There are so many of these lists about, but I read some of them and just think nahhh no chance of me doing any of them. Over the last week I’ve seen and heard so many different things that could keep us entertained, and not all are realistic. But lots are too, so here’s 121 realistic things to do during Coronavirus lockdown.
I’ve broken it out into categories, as I’m sure not everything will appeal to everyone. What you won’t find here though is what to do with kids. Not my bag sorry.
Just to be clear, nothing in here is an ad, or an affiliate link, or in here for any reason other than I think they should be.
Find 3 positives every day, either in your life, your social feeds, or from people around you – save them, share them or just think about them. It’s surprising how much it can lift your mood.
Clean your make up brushes. Those things breed germs.
Meditate. Not for me but for some it works.
Do yoga. Again not for me but I wish it was as people love it. Although the thought of online, do it in your own home classes is more appealing. Have a look at my lovely friend Emily, she’s based in Hexham and is running online classes – Yogawithemily.
Take naps. Who doesn’t love a nap, especially when there’s nowhere to be at the end of it.
Have early nights.
Have a beauty night. Lack of fresh air isn’t helping my skin, my nails are a disgrace and until I caught sight of them at the weekend my eyebrows really needed to practice some social distancing of their own. I’ve also seen plenty people saying they’re barely washing their hair. That’s all fine, but the occasional face mask, manicure, hair wash, leg shave and pamper session is so worth it.
Have a long hot bath.
Turn your phone off. I hardly ever do this, but even I’ve felt chained to it. We’re all keeping in touch with friends and loved ones via technology, and with so many to keep up with, as well as working from home it can get a little much. My head has been battered some nights. Putting yourself first is just as important as keeping everyone else happy sometimes.
Have a look at these free mindfulness courses by Linkedin.
Ugly cry. Sometimes it’s needed.
Pass the time
Draw or paint – its theraputic. Many think you need to have a natural talent to be able to be creative but I just don’t believe it. My GCSE art teacher actually taught me how to draw. So you can learn, and if all else fails just be creative and call it ‘abstract’ rather than ‘mess’.
Do a jigsaw. Seen a lot of these about, that clear one looks horrendous! My sister has been working on a toy story one.
Keep a diary/journal. I know a lot of people keeping a record of what they’re up to at the moment, in the future this will be a unique period in time and your memoirs might get published! And if not at least there’s a use for your year planner that is currently pretty redundant.
Give your boyfriend a haircut. This provided me with a good hours entertainment. Tip: practice at the back where he can’t see.
Play ‘second of a song’. More fun after a few drinks I have to admit, but you play a second of a song and see if someone can guess it. Kieran is annoyingly good. I am shite.
Decorate an egg for Easter. I don’t care how old you are this can be fun.
Take pictures of your pet. I spend so much time doing this anyway but even more so working from home. Always entertaining.
Play old school games. Twister, Frustration, Monopoly, cherades…etc.
Learn how to knit, make yourself a scarf as you’ll probably need it again by the time we get out of this.
Home & Declutter
Make lists and lots of them to stay organised. Shopping lists, things to do lists, work lists etc. And again another use for your redundant planner.
Keep your house tidy. I find it’s a lot easier to concentrate and feel better if I’m not living in a shit hole. I spend 5 mins every morning just generally tidying to keep on top of it. (I told you this list isn’t for if you have kids).
Go through your monthly direct debits and get rid of pointless subscriptions you don’t need. Saves money not just for the moment but also doing this with the current view of the world makes you realise what really is important and what is frivolous.
Organise your….wardrobe, shoes, handbags, kitchen cupboards, bathroom cupboards, storage units, garage, make up, jewellery box.
Finally unsubscribe to all the emails you don’t want.
Speaking of emails, if you’re one of those psychopaths that has 999 unread emails now is your time to shine and GET RID. Makes me anxious just thinking about it.
Do little things to brighten up your living space, seen as you’re spending so much more time in it. I’m making a point of fresh flowers when I’m at Asda for example.
Upcycle or repaint some furniture. Or even just rearrange the furniture.
Go the whole hog and redecorate.
Frame photos and prints you have had waiting for ages gathering dust.
