apps, tech + online

Great Design-Minded Ways To Entertain Yourself On A Sick Day

by Rebekah Carey

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Sick days typically aren’t fun for anyone, and if you have a chronic illness it can be even more unpleasant. You may be in the middle of a project that desperately needs to be worked on, or perhaps you’re in school — whatever it is, you have a life and getting sick usually doesn’t fit into that equation. While getting sick/having a relapse/flare-up/being on bedrest may feel like a setback, we’ve rounded up a list of beautifully designed apps and programs that we hope will help you to feel like you’re still accomplishing something. Whether that’s learning a new language, brushing up on dormant skills, listening to podcasts to feel like you’re still learning something (even if it is from bed, or a fetal position while you gently rock yourself back and forth…), or simply just playing a well-designed game to take your mind off of your illness, all of these are happy distractions. —Rebekah

Above image: via The New Yorker, featuring Dave Ackerman’s podcast, “Sleep With Me,” which intentionally tells long, often rambling, “boring” stories to help the listener fall asleep. If being sick causes insomnia, this may be perfect for you! (Illustration by Min Heo.)

Bonus podcasts: While they’re not design-related, they are hilarious — Two Dope Queens and Sooo Many White Guys have stand-up and interviews with cool people that may not typically be represented as frequently as they ought to be. And, as the saying goes, sometimes laughter can be the best medicine!

An App To Learn A Language While Stuck In Bed On Design*Sponge
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App: Duolingo. When you’re sick, having to focus carefully can be a challange, which might initially make you think that a language learning app would be too much. Luckily, this app is designed like a game with fresh graphics, and it awards you for how consistently you use the app. We may feel prouder than we should about the fact that we are now between two and six percent fluent in three languages according to the app… (Image via Globetrotting)

Abstract A Design Show To Watch When Home Sick On Design*Sponge
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Watch: Netflix, Abstract: The Art Of Design. With topics ranging from stage design, architecture, automotive design, or footwear design, you’re sure to find something that piques your interest. You’ll hopefully learn about an element of design you may not have known much about before. (Image via Curbed.)

After The Jump Podcast Perfect For Listening To When You're Home Sick On Design*Sponge
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Podcast: After The Jump. Obviously, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention our founder’s podcast – After The Jump! Not only do you get to learn more about Grace and Design*Sponge (like, did you know she was a “Phish-Head?”), but there are 100 episodes with fascinating topics, interviews with creatives, and the quest for that magical work/life balance.

A Game For When You're Sick In Bed On Design*Sponge
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Game: Two Dots and Dots & Co. Two Dots was the first game, then came the even more modern and cleanly designed Dots & Co. Both of the games are really fun, and while they’re challenging, they’re not stressful at all (well, some of those fireball levels are…). If you’re trying to distract yourself from pain they’re both pretty ideal because they don’t require razor-sharp focus, but are hard enough to keep you interested/distracted.

Apps That Ease A Sick Day On Design*Sponge
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App: Headspace. We all know (sick or not) that we should probably be meditating. Studies have proven time and time again how beneficial it can be to take time to check in with your body and to quiet your mind. This app is attractive, and easy to use, and the calming British accent is just a bonus.

A Podcast On How To Style Your Home In A Meaningful Way On Design*Sponge
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Podcast: Style Matters By Little Yellow Couch. Zandra and Karen’s podcast is a space where you can learn how to decorate your home in an intentional way. They interview stylists, tastemakers, designers and artisans to help you in your goals for a meaningful home. (Image via Podfanatic.)

Meditation Can Help You Feel Better When You Have Little Control Over Your Health On Design*Sponge
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App: Calm. This is another meditation app, but in addition to helping with meditation it also has breathing exercises with visuals you can see on your screen for assistance, and specific meditations for trying to sleep as well.

Young House Love Podcast For Sick Days On Design*Sponge
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Podcast: Young House Love Has A Podcast. If you’re familiar with the blog (and books) from Young House Love, you’ll be thrilled to know they also have a podcast. They discuss everything from what they’re currently into, or working on in their renovations, to interviews with other designers and creatives.

Games To Play When You're Sick On Design*Sponge
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Game: Paint Drop. With soothing music, clean graphics and color, this app can be relaxing and addictive – but doesn’t take so much brain power that you can’t do it while laid up.

Design Matters Podcast For Sick Days On Design*Sponge
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Podcast: Design Matters with Debbie Millman. When you want a thought-provoking podcast with interviews from top designers, creatives, educators, and writers, this is your go-to. (Logo created by Aaron Draplin.)

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Comments

  • Love these suggestions, thank you. But as a designer who hires illustrators for print (and then later posting to the web), I’m a bit disturbed by the use of Min Heo’s engaging illustration….illustrators are paid per use (i.e. for both print and web use), and a simple “credit line” is really not fair to the illustrator, especially when used as a lead-in to a post. I hope hope hope you got her permission to reuse the illustration, or negotiated fair compensation—I just wasn’t given that vibe from the caption. If all is kosher, disregard, I know Design*Sponge is usually very careful with copyright and hiring illustrators.

  • I don’t know that it’s super design-related, but I’d love to recommend the app Six! (link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/six/id1137673647?mt=8 ) which is available for iOS and Android. I downloaded it on a whim a couple months ago, and it’s satisfying and interesting, but not really brain intensive.

    The setup is a hexagonal object on top of a set of blocks. You tap blocks from the stack to instantly disappear them. Your goal is that the hexagonal block doesn’t fall off. So, it’s kind of Jenga-y, but the visual design of the app is quite nice. I really like it.

  • Love this! I’m especially excited for the podcast recommendations – I get migraines and there are many days when I can’t have my eyes open but still want a positive distraction. Great collection of ideas!

  • I heartily agree with the Two Dope Queens podcast suggestion. As a Brit, it has introduced me to so many great comedians and other individuals that I hadn’t encountered before. May I also recommend The Guilty Feminist podcast, which tackles a wide range of current and important topics with the perfect balance of acumen and humour, and might appeal to a number of DS* readers. :)

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