Friday, 27 March 2020
We’re living in a funny old time at the moment. I don’t really know what else to say on that other than stay safe and look after each other but also keep yourself occupied. Lazing around on the sofa day is lovely but for weeks on end it will only make us lethargic and miserable. It’s so important to keep our minds and bodies busy during this time and keep our spirits high. With that in mind, I have a few suggestions and ideas on how to keep busy and amused during this isolating time.
Download House Party App
I downloaded the app right at the beginning of social distancing and have used it to video call various family and friends. It’s a hell of a lot better than FaceTime as it doesn’t blip as much plus it has games on it you can play such as Heads Up! So far I’ve had a night in drinking and chatting with my friends on it as we couldn’t all meet up for our usual get together and it was a giggle. Plus we could all sign off and head to our own beds and not have to worry about driving back from one another’s the next day with a hangover haha!
Virtual Pub Quiz
Following on from downloading the House Party App, I’m using it to socialise in other ways- one of those being a pub quiz I’m holding for me and my friends. Again we can’t meet at the pub but we can still do a quiz and it’s something different to do of an evening that binging TV or just chatting.
If you’ve got a camera (who doesn’t nowadays?), be it on your phone or camera, this is a great time to up your skills and learn a thing or two, Be it through YouTube videos or just playing around with filters, settings and generally experimenting. Spring has sprung and it’s the perfect time to take photos in your garden, be it of your plants, pets or whatever makes for an interesting photo and enjoy it.
Pen pal letter writing
It could well be a little while until we see some of our loved ones that we miss and instead of a video call, it can be lovely to send a letter instead- particularly to any elderly relatives who don’t use the internet. I have spoken about the joys of having a penpal over on my podcast which you can check out. I have a friend who lives in Malta who I regularly write do but during this time I will also be writing to elderly relatives and also my friend’s child to keep them entertained and as something nice to receive in the post. Letter writing is a lovely hobby that is more creative than a usual call and you can include photographs, drawings and whatever you thin will fill the recipient with joy. For my friend’s child I included stickers, drawings to colour in and made it very bright and cheery.
Exercise is amazing for our mental health- something which I can majorly vouch for. As we are permitted in the UK to get out once a day to exercise, I'd highly recommend getting out for some fresh air to stretch our limbs and stop the feeling of cabin fever. I personally love running and would really rate trying out the couch to 5k app if it's something you'd like to try but even just a walk outside in the sunshine can really boost your mood and keep your body active. Alternatively, there are so many amazing fitness trainers doing Instagram lives, YouTube videos and more to keep us moving.
Drawing/ Colouring In
Drawing and colouring in are another way to keep ourselves amused. It's easy to forget how therapeutic and relaxing putting pencil to paper can be and I've found it really helps to take my mind off of things. There's also proven benefits to doodling such as increased creativity, process emotions, alleviate stress and more! I've been cracking out my mindful colouring books to colour in and I'm really enjoying them.
I've discussed meditation in a post before which you can read here and I've found it to be incredibly helpful to relax, clear your mind and to appreciate the positives in life. I use the Headspace app which you can test out for ten days to see how you get on with it so whilst you have this time, why not give meditation a try? It's also a great way of practicing some self care too.
It's the perfect time to get in the kitchen and bake- especially when most of us are always on the go and we have plenty of baking ingredients to use up! I'm not a brilliant baker but there are plenty of simple recipes to follow online that are quick, simple and delicious. Or if you don't want to bake but want to make sweet treats you can always make some Easter nests like I did last year.
Board Games & Puzzles
I love Netflix as much as the next person but sometimes binging series and flopping in front of the sofa can get to be mind numbing, especially over several days! I've been cracking out the board games and puzzles. Puzzles are fab to either do on your own or with someone and I've found them to be really therapeutic and take my mind off things. I'd forgotten how addictive they can be too! I spent the other day thinking "I must get on" and then thinking "just one more piece and I'll get on" but two hours later I was still piecing the puzzle together. Jenga has also made an appearance in the House of Rayment and we've found doing these sorts of things entertaining but also more engaging than TV for those moments when you want to be amused but also use some brain power!
Little Jobs You’ve been Putting Off
We've all got them. That little job that niggles away at your brain. Oh I must do this. Oh I must get that job done soon...whatever it is, get it done NOW. It'll stop the niggling feeling and I guarantee you, you'll feel so much better for doing it. If self isolation isn't the perfect time to get these silly bits done I don't know when is.
Self isolating is about looking after ourselves and self care is so important. I've found this to be a great time to let my skin breathe and wear no makeup and my skin is loving it, plus having this extra time has led me to get on top of my skincare routine and really treat it properly. Self care doesn't have to just be skin care though. It can be anything from getting a good nights rest, eating well, cutting down on alcohol etc etc. You can turn this period into a positive and reflect on things you can do to look after yourself going forward.
Make a to-do list everyday
As I've already said, it's really important to keep ourselves occupied and motivated at the moment and one way I've found to ensure that happens is to make a to-do list each day. Setting goals for each day will motivate you to get sh*t done and stop the spiral into laziness and feeling lethargic. Now don't get me wrong I'm not saying don't take time to relax but having some structure definitely helps everybody and for me I've found a to-do list really helps with this.
So anyway these are just a few things that I have been doing and will continue to do during self isolation. There's so many other things I could list but we would be here all day! Despite everything that is going on, there are some positives to take away from this experience like self reflection and having some quiet restful time and I think it's important to remember that when we have our down days.
I'd love to know what you're up to during #stayathome and in the meantime, stay safe and look after yourselves.