• Emily Stedman

Are you social distancing? 37 things you can do to keep yourself busy

With the world practising self-isolation and social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic, all individuals in the UK have been urged to work from home if they can. But staying in can be just as fun and productive as going out, with HELLO!'s tips to keep boredom at bay during the COVID-19 lockdown. From learning new skills to embracing your inner DIY guru, we've got you covered…

1. Clear out your wardrobe

Dedicate your new-found time and attention to sorting out your clothes, declutter your home, ditching items you haven't worn for six months and co-ordinating clothes into sections so it's easier to browse in the mornings. This is a great opportunity to get inspired by new outfits or rediscover an old favourite.

2. Give yourself a manicure

Sometimes it's the small things in life that make us feel better, with a fresh manicure being up there. Take some time for yourself, push your cuticles down, slather on some hand cream and choose a shade that makes you smile from ear to ear.

3. Read a book

It's time to read that book that's been sat on your shelf for the last few months. Get inspired by a best-selling memoir, indulge in a celeb-approved book or escape to a different world for a few hours. Hot drink and blanket desirable.

4. Write a letter

Remember how enjoyable it was to receive a letter in the post? Do that with your friends and family - make their day. Buy some nice paper and spread some love to a friend or family member.

5. Do evening drinks (from home)

More and more of us are turning to virtual slumber parties on video apps like Houseparty and Zoom so we can keep up with friends, have a laugh, a glass of wine or three, and make the best of the lockdown. Why not become the Quiz Master and organise the ultimate pub quiz.

6. Lego

David Beckham has been killing time in coronavirus lockdown by building Lego sculptures with his kids, and who can blame him? Lego is perfect for keeping your mind busy and you get the ta-da at the end of it. Winning. For kids (or grownups) at a loose end over the Easter holidays Lego has launched a #LetsBuildTogether challenge with daily build-alongs.

7. TV

Did you miss the Game of Thrones craze or are you late to the Grey's Anatomy party? Now's the time to catch up on all that TV you've been curious about, so get comfy and get ready to commit hours of your life to watching someone else's dramas. If you want to watch the Kardashians from day one, be sure to sign up to hayu.

8. Watch Disney movies

How often do you get a chance to sit around and watch Disney movies all weekend? Disney+ has officially launched, so prepare to be obsessed!

9. Buy a dartboard

Can't go to the pub? Bring the pub to you with a cool dartboard. This one is magnetic, so a lot safer if you have children.

10. Do a crossword/Sudoku

Looking for something a bit more challenging? Put your brain to the test and do a crossword or Sudoku puzzle and see how far you can get. There are lots of online crosswords or word puzzles which means you don't have to leave the house to have a go.

11. Do a jigsaw puzzle for adults

Take your eyes off a screen for an afternoon while you tackle a tricky 1000-piece jigsaw. Amazon has plenty to choose from, and stocks puzzles for all ages. Here's HELLO!'s picks for the best jigsaw puzzles for adults.

12. Read a saucy book

According to reports, quarantine erotica is on the rise - and more and more women are enjoying downtime reading a saucy book. Move over Fifty Shades of Grey, the new book causing a fuss is Sex During the Coronavirus Pandemic by WH Fielding. Protagonist Lucy tries to satisfy her sexual desires while performing social distancing, and the strapline is: "They could lock down her country, but not her heart" and the front cover features a protective mask.

13. Make cheese from scratch

Calling all cheese lovers! This kit is the ultimate lockdown essential - equipped with a range of herbs and spices, three cheese moulds, and a glorious recipe book. There are enough ingredients to make a grand total of 40 batches, and the kit has a shelf life of at least 12 months - so it’ll keep you going for ages.

14. Make a photo album/back up your phone pictures

Remember that girls' holiday you took in 2016 or when you swam with dolphins? Ensure that memories like this are treasured by taking the time to compile a photo album or scrapbook. Similarly, make a back-up of photos on your phone, to ensure you don't lose them in years to come.

15. Plant some flowers

Introduce some welcome colour to your house or garden and plant some flowers. Now that the sun is shining, it's the ideal time to get out in the garden and watch your flowers bloom.

16. Start a blog

Are you the modern-day Carrie Bradshaw or Bridget Jones? Or does your fashion taste rival that of Olivia Palermo and Estée Lalonde? Use your down-time wisely and start a blog to share your thoughts or favourite hobbies. WordPress is a favourite with most bloggers and it's very simple to use.

17. Marie Kondo your drawers

In the words of everyone's favourite Japanese organisation expert, if it doesn't 'spark joy' it's got to go. Sift between socks, underwear and whatever else is lurking in the depths of your drawers and reap the rewards of a tidy and organised chest of drawers.

18. Bake

Indulge your sweet tooth and try a Bake Off masterpiece of your own at home. David Beckham loves baking and has taken to social media to show off a delicious lemon drizzle cake - we're opting for a velvety vanilla recipe, courtesy of Betty Crocker.

19. Learn how to knit

Pick up your needles and take the time to hone a new skill like knitting. Not just for grandmas, knitting is considered incredibly therapeutic and practical.

