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It’s no secret that people are getting bored at home during the lockdown, but there are plenty of things to do in quarantine without having to go out anywhere. Despite how desperate you might be to get out and about it’s important that we all remember that the lockdown is only being enforced to keep us all safe, particularly those who are vulnerable. If we all stay positive and remember why we are doing this, then we can have a lot of fun without putting ourselves or anyone else at risk.
If you are struggling with the emotional burden of the current situation then have a read of my top tips for coping during the lockdown. Also feel free to get in touch! We are all stronger together.
1. Do something you’ve always wanted to do
What’s that one thing that you’ve always thought “I’d love to do that, but I don’t have time”? Now is the time to do it! It could be starting a YouTube channel or an online business. Or you could launch a blog as I did. Being in quarantine has finally given you the time to do something for yourself so don’t waste it. Take the plunge and feel the satisfaction of doing something you love.
2. Make a bucket list of things to do after quarantine
Think of all the things you want to do once this is all over and write them down. You can think as big or small as you want. Decide where you want to go on holiday next or simply which friend you want to see first when the lockdown is finished. One of my favorite things to do is to plan which shows I want to see at the theatre when they reopen. Having something to look forward to can massively boost your spirits.
3. Try a new recipe
If you’re an expert in the kitchen, try and make something you’ve never tried before and treated your family to some fine dining. But don’t worry, you don’t have to be a great chef to enjoy this activity. You could make a simple pasta sauce or soup from leftover ingredients.
4. Bake Something Pretty
This is similar to trying out a new recipe but this time makes something sweet. You could make a cake, cookies, muffins, or any other sweet treat you want to try. Now that the weather is improving you might want to make some ice lollies. Baking is one of my favorite activities… mostly because, once you’ve finished, you get to eat whatever you’ve baked! Being in quarantine doesn’t need to stop you from eating things you love.
5. Pinterest DIY
Pinterest is full of great ideas for you to try out. Simply find one you like and get started. Then compare yours to the original and see how well you did. You could even post a picture of your quarantine crafts on Pinterest so people can see what you’ve been up to.
I don’t want to hear anyone saying “I can’t draw” or “I’m rubbish at art”. Art is just a way of expressing yourself. Think as ‘the Impressionists’ did… if it doesn’t look like an exact copy of the thing you were drawing, don’t worry! People put too much pressure on themselves when it comes to art. If you have fun doing it then that’s all that matters. Have a go – you might enjoy it.
7. Get Crafty
If you’ve got some paper/card and some sellotape lying around then you can start crafting. Being in quarantine might stop you from getting supplies but that doesn’t mean you can’t make something. Just use what you’ve got and get creative! It’ll be great to let your imagination go wild. You could even make yourself a game to play!
8. Open an Etsy shop
If you try crafting and Pinterest DIYs while you are in quarantine and you love them then why not open an Etsy shop? You can do something you love and get paid to do it!
9. Make greeting/holiday cards
A lot of people are missing out on parties and celebrations because of being in quarantine, so why not spend a bit of time making them a personalized card? They’ll appreciate the extra effort and if you enjoy doing it then that’s a bonus! And if you don’t know anyone with a birthday during lockdown then why not make a few birthday cards or Holiday seasonal cards that you can save for later in the year.
10. Upcycle old furniture
Have you got an old chair in your house that you’ve been meaning to get rid of or a dresser that’s looking a bit worse for wear? This is a great opportunity to come up with ways that you can revamp your old furniture. Sand down and repaint wooden furniture. Or replace the cushion cover on a chair with a piece of spare fabric. Whatever you choose to do, make it your own. And there’s no pressure to get it perfect because if you hate it you can still get rid of it once the lockdown is over. There’s nothing to lose.
11. Make new clothes from your existing wardrobe
This is similar to upcycling your furniture but this time with clothes. We’re all guilty of keeping clothes that we no longer wear or that don’t fit us. There’s no need to throw anything away… simply transform them into something new. If you’ve got a sewing machine or you’re skilled with a needle then you could opt for a more ambitious project. You could use an old dress to make a new top. But if you’re like me and you aren’t the best at textiles then you could simply take apart a few old items of clothing and sew together the spare pieces of fabric to make a patchwork blanket.
