Bored in lockdown? 21 ways to make the most out of staying at home!
Stuck in a lockdown Groundhog Day with no end in sight? I’ve compiled a list of ways to sprinkle some inspiration into your home completely by yourself.
Eat, watch Netflix, eat some more, scroll through Instagram, sleep, and do it again. Does this sound like you? Nearly a year into the pandemic, motivation is at an all-time low. Some days it feels pointless to do anything but scroll through social media, and that’s completely valid. You do not have to do a single thing right now. However, from personal experience from this past year having something to look forward to each day, having goals, new things to do and learn, has been the biggest positive from the doom and gloom of the pandemic – I’ve had time to do the things I’m always too swamped in the hustle and bustle of life to do.
A quick tip before we get into the list. If it’s possible try to have a part of your home for leisure, and part of your home for creativity/work/business/exercise. Working from your bed, then eating from your bed, and watching TV from your bed, will have a toll on your mental health and sleep pattern. If you are working from home or trying out something from the list below, try and have a dedicated space to do it, whether that be a different room, or if that’s not possible, a specific area of your room or even an outdoor space (weather permitting!).
1. Learn a language.
Duolingo is a brilliant free app and website that has a huge array of languages to delve into. The courses are bitesize, fun – they don’t feel like a chore, and you can set daily goals of 5 minutes, 10 minutes, or 30 minutes depending on how dedicated you are to immerse yourself in the language.
2. Meditate daily
Setting aside 5 minutes of my day to meditate has made a huge impact on my mental health during this crazy rollercoaster year. Some people prefer to mediate themselves, where I prefer a guided meditation, there are tons of brilliant guided meditations on YouTube. Or you can download the app Calm, for full content you do have to subscribe however you can find 14-day free trails online – the daily calm with Tamara Levitt are perfect transient sessions that you can fit into your day.
3. Bake something yummy
Social media is filled with fun quick recipes to bake at home. Bake some cookies for your neighbors or friends, or just for yourself because you bloody deserve a treat!
4. Sell your unwanted stuff
Spending so much time at home I’ve realised how much of a hoarder I am! Clothes that don’t fit me anymore, books I have no desire to ever read again, CDs for a stereo I haven’t used in years. Clearing out my unwanted goods not only cleared up my space, but I managed to make some cash too! There are some brilliant websites and apps, I used Vinted and Depop to sell some clothes, and Ziffit to sell my unwanted books, CDs, DVDs, games. Leaving me some spare pennies to treat myself to some new wanted stuff. Do remember not to throw away everything like I nearly did – it’s nice to remember the time when you bought something or relive a memory through an old Vinyl.
5. Play Sims
Honestly, Sims is my number one stress relief, escape from the world. I can’t imagine this past without The Sims. You are in control. There’s a reason The Sims 4 has become one of the best-selling games of the past year despite it already being out for over six years. The base game is a little spare on gameplay, but the expansions and online community make the possibilities endless. I also find it boosts my creativity, I don’t know exactly why or what it is, but I’m often inspired after Sims to write, or workout, or be creative! You can get the base game on Origin for around £6, and there are regular sales with 50% off expansions. The latest stuff pack Sims 4 Paranormal is lots of fun!
My Top 5 (Must Have!) Sims 4 Expansion Packs
My Top 5 (Must Have!) Sims 4 Game Packs
6. Make a list of films you’ve always wanted to see – and watch them
Last year when the world first closed, I did a challenge to watch 30 films in 30 days. These were all films I’ve always wanted to see but never had the time to or got around to. Making the list made it a fun way to broaden my film knowledge and fill the void for the lack of cinema (I miss going to the movies!). To make it even more fun you can make an account with letterbox – a sort of social media for film lovers, make a list on there, and review each film as you go.
7. Read more!
If you have spare time on your hands and have books lying around that you’ve always wanted to read – now is your chance! There are lots of community book clubs online or book swaps or start a zoom book club with friends or fellow online bookworms. Find your genre, a book that will make you excited to read it. I’m a thriller fan, I recently read ‘The Catch’ by T.M. Logan and devoured it in a day. I also love Shari Lapena’s work, start with ‘The Couple Next Door’ for a page-turner. My favourite book is ‘Call My By Your Name’ by André Aciman that I would recommend it to anyone!
8. Try being a vegetarian or vegan for a month (if you’re not already)
I did a 30-day challenge of going vegetarian. I thought it would be a huge struggled with meat being central in most of my meals. It’s now been over a year since I turned veggie and I honestly don’t see myself ever going back. I feel lighter. I enjoy my food more. I try more interesting and flavourful food. And I don’t need to mention the environmental benefits. I’m planning on upgrading to 30 days of veganism, and who knows, maybe that will become another new lifestyle.
