50 things to do whilst in lockdown

“Lock up all you love and go and throw away the key.”

Carrie Underwood

I’ve had a few requests to write about things to do while in lockdown; here is a long list, with elaborations as to why I think they might be great ideas!

I will say this, however: if you have to do something, limit your time watching the news and social media. Awareness is important, but overstimulation of negative headlines can do more damage than people realise to their psychology. Also, make sure that you have a routine and a variety of things to do that you enjoy, but also tasks that give you the satisfaction of working towards your goals and dreams.

So without further ado, here’s the list…

  1.  Plan your day. Have a to-do list or a goals journal with particular objectives to complete so you have clear goals and are not just wasting your time. I recommend Google Calendar, to help with time blocking your days.
  2. Have a dedicated daily work period. Spend a few hours every day doing tasks, whether that be for work, school or university. Just make some progress – it doesn’t matter how much! If you plan far ahead, a few hours a day should be sufficient for you to get many of your tasks completed.
  3. Read books. There are so many books out there to read! Take advantage of Amazon (despite the new delays). Books are a testament to education and mental stimulation that will certainly keep you entertained. Whether it is fiction or non-fiction, experimenting with different genres and authors is a fantastic idea.       
  4. Listen to audiobooks. Audible is good for this – books can be obtained instantly and listened to via the app. I recommend the Game of Thrones Series and Harry Potter Collection for those who like fantasy. You’ll find thousands of books from different genres, all at very affordable prices.
  5. Watch YouTube. Watching or listening to some of your favourite YouTubers will surely give you a laugh, educate you or a bit of both.
  6. Play video games. Whether you’re Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo, there must be plenty of games you haven’t played in a long time – perhaps you could revisit some of them? It does eat up time, and if you get addicted you won’t have a lot of time for anything else – so be careful on that front. But it is lovely to play, especially together with the family from time-to-time.  
  7. Do the housework. Chores are necessary and everyone seems to dread them, but if you make it a routine in the morning (while, let’s say, listening to an audiobook), you can just get it done – and chores might even become quite therapeutic and relaxing after a while, rather than a nuisance.  This includes washing up, drying up, washing machine maintenance, hanging the washing to dry, changing sheets, and just generic tidying. 
  8. Clean the house. This goes beyond the normal house chore level, where you actually properly tidy and clean the house. Break out the hoover, polish the surfaces, sponge or wipe the floor. This again could be tiresome work, but it is certainly fulfilling to get even just one room tidied to the best of your ability. 
  9. Redecorate the house or garden. Perhaps you already have the resources to redecorate or even to just move the furniture round to give it a new feel. Especially in lockdown, it might be a rather good idea to change the scenery or the look of it every once in a while.
  10. Watch documentaries. If there’s a period of history you want to visit, documentaries are always good. There are plenty of free ones on TV as well as YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime etc – I’m personally very into the Tudor period at the moment. 
  11. Watch TV. A bit self-explanatory, but a good show to watch is always great on occasion. Are there any new shows you want to watch, or older ones to catch up on?
  12. Watch films. The same as above – are there any films you haven’t watched? I recommend Disney+ for this.
  13. Play some board games or quizzes. From Monopoly and Cluedo to Scrabble and Frustration, there are plenty of board games to play – you could even have a tournament!
  14. Start your own blog or website. Why not spend some time creating a blog/website? You can start one for absolutely free on WordPress. Post regularly – it may be entertaining for you and you may establish a viewership.
  15. Start or plan your personal brand or business. A great opportunity for you to establish a personal brand via social media while working from home. Some businesses may even find great opportunities in this period, despite the not-so-pleasant circumstances.
  16. Revise for your driving theory test – it is important, you know.
  17. Skype with friends and family. See if they are alright and organise to talk to them every so often, even if it just a phone call – but Skype would be preferable.
  18. Be a positive influence on social media. Don’t add to the overwhelming numbers of negative posts and naysayers; you have a duty to yourself and your family to not be sharing unnecessary articles that may prove detrimental to someone’s mental health. Be self-aware of what you are sharing and posting and if you do that, you will be a beacon of hope online that people need at the moment. Make sure you also spend less time on social media though, as it has – as already said – become a rather depressing place. Filter out those who share messages you don’t want and replace them with those who align with your way of thinking (a more positive ideal). This will change your personal algorithm, both on social media and in yourself. 
  19. Write down your goals – both long-term and short-term. Refer to them every day, and take action according to those goals whenever possible. 
  20. Spend more time with family. Lockdown can be an excellent opportunity to spend more time with your family members and to develop the relationships that you have. 