12. Take a long bath
How many times have you wanted to take a bath but then showered instead because it’s quicker? I’ve done it too many times to count! I have so many bath bombs and soaps which I’ve bought or been given as presents and I never use them. Now we can all use our special bath products and enjoy the luxury of a long, relaxing bath. Put some music on, read a book, or watch a movie. Add some candles around the bathroom to make it even more calming. This is the perfect way to forget about the stresses of the outside world.
13. Spa day at home
Try out a face mask you’ve been wanting to use or use your favorite exfoliator. Then use a special moisturizer. You’ll make both yourself and your skin happy. For ideas of products that you can use, have a look at the ones I use in my skincare routine. You could even get someone to give you a massage.
14. Paint your nails
If you don’t usually wear nail varnish, you could just try a new colour. If you’re feeling more adventurous then why not experiment with some nail art ideas? I love doing french manicures especially now that we are getting towards the summer.
15. Do your makeup
This could be part of a full makeover (wear your best dress and do your hair too) or just a bit of fun experimentation. Do a going out look, a natural look (try my day-to-day makeup routine), or a bold colour look. If you’re very artistic you could have a go at special effects makeup. Use your imagination and see what you can come up with.
Downward dog? Lotus position? I’ll be honest with you… those are the only yoga poses I know. But there are a lot more that you could try if you search online for yoga. You could follow a video tutorial or just look up some poses to try by yourself. Yoga is a great way to destress and get fit at the same time. What more could you want?
17. Fitness classes
If you don’t like yoga, there are plenty of other fitness classes that you could try. A lot of personal trainers are running live stream classes on various platforms. One of the most well known is ‘PE with Joe’. It is a daily fitness class streamed on YouTube every morning at 9am (UK time). It was started as a way to get kids to do PE while they aren’t at school but now people of all ages are getting involved. I’ve had a go at it with my mum. I’m not going to lie, there are some bits which are clearly aimed at young kids but most of the exercises can easily be adapted to whatever level you want. It’s great for general fitness so have a go and see if you like it. And if you want a specific type of class (pilates, ballet fit, boxercise, etc) then do a quick search and I’m certain you’ll find something perfect for you. Also, if you like to dance you can get involved in a whole host of streamed dance classes.
Some people may not like exercise classes and that’s totally fine. Why not try a self-guided workout instead? You can find plenty of ideas and guidance online. Trust me, once you get those endorphins flowing, you’ll feel amazing!
19. Play with your pet
If you’re lucky enough to have a pet then I’m sure they’d love it if you spent some time making a fuss of them. I have a tiny little dog called Lila who absolutely loves attention. I’ve been kicking a ball around in the garden for her every afternoon which means that she gets to run around and I get some fresh air so we are both happy. You could even try to teach your dog a new trick. Who knows, you could be the next Ashleigh and Pudsey!
If you don’t have a pet, I’d absolutely recommend it because they can be so comforting and great encouragement to be active. But you must work out what type of pet you should get based on your circumstances.
Have you got a book lying around that you’ve been meaning to read? Or an old favourite which you’re dying to reread? Now’s your chance to do it! Just sit down with a hot drink and enjoy letting yourself be immersed in a great story.
21. Write a book
You might think that you’re ‘not good enough’ or you ‘don’t have the patience’ to write a novel but I’m here to tell you that ANYONE can write a book if they want to. It could be a full-length novel or a children’s picture book. Just think of a plotline, plan how the story will progress (a beginning, a middle and an end), then get to writing!
22. Write a song
Music is a great way to express emotion. Whether you’re feeling upset, frustrated, or happy. Write down how you feel and then think of a melody. Or if writing sheet music is more your thing then you can write the backing first and then think of lyrics to fit the mood of the piece.
23. Write a poem
If you aren’t a skilled musician but you are good with words, try putting your feelings into a poem.
24. Stream theatre performances
I, like many other people, had tickets booked for a show at the theatre which got cancelled due to coronavirus. I absolutely love theatre so I was very disappointed… UNTIL… theatres all over the world announced that they would be releasing filmed performances online. And an extra bonus is that a lot of them are free! If you like musical theatre then I highly recommend Lambert Jackson Productions’ ‘Leave a Light On’ series of live-streamed concerts performed by some of the best performers out there. There are three concerts every weekday so plenty to keep you occupied. They charge a mere £7.50 per ticket which goes towards supporting actors and actresses who have lost their jobs as a result of the virus. It is worth the money!
