Unless you’ve been living in a cave recently, you can’t have failed to notice that things are a little crazy right now
One of the recent changes has been social distancing. We all need to be doing our part to help ease the spread of this virus in order to flatten the curve of new cases.
If you are able to work from home, you may already be doing it. But social distancing can bring its burden, especially to people who aren’t used to it. Working from home is one thing, you’re working… but what about other times? When you’re not working? What do you do?
Some of you will have no issues finding things to do, but some people still struggle to make the transition from being able to go out and do things to being constantly indoors.
So I thought I’d share some ideas for what you can do during these social distancing times.
A quick note – I know some people’s budgets are becoming tighter. Whether it’s job losses or lower wages while companies try and retain staff but ease the pressure, money has become a little tighter.
Also, even if money hasn’t become tighter for you specifically, with places closing and social distancing becoming the norm, spending money to entertain yourself isn’t as much of an option.
That’s okay because what I’m sharing here is aimed at things you shouldn’t really need money for. Or things you can possibly get pretty cheap, and delivered (to stop you having to go out).
I’ve also included some recipes or links for things you can make yourself.
Get out the “odd Jobs” list
Let’s be honest, we ALL have a list of things we know we need or even want to do, but they are low priority and often considered to be done “later” or “when I have more time.”
Well, now that we are limited in where we can go, grab that list and see what you can get done! Yes, some of those things might be tedious, but just think how great it will be once they are done and ticked off!
Here are some ideas of things you could be doing on the weekends:
Go through your photos
Whether that is pulling out stacks of photo albums, that box you have just dumped old photos in and forgotten about or sitting down to your computer, phone and/or tablet, take the time to go through all those pictures.
In the digital age, it’s so easy to snap a million pictures and not think twice. But they do take up space and can make it harder to find photos you really WANT to see. We’ve all been there while someone scrolled through thousands of pictures on their phone as they wanted to show you something specific and just couldn’t find it.
So, go through and find all your photos, take some time to check each one. Do you want to keep it? Do you have 3 more that look almost identical? Is it really a good picture?
If you have physical photos, maybe scan them onto your computer and save them in Cloud Storage as a backup.
Reorganise your photo albums, add dates and details so that you always have notes about what the photo shows. Trust me, that helps as you get older and your memory loses some of that detail.
Scan / Shred
Do you have a pile of papers that need to be scanned or shredded? These are those tedious jobs that we always put off to do “later” or until the pile begins to take over the room.
Well, get it done and out of the way and then you can strike it off your list! If there is loads, then block out 10, 15 or 20 mins a day to do some. It will feel good getting that pile down.
Who doesn’t have a list of things that need doing? From reattaching buttons to clothes, clearing out the closet, repainting the garden fence or oiling the squeaky door.
We all have a list of jobs that remain just out of reach – in that magical space called “when I have time”…which doesn’t happen very often.
So use this time when you aren’t able to go out as a perfect opportunity to rally the family together and clear off some of those smaller maintenance jobs.
Clear out your Christmas decorations
If you are one of those people who, after Christmas, just takes down the decorations and packs them away without much thought, maybe take this time to go through them.
Pull out all the boxes, go through each item and decide if you really want to keep it. Is the tinsel a little worse for wear? Fairy light bulbs need replacing? Cracked or broken ornaments you just never got around to throwing away? If you do decide to get rid of anything, make a list of what you need to replace.
Maybe you just want to take this time to reorganise and pack your items better, you may even manage to make more space.
Learn and Teach
Learn something new
This is the perfect time to learn something new. Want to learn to juggle? How about a fancy card shuffle? Or what about learning a language?
There are tons of videos on Youtube where people share their knowledge and techniques from anything to completing the Rubix cube to fixing a washing machine or learning sign language.
Do you have a skill that you could share? Whether you want to share it online on a video channel or a blog or via video calls with friends, let’s spread some community spirit.
I recently have a video call with my sister where I taught her how to do Powerpoint presentations. It doesn’t take much to share your knowledge, just a little time and effort.