Organise your laptop and/or photos and back it all up.
Do all the DIY jobs you’ve been putting off.
Wash your car, inside and out.
The one everyone loves to hate, but I would challenge anyone to tell me they’ve not used social media during this time for information, support, connecting with people, inspiration, a mood lifter, a laugh or even some escapism. Some suggestions for best use…
Save everything you see on instagram that makes you feel good, and go to it when you feel crap.
Organise your Pinterest boards. Hours to be had here both organising and pinning.
Actually do some of the Pinterest life/home/food/craft hacks.
Join a Twitter chat, I saw the Chronicle were sharing local businesses to support today as one of theirs, there’s always someone hosting a football one, and there are frequent travel ones usually on a Tuesday. These are just three of so many. Search for your interests and there’s bound to be one for you.
Follow local restaurants, traders and shops, and engage with what they’re putting out. Anything like this helps so much even if you don’t think it does, and they really appreciate it you just have to read their messages. Customers and punters are their lives, so join in everything they’re doing. I’m loving recipe videos from Kith & Kin, daily updates from City Tavern, and photo share ideas from Leila Lily’s.
Play emoji pictionary.
Dig yourself into a YouTube hole.
Scroll Twitter – as with every platform there are the idiots that are best ignored. However there are some absolute gems to be found.
Download Tik Tok. Hear me out. Quickly swipe past the pointless videos of lip syncing, girls under 25 posing in front of the mirror and repetitive dance moves, and you’ll actually find some really funny ones. But I LOVE the ‘satisfying’ category. You know the types of videos – squashing things, perfect paintings, stress relieving type videos. I could spend hours watching people cut through coloured sand it’s very relaxing.
Edit your Bitmoji – I made mine fatter and put her in lockdown clothes – leggings and a hoody.
Play isolation bingo, there’s a few about on Instagram stories, my favourite so far is by Laura Dawson. (You best believe I’m spying on the neighbours to make sure they aren’t going out more than once.)
Take part in the 30 day song challenge, either on stories or just with your friends.
For Bloggers or Wannabe Bloggers
Start the blog you’ve always wanted to. I don’t care what people say, anyone can start a blog. Now is the time!
Support your favourite bloggers – by reading, liking, following what they’re doing, or find some new ones. All that content to read through, one of my favourite things to do.
Create a new instagram account. Preferably of your pet.
Rebrand your blog or business. There are a lot of freelance designers and talented people out there who need work now more than ever. Take a look at SK Design Studio for example.
You know that never ending list of blog admin? Resizing and optimising photos, SEO, design tweaks… get started on that list.
Nikon are currently offering free photography courses for at home using window light. Head to their Facebook page for details.
Join blogger chats, facebook groups or virtual meet ups. There are some very helpful and motivating sessions out there in various forms that really keep motivation going during a difficult time for a lot of bloggers.
I learned this from a girl I follow on instagram, but if you have an Adobe account suspend it for 2 months so you don’t have to pay.
Write all the blogs you don’t feel like you can share now, you’ll be so prepared when things get back to normal.
I’m not going to lie, this is not my cup of tea either, but nevertheless…
Do Joe Wicks daily PE lesson. All money made from advertising goes to the NHS too. Bravo Joe.
If you prefer something that isn’t live, download Insanity, I think Davina made her fitness series free at the moment, and of course Chris Hemsworth’s 6 weeks free.
My fabulous friend Lucy, of local North East Dance Envy is running weekly dance classes for both kids and adults. Just £3 per class or £5 for two and I’m told they are a lot of fun. She also has packages for kids if you want to sign them up too.
Do a circuit in the garage or garden. God knows what to include but if you’re considering doing it I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you.
And of course you have your daily walk, run or cycle. Jazz it up a bit and roller blade? Do it backwards…? Have to say our daily dog walk is the highlight of my day.
Learn a language. We’ve signed up to Babbel, who have some great deals on. 3 months for £7 per month, 6 months for £5.50 per month, or £4.75 for 12 months. I’m determined to stick to this long after lockdown.
