Having lived by myself for ten years, I’m pretty used to, and happy in my own company.
However that doesn’t mean I want to be in my own company for 24 hours a day.
If you’re in lockdown or self isolating you may already be climbing the walls and looking for new ways to entertain yourself.
While I can’t give you a hug (the thing I miss most) or take you out for coffee, I can give you some ideas of how to keep yourself busy and feel happy and contended in your own company.
How to entertain yourself during Coronavirus
With the uncertainty of how long we will be in lockdown it’s good to think creatively about how you spend your time when you live by yourself.
Growing up I didn’t have the internet, or video games or Netflix, so I was used to entertaining myself (I may be showing my age here) and fast forward to now, while it’s tempting at times to lapse into a Netfix coma, I still look for ways to entertain myself that nourishes me and makes me feel I’m using my time productively.
So here’s my list of 20 plus things to do to to entertain yourself during lockdown. You don’t have to do all of them, see which resonate with you and pick and choose.
1.Have a good clear out
What better time to have a good clear out? Go through your wardrobe and use the Marie Kondo ‘Joy Barometer‘ to clear out, well simply all the items that no longer bring you joy.
To clear out that kitchen draw (we all have a junk/messy draw) that normally drives you mad, or go through your sock draw and throw away the socks that are well past their sell by date (unless you want to take up darning).
Clear out all your old paper work and files and get your life admin in order.
Choose a room in your home each week to tackle, put on some good tunes and make your inner sanctuary feel lighter, brighter and more spacious, which in turn makes you feel the same.
2. Start Journaling
You don’t have to be a writer to start journaling. One of my favourite things to do each day is to make a coffee first thing and then open my journal and start writing. This isn’t Bridget Jones Diary. It’s more of a collection or download of my thoughts, feelings, and reflections.
Personally I find having a beautiful journal to write in and using my favourite pen (OK I have a thing about stationary!) makes the experience feel more ritualistic.
If you have never journaled before, that’s OK. Simply start somewhere and build up to a few pages. Some days you may feel inspired to write more and some days less, but notice the more you do it, how much clearer your mind becomes, how your intuition develops, and how much calmer you feel as you get down on paper all the thoughts that are going around in your mind.
3. Feed your Brain
I often hear people saying they would love to have the time to learn something new or take an on line course. Now is that time! Take those Spanish lessons you have always wanted to learn or use the time to invest in your own personal development with our Digital Employee Wellbeing Portal
4. Develop Green Fingers
Do you remember the days in primary school when you grew cress in the shell of an egg cup? I’m pretty sure you have moved on since those days! You may not have a garden, but you can get your green fingers growing by planting pot plants, herbs and window boxes. And if you do have some outside space, take advantage of the time to plant your garden and do the one thing you always put off – the weeding.
5. Do a beach or park clean
Get out for a walk in nature and take in the sights and sounds and smells all around you. Take a bag and pop on some gloves and do your bit for the planet by doing a beach or park clean picking up litter as you go.
6. Take up meditation
You may have heard this a million times before, but meditation really DOES make a difference! The calmer your mind is, the more relaxed you will feel about your current situation. Insight Timer is a brilliant free App with hundreds of guided mediations for you to use daily to create inner peace.
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Einstein
7. Buy a jigsaw
When a good friend told me she had bought herself a jigsaw, I wasn’t sure how to respond. I’d always had an image of old people doing jigsaws. However, 3 weeks into lockdown and she loves her jigsaw. She’ll spend a few hours in a happy bubble, not thinking of anything else, but simply enjoying this long forgotten pleasure. Hearing how much she’s enjoyed it got me thinking, I’d quite like a jigsaw!
8. Have an online date
The positive side of Coronavirus has meant more people are keeping in touch with one another. Friends who may not have spoken for ages (mainly because they were too busy before) have suddenly got more time on their hands to chat without having to ‘arrange schedules’.
