Making the Most of Time at Home

If you’re looking for things to do to keep busy during lockdown, here are a few ideas to occupy your time

In association with Thorntons

Schools are closed, people are working from home or furloughed, and social gatherings have been banned. Life certainly doesn’t feel very normal right now.

So how are you coping with lockdown?

At the moment, you might not feel like doing anything other than binge-watching Netflix and tucking into the leftover Easter eggs that you’ve still got hanging around.

In fact, you may well still be feeling very unsettled by all the changes that have gone on in the last few weeks. That’s totally normal when your usual routine has been upended by unprecedented events like this. And if that’s how you’re feeling, then just go with it and be kind to yourself.

But it might be that now you’re starting to feel like doing something more with the extra free time that you’ve got. It’s rare to have this much downtime, and you might be looking for something to keep you entertained.

So here are a few ideas for lockdown entertainment, to help keep you occupied in these strangest of times.

Get Busy in the Kitchen

We’re all eating at home much more than usual right now. You might be lucky enough to be able to choose from a decent selection of takeaways and restaurants doing delivery services.

But it’s also a great opportunity to dig out those recipe books and have a good at cooking something different for yourself.

There’s been a real spike of interest in baking in recent weeks, and everyone seems to be trying out recipes for banana bread.

If you don’t feel up to cooking anything too difficult, you could also use those Easter eggs to rustle up a batch of chocolate crispy cakes. They’re really simple, and don’t need any of that precious flour that’s so hard to find right now!

Enjoy Slow Food

Or if you are feeling a bit more adventurous, then why not try your hand at baking some bread. It’s an absorbing pastime that takes up a little more time, and it feels like a real achievement when you take your first loaf out of the oven.

If you’re struggling to find yeast in the shops, you could have a go at baking a sourdough loaf. This uses a naturally occurring form of yeast rather than the dried form that you buy in packets. It takes longer to prepare the dough, but it’s very satisfying.

And why not combine it with a delicious slow cooked casserole or stew for a more relaxed form of dining that’s a world away from fast food?

Travel from your sofa

We’re not travelling anywhere right now, and there’s no indication when the travel restrictions will be lifted.

But that doesn’t stop you from daydreaming about far-flung destinations or planning your next bucket-list adventure.

We’ve got plenty of travel inspiration for both the UK and further afield right here on SallyAkins.com.

And you can even travel from the comfort of your own home, thanks to the many virtual tours which are being provided on websites. You can explore cities, look around museums, or take tours of stately homes and gardens with the National Trust.

Click here for more travel inspiration here on SallyAkins.com

Try out your Green Fingers

It’s really important to look after your mental health at times of upheaval, and gardening can have a really positive effect on mental health.

If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, then getting outside and doing a bit of gardening is a great way to keep occupied during lockdown. It’s also great exercise and a good way to top up your vitamin D levels – but don’t forget the sunscreen!

You could try growing some vegetables either in a veg patch or in containers. A lot of vegetables have to be planted earlier in the year, but it’s not too late to grow some salad leaves in a trough, or you could pick up some tomato plants from the supermarket to grow in containers on your patio.

And if you don’t have a garden, you can still try growing tomatoes, chillis or herbs on a windowsill. It will give you something to occupy yourself with, and you’ll get a great sense of achievement out of it.

Keep Active

Yes, it’s tempting just to veg out with snacks in front of the TV, but it’s also important to keep active during this period of lockdown.

The current restrictions allow for one period of outdoors exercise per day, which can be walking, running or cycling. And if you’re able to get outside for that, it can really benefit your mental health as well as your physical health.

But if you’re not able to go outside, either because you’re shielding or because the British weather turns inclement, then there are things you can do indoors as well.

You’ll find various online options for exercise, and some of the paid options are offering trial periods or discounts during the Covid-19 lockdown. You can also find exercise videos which are free of charge on YouTube.

And if the more energetic options don’t appeal, then there are also yoga instructional videos that are worth checking out. This is also good for relaxation as well as improving strength and flexibility.

Take Care of Yourself

If you’ve been missing your regular trips to the hairdressers, spa or beauty salon, then why not treat yourself to a home spa?

OK, it might not be quite the same thing, but you could put aside a few hours to do a face mask, deep condition your hair or give yourself a pedicure. It will help to relax you and tide you over til the lockdown is lifted again.

Even a few minutes of peace, lying on your bed with a face mask on, will help to relax you and have you ready to face the day again.

But just a word of caution.

Try to resist the urge to do something extreme to your hair, especially if that involves bleach or a drastic change of style. Trimming a few split ends won’t hurt, but cutting a fringe into your shoulder length hair should definitely be left to the professionals!

Puzzle it out

If you’re starting to feel like your brain needs a work out while you’re locked down at home, then maybe a puzzle could be your answer.

There are plenty of online options for crosswords, sudoku and logic problems, or you could order in some books to keep you occupied.

Or why not have a go at piecing together a jigsaw puzzle? This old-fashioned pastime is really gaining in popularity during lockdown. It keeps your mind occupied and somehow feels relaxing at the same time. You can pick one as simple or as tricky as you like!

Learn something new

If you’re feeling up to the task, why not use some of your time at home to learn something new?

You could use an online app like Duolingo to learn a new language, ready for when we can travel again. Or do one of the many free courses that are on offer from places like the Open University.

You might like to add to the skills that you use at work, or prepare to move into a whole new area with a career change.

Or perhaps you could take up a new craft, like knitting or crochet. There are lots of online tutorials and video classes available, and you could end up with something cosy to snuggle up with in the colder months.

Everyone has to find their own way of getting through the weeks of lockdown. But hopefully these suggestions will help you to find something different to keep you occupied and entertained.

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