Take one of the Open University free courses. The full catalogue is here: https://www.open.edu/openlearn/free-courses/full-catalogue
Take an online distance learning course for a qualification you’ve always wanted to do, or just to bring yourself up to date. I’ve previously done one with the IDM.
Update your CV and cover letter.
Listen to a Ted Talk.
Learn to play an instrument…but consider the neighbours.
Each time you fancy a drink, put a fiver in a jar. There’s your first night out paid for including taxis and end of the night takeaway when all this is over.
Make your own bottomless brunch. Stock up on prosecco and breakfast food and just get drinking.
Do a pub crawl in your house. Have different drink in every room.
Host your own wine tasting
Learn how to make cocktails.
Join a virtual pint. City Tavern are doing one this week and I think Free Trade Inn are doing one too. I’m sure there’s hundreds of others across the country.
Make a list of all the restaurants you want to visit when we can go out again. I’ve got a list as long as my arm for every occasion and every type of food.
Learn to cook new recipes. Usually I am very guilty of sticking to what I know, but with more time, less opportunity to eat out, and the need to do things differently I’m hoping to try some new recipes over the coming weeks. Healthy and not so healthy. One of my favourite people to follow on instagram is my Dutch colleague Sandra, who has a blog at Culi Sandra. Have a look for some different inspiration, she shares 2 new recipes a week. It’s in Dutch but right click – translate to English and voila.
Bake! There’s been a lot of banana breads about hasn’t there… If you want to venture away from this, then check out some of the recipes on North East blogger Katie Cakes blog. I’ve also seen the the Great British Cupcakery are looking to share some of their recipes on Instagram soon too.
Dine in….Paris (french onion soup)! or New York (pizza, deli sandwiches, steak…), or Barcelona (tapas), or Mexico (tacos, fajitas nachos)! My parents had to cancel their anniversary trip to Paris, so they got dressed up and had a fancy French meal anyway in their living room. Choose a city or your favourite place and have a themed night.
Keep a food diary. Might be quite useful if your clothes start to feel a bit snug, or if you want to remember recipes for future.
Learn how to make a Sunday roast. I’m attempting this Easter weekend, and Viv said she’s looking forward to trying it after lockdown. No hun, straight to the Broad Chare or Branches for me.
Have a takeaway treat, and where possible order from local independent businesses to help keep them going. Week 1 of lockdown and we walked past the takeaway on every walk and had two, which I’m not proud of so have reduced to one a week at weekends.
There is no better time to have a dog in my opinion, although it is bloody hard work with a puppy. Lots of dogs in shelters are pleaing for people to foster a dog and if you can I think it’s a lovely idea. It’s a big commitment though, but would be so worth it.
Give blood. An essential time to do it if you’re able to, to avoid shortages at this critical time for the NHS. More information here: https://www.blood.co.uk/news-and-campaigns/news-and-statements/coronavirus-covid-19-updates/
Volunteer for NHS to help vulnerable people. They’ve called for 250,000 volunteers and the response has already been amazing, but if you still want to then sign up here: https://www.england.nhs.uk/2020/03/your-nhs-needs-you-nhs-call-for-volunteer-army/
Adopt a grandparent. This one breaks my heart as my mum is currently having to visit our nana by standing outside the window of her care home. An organisation in London has launched a campaign to help older people from feeling lonely during this lockdown period. For more information see https://www.iheart.com/content/2020-03-26-nursing-home-lets-you-adopt-a-lonely-grandparent-in-isolation/
Send a message to NHS workers, clap at every national clap, send them all the wellwishes in the world, sign every petition to support them. THese people are incredible. https://www.thanksamillionnhs.co.uk/
Offer to help people in your street if they’re isolating. Don’t get too close, but a message, a note on the door, or text can make them feel supported.
Check in on your friends. I’ve noticed those who have checked up on me more than ever. You never know who is having a bad day and a message might make a difference. And even short quick conversations can really cheer you up.
Houseparty. We got drunk and attended 3 houseparty calls last Saturday night, and it was hilarious. It was the strangest feeling waking up with the fear but not spending anything. Unless you get carried away online shopping…
Host, or take part in a virtual pub quiz. We are doing this at the weekend and I’m very excited.
If you’re single get on Tinder, virtually date.
