10 Things You Can Do While the Power is Out


ABC News

Power outages change our lifestyle no matter how short or how long they last! (Photo from ABC News)

Ainsley Smith, Staff Writer

There’s an old saying that April showers bring May flowers, but it seems like lately, April showers bring May showers that last until April swings around again. And a rainy day’s best friend is the well known power outage. We all know that feeling when all of a sudden the lights go out and your favorite episode of The Office flickers off of the TV. While we’re sometimes lucky enough to get the power back in just a few seconds, other times we’re left stuck in our houses (nothing new here) while also having no light, no power for our devices, and no Netflix! When you’re forced to leave your room and TV behind to find some candles to light, here are 10 other things to do while the power is out. 

1. Read a book

Go grab a candle, a soft blanket and a good book. Some books that I’ve enjoyed recently are Fitness Junkie, 9 Perfect Strangers, and Little Fires Everywhere. I also recommend getting a Kindle since they don’t give off blue light like normal devices, but you can read them in any lighting (the only catch is that you have to keep it charged). 

2. Write letters/do something artsy

As long as you find a place with good lighting, you can start writing letters. Letter writing is super easy and relaxing. All you need is paper, envelopes, and stamps. If you’re not that into letter writing, you can draw, paint, color etc. I don’t know much about art, but you don’t need power to be creative and do what you like to do.

3. Do an indoor workout

If you’re like me, you find a lot of your workouts online (YouTube) which poses a problem since you can’t charge your phone when the power’s out. Luckily, you can find a list on your phone of different exercises and screenshot it or write it down. This only uses a small portion of your battery. If for some reason you do need to charge your phone though, some cars will charge your phone while they are off and most cars charge it when you turn them on. Getting in a good workout will burn off some energy and help kill time.

4. Listen to music

While this typically requires your phone, there are ways to use minimal battery. Though streaming music will drain your phone’s battery quickly, if you have a premade playlist of songs downloaded to your phone, listening to music should only use 1-2% of your battery. I love listening to music when I’m bored since it puts me in a better mood and makes the house less quiet. I use amazon music and find that if I have songs downloaded, it works really well with saving my battery.

5. Pick up an instrument 

During quarantine so many people started playing an instrument like guitar or ukulele. If you’ve recently started learning an instrument, the perfect time to practice is when the power is out since you have no distractions. If you haven’t learned how to play an instrument and you have one lying around, pick it up and start figuring out how to play it. You could also see if someone in your family could teach you.

6. Play a board game

If you have someone stuck at home with you, pull out a board game. If anything can make time go by, Monopoly is the way to go. Board games are easy to set up, and fun to play whether there is power or not.

7. Journal

I recently got inspired to start bullet journaling, and it is so worthwhile. I find that time slips through my fingers when I make a new page in my bullet journal or just start journaling about my life in general. Plus it’s super simple to start: all you need is paper/a journal and a pen. If you’re like me and you love adding color, I recommend using Flair pens.

8. Clean/Redecorate

OK, I know no one enjoys cleaning (unless you’re Monica from Friends), but if we’re honest, the best time to clean your room is when you don’t have much else to do. Plus it’ll make your mom happy ;). If you really want to push off cleaning for another day though, you can play with your HGTV skills and start rearranging the furniture in your room. It’s fun to switch things up and will take longer than you anticipate. This only works during the day when you still have some natural light (or a lot of flashlights and candles).

9. Sleep

One activity that never fails is, of course, sleeping. You don’t need lights, and if you’re in high school, chances are you were already tired before the power went out. Just don’t forget that when you wake up, the clock will be wrong ;).

10. DON’T take a bath

I know that I wrote this list to show things you CAN do, but there are a few activities you should steer clear from to stay safe. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention advises staying off corded phones (if you have a corded phone, I think that’s super cool), using electronic equipment (such as computers), and staying away from bathing (even though bubble baths are really relaxing, thunderstorms are not the time). They also recommend staying away from windows and doors. This is why having candles is so useful. My favorite candles are from White Candle Company since they smell so good and aren’t very expensive. Instead of doing these activities, you can still spend some time relaxing by putting on face masks or painting your nails.

While the most optimal solution is for the power to stay on while we’re in quarantine, I hope that when the power does go out, you now have a few good ideas to keep yourself occupied. 

For more information on thunderstorm safety, check out the CDC’s recommendations!