these free resources until 2030. 😉
*Note: None of these things are sponsored; they are FREE and I’m genuinely excited about them for that reason!