20. Dance it out

Blast out some of your favourite tunes and get dancing in your bedroom, living room or bathroom. Hairbrush microphone optional.

21. Tie-dye

It's the current trend du jour with the fash-pack, so why not join in on the fun. Fashion stylist Emma Lane, who has started 'The Tie-Dye Factory' while on lockdown, told us her top tip was to: "WEAR GLOVES and have a bit of fun don't worry too much about it or overthink it they always turn out fab."

22. Exercise

Replace your gym visit with an at-home work-out, with squats, burpees and press-ups all achievable without equipment. Transform your lounge into a yoga space and stretch it out.

23. Make a travel bucket list

Write it down in black and white the places you've yet to explore, the trips you want to take and the food you've got to sample. Similarly, Pinterest is the perfect place to find inspiration and pin places you want to go to.

24. Learn a language

Challenge yourself to learn a new language in just a few weeks, ready for your next trip away. With a ton of apps and websites that give you lessons for free, you've truly run out of excuses not to.

25. Give your face a workout

Hear us out! FaceGym - the UK's only gym studio for the face - is hosting a masterclass to teach people how to relieve stress in the face. Trainers from London, NYC and LA are taking part in a 15-minute live stream class on Instagram (@facegym), and each masterclass will focus on a different muscle group to tone, lift and sculpt the face. If you want a more thorough lesson, there's also a 1-2-1 online face training session which will teach you a series of FaceGym’s signature muscle workout techniques. Each session will begin with a skin consultation, followed up a tailored warm-up, cardio, sculpt and cool down for a fresh-from-the-studio look. £45 for 45 minutes, book through FaceGym.com for a private Zoom link.

26. Get your DIY on

Take the time to tackle some interior improvements – be that painting your walls, upholstering old furniture or rearranging a room. Remember health and safety at all times!

27. Call your nan

The chances are you're not the only one that's self-isolating and people will appreciate a friendly chat or text message to let them know you're thinking of them. Call your grandparents to check on them or suggest a funny thread in the girls' WhatsApp group.

28. Play board games

If you're lucky enough to be in quarantine with company, embrace some old school entertainment and crack out the board games for some light competition. Monopoly should be chosen at your own risk.

29. Let your creative juices flow

Embark on a creative arts and crafts challenge, from sketching and mindful colouring to pottery. Stuck for ideas? 64 Million Artists have some great suggestions to get you started, launching a two-week daily creative challenge you can get involved in.

30. Learn to play an instrument

Dedicate your new-found time to music and learn an instrument that you've always wanted to play.

31. Practice, practice, practice

How often do you have time to practice the things that you struggle with when it comes to your beauty routine?! Whether it's doing the perfect eyeliner flick, contouring, or applying false lashes, now's the time to become an expert.

32. Become a hairstyling pro

Curling your hair isn't easy, and if you're not a natural when it comes to hair styling, maybe now's the time to hone your skills. That's what the celebrities have been doing - just look at Sam Faiers who showed her Instagram followers her first hair tutorial using her go-to hair gadget - the Dyson Air Wrap.

33. Download an epic mobile game

Feeling the boredom? Get stuck into a good mobile game to pass the time. One of our current favourites is My Talking Tom 2, which is free to download and similar to a Tamagotchi style game where you look after an animal! Or try Talking Tom Hero Dash and embark on a globetrotting adventure to rescue members of the Talking Tom Heroes from pesky raccoons! Both adults and families will love these downloads.

34. Have fun on TikTok

Everyone is on TikTok right now; from the Beckham kids to Olly Murs playing pranks on his girlfriend, the social media platform can provide hours of entertainment. Be warned: The dance routines aren't as easy as they look.

35. Do cocktail night!

If you're looking to de-stress and have a little fun, how about indulging in some cocktails. We've become obsessed with Nio Cocktails while on lockdown. It's very simple - you build your own box of cocktails from the menu, which is created by Head Mixologist Patrick Pistolesi. The boxes hold three, six, or nine cocktails and are delivered straight through your letterbox. Each cocktail is packaged in its own uniquely-designed sleeve – ideal for lining up on a shelf to stock your very own cocktail bar or for spreading out on a table for you and your fellow quarantiners to pick and choose from

36. Send a Guardian Angel postcard to a loved one

Fancy a break from the old video calling? Then revert to snail mail with these Guardian Angel postcards. Inspired by hospital workers on the frontline, these postcards are available to order from artist Jasmine Barcelona via her Instagram page. They're free to order but any donations to her Just Giving page are appreciated; all funds raised go to helping feed vulnerable families in the Philippines during the coronavirus pandemic. While you're writing to your loved ones and spreading the cheer the old-fashioned way, a family on the other side of the world is getting food on their table.

37. Read the best magazine on the planet

We have been working from our homes, dedicated to producing a magazine that is uplifting, positive and full of joy, in a bid to provide some much-needed entertainment as a gentle reprieve from all the difficult news around us.

for links and more information (website credit): https://www.hellomagazine.com/healthandbeauty/health-and-fitness/2020031686372/things-to-do-if-self-isolating-at-home/

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