If you have children who are now off while the schools close, use this time to teach them some great life skills (depending on their age) – how to change a plug, change a tyre, sew, knit, cook, iron, balance a cheque book, create a budget, manage their money, put up a shelf etc.
NB: If you are reading this and have a Youtube video or a blog article where you share your knowledge of how to do something, drop it in the comments below and I might add a link to it in this article.
Drag out those board games that you have stashed away. Or what about that pack of cards?
When I was back at Christmas, I taught my family how to play a card game called Jack-Change-It.
Here are some card games you might want to play:
On your own? What about playing solitaire? Or building a house of cards? Or maybe learning a card trick?
If you have board games, these can be great to pass the time and certain games can be beneficial to children. Use the game Monopoly to teach your children about money. Use Scrabble or Boggle to teach your children new words and encourage learning.
How about some mind games? Check out places like Lumosity that has “brain training” games.
Catch up on your reading
You know that massive TBR list you have? Then why not start digging into it.
Maybe even do what I do, as mentioned in my article “How I’m tackling my TBR list” and put them in an order for which books you want to read next.
Made a solid decision to read the books you already have, that are sitting on your bookshelves, unloved.
If you have small children, take some time and read to them. Help inspire their love of books and stories!
Start a Blog / Website
Have you always wanted to start a blog or create an Author website? This is a great time to give it a go.
If you want help with starting a blog, check out my Blogger Series which has several articles that go through each step of the process from picking your platform and blog name, to picking topics and working on SEO.
For suggestions on what to include in an author website, check out my How to Create an Awesome Author Website article.
Do something creative
Draw a picture
Fun for kids and adults alike, all you need is a pencil and some paper. Give that creativity a chance to express. Not sure what to draw?
Find a photo or an ornament or even a piece of fruit and draw that. You are not looking for perfection you are looking for creativity.
So try different styles and perspectives, see what you are comfortable with. Developing a skill for drawing comes with practice. Get the children involved and have a drawing day.
Paint a picture
Create a Treasure hunt
Figure out a simple prize, hide it somewhere then work out simple (or complicated… depending on who the treasure hunt is for eg: young children or your adult roommate!) create some clues and hide them around the house (and garden if possible).
This can be a great way to keep children entertained.
Create your own playdough
Using some simple ingredients, you can make your very own play-dough. Here’s the recipe:
- 2 cups of plain flour
- 2 cups of boiling water
- 1 cup of salt
- 1 tbsp of cooking oil
- 1 tsp of cream of tartar
- Various food colours
Put all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk thoroughly until smooth. Put mixture into a microwave-safe contain, cover with clingfilm (pop in a few holes) Cook in a microwave for around 4 minutes on high setting.
Since each microwave is different, you may need a little more time, but don’t overcook it. Take it out and let it cool. Once it cools, shape it into balls and store in an airtight container until using.
Create your own Time Capsule
These are always fun, especially if you have small children. All you need is a box (shoebox is a good size) then start to gather items to include.
Remember it needs to be things that represent the now. Good things to add are newspapers, photographs, greeting cards, a drawing your child made or their report card.
Get everyone to write their future selves a letter or make a video and include a digital card in the box (though be careful, technology changes so fast these days, the item might be obsolete and unreadable by the time you open the capsule).
When it’s full, tape up the box completely, then add a sticker with the current date and then the date you are allowed to open it. Make it sometimes like 15 / 20 years. You don’t need to bury it in the garden or anything, just put it on top of your cupboard or in the attic.
These can be fun to make for your children. Make one for each child, add in things from their life up to a certain age then close the box. Give it to them when they are older such as on their 21 birthday as something fun to open.
Spring clean your computer
When was the last time you cleaned up your computer? Is it stuffed to the gills with random files you can’t even remember you have, duplicates and programs you no longer use all taking up much-needed space?
Rather than just running the odd “Disk Cleanup” every now and then, use the below guide from Avast to go through and give your computer a really good clean up.
The above guides are designed to give you SPACE, they aren’t for speeding up your slow computer. For that you need the below guides:
These are just a few random ideas for what you can do while you are at home during this time of social distancing. Feel free to leave a comment and add your own ideas and suggestions!