Unless you’ve been in the desert with Jared Leto and you also didn’t have any idea about Coronavirus/Covid-19 sweeping it’s way across the globe.
People all around the world are being told to engage in social distancing not only for their own health and wellbeing but also to help stop the spread of this deadly virus reaching those with underlying health conditions, those with weakened immunity, the young and the elderly.
Beforehand, social distancing sounds like a term that Gwyneth Paltrow would use to excuse herself from an event she just didn’t fancy going to.
Social distancing is supposed to work by helping to stop the spread of this virus is by keeping more people out of social environments, public areas and anywhere that isn’t essential really, thus decreasing the amount of people that could potentially come into contact with someone who’s already got covid-19 and stop it spreading further. Oh and it’ll also help lessen the strain on the health services. Win win really!
As an introvert, you didn’t need to ask me twice to stay away from busy areas, stay indoors and read as many books as I possibly could. It hasn’t quite sunk in for me how long social distancing may continue and what I’ll do once I’ve reached peak levels of cabin fever and how I’ll cope being mentally and emotionally. But I do feel quite lucky that I live in a little village, I have a garden so I could go and exercise or get some fresh air on my own.
For those of you out there that are struggling with knowing what you can to do with your time I’ve compiled a list of things you could consider to do with all your extra free time.
Now is the perfect time to finally start making a way through your ever growing To Be Read pile that is sitting pretty on your bookshelf. Download audiobooks, E-books and start ticking off some of those classics you’ve always wanted to read but never got round to, or read some non fiction greats and educate yourselves on a brand new topic.
Hive is a brilliant place to look for new reads as they support family, community and independent book sellers.
Similarly, most libraries have either an online service or an App you can borrow an e-book from.
If I hear one more time that William Shakespeare wrote King Lear whilst he was in quarantine from the plague I swear I’ll be splitting my possessions between the loved ones that profess the most amount of love to me and running onto the moors screaming and wailing like a banshee.
There’s a weird, little undercurrent of pressure now you’ve got all this spare time to be doing something useful and productive with your time rather than just eating malteasers and watching telly. If you’re a creative and have always dreamed of following this path then why not sit down and spend a couple hours jotting down any ideas you’ve got and seeing where you could take them.
I swear you can’t be a struggling artist/writer without a struggle and tbh I think being quarantined in your own home not really sure what’s going to happen next or whether you’re going to have to eat toilet roll sandwiches for tea is a pretty solid one.
(On a real side note though…What are all these people doing with all their panic bought loo rolls?)
Take up a hobby.
I for one have always wanted to be better at making my own things. I’d love to be able to knit or cross stitch, because, not only will I be able to make my own cosy knitwear (hypothetically speaking of course…as of right now I can barely even thread a needle) but also it looks so therapeutic. I’d love to be able to gift my wares to friends and family and they can wear my crafted, scraggly scarves with joy knowing I made it just for them.
Depending where you live and what the rules are at the moment, I know that a lot of places say that you should only leave the house for work, to buy food, go to the pharmacy or an emergency. But if you have access to charity shops, they sell so much wool, knitting needles and patterns. Not only that but a lot of charity shops could do with more support than ever right now even better if you can access them online.
Similarly, I’ve always wanted to be able to properly play a musical instrument or learn to cook and bake better. Now with all this extra time on my hands I’d love to be able to browse the interweb for recipe ideas that might take a bit longer than normal and spend a little extra time and effort curating a lovely evening meal for my whole family to enjoy (hopefully).
Use sites like Pinterest to get ideas or Etsy to buy arts and crafts from independent sellers.
There’s so many fun games you can whittle away the hours with. Whether it’s online games like The Sims (they are currently heavily discounted on Origin if you wanna be tempted even further to buy a game when it’s cheap) Xbox, Playstation or even board games are a great way from switching off from the ‘real world’ and immersing yourself in another for a couple hours.
Whether you want to stick to the classics like Monopoly, Cluedo or a humble pack of cards or trying something a little different and fun I’d definitely recommend having a look online or through Big Potato Games. I know I’ve mentioned them a few times but I love the creativity and imagination they’ve put into all of their games. You’d never be bored if you’re in isolation with your family or roommates with one of their products to hand!
Jigsaw puzzles are a great way to relax and switch off too.
Do you remember when Kylie Jenner said that 2016 was the year of learning stuff? WELL turns out she had no blimmin’ clue what was coming up in 2020 did she? How is it that these past three months have felt longer and more problematic than so many previous years combined! We’ve had the threat of war between the US and Iran, the Australian wildfires were still burning and now a deadly pandemic. At this rate, would anyone be shocked if there was an alien invasion in April??
All jokes aside, if you are currently self isolating/social distancing/ in lockdown/ bored and don’t really know what to do with yourself than this might be of interest to you. The internet is a fountain of knowledge when you know where to find it all and my lovely friend Tanya, author of Glam Glitz Gloss and The Live Review, has shared this brilliant idea with us all. The Centre of Excellence (an online learning centre) are currently offering courses for as little as £15. So if you’ve got the spare time on your hands and have always fancied learning something new or polishing up on some skills you’ve already got, this would be a fantastic way to go about it!
Money saving sites like Groupon, Wowcher and Livingsocial are also great places to look out for some good deals and they quite often also do heavily discounted online courses as well.
Use Youtube to your advantage and spend the time watching some TED Talks videos, or learn how to do some banging makeup looks from the plethora of beauty gurus on there.
Do you know how many different types of subscription boxes there are out there?? This is a rhetorical I have no idea and I can’t imagine anyone will know the exact figure either but there must be THOUSANDS. The possibilities are actually endless. Whether you’re simply obsessed with skincare, after the hottest makeup and beauty trends, obsessed with pale ales and craft beers, perhaps you’re a fan of Japanese candy and Japanese candy only or you want to do some art with the children there will be a cool subscription parcel making its way in the post to you.
