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20 Things to Do While in Lockdown

Updated on March 26, 2020
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Lynsey is a Mental Health First Aider who has is also working through her own anxiety and sharing her coping strategies along the way.

With the current Pandemic situation causing many of us to stay indoors, I have noticed an increase in my friends and family being on social media and claiming to be bored and anxious.

To me, staying in isolation is pretty awesome because it means I can do a whole tonne of things that I don't usually have time to do, and I'm a fairly unsociable person. But for a lot of people, they don't actually know what to do with themselves with all of this free time, and struggle mostly with being alone.

So, here are some ideas.


1- Read More

How many unread books are there in your house? I, for one, have plenty to keep me going during even a prolonged quarantine period.

Even if you don’t have a home library, you can access free ebooks online to read with your tablet or phone.

Reading increases your vocabulary, awakens your imagination and also relaxes you. You may also discover a new author or genre that you would never have tried before!

2- Discover A New Hobby

This is somewhat limited to things that may already have accumulated in your house. But you can easily utilise what you have around you to discover a new hobby.

As an avid crafter, I have a tonne of craft kits that I have received as free gifts in magazines etc that I wouldn’t generally consider using. Now is the perfect time to get them out and get crafting!

Have you got an instrument lying around that you have only picked up once or twice? Why not watch some tutorials and try playing it.

Perhaps you have a camera sitting on a shelf?Try some photography inside or eve out of an opened window.

You could try deco patching an old storage box with magazines or newspapers. Or use tissue paper to decoupage a votive holder.

Have a go at embroidering an old pillowcase using some coloured thread.

If you are still able to order things by mail, you could easily get a cheap craft kit from somewhere like amazon- cross stitch or diamond painting kits are quite popular and easy to learn.

Or you could take up Birdwatching from the window- you can locate information from the RSPB website on what to look out for, and will be an expert birder in no time.

With internet access, you will be able to find plenty of inspiration on Pinterest and youtube, as well as tutorials and ideas on how to recycle things as materials.

3- Learn Something New

With the internet at our fingertips, we are in an amazing position to be able to learn something new. Whether you browse youtube for tutorials, or sign up for a free
e-learning course -some courses even provide a certificate or qualification at the end, so you could utilize your quarantine time and gain a new skill!

4- Spring Clean

What best way to spend the time quarantined by giving your home a good scrub down and a clear out? Or the loft, or even the garden shed?

Give everything a deep clean and declutter. All you need is a multi purpose cleaner, some cloths and some rubber gloves, and you can get cleaning! Remember to lift everything, and to clean from the top downwards. Last job is to hoover/ sweep then mop any hard floors.

You could also use the time to clear the laundry basket while you wipe down the surfaces then run the washing machine on a cleaning cycle with some bleach. Make sure that you only wash whites for the first couple of loads after a cleaning cycle, just incase.

5- Organise Everything

This ideally would be done at the same time as your spring clean. And it can be easy to mistake cleaning for organisation as the two often go hand in hand, yet are not the same. A clean home can be disorganised, and an organised home can be unclean...

I do, however like to combine the two and clean everything as I organise it. Everything in my house has a home. And yours can be like that too!

You may need to invest in some storage boxes, hooks and shelfs etc, so this is an activity that may have to extend outside of the quarantine period. However. you could easily prepare for that by sorting into piles of keep/ trash/ charity or even Bootsale/ Keep / Trash piles. Trash can be put out, Charity/Bootsale can be stored in bags until the time comes to come out of isolation, or you can arrange a kerbside pickup from certain charities if available. If opting for a bootsale later on, these items can be bagged up and stored if space is available- ie in a loft etc. That leaves the Keep pile to organize and put away.

If you need any help on decluttering and deciding what to keep, check out my article here.


6- Diy

Got a room to paint? The garden shed? The fence? Perhaps you need to hang a shelf or re-upholster an old chair?

DIY jobs are a great way to feel productive and accomplished, and you can do them easily in isolation- as long as you have the materials. Just be really careful, don't take on anything that you're not trained to do, try to avoid any accidents and don't overdo it!

7- Snagging

We all have the irritating snagging lists that we keep meaning to get to when we have the time…Well we have the time now, so why not!?

Rehanging the picture frame that fell down. Resticking the loose floor tile. Filling the screw holes in the wall. Repainting the worn bit of the handrail.

Think of how productive you would feel once you had finished all of those little niggly tasks! The thing is, it would also likely help you to clear out all of the bits and pieces of materials you had bought in to help with the little jobs. Double win!

8- Cook

Living in isolation with long life foods will eventually get boring if it hasn’t already. Unleash your inner chef and get experimental in the kitchen.

Simple tweaks like adding Cajun spice & chilli powder to baked beans will give them a new lease of life. Jazz up your Ramen noodles with the contents of your spice rack. Add flavours to the water stock cubes and spices when boiling pasta- this works particularly well with wholewheat pasta. Make a soup using the remnants of last years frozen mixed vege.

