In the UK, we have been in lockdown since the 23rd of March. It has not yet been confirmed when the lockdown will be lifted. Here are some things we have been getting up to during this time! Please share your ideas in the comments below as well to make the most of the recourses we have available, because let's be honest, staying indoors can be challenging!:
1. Learn to play an instrument
A variety of free and paid virtual classes are currently available at your disposal! My partner is learning to play the Ukulele and has already learned the basic theory and a few songs! Here are Fenders 3-month giveaway music classes as an example:
2. Connect with your body and inner self
Being flat/housebound is a challenge for most. Sharing creative ideas with each other is incredibly helpful to stay present and content in this seemingly surreal state of lockdown. A new analysis, published in the journal Exercise Immunology Review, highlights the power of regular, daily exercise on our immune system and the importance of people continuing to work-out even in lockdown.
Since the lockdown, I started doing daily exercises. I do not have a rigid plan. The length of time and type of exercise depends entirely on what I feel like doing on a given day, as long as it helps me warm-up and get the pulse going. This way I can get creative and listen to what my body needs. I find it is very much about reconnecting with my body, being present and aware of all the facets that make me human. That in itself is an unlimited source of activity! Humans are complex, and we live in an incredibly fast world, what better time to explore yourself then now, during the 'slow-living' phase. Here are some incredible ideas and resources to inspire you to reconnect with your body and inner self:
1. Corepower Yoga is offering free live online classes!
2. Yoga with Adrienne on Youtube is another great instructor to follow.
3. See on the screen if you prefer more intense exercise and dancing!
4. Bodyweight exercises and cardio in nature, in the balcony, a garden or at home
Online there is something for everyone no matter what age, perhaps it is worth searching and sending a link to your grandparents or getting your children involved in yoga lessons, mindfulness can start from a young age!
3. Virtual galleries and shows
Above: Aubrey Beardsley
4. Help those in need
There are a variety of community lead projects to help those struggling with the current lockdown and Pandemic, particularly the lonely elderly and other vulnerable members of society. I recommend looking into your own community to see if there are any services organised already and if not perhaps take the lead and get your community together to help your more vulnerable neighbours with food or medication trips, walking their dogs, simply staying in touch and calling for chats to keep them company. Helping others is not only a decent thing to do but also rewarding to do so.
5. Get a tan and fresh air!
Now you have to be careful not to over-indulge and take care of your skin, but a little bit of sunshine and a lot of fresh air is not only good for your mood but also good for your Vitamin D intake too! Let's enjoy it while it lasts! I personally, have been sitting on the towel in my balcony sipping OJ, reading and enjoying a bit of that summer glow. I have been using eco-friendly + zero waste Shade sunscreen with my floppy hat for a little extra protection!
6. Bird Feeders and nature watching
Lockdown means an opportunity to slow down and fully take in what is within as well as outside of you. I have been paying more attention to nature outside of our doorstep and via our balcony. If we did not have Daisy our feisty foster child, then I would also consider putting up a bird feeder in our balcony and welcome birds onto our humble abode. Whenever I come out to exercise I take my time to enjoy all the unique aspects of nature in our community.
7. Grow herbs and plants
I am currently brewing a plan to create a perfect jungle in our balcony and sitting room, I don't know about you, but if I only have limited access to nature outside I am more then happy to bring it in! Think about it, better air quality, better sleep and a lovely relaxing site! Also growing your own herbs is both rewarding and sustainable!
8. Movie Night
We have set a daily movie night at 21.00 o'clock and opened our screen time to more new movies and old cinema! Several media service are giving away free trials, here are the ones that we have been using so far.
1. Disney Plus - 7-day free trial, great for all family!
2. MUBI - One month £1 offer, perfect for European and older films for that new/old aesthetic
3. We have been using Netflix as well, as we have a membership, currently watching The I-Land, for that 'what will happen next' feel!
9. Listen to an audio-book and transport yourself!
Recently, I have made it part of my routine to listen to an audio-book, I have chosen 'Shantaram', and I cannot recommend it enough! The reader's performance is great and the exciting plot takes place in Bombay. Every time the author and actor take me there! Whatever you will choose, I am sure you are in for a pleasant surprise! Give it a go! For this, I am using Audible stream.
10. Declutter your home
I swear on my homegrown Basil, the moment I started spending a lot of time at home, I realised how much clutter we have! At one point I felt the walls closing in with stuff! I decided to completely re-evaluate what we have, what we need and what no longer serves a purpose or the space that we live in.
All of the above mentioned are now stacked away in our storage unit and will be given away to charities. We are enjoying the new space and also considering moving some furniture around, after all, we have time, so why not, right?
I hope you have enjoyed these ideas, please post your routines and things to do during a lockdown in the comments below!
Let's get busy!