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In The Country Magazine
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In The Country Lifestyle

30 things to do on lock-down

Are you anxious about what a Coronavirus lock-down will mean for you personally or how it might affect your business, worried about what to do if you have to self-isolate to keep cabin fever at bay? It’s ok, you’re not alone – we are all in this together.

Yesterday’s podcast was all about the importance and value of community, with a nod to online communities in particular given the current global situation. You can listen to it here.

Dependent on what you do for a living, this will have a varying effect on how you’re feeling. For me, I know, if I needed to self-isolate, I’d be able to ‘do’ much of my work from home; things like writing blogs, articles, social media, designing pages and recording podcasts are all able to be done digitally. However, for those of you who may have physical jobs, or jobs in retail, hospitality or the like which mean you cannot work from home, you may feel stumped for things to do to keep your mind and body entertained.

With the elderly and at risk facing an up to 12-week isolation period, that’s rather a long time to be confined largely to your own home.

Looking for the positives in every situation, we have created this short piece, giving you 30 ideas for things to do if you find yourself needing to self-isolate or the government enforces a nationwide lock-down.


1. If you own your own business, blog. Use this time to batch create content that you can filter out in the coming weeks and months. We’ll all still be using social media and scrolling through the internet if we are at home – even more so for many. So, down tools, go and make yourself a fresh cup of tea or coffee, away from screens. Take a blank piece of paper and whilst you relax with your brew, try to jot down 40 blog ideas that you can work on from the comfort of your own home during this time. If you’re super organised, you could schedule them too.

2. Complete a puzzle. The more puzzle pieces the better! A great way to help keep boredom at bay, maybe rope in a family member or partner to help, but be warned, they can be extremely addictive… I am yet to complete my Lion King one, it’ll certainly come in handy if I run out of work to do!

3. Learn a foreign language. This is something quirky! You can find hundreds of YouTube videos teaching you a new language or you can download apps such as Duolingo and get started today. Ever wished you could understand what people are talking about in their native tongue whilst you’re close by and wish you could just pipe up with a sassy response? Now’s the time to make it happen – their faces would be priceless!

4. Write a book. Ever thought up a brilliant plot? Considered documenting your life for you to look back on year’s down the line, or pass on to your children. Why not make your ideas into a reality. I have dozens of book ideas written down in the Notes on my phone. If you’re more into journalling your life rather than creating fiction, use the time to write an auto-biography of your life so far.

5. Teach yourself calligraphy. Use YouTube for this, there are dozens of tutorials. Here’s one!

6. Clear out your wardrobe. Know that there are various items in your wardrobe you’ve been meaning to take down to the charity shop? Utilise this extra time at home to de-clutter your wardrobe and put together a few bin liners of un-wanted items destined for the charity shops. You can even have fun whilst you’re doing it, try them all on; put on a mini fashion show, get your siblings, children or housemates to join in. If they don’t make you feel a million dollars, designate them to the bin liners.

7. Have a cooking contest. Grab your partner, housemate or sibling and stage a cooking competition – the catch, you can only use goods that are already in the cupboards. Bon appétit!

8. Give the house a spring clean. Dust and dirt beware. You’ve got all the time in the world on lock-down, don the rubber gloves, dig out the feather duster, then my dear, clean, spruce and polish until your heart’s content.

9. Read a book (or two, or three). Although, the rate I read books at, one will do me for the next few months. There are thousands of amazing books out there, but, why not read something that is sat on your shelves which you haven’t yet immersed yourself in. I am definitely guilty of purchasing books for holidays with the honest intention of reading them, alas it never happens.

10. Watch every Disney movie you own. Because, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love Disney?

11. Colouring books. These aren’t just for kids and adult colouring books (not that kind!) have seen a real surge in recent years, they are both satisfying and pleasantly therapeutic.

12. Embrace your inner Vincent van Gogh. Although, keep both ears. Get your housemate, children or partner to do this with you, attempt a self-portrait of one another.

13. Use this time to plan. Stuck in a rut? Not happy in your job, relationship, house? Perhaps you could use this time to re-evaluate the 5 year business plan?

