With many in the world going into self isolation and social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic we thought it would be a good idea to put our travel blogs on hold and instead come up with some ideas of ways to keep ourselves occupied while spending so much time at home.
A lot has changed in the past month or so and we’re all trying to adapt to the new ‘normal’ for now. We want to try and stay as productive as possible and keep boredom at bay, whether it’s learning a new language or going on a virtual tour, we hope to have you covered with this list!
1. Go on a virtual tour
Head over to Google Arts & Culture where you can virtually step inside over 2,500 museums and galleries all around the world. From the British Museum in London to the Tokyo Fuji Art Museum in Japan, you can virtually walk around your chosen exhibition. So go and learn about the pop art movement, see original garments worn by Frida Khalo or even find Banksy’s murals through Google Street View, all from your living room.
2. Support your small and local businesses
Last month the government ordered all restaurants, pubs, gyms and other social venues to close their doors for the foreseeable future leaving a lot of businesses and their staff at risk.
But businesses are starting to adapt. Many gyms are now live streaming online classes, cafes are offering gift cards for when they can re-open and farms are offering a delivery service for their local produce.
Our favourite cafe, Eat ’n’ Mess, based in Sevenoaks is offering special gift cards for when they can re-open.
Our local lavender farm, The Hop Shop, has had to cancel their bookings for tours and spa days but still have an online shop and offer hampers full of their produce that can be delivered.
So take a look online and on local companies social media accounts to see what they’re offering and ways of supporting them.
Get creative and bake something yummy! Maybe find that recipe you’ve wanted to make for ages but takes too much time. Many websites have a section for recipes made with just your typical food cupboard stables too, so you don’t have to leave the house to buy more ingredients. We like using this website for recipe ideas or you can pick up inspiration from our food account on Instagram here.
Since being self isolated and working from home we’ve been doing a daily workout at 9am with the fitness instructor Joe Wicks aka The Body Coach on Youtube! Ok so this is meant to be substituting P.E lessons for kids who are missing school but we’ve been doing it too and it’s so much fun!
He’s had over 1 million people join him every morning from all around the world, taking part in his 30 minute workouts. What’s even more amazing is that every penny he makes from the views on Youtube is being donated to the National Health Service. In just one week he raised over £80,000! So by working out in the morning you’re contributing to the support of the NHS.
5. Make a scrapbook or photo album
Scrapbooking is something that I love to do but rarely find the time. I have a travel journal which is full of our holiday memories, including photos, old plane tickets, postcards and anything I’ve picked up along the way. This is a creative way of documenting your memories and trips.
If you don’t want to be too creative make a photo album! This is a great way to reflect on positive memories and experiences you’ve had in the past. Making a photo album or scrap book for family and friends is also a really thoughtful gift idea.
There are loads of online companies that can print photos which can be delivered to your door too.
6. Make a bucket list
I love a bucket list, whether it’s places to visit or cuisines to try and master. Prior to the lockdown we might have taken for granted places to visit or things to do that are local to us which we just didn’t get round to doing. For us it’s a live jazz band in the summer which performs every week for free in a town near us which we just never found the time to go to.
So while in isolation I’m going to write a list of places nearby that we can visit when we’re out of this lockdown. Instead of having a lazy weekend off… every weekend, having a list will encourage you to go out and explore!
Or make a travel bucket list! Get inspired on Pinterest and find your next destination. Research about the cuisines, the hot spots and the culture so you’re ready for your next trip.
7. Watch some wildlife
Are you a wildlife lover and miss the outdoors? There are so many websites that have live cameras for wildlife. From a kitten rescue sanctuary in California to the local watering hole in Laikipia County, Kenya!
explore.org is the worlds largest live nature network and they want you to ‘fall in love with the world’ through their live streams. Our favourite live feed is from the Tembe Elephant Park, in northern Tongaland. Here they’re known to have the largest elephants in the world! Seeing these gentle giants at their local watering hole is so relaxing and I find watching them so mesmerising.
BirdFood.co.uk have 24/7 live ‘nesting cams’ where you can watch birds like tawny owls and Egyptian goose. They keep you up to date on the latest information about the birds, their families and their wellbeing.
8. Contact your friends or family
Take the time to reach out to family members that maybe we don’t speak to as often as we should. Maybe our grandparents or anyone we know that lives on their own. We’re all going through a similar situation with this isolation and many people are stressed and anxious. We can give comfort even from our home, maybe schedule in a FaceTime chat or a phone call.
Start a fun new project and map out your family tree. Contact your family members and ask about their relatives and their family history!
9. Learn a new skill or language
Have you always wanted to learn how to take great photos, how to write code to build a website or learn a new instrument? Online learning communities like Skillshare and LinkedIn Learning offer thousands of classes on just about anything! We’ve found these websites so helpful when learning about how to use editing software and how to up our photography game.
Or maybe you want to learn a language but just haven’t found the time? We’ve been using Duolingo for the last few years, learning Indonesian. Duolingo is a free app which offers bite size lessons, with many different languages available. So boost your brain power and sharpen your mind and get learning!
10. Get green fingered
Even though we need to stay home we can still spend time in our gardens if we have one. So why not venture outside and get planting! If you don’t have a garden you can get creative. Can you use old containers to make a herb garden in the kitchen, a hanging basket by your front door or crates on your windowsill? Or why not learn how to propagate your house plants from indoors?
Many nurseries and garden centres have had to close but they’ve started to offer a delivery service so this is another way of supporting our local businesses.
We really hope this list has inspired you during isolation! Let us know in the comments your ideas for keeping busy whilst staying home.
We hope you are all keeping safe and well during this uncertain time.
Love Brock & Betty