10 Things To Do At Home During Lockdown
It’s been well over a month since Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the country is officially in lockdown. People have been told to only leave the house when it’s absolutely essential, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For most of us this has been the trigger for a new way of living, with the rise of working from home, social distancing, and increased home deliveries. Not to mention the lack of human interaction!
So how do we keep ourselves occupied, healthy and engaged during these times of self-isolation? It is vital for our well-being to sustain a routine and structure to our days.
So as some of us suddenly find ourselves with a lot of free time on our hands we have compiled a list of things that can help alleviate some of the boredom. They may even help you adopt some healthy new practices and pastimes that you can take well into the future!
1. Take a virtual tour
Being stuck at home doesn’t mean you can’t discover some of the world’s most stunning art galleries and museums, and visit some of the most iconic locations around the globe. With many world heritage sites providing HD virtual tours of the area it’s easy to find a truly immersive experience.
Google arts and culture partnership provides a comprehensive list of museums and art galleries from around the world and for theme parks and aquariums check out the Good Housekeeping list of best virtual tours.
2. Learn some new Recipes.
It’s been around 4 weeks since our favourite restaurants shut and the pasta shelves in the stores are still looking bare. Our fast-food cravings are at a peak and people have been getting very inventive with their food creations and sharing them online for everyone to try.
One of the most gladly received is from Dan Fell (@TheKidLewis) the British man who claims that during lockdown he has perfected the recipe that recreates KFC chicken. Also, with being on lockdown it does mean that most people are on a strict budget and Jack Monroe provides great healthy recipes on budgets that are usually less than 50p per meal!
3. Start a Fitness Programme
With most of us stuck inside it’s easy to become sedentary, and for those of you used to going to the gym or for regular runs and walks outside, remaining active poses somewhat of a challenge.
Regular exercise helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure and promotes the release of endorphins that make us feel good and contribute to a healthy mental well being. This is vital when faced with the psychological effects of being forced into isolation and ‘locked down’. Cardiovascular exercise also contributes to maintaining a healthy immune system. Increasing the circulation of white blood cells around the body and raising the body temperature helps fight infections in the body, and by getting out of breath we help flush out bacteria from the lungs and airways.
So even though we’re stuck at home, there is no reason you cannot continue your workout routine or even create a new one; Here are some routines that require minimal equipment and that you can easily do from home.
4. Solve a mystery
Problem-solving is a trait that’s valued greatly within any workforce. Regularly completing puzzles exercises our brain which subsequently improves our mental speed and thought processes. However, for some people crosswords and jigsaw puzzles are simply not engaging enough so why not immerse yourself in an unsolved mystery whilst in lockdown.
There is a multitude of online communities dedicated to trying to solve cold cases and mysteries. Notably Reddit’s Unresolved Mysteries channel where members try to solve cold case files by sharing information and theories. What’s the weirdest unsolved mystery is a great Reddit feed that is an open discussion on many different unsolved cold cases and mysteries.
So if you feel like embracing the detective in you or becoming an online sleuth and finding out where Carol Baskins husband is, why not try solving a mystery?
5. Upskill yourself with a free online course.
Are you running out of things to do in quarantine? Have you exhausted the options on Netflix? Are you tired of the news and social media? Now is the time to learn a new skill, subject or language. Whether it’s First Aid or playing an instrument, there are plenty of resources online that can help you advance yourself in any area.
A great source of over 400 free and paid courses that are designed with Universities globally is Future Learn. Many of the courses are short and course material is fed to students week on week. They also regularly update their course offerings to include current and relevant topics such as ‘Collaborative Working in a Remote Team’. But with around 15 different categories to choose from you’re sure to find something that inspires you to learn more.
6. Grow your own herbs, salad and veg.
Spring is here, the weather is beautiful (mostly) and yet we are being forced to stay at home. It’s a great time to start cultivating your garden. Spending time outside and with nature is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety which is hugely beneficial for our mental health. Check out this list of hardy perennials and evergreens that are suitable for planting outside in May.
But what if you don’t have a garden. Microgreens such as broccoli, amaranth and wheatgrass will happily grow on a wet kitchen roll lining a shallow tray. Also, another great option is to thickly spread pea shoots or dried marrowfat peas over potting compost and cover with another light layer of compost. Check out this definitive list of 9 vegetables that you can grow indoors.
7. Understand nutrition.
The underlying threat of an invisible enemy that can make us ill is a scary thought. It’s essential to maintain a strong and healthy immune system during the lockdown. With the UK government under pressure to deliver a healthy eating campaign, it’s vital that we educate ourselves about how food can help boost our immune system and make sure our cupboards are stocked with the right foods.
Whilst Coronavirus has shut down much of the UK changing many of our lives, across the UK volunteers are helping the elderly and those more at risk. This is an important measure to help reduce social isolation and is a great way for people to stay connected whilst in lockdown. Here is some great advice on how to stay safe whilst volunteering to help people who are unable to get out to shop for essential supplies.
For those unable to volunteer in the traditional sense there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer in other ways. Maybe you’d like to help astronomers locate supermassive black holes and star forming galaxies. Alternatively, you can help researchers track a multitude of animals from different locations in conservation efforts or help scientists fight the resistance bugs have to antibiotics.
9. Guided Meditation
Guided meditation is a type of mediation that is led by a teacher, in person or via audio or video. The approach to guided meditation sees the narrator explain how your mind is likely to behave during the session. You can then expect an overview of how to practice meditation and it usually concludes with an explanation of how to apply the techniques into everyday life.
For many of us, everyday life has changed dramatically and for some, this is a stressful time. When we are stressed our bodies release increased levels of the hormone cortisol, the hormone responsible for the many of the harmful effects that stress can cause. Studies have shown that meditation is a great way to reduce stress and consequently improve the symptoms of stress-related conditions.
So find yourself a quiet comfortable space and enjoy this list of 10 awesome guided meditations.
10. Update your CV and professional accounts
This is probably something that’s normally not very high up on our list of priorities. But why not take this opportunity to give your professional documents and profiles a complete revamp?
In the words of civil rights leader Howard Thurman. “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
Give yourself time to reflect on what it is you actually love. What inspires and engages you and fuels your passion to make your mark on the world? Now is a great time to improve your career prospects for when the lockdown is lifted.