All you need is a phone, and you have the vlogging world at your fingertips! I recently got back into vlogging on YouTube about my health anxiety, and hearing others going through similar experiences made me feel great, but also made me feel less alone with my anxiety. Whatever interests you can turn into a successful vlog. You could even Vlog about trying the things on this list!
10. Join the house plant trend
My partner went from buying one plant in March to now having a jungle array of plants that he adores. I’ve even taken on a few of them myself and I have to say there’s something about nurturing your plants and bringing some green and job to your home that you are spending so much time in. Or if a plant is too much responsibility, do what I did and start with a cactus – minimal maintenance, water it once a month!
11. Teach online
There are various companies where you can earn money by teaching online, you can teach a special skill you have, or various sites across the globe that will offer freelance online teaching jobs for speaking English – some may require a university degree or a TEFL certificate.
12. Take self-care to a new level
I’ve never taken self-care are serious as I have this past year. If I want to spend an hour in the shower, then darn it I will! If I want to do facemasks and lie in bed, then I blooming will! If I want to nap at three in the afternoon and go on do not disturb – then you know it, I will! Take a pleasure day at least once a week where you only do pleasures and nothing more.
13. Practice yoga
I’m not going to lecture you on the benefits of yoga but let’s just say they’re countless! There are some brilliant 30-day yoga challenges out there for all levels. I personally love ‘Yoga With Tim’ on YouTube. I’ve been practicing around 3 times a week for a year now, and not only do I feel great, but I can see the change in my progress to achieve more advanced positions with ease.
14. Scrapbook precious memories
It’s been a year since I was last on a plane. I’ve found myself become more reflective on the adventures I’ve had whilst I wait impatiently for more. A great way to relive some memories is to scrapbook some memories. Print out some cute prints – I really like Inkifi’s square prints, and glue them into a scrapbook. Write down any memorable moments, stick in any souvenirs you found along the way – you’ll find yourself smiling without realising it as you relive memories you may have forgotten in the busyness of life.
15. Try matched betting
This is a rouge option and certainty not for everyone! I started using a site called Profit Accumulator which has two free examples to try so you can decide if it’s for you. If you have spare time on your hand in lockdown, I made around £1,000 in the month I played with matched betting without it eating more than a couple of hours in my day. Also, the casino sign-up offers are lots of fun! After a month I decided that I’d made my way through all the best offers and didn’t keep it up – but still, I would recommend the signup offers, just make sure you watch the videos carefully.
16. Learn an instrument (or several!)
I started using an app called ‘Simply Piano’ in August, it’s been just over six months and I cannot believe my progress. I’ve nearly completed the app which gets you to a good basic understanding, and I’m looking at taking further lessons possibly even making my way up the grading system. I’ve been spending around an hour every day playing, it’s a complete stress reliever, incredibly rewarding when you start to pick things up, and there several apps that make the initial stages really easy to understand but most of all, lots of fun! Another way to learn is by following YouTube tutorials if you don’t wish to invest in an app subscription.
17. Work on a fitness goal
Not as fun as the other options, but with the right motivation the results and benefits to keeping fit are worth the sweat and pain! Figure out what you’d like to work on, would you like to be more flexible, more toned, shed some weight, perk up those glutes, and then work on that. A great start is to do a 20-minute YouTube workout for your level, and then build it up from there. If you want to tone those glutes, do a glutes workout, if you want to build strength, do a strength workout. You can pair this with trying out some healthy receipts in the kitchen – or try intermittent fasting, now is the perfect time to experiment with what works for you and your body. Try it all and then keep doing what you love!
18. Take an online course
Depending on your profession, it can never hurt to brush up on some skills or start new ones. You could do a social media marketing course, or brush up on your CEO skills, or learn to be a first aider, or if you wish to try something new perhaps an acting class – many are online at the moment, all of these would give you vital skills no matter what profession you are in or looking to go into!
19. Check out some podcasts
Podcasting may seem very hipster but there are podcasts from pretty much every publication that exists about every topic you can imagine, and they are completely free. A great way also to take your eyes away from the screen for a while.
20. Go for a walk or drive
Please do get out of your house – even if it’s just for a drive-thru coffee on your lunch break, or a walk around the block before the sun goes down. It will massively improve your mental health right now, I recommend at least once a day some sort of outdoor activity.
21. Write on Vocal!
Vocal has reignited my passion for writing. I’ve loved reading other posts on the Vocal community pages. There are monthly challenges with cash prizes up for grabs – and it’s fun reading other entries and writing something to fit the brief. Any idea that comes to mind, it’s nice to have that easy-to-use platform to share your voice and writing. I feel my writing improving – finding my own voice and style of writing. Putting pen to paper (or hand to keyboard I should say) has even inspired me to delve further into writing. Throughout the year I’ve been working on a non-fiction memoir of my experiences dating, and I’m currently working on the book proposal.