Many of us are suddenly finding ourselves with more time on our hands, as schools and businesses close in preventative measures against COVID-19. With less opportunity to visit our favourite places and see friends face-to-face, we’ve come up with some great ways to keep busy during this period of downtime.
Whether you’re planning to stay indoors or want to make the most of the spring sunshine, take a look at the following activities – there’s enough here to keep you busy for weeks!
It’s traditionally prime time for spring cleaning and now that we’re cooped up indefinitely, being busy is no longer a viable excuse to put off those home organisation tasks that have been stacking up over winter.
There’s no better time to make changes to your home; here are some suggestions to get you started:
- Deep clean the house – Protect your home and family from germs at a crucial time and make your home environment more comfortable – after all, you’ll probably be spending a lot more time here from now on.
- Clear out your wardrobe – A change in season is the perfect time to reassess your wardrobe and set aside unwanted items of clothing for charity shops or clothes recycling banks.
- Clear out your loft, garage, spare room or shed – Clear out clutter and free up useable space – spending more time at home with the family could mean you’re grateful for the extra space!
- Tidy up your kitchen cupboards – Get rid of out-of-date items and make a list of what you need to replace.
- Hang pictures – Photos and pictures add a homely touch and call to mind special memories – we could all certainly benefit from good vibes at the moment.
- Move furniture around – Shifting the furniture can give a room a whole new feel, so consider reconfiguring the layout from time to time to keep things fresh.
It’s not the most exciting of prospects but admin is one of those things that tend to get brushed aside until ‘the right time’. Well, there’s no doubting that the time has finally arrived to get on top of the paperwork – of both the physical and the virtual kind.
- Unsubscribe from unwanted emails – We all hate spam, so spend some time unsubscribing from senders who clog up your Inbox.
- Set up a filing system – Get on top of your post and separate important mail from junk, designating a file for each person or subject, such as utilities, banking and health.
- Clean up your computer files – Computer running slowly? Too many icons on your desktop? Have a virtual clearout to speed up processes and find what you need more easily.
- Scan old photos – Memories are important to many of us, so spend time scanning old photos to create virtual albums you can keep for posterity, or send to friends and family.
Things you’ve always wanted to do but never had time
Now that you’re a lady (or gentleman of leisure) it’s time to start ticking a few things off your bucket list. You might not be able to get out skydiving or climb a mountain, but there are things you can do from home, including the following.
- Trace your family tree – Discovering your roots can be really interesting, perhaps you’ll discover some exciting events in your family’s history or unearth some surprising connections.
- Learn a language – Parli Italiano? Sprechen sie Deutsch? Enhance your skillset and pick up a new language – it might come in handy when you’re able to book your next holiday!
- Learn sign language – A fantastic life skill that’ll help you communicate with more people, and if you head over to British-Sign.co.uk it’s currently free for under 18s.
Health and wellbeing
Never has the health of the nation been such a serious matter. Staying at home means protecting yourself against COVID-19 but it’s also a great opportunity to focus on other areas of your health and wellbeing.
- Meditate – Relax mind and body with some meditation exercises, it’s one way of helping keep calm and just breathe in worrying times.
- Join an online fitness group – There’s no need to forgo keeping fit socially, join an online fitness group or sign up for virtual sessions with your personal trainer.
- Exercise – Whether indoors with a couple of tins of beans for weights or outside with a skipping rope, there are loads of ways to exercise at home.
- Pamper day – We all need a little TLC from time to time so slap on a face mask, chop some cucumber and paint your nails for a little all-important indulgence.
Spring has definitely sprung and the great outdoors is the perfect place to enjoy a bit of quiet time to yourself with some of the following activities:
- Gardening – Now that’s winter’s over it’s time to get the lawnmower going, tidy the borders or start making plans for your patio.
- Walk – Gentle walking or brisk hiking are both fantastic ways to connect with nature and get those happy hormones pumping.
- Jog – If you crave something a bit more energetic, liven up the pace to a jog to help keep on top of your fitness.
We’re all likely to be spending more time indoors over the coming weeks but there are plenty of ways to keep boredom at bay.
- Bake bread – Fancy yourself the next Paul Hollywood? Flour up those surfaces, knead some dough and ‘prove’ it.
- Read – Books, magazines, poetry, newspapers; whether you like to escape into fiction or boost your general knowledge, now is a great time to read.
- Do a Jigsaw – The bigger the better if you want to fill days rather than hours.
- Knit – Take up your knitting needles and find satisfaction in your cosy creations.
- Draw or paint – Dig out the art and craft supplies and have a go at drawing or painting to create something positive you can be proud of during these tough times.
To help you keep boredom at bay in isolation, we’ve come up with a whole host activities to keep the whole family busy – even pets!
- Make your own pizza – Make your own dough or buy some readymade bases and get the kids interested in cooking by choosing toppings for their own homemade pizzas.
- Play Doh – There’s so much to make with pliable Play Doh and the dizzying array of related accessories but you can have just as much fun using cookie cutters and a rolling pin.
- Party games – Burn off some energy and have fun at the same time with party games like musical bumps, musical statues and charades.
- Virtual museum tours – If you can’t get to your favourite museum, bring the culture home with a virtual tour.
- Teach the dog a new trick – It’s arguably easier to train dogs if they start young but likewise, you absolutely can teach an old dog new tricks – give it a go!
- Paint a garden ornament – Now that the weather’s warming up and the flowers are out, why not bring some cheer to the garden by painting a jolly ornament with the kids? Think snails, gnomes or even colourful rocks.
- Board games – If there was ever a time to break out the Scrabble board or go money-mad with a game of Monopoly, it’s now.
We’re sociable animals, so being apart from friends and family isn’t going to be easy. There are ways to keep in touch, though, and to spread some community cheer without getting too close.
- Text/Facetime friends – Catch up with friends or family remotely by text, WhatsApp or facetime. All you need is a working phone or tablet, and you can even use conference calling facilities to have group conversations.
- Make cards for the elderly – The elderly are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19 and visits to care homes are being restricted. During this time why not spread a bit of joy by creating cards or pictures with the kids and sending them to nursing homes or to elderly neighbours? Just make sure you all wash your hands first!
- Help others – We’re fortunate to have such a caring community and various groups have popped up bringing volunteers together virtually to post assistance slips and offer help to those in self-isolation. Could you volunteer to deliver groceries or call up vulnerable neighbours to check they’re okay? Have a look on Facebook for a group near you.
- Virtual book clubs – Join a virtual book club to share conversation and reading lists through platforms like WhatsApp.
Tried any of our suggestions? Send us your pictures at I Love Bramhall on Facebook and let’s keep our community spirits high!