I’ve worked with UOpen in the past (I shared my thoughts on the pub supper box)and was so impressed with the wide range of different boxes they offer to suit practically everyone.
Things to do
As much as I feel like I’ve seen so many examples of the worst displays of humanity lately, from people fist fighting over the last packet of toilet roll, a group of stupid teens spitting and coughing at an elderly couple or that people have been setting fire to or slashing the tyres of ambulances. I cannot simply comprehend as to why someone would do these things??? Especially at a time like this where simple decency and kindness goes such a long way.
To counteract all of this I’ve seen so many nice, random acts of kindness. I’ve witnessed so many genuinely good people wanting to help others and to all get through this and come out on the other side together. From local butchers and bakers offering home delivery services to their local customers, teachers running online classes for those missing out on learning, museums and art galleries are running online virtual tours. If you want to use this rare, once in a lifetime moment and take some good from it why not see if there’s anything available for you to do in your local community. See if there are any voluntary roles available, check in with your neighbours especially vulnerable people or the elderly. If there’s not anything in place why don’t you offer to do a paper round, pick up essential groceries or walk dogs for those who can’t get out. Lots of supermarkets are crying out for help at the moment so if you’re really feeling the pressure of a lockdown and want to do something productive with your time why don’t you sling your CV that way and you’ll come out on the other side of this with a purse full of dolla.
Obvs it goes without saying I don’t want you to put yourselves at any extra unnecessary risk but it’s definitely something worth considering.
I am always the person in my friendship group that is behind the times. I haven’t seen a good majority of the cult classic tv series that is often met with gasps when I tell my friends I’ve never seen Lord of The Rings/Game of Thrones/Peaky Blinders/Breaking Bad/Orange is The New Black/Eastenders (Delete where necessary). Take advantage of that streaming service you fork out for every month and watch some of those shows or films you always want to but haven’t got round to yet. Disney+ has just landed in the UK sooooo I don’t want to tell you what to do with your free time but The Emperor’s New Groove is one of the greatest films of all time and if you want to solely watch that on repeat for the foreseeable future I totes wouldn’t judge you.
Try to make the best of it
I know it’s easy for me to say as I write this from the comfort of my own bed and as someone who still lives at home and gets along well with my family. But if we are all, globally, facing a health crisis where the government and hospital workers are urging us to stay indoors unless for work, to buy food or an emergency. Staying indoors and feeling a bit bored will be the least of your concern compared to the potential grisly alternative. If you’re blessed with good health and feel like this virus isn’t something that’ll necessarily affect you then I urge you to please share a thought for those that this will affect and have consequences for. Spare a thought for your elderly relatives, your friends relatives, your friends, your colleagues, your neighbours, people on low income, homeless people, I could go on but I hope you get the gist. At times like this, kindness and compassion is key; after all we are going to go through this together.
If you’re still feeling a bit uninspired feel free to browse this incredibly silly list beneath of alternative options; but please don’t hold me accountable if you dye your hair yellow.
- Watch a film or tv show and ring a friend at the same time and it’ll be like you’re watching it together. ❤ Like the cliche moments in all the chick flicks I watched as a youth. Paul Rudd not included sorry.
- Declutter your wardrobe
- Do the cooking one evening
- Take it in turns for your household to cook…Like come dine with me but if you rate your mam a 2 you’ll have to put up with the consequences a lot longer aaaaaaaand I don’t think you’ll get a cash prize.
- Learn a language.
- Give up learning a language cos it’s actually very hard
- Watch Eastenders/Coronation Street/Emmerdale/Any other soap opera from the very beginning and try to catch up to present day
- Give yourself a makeover
- Get someone else to give you a makeover
- Cry when you’ve given yourself a terrible makeover
- Cry harder when someone else has given you an even worse makeover
- Give yourself a fringe (DON’T! SERIOUSLY! Honestly unless you have Rihanna’s bone structure pls don’t come for me when this all goes wrong)
- Watch every Youtube video in existence
- Facetime friends
- Ring your nan
- Send a letter
- Find a pen pal
- Learn a dance
- Post the dance on IG/TikTok
- Realise no one actually cares for your dance
- Ponder existence
- Read all the books you’ve been hoarding
- Eat lots of chocolate biscuits
- See how many biscuits you’ll have to eat before you get asked to become the official face of McVities
- Check in with your friends
- Get the drinks in and facetime your friends and it’ll be like your having a right royal knees up
- Learn all the words to any good song so when lockdown is over and we’re allowed to go out to play again you’ll kill it at Karaoke night
- Wonder why you ever got rid of your PS2 cos The Simpsons Hit n Run was the best game ever to play.
- Do a puzzle
- CHECK IN WITH ALL YOUR LOVED ONES
- Have a pamper night
- Try to disengage with the news if you’re finding yourself getting anxious and stressed more often
- Make a playlist of happy songs
- Start a podcast
- Make stopmotion videos
- Get some outside time if you can
- Do a buzzfeed quiz
- Take up yoga
- Appreciate how quiet the world is without all the traffic and noise
- Go for a walk early in the morning and see what the world looks like at 5am
- Listen to the birds
- Do something for charity
- Start a lockdown diary
- Check in with people
- Write positive reviews for all your fav pubs,bars and restaurants so when they reopen they’ll see all the nice things people have said about them.
On a real note though. I hope everyone is okay and is staying safe and well. I’m sending you all so much love and light at these difficult times and hoping we can all get through this together. I hope that if we can take anything from these darker times of life is that we cannot take anything or anyone for granted.
Until next time x