The coronavirus lockdown came at us fast. One week we were getting used to washing our hands more often, the next we were told to stay home. For the foreseeable future, it seems like we’re destined to work, rest and play in the exact same place. But while the current situation isn’t ideal, there are ways we can cope with the lockdown and even enjoy it. After all, without a commute, plenty of us will have more time than ever before, and many things we did before can still be done online.
1. Treat yourself
Though restaurants, pubs and cinemas are off the agenda, you can still enjoy many luxuries from the comfort of your abode. You can’t enjoy a meal out at your favourite eatery, so why not expand your culinary repertoire and try cooking some more intricate meals yourself? With the right equipment and ingredients, you can whip up your own restaurant-quality meals to dine in style indoors, and boost your recipe repertoire. You could even go the whole hog and host a full-on dinner party for the people you live with. By dressing up and creating a fancy atmosphere, you’ll be able to bring a fine dining atmosphere to your home.
By the same token, just because the pubs are closed doesn’t mean you can’t knock back a few delicious cocktails on a Friday night. As well as becoming a home chef, why not channel your inner mixologist and bring in the weekend with your favourite drink such as an espresso martini or a cosmopolitan? You don’t even have to venture to the shops if you fancy an impulsive tipple. Drinks brands like Bacardi have teamed up with Deliveroo, while alcohol delivery companies like Drinks House 247 are in particularly high demand.
2. Socialise with friends and family — virtually
We may be social distancing, but that doesn’t mean we can’t keep socialising with the people we love. Hanging out has moved online during the pandemic, whether it’s just for a good old chinwag, exercise classes, online board games, or setting up a quiz night.
Take the now ubiquitous Houseparty app, which lets you chat with up to seven friends in an online “party”, while playing ever-popular games and quizzes like the Heads Up! trivia game or the Quick, Draw! drawing game. Or, if you don’t want to cancel your weekly movie night with your mates, Netflix Party lets you watch movies and TV shows with others simultaneously, and discuss what you’re watching in real-time.
As well as socialising with those you know, the lockdown has also provided a surprising opportunity to meet new people. For instance, libraries are running virtual book clubs, and gyms are putting on virtual fitness sessions, while singletons can go on online dates with apps like Bumble and Hinge.
3. Find a project
One way to overcome any lockdown boredom is to get stuck into a new project. With so much time on your hands, it’s the perfect reason to try all those things you’ve never quite got round to. The perks of the digital age once again come into play here, with plenty of free online courses to take up if you want to gain some new skills. From learning a new language, to exploring marketing and graphic design, why not come out of lockdown with a new string — or five — to your bow?
Now is also the ideal time to commit to any jobs around the house that you’ve been putting off. Whether it’s giving your bedroom a new lick of paint, or making some more substantial DIY changes, you may never again have this much time to get things sorted. Gardening can even turn into an enjoyable summer hobby, especially if you have kids. From planting new flowers and growing your own fruit and veg, to building a bird table and making a wildlife corner, there are so many ways to have fun in the sun at home and spend time with your loved ones.