14. Teach yourself how to apply make-up the way you’ve always wished you could. Guilty of this too right? Sure you are, we’re only human. Sick of seeing picture perfect make-up you only wish you could recreate, use this time to follow some make-up tutorials on YouTube.

15. Experiment with a new hair-style. I don’t mean get a bowl and give yourself a mullet. Or a spontaneous block-fringe. I mean, find some styles you like (Pinterest is great for inspiration), it could be a messy bun, french plait, half up/half down look, whatever you like, then follow step by step tutorials on YouTube and give it a go yourself, you’ll be a pro by the time you emerge from isolation.

16. Introduce a daily work out. There are some great apps for this that will give you daily exercises and reminders to prevent you forgetting. It takes on average 66 days to form a new habit that will stick, so there’s no time like the present. Daily squats, sit ups and leg raises are mine!

17. Reflection and gratitude. Make two lists; one is a list of things you’re grateful for and the other is a list of things you may regret or wish you’d done differently. Do any of them warrant an unsaid apology or reconciliation, now is a good time to work on that.

18. Enrol on a short course. There are thousands of short courses out there, I am sure there will be one for something you want to learn or improve on. Maybe you want to take a short course in animal care, coaching, psychology, marketing, graphic design or even podcasting?

19. Write a book with your family/housemates. You each pick a character, and write a chapter each including a beginning, middle and end. Then you’ll read it aloud. Be prepared to laugh! I played this with my niece and nephew once.

20. Start a new boxset. I love a good series, Netflix and NowTV are perfect for this. There is something for everyone, for the equestrian lovers, have you tried Heartland? If not, there’s 10+ series to catch up on. I particularly love The Last Kingdom or The Witcher although Shooter is a great series on Netflix too. Always thought you’re too late to the party for Game of Thrones, pfft – not now. I’ve also recently watched YOU and am currently watching Sex Education, ideal for lifting the lock-down mood.

21. Hide and seek. Grown ups can play too!

22. Indoor scavenger hunt. Quickest to find all the objects on the list wins… perhaps the loser has to do the washing or washing up?

23. Teach your pet a new trick.

24. Create an at-home spa. Remember all those bath and moisturiser themed gifts you’ve accumulated over the years from distant relatives and not-quite friends, well its time to put them to good use. Light candles, lots of them. Run yourself a nice bath – bubbles optional but recommended and apply a face-mask. Paint your nails – fingers and toes. Shave your legs, you don’t need the extra winter warmth anymore… and just downright pamper yourself.

25. Learn yoga. Follow some YouTube videos and teach yourself the calming art of yoga, it is also great for your core muscles too! Something I should really embrace as mine have disappeared in recent years!

26. Discover meditation. Tune in to some daily meditations, either first-thing in the morning or last-thing before bed. A wonderful friend of mine Dannielle aka The Heart Led provides daily meditations which you can listen to on her Instagram @theheartled.

27. Attempt things with your non-dominant hand. Just for laughs, prepare to get insanely frustrated. See how long you can try it for, maybe a penny in the savings jar for each time you slip up?

28. Create your own vision board. Something I need to do myself. Tara Punter is the Queen of vision boards and an advocate for their effects. Take the time you have to consider what you want to put on your vision board; a car, a house, dream holiday destination, that pair of boots, handbag or coat you have always wanted etc and then search Pinterest or Google for images which you can collate together on a landscape document and then print out. Inspirational words work well too, maybe include your favourite quote?

29. Order fruit, veg and meat delivery boxes from independent companies. The Ethical Butcher, Milk & More and Riverford Organics are just a few! You can also still support your local pubs, restaurants or cafés (many of whom are offering delivery or take-away services). Perhaps you could support them by ordering one or two meals a week from them – if you can afford too.

30. Connect with your friends, neighbours or family digitally. Just because you’re needing to stay at home the majority of the time, this doesn’t mean you need to shut yourself off completely. Technology and the online world is going to be more important than ever in the coming weeks and months, use FaceTime, Skype, Zoom and social media platforms to stay in touch, check in, support and seek the support of your loved ones.

Until next time…
Stay safe, take care of yourself and your loved ones,
Lots of love,
Hollie-Ella Xxx

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