Travel… from home
Plan your next holiday for when we can travel again.
Go through all your booked trips for the year and make sure you’re covered, and know the situation should it get cancelled. Often leaving any booking until the provider cancels gives you the best options, but this various obviously across the board.
Work out how much money you’ve saved on plans you’ve had to cancel (if you’re in a stable financial position), then plan what to do with it instead later in the year.
Take a virtual museum tour. Lockdown doesn’t mean you can’t still experience some of these places. I’m sure I also saw one museum sharing a different painting a day and asking people to recreate the scene at home.
Go on Webcam Taxi, which shows live webcam feeds from iconic spots around the world. Never thought I’d see an empty Times Square or Las Vegas Boulevard.
Look over past holiday photos…if it won’t make you too depressed. I have to be in the right mood for this but I do love looking over old memories.
Watch travel films, or films from incredible locations.
Plan your dream trip, no matter how extravagant or crazy. Every last detail of it right down to hotels, restaurants and activities you’d do. You’re much more likely to one day do it!
Learn traditional recipes from your favourite places.
When was the last time you updated your bucket list? Do it now.
Sign up to the new Disney channel, or get someone’s log in.
Watch an at home concert. Lot’s of musicians have done them including – John Legend and Elton John. I thought it might be a bit cringe but I actually loved John Legend’s it was so good and had key messages in it that everyone should be considering.
Tune in to live streams of Stand Up shows. The Stand announce all their upcoming shows here.
Have a film marathon. We watched all the Harry Potter films over Christmas, but there’s obviously so many to choose from.
Read – books, online magazines, online newspapers, blogs.
Play with your pets, they’ll love you being home!
Find some new podcasts to listen to. There are sooooooo many out there covering every topic imaginable.
Listen to music instead of watching TV. We’ve had the vinyls on a lot especially while cooking.
Play on the playstation – Crash Bandicoot anyone?
I’ve seen this about a lot but ‘complete’ Netflix. And keep an eye on new releases.
Watch all the Attenborough series.
Watch all of Game of Thrones, again if you’ve already seen it, or for the first time if you’re one of those who hasnt. That is a lot of hours you’ll pass.
Football clubs are sharing old games most Saturdays, tune in to some of the classics while there’s no football on.
Online shop – there are SO MANY deals out there at the moment and for everything. Clothes, homeware, food, literally everything. I’ve found that having deliveries to look forward really makes me feel better, and I’m timing them so I always have one a week to look forward to haha. It’s always nice to get new things if you can afford it and especially if you’re helping struggling businesses or freelancers.
If you’re Newcastle based the Grainger market deliveries look amazing. Jeff from Newcastle Eats shared his lucky dip delivery on Twitter yesterday and it’s made me want one.
If you’re sorting all your cupboards and wardrobe out then get some of it up on Ebay or Depop. I always put this off as it takes so long to take photos and write all the descriptions but it’s a good way to make some cash.
If there’s things you want that you can’t buy currently, and you can afford it then gift vouchers are a great option to have for future use, and to support businesses. Especially for hairdressers, beauty salons and restaurants. A gift card might also really cheer someone up or be a good present for anyone celebrating birthdays on lockdown.
In your Garden
And lastly just a couple for as the weather gets warmer…
Many garden centres are selling off their plants and delivering them to nearby buyers. Snap up some bargains and get potting.
Create hanging baskets.
If you have a fire pit, chiminea or even a barbecue toast marshmallows. If not just melt chocolate and dip them in that instead with a hot chocolate and a thick blanket.
Another one not for me but seen a few people doing it on facebook, (usually with kids admittedly) but camp out.
Grow something – flowers, fruit, veg…cress!
Have a coffee/read a book outside. Doing any normal task outside is just nice isn’t it, and the fresh air helps.
BBQ. Nicholsons of Whitley Bay do fabulous BBQ packs in the summer and they’re still open for fresh meat.
Make ice lollies, alcoholic ones.
I hope this has given you some inspiration of what to do with your time, how to help others, and how to make yourself feel better in these crazy times. For more of what I’m doing check out my Coronavirus instagram highlight.
Stay safe and stay home everyone.
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