Furlough – frustration? Childcare challenges? Or just basic British boredom? Whatever your trouble during these unique times of Coronavirus lockdown, one thing for sure is you’ll have more time at home than ever before – and that doesn’t look set to change any time soon.
A recent BBC study of over 70 listed ‘keeping yourself occupied’ as one of the top ways to maintain your emotional equilibrium (otherwise known as sanity) at such times; so, with that in mind, we’ve covered a few creative ways to spend your time ‘chez toi’.
Garden – We’re having one of the warmest and most settled springs on record, and with the government’s advice to continue taking a Vitamin D supplement throughout the summer to boost immunity, what better way to soak up the vital vitamins by getting outdoors? Given, you can only do one form of exercise off-site per day, but for those who have a garden, boost those outdoor hours and make 2020 your best garden year yet!
- Plant a hanging basket or two
- Clean up from winter – clear the grass of twigs, leaves, and other debris.
- Start the weeding early – why not pamper your lawn a pamper with some ‘weed and feed’ and a regular mow?
- Scrub your outdoor furniture – then you can eat tea outdoors in the evening, al fresco!
- Grow your own – Whether you have a large garden or just a sunny windowsill, you can start your own home garden. Don’t have a green thumb? Don’t worry, just start with the easiest herbs to grow indoors, like rosemary and mint.
Baking – sales in home baking ingredients have accelerated to unparalleled heights since lockdown began, and even if you are feeling the pinch, there are many cheap and tasty things that can be concocted at home for some ‘culinary therapy’. Try https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/chefs/jack_monroe for some cheap, easy & tasty recipes that will probably help the store cupboard clear-out too! If your own cupboards are full, why not try:
- Leaving free biscuits out the front for passers-by to sample.
- Dropping off some home baking on your neighbour or granny’s doorstep
(note: these should not be done if you are isolating with any symptoms of Covid-19, and we advise you should maintain social distancing at all times)
Clean-up! – Let’s face it, there’s never been a better time for that spring clean that’s been lurking at the back of your conscience for the last 5 years – an April lockdown couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time!
- Clear out your kitchen/bathroom/bedroom cupboards and drawers – see if you can make use of that old t-shirt when gardening, or the tins of food you bought 20 of… if you can’t? Donate them to someone less fortunate than yourself.
- Go under your bed: Vacuuming and cleaning the toilets are usually on the weekly to-do list, but when was the last time you cleaned underneath your bed?
- Windows and frames – we love the sun but doesn’t it show all the fly droppings and cobwebs on the windows? Have a super window shine attack and let the sun fill every corner of your sparkling rooms again.
Exercise – It can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease and stroke by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%. It’s free, easy to take, has an immediate effect and you don’t need a GP to get some. Its name? Exercise. Research shows that this wonder cure can also boost mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Since the coronavirus lockdown, the hashtag “can’t sleep” has been trending, with tales of people struggling to get their heads down for the night, so what better way to tire yourself out than some heart-pumping exercise?
- Government guidelines state you can leave your property for one form of exercise per day, so maximize that opportunity and get a good walk, run, or cycle in.
- Online workouts – these have surged in popularity, with many free to access and easy to do in your living room – why not get each member of the family to choose their favourite, and do them together, in rotation, each evening?
- Dance! Dance is exercise, so the physical benefits of dancing are similar to that of other cardio activities. Plus, it has proven to give a boost in emotional and social well-being, some go so far as to claim moving your body to the sound of music can transform your life!
DIY – spruce up your home a bit without unnecessary trips out:
- Upcycle a chest of drawers into a planter (pic),
- Create a garden path with old flags or edge a border with old bricks
- Hang your photos. Why not use this time to audit all the photos on your phone, then print a few out and create a wall of photos? Memories are priceless, and generations to come won’t have old photobooks to trawl through.
- Get painting! Many of us have a few cans of paint tucked away in our homes, from the last time we did a project or from when we moved in. Make sure it matches your current walls and then walk through the house and touch up the high-use areas, especially door frames, baseboards, and doors. Or, paint your old wooden furniture a funky new shade to bring vibrancy into your home!
Brainteaser – Keep that grey matter sharp – it’s easy for it to vegetate with no schooling, little work, and a stay at home life! You could try:
- Board games- the oldest are the best!
- Virtual family quiz – no doubt the grandies would be overjoyed to have Skype or Zoom sessions with the kids, so why not ask them to help out by making a family ‘pub’ quiz to pass the time on a Friday night? Questions can be tailored according to age…
- Charades, a mini theatre, or puppet show with the kids – if you wanted to get really creative, unleash your flair with one of these ideas and post a few pics on social media to cheer up your friends!
We hope some of these suggestions have motivated you to try something different this week – but above all – stay happy, stay healthy, and we will emerge into a post-COVID 19 world better, together!