The world is crazy right now. We are facing a global pandemic unlike anything we have ever experienced before. Life as we know it has been put on hold. We can’t socialise with our friends, we can’t see our families, we can’t go on dates, we can’t even go out of our houses unless it’s for essential shopping or exercise. But it doesn’t all have to be bad. We can use this time to become better versions of ourselves, learn new skills, and redefine what we enjoy doing, because that’s exactly what has been given back to us. Time.
So, if you are feeling a little lost, anxious, or struggling to cope while in lockdown, here’s some ideas of how you can take advantage of the situation.
1. Learn a new skill
There is no better time than now to learn a new skill. You could learn a new recipe and improve your cooking, start a blog and start drafting your first posts, or learn a new language. I’m planning on traveling around South America in a couple of years so I’ve decided to start learning spanish. I’ve also decided to try my hand at painting. There is a company called ‘Art Sippers’ who are hosting online painting classes, so if you’re feeling creative, be sure to check them out. There are lots of courses and apps online to help you, and so many skills to learn, so use this time to take advantage of everything that is available to you.
2. Complete an online course
3. Get on the TikTok Bandwagon
Quarantine has seen a huge rise in the number of people downloading the app TikTok and I am not ashamed to say I am one of them. Not only does it provide a daily dose of entertainment, but it is so much fun taking on some of the dance challenges (and surprisingly quite the workout). It’s a great way to connect with the people you live with, and offers the chance to bring out your creative side by making your own videos. Who knows, you may get TikTok famous in the process.
4. Play games
I’d be lying if I said Xbox hasn’t taken up the majority of my time in quarantine. I used to game a lot as a child (think Mario, Crash Bandicoot, Rayman), but I’ve recently downloaded Call of Duty, and have been engrossed in that almost every night. Gaming is a great way to pass the time while having fun, while also being known to strengthen your cognitive skills such as spatial navigation, memory, and perception. Plus, it’s another way to socialise and hang out with your friends, as you can talk to them through the game while you play. If you don’t have a console, grab your family together for a traditional board game. I’ve been playing a lot of Catan, which is a fun strategy game ( similar to Monopoly and Risk). Although be warned, a family games night may sound like a fun idea, but if you’re as competitive as me, it may cause a few disputes!
This is the perfect time to start exercising and working out. If you’re anything like me, then going for a jog at 6am before work is not something you understand (seriously, how do people do that?) I used to do a lot of dancing before moving to London, but haven’t done much exercise at all since living here. I’m now making it my mission to get back into shape for the summer. Whether it’s taking an hour during lunch, or exchanging your commute for a workout, there is now more time in the day to become fitter and healthier. There are so many fitness videos, dance classes, and yoga sessions available on youtube, so you can choose what works best for you, and as long as you’re constantly moving, you can exercise at your local park.
6. Video call family and friends
During this time, It is important to keep checking in on your family and friends. One of the best ways to do this is through one of the many video apps; Zoom being my favourite. With Zoom, you can have meetings of up to 100 people, meaning you can have your entire family or friendship group on a video call at the same time. My family have been hosting pub quizzes over Zoom which has been really fun. HouseParty is another great app, and that’s what I’ve been using to stay connected to my friends. I would say I’m closer to my friends now, than I was before, as we never used to call each other as much as we are doing, which is a lovely positive that has come out of the pandemic.
7. Take advantage of streaming
Just because we can’t physically attend shows or concerts, doesn’t mean we can’t attend them at all. Fortunately, technology has allowed companies the ability to stream their services online, so you can enjoy them from the comfort of your own home. The West End may be closed, but musicals are regularly being streamed online. Infact, yesterday I watched the stage show of ‘The Phantom of the Opera’, which was streamed for free on Youtube. Make sure to keep an eye out, if you’re a musical fan. Missing your weekly pub quiz? Don’t fret – there are SO many pub quizzes going around online. I took part in the ‘Friends’ quiz a couple of weeks ago, which had over 25,000 players! If quizzing and musicals aren’t your thing, turn your attention to Netflix. They have anything and everything on there, including the infamous ‘Tiger King’ documentary, which you may have heard people talking about.
8. Home Improvements
Thought about improving your home? This is the perfect time for some DIY. Whether it’s putting up a new shelf, setting up your ‘working from home’ office, painting a wall, or preening the garden, you can now do all those little jobs you’ve put on hold for so long. Sort out your wardrobe, clean the attic, plant some flowers. You’ll feel such a sense of reward when you are finished and be grateful you used your time productively. Plus, giving yourself time to focus through a practical activity is good for the brain, and increases your self reliance.
9. Get lost in a good book
If there is one thing that passes the time, it’s reading a good book. Personally, I’m not a big reader, but I’m using this time to get back into it. Whether it’s getting lost in a magical fantasy world, playing detective in an exciting spy novel, or broadening your knowledge by reading something factual, there is so much you can gain from reading. I’m currently reading “A Little History of the World” which is a history and philosophy book, each chapter consisting of a different “lesson”. Since I took the science route at school, my general knowledge is a little rusty, so it’s been really interesting learning more about the world and the people who shaped it.
Sometimes it’s good to just do nothing. Take some time to self reflect and think about what you want to do. Plan for the future, research the places you want to visit, draft up the goals you want to achieve, write a gratitude list, take some time to meditate, look after your mental health, have long baths, and extra long lie ins. Take advantage of this time to get some much needed rest, and relax.
I hope this has provided you with some inspiration, and some ideas of things you can be doing when in lockdown. Hopefully, we can all make use of this time, and turn a negative situation into a positive opportunity. This will end, and when it does, we can come out stronger, wiser, and more powerful than before.