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10 Things to do at home to enjoy life under lockdown
Whether you’re quarantining yourself or just exercising some responsible social distancing, chances are we’re all spending some time at home at the moment.
Coronavirus has all of us spending more time at home than usual, but it doesn’t have to be a waste. Now is a great time to reacquaint yourself with your home.
We’ve put a list together of things to do to make the most of our enforced downtime.
1. Clean out your fridge, pantry & bathroom cabinet
Although we’re all tempted to hit the shops and stock up, experts say panic buying isn’t the answer. Get your fridge and pantry sorted before you head to the shops!
Similarly to the pantry and fridge, your bathroom cabinet can accumulate years worth of medicines, products and potions. Now is a great time to go through what’s there, ditch what’s out of its use-by date and itemise what you have on hand in the bathroom.
2. Give your plants some love
Whether you have a garden or just a few pot plants on the balcony, you could use this time to re-acquaint yourself with your green thumb. Not only will it make your place look and feel nicer, but plants are also proven to help reduce anxiety, which could be an issue given the current situation. Now’s the time to get out in the garden.
3. Cocktail hour
One of the nastier aspects of the pandemic is that it turns your friends and all that you do to show them affection; share meals and drinks – into a deadly threat. And yet, in this appalling moment, we need our friends more than ever, and it is probably true that our immune systems do, too. Isolation is bad for a species addicted to social intercourse. Start a cocktail hour on a video conferencing site (like ZOOM, SKYPE, FACETIME, MESSENGER, etc.), sending one or two friends every day an invitation to drinks in front of their laptop (or phone) at a time when we might normally meet in a pub or at each other’s homes. It’s surprising what a difference it can make to a day of isolation, and to your spirits in general, to see your friends’ faces in the evening and hear them talk and laugh.
4. Check-in with your older /vulnerable friends & relatives
While many of us will be at home with family members, older Australians may be cut off from society. Why not set a reminder for yourself to give them a call every day or so? Keeping in touch with friends and family is easier than ever with technology.
We are creatures of habit in what we eat, when we work, what TV shows we watch. Right now, all those habits have been shoved out of the window. There’s a lot of confusion, but this is an opportunity to create new habits. So what to try? What’s your new routine? There’s lots of great online content available. There’s copious anecdotal and scientific evidence showing how important fitness is for mental health: so during this very stressful time, it’s even more important. It also boosts the immune system. But exercise isn’t just about health – it’s often a social activity, too. Work out with a friend on FaceTime or have an online dance party with your family. Find a watch party and dance for half an hour and your cardio will be done.
If you want to use this time it to zhuzh up your home, start with paint. Consider the space and think about what mood you want works best. If you want your kitchen to give you a little lift each morning, go for light, bright tones. Test multiple swatches on every wall. Paint dries to a different shade, so don’t be freaked out. Walk away and come back when it’s fully dry before considering how it looks. Pay attention to how the colour is affected by light at the times you use the room most.
7. Make your home more sustainable
Have you been meaning to start that bokashi or compost bin but haven’t got around to it? Now you can, and why not get the kids involved! Start a herb garden, plant some vegetables and get growing. Not only will it kill the boredom, but it’ll make your home a greener place for the long term. The compost you create will help nourish your garden.
8. Watch those classic movies, shows & books you’ve been meaning to get to
Never watched Star Wars from start to finish? If ever there was a time – it’s now! We’re all guilty of buying books or hearing about movies and never getting to them. By the time this virus emergency settles down, we could all be a little bit more cultured!
9. Get those home chores done
Have you been meaning to fix something at home? Got some cleaning to do? So why not get on top of your to-do list now, while you have some downtime. Crank up your favorite high-school-era playlist. Write down what you want to accomplish first. Not only will this make it easier to determine when you're done, it may actually make you more likely to complete the tasks you've set your mind to.
10. Fun with kids
Boredom at home is only heightened when kids are added to the mix. Why not try some Easter-themed activities? Or get creative with fun craft ideas! Get comfortable with mess. Kids having fun do not keep things neat. Manage the chaos with a “tidy-up half-hour” for everyone before they go to bed. Also give the kids some control – they’re always more willing to throw themselves into things if they feel it was at least partly their idea. Let them lead: help them gather material for junk modelling, a fashion show or house construction, but resist getting too involved. Their imaginations are better than yours! Anything out of the ordinary is always more fun. If it’s mealtime, why not have a picnic on the carpet rather than sitting at the table? If they want to run a cafe and serve the family lunch, or set up a library, let them have a go. Just don’t expect perfection – they’re still apprentices!
by Celine Battendier 10 Things to do at home to enjoy life under lockdown palmbeachfn.com.au March 2020 First National Palm Beach
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