25. Watch a boxset
There are so many available. There will definitely be something that you’ll like. You can enjoy watching back-to-back episodes without even having to feel guilty about wasting your day. Who cares how many times Netflix asks you if you’re still there, right? Hulu is a great option too. There are thousands of shows to choose from, plus you can get a free trial to try it out before you pay anything at all!
26. Watch a movie
You can find so many movies online that you could just watch them one after the other and you’d be occupied for the whole of the lockdown! A lot of streaming services offer free trials so you can watch lots of movies without even having to pay. If you’re a Disney fan (let’s face it, who isn’t?) then Disney+ will be perfect for you. It has all the classics as well as newer films. It also has Marvel films to keep you busy. They only charge £5.99 per month which is very reasonable compared to other streaming platforms, especially given how many films they have available.
Nowadays there’s no need to own a camera to take great photos. Most phones have pretty good cameras built-in which you can play around with. There are so many exciting pictures you can take without even leaving your home. Think about using light, placing household objects in different formations, or even using food to create some interesting images. Then try editing them to enhance the quality. I did a photography module at university, most of my photos were of everyday objects but used creatively. So try to think creatively and you’ll be surprised at the exciting images you can come up with.
28. Listen to music
Music can be used for so many purposes. You can use it as background music while you do the cleaning, you can sing along to your favourite songs, you can use it to let out your emotions or you can just use it to relax. Try making some new playlists for different situations. I like to have a playlist for exercising, one for relaxing and one to have in the background while I work.
29. Play a musical instrument
If you’re a pianist, guitarist, or play any other instrument then take this time to improve your skills. Learn a new song and play until it’s perfect or play a song you already know but put your own twist on it. You could even write your own music.
30. Learn a new instrument
I’m not suggesting you go out and buy a new instrument but a lot of people own an instrument that they don’t know how to play (or barely know how to play). Look up YouTube tutorials and teach yourself. This is the perfect time to learn a new skill.
31. Learn a language
I think it’s amazing when people can speak more than one language fluently. Most of us will have learned a language at school but far fewer people are fluent in another language. I learned German, French, and Latin at school (though Latin is not a spoken language) but I remember very little of it. Recently, I started to use Duolingo to relearn and improve my German and it feels great! It assesses what level you are at and then teaches you from there. Plus, there are so many languages that you can learn. Wouldn’t it be great to travel abroad and not have to rely on them to speak English?
32. Research something you’re interested in
The internet is full of fascinating things for you to learn about. Pick a topic you’re interested in and start researching. You’ll be amazed by what you can find out and you’ll also have some great new knowledge. Maybe one day those facts will win you a quiz. If you’re not a fan of internet research, you could try finding a documentary about a topic you’re interested in.
33. Online courses
Whatever you want to learn, there will be a course for it. The great news is that a lot of course providers are letting people join for free while we are all in quarantine! Have you been wanting to learn interior design, creative writing, or how to market your business? There are courses available for all of those things. Take advantage of them while they’re free and learn a skill that will help you for years after the quarantine is over.
34. Decorate your home
Grab some paint and a brush and give your home a makeover. If you don’t have any supplies then you could try rearranging furniture to give your home a brand new look.
Summer is coming so get gardening. Clear the winter weeds and make way for gorgeous daffodils and tulips to brighten things up. It’ll give you a sense of achievement if you can see an improvement and if our gardens are the only outside spaces we can go in whilst in quarantine then we might as well make them look nice.
36. Do a deep clean of your home
Clean your home top to bottom. It’ll pass the time and make you feel better about spending all your time there while you are in quarantine.
37. Tidy your bedroom
My room gets messy quite quickly and I’m sure many of yours do too. Take the time to have a proper tidy up. You might want to rearrange where you put things so that they fit better or you might just want to put away the pile of clothes that has been living on your floor. Tidying your bedroom can make you feel more in control even when the quarantine is seemingly controlling our lives. Like the saying states: “tidy room, tidy mind”.
