When life gives you lemons...
Our day-to-day lives have changed dramatically as the nation has been urged to stay indoors to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and social distancing has very quickly become the norm. However, while staying indoors sounds simple enough in theory, how simple is it in practice?
I must admit one revelation I've had during these social distancing times is that I clearly didn't have much of a social life anyway, tending to stay in on school nights and getting out and about at the weekend on occasion. But even so, I've found it hard to pass the time now the choice of going out has been taken away. For some people this will have had a drastic effect on their working and social lives. So what can we do to keep ourselves sane while self-isolating?
Here's 6 ways to make self-isolating the new night out!
1. Home Workout
Our mental health is something that we should seriously consider. You will no doubt find that you have a lot of expendable energy and if, like me, this manifests as anxiety and over-thinking, one of the best things you can do is stick on your favourite playlist and do a home work out.
If you're new to this, there is plenty of YouTube videos and routines available on Pinterest. I've found this a great way to expend that pent up energy, clear the mind and, if anything, I might actually achieve that beach bod that has eluded me since hitting my thirties.
Yoga is also a very good way to look after our mental health, with a vast catalogue of videos and even online classes at you your disposal. If there's ever a time to take up yoga – it's now.
Who knew my procrastination would become so useful in lockdown? All the DIY that I've been putting off and the long list of odd jobs that I've been pushing to the back of mind with excuse after excuse can now become top of the list. There's no excuses, so dust of those tools and get that pencil behind your ear, it's home improvement time.
There's always something that needs doing around the house even if it's just hanging a picture. Order some command strips if you're renting to avoid sticking any holes in the wall. I popped up some bathroom hooks this weekend and I've never felt so proud.
If you're fortunate enough to have a garden, it might be a good time to use that green thumb and prep the garden for Spring. It's gonna be a saving grace this year!
3. TV Binge
We can sometimes feel guilty for sitting on the sofa watching Netflix, we're never fast enough to stop the next episode autoplaying and before we know it it's the season finale at 3 in the morning. Well bye-bye guilt and hello forgetting to pee for 6 hours.
The couch potato guilt has been waived for the foreseeable future and with Netflix, Prime Video and the release of Disney+ on March 24th there's plenty of choice. I don't know about you but I'll be setting up camp in the living room from now on.
You may or may not have heard of Netflixparty.com but it's also a great way to watch a film synced perfectly with your friends but at your individual homes – worth checking out.
A few years ago I had surgery which meant I couldn't get out of bed for around 10 days, so I challenged myself to learn how to do a Rubik's cube in under 3 minutes. The fastest I ever did it was just under 6 mins but it passed the time surprisingly well and is now a great party trick.
Is there anything you've ever wanted to learn but never had the time? Something you used to do as a youngster that you would love to pick up again? I've got friends who have decided to learn a new language, origami, knitting, card tricks and Kintsugi (there's one for google).
At worst you'll have passed some time and at best you'll have a thriving Etsy business.
Modern times call for modern measures and self-isolating/social distancing will have huge implications for our social lives, including loneliness. But rest assured there is an endless selection of apps on hand to keep you connected with friends, family and loved ones.
I found myself on House Party with my family last Sunday for Mother's Day, six of us on a group video call from three different countries, my brother-in-law was even in Cyprus. There's no obstacles, borders or distances too far when it comes to the virtual world.
Here's some apps old and new that are a great way to keep your social life as buzzing as always.
Words With Friends - challenge friends with this boredom buster.
House Party - great way to group video call with built in games such as Heads Up.
Netflix Party – download and watch the same thing at the same time while chatting.
Airtime – Similar to Netflix Party but works for YouTube video's, Soundcloud songs and more.
Don't forget the good old phone call, which is not to be underestimated.
6. Virtual Speed Dating
Original Dating have your back. Our popular speed dating nights have become renowned for a fun way to meet new people and now we have introduced Virtual Speed Dating. That's right, we've moved our unique brand into the virtual world.
You can still meet people face to face in our new virtual bar from the comfort of your own home. It's important that we stay connected in the face of social distancing while still protecting our communities.
So let's enjoy ourselves, pour yourself a glass of wine, light some candles and have some video dates with your favourite speed dating hosts running our new virtual nights out, wait, nights in.
View our upcoming virtual speed dating events here.
These are tough times ahead but it doesn't mean it needs to be all doom and gloom, make it work to your advantage and stay positive. There's no denying our mental health will be tested and cabin fever will be a genuine concern so hopefully some of these ideas will help you to get creative, battle boredom and most important of all, stay connected. We must look out for ourselves and one another more than ever.
Stay safe and make homemade lemonade.