Build up your confidence with flavours, and by the time you are out of isolation, you will be ready to prepare a feast fit for royalty.

9- Bake

If you are anything like me, the sweet stuff will have been the first to go in the early days of self isolation. I am not much of a baker, but just this morning I whipped up some pancakes with only half of the ingredients. They were surprisingly good- and better than they ever were pre-isolation. I imagine it’s because of the pure desperation for tasty sweetness.

I will definitely miss cakes most of all, so I will be baking a victoria sponge within a few days I imagine. A simple affair filled with Jam and probably a bit lopsided, but again, by the time we emerge from isolation we could be master bakers!


10- Send Some Snail-mail

Write a letter. Or a card. Or postcard. The paper doesn’t have to be fancy, and you can fashion an envelope from some scrap paper if required. Reach out to someone. This is especially important for those who are not active on social media. Write to your aunts/ uncles/ grandparents. There are many reasons who writing a letter is better than sending a quick email- find out more here if you are not already convinced.

11- Do Puzzles

Try keeping your brain in shape with some puzzles. Wordsearches, crosswords, arrowwords and Sudoku are all great brain training puzzles to help keep you sharp.

You can easily source puzzles online which you can complete on your device, or you can find printables easily too.

12- Mini Makeover

Try a new look. It is important to keep yourself feeling good, and appearance is an important factor in that.

Try a new makeup look- there are loads of tutorials available on youtube. Have a laugh and try contouring- it is utterly hilarious if you are not already well versed in the art!

Wear an outfit that you wouldn’t usually wear. Experiment with colour and accessories without the fear of people judging you.

Go on, it's quite empowering.

Just... don't cut your own hair. That rarely ends well!

13- Do Business

Have you got an idea for a side hussle or even something that you envision would turn into an entrepreneurial empire?

Why don't you launch your own business. OK This may be a little challenging, and a few steps ahead... but thats the goal at least.

But when was the last time that you had the time to actually consider making your business dreams a reality?

Start with a business plan, and do some market research. Is there a market for your product/ idea? How much would it cost to startup? What would it cost to make your product/ launch 6 months of your idea? What about premises/ storage? Will it be at home to start? What is the growth plan?

Take plenty of time to think before you do- planning is key in any new venture. Then, once you are out of isolation, you can start the wheels of industry turning and become the next hot topic on Dragon's Den!


14- Write

Try your hand at writing. An article, a book. Anything you like.

It is easier than ever to self publish, and you may discover some literary talent that has been hidden away by everyday life.

15- Start A Blog

Choose something that you are passionate about and share it with the world.

Worst case scenario- you get to share your passion with everyone.

Best case scenario, you can actually make a little bit of money from it.

It is worth noting that making money from blogging will not happen immediately and does take a great deal of commitment, so bear that in mind and set yourself reasonable goals.

16- Exercise

Exercising while in isolation is a great idea as long as you are generally healthy. Not only will it allow you to burn off some of your otherwise unspent energy, it will also increase your heart rate and boost your circulation, which is perfect when you are otherwise sedentary. To top it off, regular exercise releases happy hormones, so by incorporating some regular activity, you will literally cheer yourself up.

If possible, take a walk while maintaining social distancing (ie stay away from everyone) If this isn’t possible, look online for some exercise videos- yoga and aerobics are fairly easy to achieve with just a bit of floor space.

17- Boardgames

This activity really depends on whether you have an opponent available with you.

If not, why not have a game over video call? Ideally, your opponent could play along on their own board, or at least using their own dice, depending on what you are playing.


18- Colouring

Colouring is one of the most relaxing creative things that i like to do. You can so easily spend hours colouring and not even realise it. All you need are some colouring pencils and a colouring book, which can be easily ordered on Amazon Prime.

If you prefer to colour digitally, there are plenty of apps available for free that allow you to colour with a touch of your finger, but they aren't as fun as the real thing, in my opinion.

19- Gardening

If you have access to a garden at home, gardening is a great way to get a bit of exercise in as well as doing something productive.You will also be rewarded with a nice outdoor space later on in the year, in time for the better weather.

Start with some basics like tidying the garden and lifting any litter, then cut the grass and the hedge. Clip back any dead plants to allow them to grow back stronger than ever. Plant some seeds indoors to be planted outside in the milder weather, and think about how you want things to look in Summer to stay motivated.

20- Netflix & Chill

No that's not a euphemism.

Sometimes, the best thing to entertain you is some good old fashioned TV. Whether you stream a movie or watch freeview, watching telly is a good way to relax and reduce boredom.

So, if you have managed to work through this list, you definitely deserve to put your feet up in front of the TV for a while.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Lynsey Hart


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