12 Things to Do at Home
As the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle once put it, “Man is by nature a social animal… Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god.”. Be you a beast or a God, uncertain times and the gradual encouragement of social distancing and self-isolation is causing many of us sociable Britons to lead a quieter existence over the coming weeks and months. But while you may not be spending a Thursday night in your local catching up with friends, or a Sunday afternoon in the cinema, there are a number of ways to turn this situation into a positive. Learn a new language or touch up the basics of one you previously neglected, pick up a skill from those closest to you, or build on your pop culture knowledge for when life begins to seem more normal once again. For now, here’s our guide of 12 things to do at home – PJ’s and snacks are optional, but recommended.
Whether you peaked at GCSE art and haven’t picked up a graphite stick since, or have always fancied taking some time to learn the secrets of the artists from online tutorials – get drawing. Another ideal one to get the kids involved in, let your joint Art Attack fantasies come to life… as long as you can handle the post-Picasso chaos.
Plan that Trip of a Lifetime
The travel and hospitality industries are some of those being worst affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Supporting businesses and areas that rely on tourism for survival will be crucial as the months go on, so why not take the time to plan that trip of a lifetime over the coming weeks. The cherry blossom of Japan, the lunar parties of Thailand and the Grecian specks of the Aegean and Mediterranean all await when the time is right.
We’re not encouraging you to empty the biscuit tin with this one – although we won’t be discouraging this either. Remember that Netflix series that has ostracised you for short periods in the pub? That documentary your mum has been on at you to watch? How you’ve been saying for dogs years how ‘I do want to get into Game of Thrones but there’s just so much of it’? Now’s the time. Cosy up on the couch and build those pop culture references for when you’re realised into your social habitat once more.
Working from home? Check out our home office inspiration guide here
Go to a Concert
Well, sort of. Across the globe, the power of live streaming across social media networks is being utilised to bring quarantined music fans bursts of joy. Keith Urban recently live streamed a concert with ‘audience of one’, wife Nicole Kidman, in the background, whilst Chris Martin, Christine and the Queens and John Legend have all been getting in on the act, streaming their music around the globe to unite fans in these times of potential isolation and loneliness. Local singer songwriter Hannah White will be live streaming a gig on Monday. Tune in here.
With hectic work-lives, knackering commutes and the drive to be social during our time off mean, as a nation, we often neglect our kitchens and look for speedy suppers and on the go lunches. Dust off the cookbooks and spend some time putting some love into a dish for those around you. Get the kids involved with cupcake decoration or cookie cutting, fill the freezer with homemade soups and sauces, or batch cook your favourite and share with neighbours or nearby friends in the same position.
You may not be heading to the gym right now or popping down to the local pool, but the world of health and fitness is also utilising social media channels to keep people moving from home – all you need is a space big enough to throw yourself about in. Check out the pages of social influencers who specialise in health and fitness as they give tips on staying healthy whilst unable to get out as much. Starting Monday 23 March, Joe Wicks (aka the Body Coach) will be starting ‘PE with Joe’ classes on his YouTube channel, for those needing an energy boost before heading to the home office.
Have you been turning the loft into a master en-suite, creating a home office, or simply giving the spare room a lick of paint recently – in your mind? Put pen to paper and plans into action when the time is right. Let the interior designer in you run wild on sites such as Instagram and Pinterest, and check out local businesses that will no doubt need our support. Stripping the outdated wallpaper, dumping the creaky chest of drawers and creating a blank canvas to work with will keep you occupied, fit and give you a set goal to work towards.
Learn a Language
Far-flung lands know it, our European counterparts know it… we know it. But everyone also knows we do very little about it. Not the fault of individual Britons entirely, (the British education system places very little emphasis on languages), but certainly something to be worked on in the hours typically spent crammed into a central line train. Whether you’d like to wow the waiter in Verona as you use your restaurant Italian or surprise your friends as you navigate your way to the Prado asking locals, and not google maps, in Madrid, now is the perfect time to pick up some language skills.
Rosetta Stone is currently offering 50% off all of its language courses, with more than 20 languages available.
It’s an aspiration of many to write a novel, screenplay, or collate a poetry anthology. Whether you take inspiration from the current global climate, or put your dreams of warmer climes to paper, get those ideas down, brainstorm, and let your mind run wild whilst you are left with plenty of thinking time. Read this guide from local author Ian CP Irvine on how to write a novel. Why not get the kids involved and widen their imaginations as you talk plot, themes and wacky ideas before letting them loose with their colouring pens on their own children’s book!
Admittedly harder for those with young children to entertain once the schools close their gates, but staying at home provides a perfect opportunity to take it easy and give your mind and body the rest and recuperation you’ve no doubt needed for some time. An hour spent in a warm bath with some essential oils or Epsom salts will be just what the doctor ordered – upgrade it with that book you’ve been meaning to start and a glass of wine perhaps. Body scrub, moisturise, slap a face mask on or follow a yoga tutorial – the house is your oyster when it comes to relaxation.
The Spring Clean
The vast majority of us Britons have a small spruce as the weather brightens up. But when did you last really check for toys and melted crayons behind the sofas, give your oven a bit of TLC or sort out those stray miscellaneous cupboards and draws? Get the Hoover out, pull those Marigolds on and enjoy your isolation in idyllically clean surrounds.
The Fashionista Fix
Not one recommended for the totally inexperienced, but a great one for those with a past passion for textiles, sewing and a fashionista flare. A hefty wardrobe clear out will no doubt provide you with enough material to get a patch blanket together or some inspiration to go eco and up-cycle a few outdated pieces. This is perfect time for dab hands of such crafts to pass on skills that are slowly being neglected in favour of fast fashion – if you’re living with one, or are one, get that kit out and get creative.