By Miranda Kuyk
Whilst the UK’s lockdown continues and its plans get cancelled, it can be easy to feel defeatist about everything and lose sight of what you still have, but it’s important to remember that not going out does not mean not having fun. As many of us work from home, day to day life becomes monotonous, so it’s important to give yourself breaks and rewards as you normally would. If Thursday night is usually movie night, keep it that way. Here’s a list of alternative activities to hopefully help you through lockdown and beat the boredom of isolation:
Music festivals may be cancelled or postponed, but that doesn’t have to stop you enjoying music. When was the last time you sat down and just listened to something? Well, now you can. Been waiting to listen to that new song or album from your favourite artist? Set aside an hour, half an hour, or even five minutes and just do it. Working from home doesn’t necessarily mean you have lots of spare time, but even if it’s just one song before bed, adding listening to music into your day could be just what you need, whether it’s to take a break during work or to help you relaxat night.
With many streaming services to choose from, the cinemas being closed shouldn’t stop you seeing the latest blockbusters. Just as with music, taking the time out of your day or week to watch a film can be a moment of self-care, putting aside your responsibilities for the 90 minutes of respite. If, like me, you struggle to pick something to watch, how about finally clearing out your watch list, or organising a watch-along with some friends. This doesn’t need to become a big thing, it can be just you, watching your favourite film that you’ve already seen a million times. With every night becoming a night in, watching a film one night can become something you look forward to in your week, hopefully helping to break up your routine.
Many restaurants may be open for delivery, but there’s nothing like a home-cooked meal to cheer you up when lockdown starts getting to you. Time to dust off the recipe books and make something delicious. Just because you’re cooking at home, it doesn’t mean your food has to be complicated or beautifully presented – this isn’t Masterchef – sometimes, simple comfort food is all you need. Feel free to experiment and try new things, but keep in mind that life is tough at the moment, making pasta and pesto is an achievement by itself. All this is easier said than done, and whilst staying at home is difficult for some more than others, we are doing this together.
Something I’ve struggled with during this time is the idea that I need to come out of lockdown a transformed woman. I need to be thin, an amazing cook and a great artist. But that isn’t realistic. Lockdown doesn’t mean free time and no responsibilities; if anything, it means more. With university classes online, as a student, I feel I need to work harder to stay up to date, having lost the in-person teaching I’m used to. I push myself when I don’t need to.
Doing these things is helping me take time for myself, as I, like I’m sure many of you are too, try to deal with what’s going on. Also, to make these kind of self-improvements, you need a pretty positive mindset, something which can be hard to come by these days. But that’s okay: lockdown isn’t a competition. It’s okay to be kind to yourself.
Stay home and stay safe.