  21. Develop a health plan or routine. Perhaps you should try doing that one daily run or walk for exercise, or plan a personal gym in your back garden to get some fitness in. Even if it’s only for 20 minutes or so, it is a lot better than doing nothing – keep active!
  22. Spend time outside. Whether it is on your one walk to the shop or for exercise, or even just to open your bedroom window, let the fresh air in – you’ll feel better for it.
  23. Write a book. Everyone has ideas of a story they want to write, maybe it’s time for you to start that best-selling novel – especially you Creative Writing students!
  24. Write a script. Same as above – maybe you want to become a scriptwriter one day, whether for your own show or one that already exists. 
  25. Write in a gratitude journal. Studies show that this has a massive positive effect on mental health – it works wonders! Make a list of what you are grateful for every day, no matter how small or how big. 
  26. Create a YouTube channel and upload your own content. I believe everyone in this world has a gift to share with us all – why don’t you show us yours?
  27. Update and build a presence on social media. This would work well with #26 – learning skills such as marketing and graphic design would improve your layout.
  28. Start an online course. There are plenty of courses teaching different skills such as art, graphic design, business coaching and so much more. I recommend Skillshare – it’s very affordable.
  29. Start your Duke of Edinburgh award. Even though you can’t do your residential, you can still start your Gold Award – for those in the UK, it takes up to 18 months to complete. Hopefully, by then, lockdown will be gone! But yes, having this on the CV will work wonders with potential employers.
  30. Learn an instrument. There are plenty of instruments to learn and get good at, such as piano, guitar or drums. With enough persistence, you may even be able to compose your own music!
  31. Learn a new language. This would be such a help when you are able to travel again. For example, if you really wanted to go to Paris (Disneyland!), learn French. I recommend Duolingo – it is absolutely free and an amazing app!
  32. Play some Dungeons and Dragons. For all you nerds and geeks out there, DnD may be a good idea: a fantasy game involving the imagination, where you are the characters in your Dungeon Master’s world, maybe a great side campaign/activity to do.
  33. Look for a job – you’ve got plenty of time to research opportunities for jobs and graduate placements once lockdown has been lifted.
  34. Look for a degree. Spend time thinking about your future academic plans and working towards them – what course do you want to do and why?
  35. Listen to podcasts. There are plenty of podcasts to watch – whether you’re into drama, comedy or personal development, there are many to choose from.
  36. Create some art. Have you got a passion for painting, or like to draw? Try making your own artistic masterpiece!
  37. Do some logic puzzles – these are always good to mentally challenge your brain. 
  38. Watch some motivational videos – enough said really, it gets you in the mood for doing your great things.
  39. Learn how to create and edit videos. This is a great skill to learn, whether for professional purposes or just your own leisure.
  40. Learn how to cook (or cook better). If you can cook well, then trust me this skill, will serve you for life (pun intended). It may even win over a date or two!
  41. Play some outdoor games. Playing football, Skittles and other outdoor games in your garden can be a great combination of getting exercise, having fresh air while also having lots of fun!
  42. Practise self-care. Just because you are in lockdown does not give you the excuse to be mean to yourself. Make sure you are very kind to yourself no matter your circumstances, and make sure you get the appropriate help if necessary – your future self will thank you for it.
  43. Practice personal hygiene. I know it is basic, but it is easy to forget, and if you are not going out, you may not put as much effort in – that is understandable and even logical. But you still need to take care of the basics: brushing your teeth, washing your hands (especially), washing your hair and having showers or baths regularly. It will make you feel better; if you look after your body, your body will look after you. You will feel less groggy and more energised for your tasks and more excited about future prospects.
  44. Help others in your household – you will feel good helping them. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
  45. Volunteer. If you are brave enough, like the NHS and other key workers, you could spend your days volunteering. For example, you could volunteer to help the homeless and help the elderly get their shopping. This is also part of the Duke of Edinburgh award and is an absolutely brilliant thing to do at this time, as long as you are healthy and able to do so.
  46. Keep a healthy diet. Make sure to eat and drink plenty to keep optimal hydration, and that you are eating the right foods such as fruit, vegetables, carbohydrates etc. But also give yourself enough time for treats!
  47. Enjoy shopping online. Online shops are reducing prices due to this crash and restriction of movement, so take advantage of this as well as any free trials – buy stuff that would be productive towards your goals as well as your leisure. 
  48. Enjoy shopping IRL. More often than not, people are scared when going out, but when it comes to shopping it is important that you do so. Be grateful for the pleasures you had when shopping in the past, while staying aware of current social restrictions. 
  49. Think ahead to when it’s all over. Plan an amazing event for friends and/or family, as well as making general plans for when life returns to normal.
  50. Be yourself and be awesome!

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