38. Organise things to sell/donate to charity
When you are tidying your room, you’re bound to find a few things that don’t fit you or you just don’t want them anymore. Sort things into two bags. One for things you can sell and the other for things which can be donated to charity shops. You can start selling items on eBay straight away and then deliver your donations to your local charity shop once the quarantine is over.
39. Have an indoor picnic
A lot of families have been going to their local park for a picnic but it’s so important to stay at home right now. I don’t want to lecture you but people need to realise that a picnic is not an essential activity. I understand why people want to do it though which is why I suggest having a picnic at home. If you’ve got a garden then you could do it outside but if not then why not set up a picnic blanket in your living room, open a window for some fresh air and enjoy some great food with your family. In my opinion, you can enjoy it just as much as you would at the park as long as you stay positive and don’t put your mind against it.
40. Video call friends and family
This is one of my tips to cope during lockdown but it’s also just a fun activity to pass some time. You can have a chat and a joke with your friends or catch up with the family who you haven’t seen for a while. It’ll stop you feeling isolated and it’ll be fun.
41. Do a quiz
You can do this with the people you live with or you can do it through a video call. My family and I did a quiz over Skype last weekend. Everyone came up with ten questions to contribute and although we all did terribly (apparently we know less about each other than we thought), we had a great time. You could pick a specific topic for your quiz or just do a mix of things like we did.
Board games could keep you busy for weeks. There are so many different types suitable for all different ages. If you have some at home then play those but if not, you can find lots to play online. Some are free and some aren’t so you just have to choose which ones you want to try. A lot of games also let you link with your friends so you can play together even when you aren’t able to see each other in person because you are in quarantine.
43. Video games
Another great option is video games. Just like board games, there are so many varieties of games that you can play. If you’re competitive like me then why not challenge your friends online and see if they can beat you?
44. Play cards
Card games are extremely versatile and can be adapted for any age group. Some are very strategic and others are all about luck. My family now plays a quick game of ‘Sevens’ every day after lunch. It’s a great way for us to have some fun, get competitive, and enjoy spending time together. There are also some great websites or apps you can use to play online. I particularly like ‘Cardzmania’ which is a free website where you can play a variety of card games either with friends or with computer bots. It has kept me and my friends busy for hours!
45. Complete a jigsaw
I’ve seen a lot of pictures on social media of people completing jigsaws which they’ve never had time for before and I think it’s a great idea. You can do it by yourself or get your whole family involved.
46. Make a den
Whatever age you are, making a den will be fun I promise. Grab some blankets or towels and hang them over chairs to create a space that you can sit in. Snuggle down with a snack and watch a movie inside your den. It’s amazing how a few blankets can make you feel safe and secure and stop you worrying about the outside world for a while.
47. Camp in the garden
So we can’t go to a camping site while we are in quarantine but that doesn’t mean we can’t go camping. Why not set up a tent in your garden and spend the night outside? Take a bag out with you and everything you need for the night. It’ll be like a little holiday!
48. Have a ‘night out’ at home
You don’t need an excuse to get dressed up. Choose a day when you and your family will all dress up and cook a special dinner. If you love to party, turn down the lights, turn up the music and start dancing. Just let your hair down and have a bit of fun.
49. Support your community
There are plenty of ways to keep busy which will help other people as well as yourself. Giving back to your community can give you a great sense of pride and boost your mood immensely. There have been plenty of community initiatives in action in the last few weeks. You could draw a rainbow to put in your windows or write positive messages in chalk on the pavement outside your house. Come up with a few ways you can support people in your area and spread a little love. Also, join in with the #clapforourcarers every Thursday at 8 pm. It’s amazing to see so many people supporting each other during these hard times.
50. Be an NHS phone volunteer
Unfortunately, being in quarantine is making some people feel very lonely and cut off from society. Particularly elderly people and those who live on their own require support. The NHS has set up a volunteer service where you can support vulnerable people without having to put yourself at risk. For a lot of people, all they want is someone to talk to. Offer them your time and you will make their life a whole lot happier. You’ll also love the feeling you get from knowing you’ve brought a smile to someone’s face.
So there are 50 things to do in quarantine which will keep you busy and let you have some fun. Try some out and let me know how you get on. Also, remember to appreciate what you have right now. Some people have nothing and no one in quarantine with them to help them through this awful situation. Can you give some time to support someone in your community?