This isn’t the 2020 we were hoping for, we can all agree, but as humans our survival tactics mean we have to look for the positives. All this time at home starts getting to us after a while, so it’s crucial that we keep busy and build routine. Grace Stokoe thinks of some easy and productive tasks to get you through your self-isolation feeling accomplished.
Declutter and Reorganise
You’ll be surprised at how much your surroundings can impact your mental state. They say a clean environment is the key to a clear mind, so while you’re stuck in the house, why not turn it into a calming zone?
Once you’ve decluttered your belongings, decide what you’re going to donate and what you’re going to sell. If you’re not into Ebay, try Depop – a much trendier alternative which is easy to navigate.
Lastly, take a look at your devices. The same rules apply for your emails, phone and laptop files, so delete any unwanted documents and organise the rest into folders.
Learn to Cook (and Get Meal-Prepping!)
Whether you’re a student living on Pot Noodles, or a gourmet chef wanting to try out something new, now’s your chance to get creative in the kitchen. There are recipes for everything all over the internet, as well as follow-along videos on Youtube, so no more excuses. Cook a large batch and freeze excess portions for the week ahead, because there’s nothing that makes you feel like you have your life together more than a meal-prepping session.
Food writer Jack Monroe has great recipes for cooking on a budget.
Learn a Craft or Hobby
Most of us have thought about picking up a new skill from time to time, but we rarely get around to it. Maybe you’d like to make a crochet blanket or impress your loved ones by learning how to juggle or play guitar? You could start a blog, upcycle your old clothes, get into yoga or study a new language; the list goes on.
For online classes on just about everything, you can sign up to www.SkillShare.com free for two months. Or, again, have a look on Youtube for free DIY videos.
Scrapbook old Photographs, Tickets and More
If you’re someone who likes to keep a record of your memories (minus the chaos of a drawer filled with festival bands), this is the perfect idea. Pick out your favourite childhood pictures, old gig tickets, the brochure from a trip you went on, or anything that makes you feel nostalgic and just plain happy. This is super therapeutic and can even be done whilst watching TV – bonus!
Paperchase are renowned for selling beautiful books and stationery if you’re looking to treat yourself, but you can always get a cheap and cheerful version from Amazon or Ebay.
Make a List of Eco-Friendly Changes
…and implement wherever possible (you’re not going to need your reusable coffee cup just yet). We’re at the point where it’s vital to reduce our carbon footprint, so use your time to reflect on the small changes you can put into place to make a big difference. This could include swapping out your wet wipes for a muslin cloth, buying bamboo cotton buds instead of plastic ones, or replacing Google with Ecosia: the search engine that plants trees.
If you’re looking for a sustainable company that won’t rip you off, check out www.ThePlasticFreeShop.co.uk for all the eco-friendly products you could ever need.
Manage your Finances
You don’t have to spend hours creating the perfect Excel budgeting spreadsheet. This could mean breaking down your monthly income using the Notes section on your phone or just setting up a savings account with online banking. If you’re a sucker for a sale, maybe unsubscribe from all the marketing emails in your inbox – if you weren’t searching for it in the first place, do you really need to buy it?
By switching to Monzo or Starling Bank, you can allow them to round up each purchase to the nearest pound and save it, building up a nice little money pot without even noticing. It only takes five minutes to sign up.
Reinvent your Home Workouts
Motivating yourself to exercise at home (or at all) can be difficult, but if you’re doing the same routine every day, you’re bound to get bored. Whether you decide to invest in a personalised plan from an online PT or follow Instagram Live streams by your favourite fitness influencer, it’s sure to mix things up a bit. We love Marbelo on Instagram.
If you’re still stuck for inspiration, ask your friends and family what their favourite moves are and put them into a routine, no matter how brutal they may be!
Fix your Stuff
In this consumer-driven society, everyone is so quick to bin their broken things and head out to the shops. However, this lockdown is teaching us to slow down and think about what is essential, and with such a lack of certainty it’s more important than ever for us to hold onto our pennies.
Get gluing, drilling, sewing, or whatever you have to do to make things good as new.
Revamp your Playlists
Anybody who claims they don’t get stuck listening to the same five songs on repeat is a liar, but not anymore. Allow yourself to fall down the internet’s musical rabbit hole and find some new tunes to spice up your playlists.
Why not check out some podcasts while you’re at it? The Guilty Feminist, TED Talks Daily and Off the Menu to name a few, or Novara Media if you’re searching for information on current affairs.
Start or Improve your LinkedIn Profile and Grow your Network
LinkedIn is the key to success these days and a decent profile can really improve your chances of building a career. Take a smart and sophisticated profile picture, write up an impressive bio and build up your network with talented professionals who inspire you.
You never know, they might be looking for their next employee, so start planting those seeds and cementing your future employability!