Set up an online date with a friend over a cuppa or a glass of wine and have an online date.
9. Read a book
This may seem an obvious one, but a lot of people are now remembering how much they love reading. You may not be able to go outside for long periods, but you can’t still go on adventures and discover new worlds through the power of a great book.
10. Cleanse your laptop
Having had my lap top for many years, I have so many downloaded files and old folders taking up space. Old word documents and things I have saved that I don’t need anymore. It may not be the most glamorous way of spending your time, but a good on line clutter can have the same effect as a good deep clean – and can improve the efficiency of your lap top!
11. Go through old photographs
Having moved house recently, I took the opportunity to go through a big box of old photos I’d been holding onto since secondary school. I spent hours laughing out loud at old familiar faces and old memories as I decided which to keep and which to bin.
12. Discover Your Family History
I love listening to my parents talk about times when they were growing up. Memories they had of their childhood and hearing about my Grandparents. Find out about your family history and the area you grew up. I grew up in a tiny village in North Yorkshire and recently (through my Dads research) learned just how much our tiny village used to be a thriving community.
13. Write a book
OK so you don’t have to write the next Harry Potter book, but hey look at all the people who have written and self published books.
If you are not sure where to start, look up on line creative writing courses and on line courses on how to write a book.
14. Take up a new exercise regime
When you live by yourself, human contact is a biggie. The closure of my local leisure centre due to Coronavirus meant more than not being able to attend my weekly classes. It meant not seeing the same familiar faces each week and missing the banter of looking at one another while trying to do 100 lunges.
A friend told me about meltdown yoga (rather appropriately named!) and I decided I’d buy the DVD and give it a whirl as a break from the usual routine – I’ll have to keep you posted on that one when the DVD arrives!
15. Take a virtual tour of a museum or art gallery
Many of the worlds top museums and art galleries have created these amazing virtual tours! Go and spend an afternoon in Rome or Paris!
16. Try new recipies out
When we are on the go all the time, we can often get stuck in food rut, cooking the same old dishes over and over. Use this time to explore new dishes and really enjoy the process of taking time to fill your kitchen with new smells.
17. Put your digital photos in the cloud
How many photos have you currently got sitting on your lap top or i pad that a) could do with a clear out b) you can put in the cloud for protection?
18. Get all those house hold DIY jobs done
All those little house hold jobs that you have been ‘meaning to do’. Write a list of all the small DIY jobs that need tackling in your home and decide which order you are going to tackle them
19. Do an on line University Course – For Free
Stimulate your mind and the brains thirst for learning by taking advantage of the hundreds of free on line line university courses. Who knows, taking a course now could lead to a whole new career for you.
20. Have a date with yourself
Have a lovely long bath with salts and candles; put clean sheets on your bed; make yourself your favourite food and curl up and watch your favourite film.
21. Re-discover your musical instrument
How long has your guitar sat gathering dust in the corner? Maybe you have a flute stuffed in a draw that it’s time to get back out? Your neighbours may not love you for it, but hey, we are all in this together!
22. Lend your skills to helping others
Are you a chef who could do a soup run for other people? Can you support a charity with your skills? Are you an HR professional who can lend some advice to small businesses?
A big part of our wellbeing comes from having a sense of purpose, of being connected to something greater than ourselves.
23. Take up painting
You may never have picked up a paint brush in your life, except to paint your house, but that’s OK. Learning to paint and draw doesn’t mean knocking out a Picasso or a Monet, just enjoying nurturing your creative side.
24. Adult colouring books
There was a craze a few years ago of adults buying adult colouring books as a way of switching off after work and relaxing. Taking time to colour in beautiful mandalas and similar. Maybe time to dig out the crayons?
I recall my Gran teaching me to knit when I was young. All I could master at the time was a scarf for my teddy. There has, however, been a rise in the number of young woman taking up knitting as a way of relaxing. Perhaps a time to start knitting your own winter jumper?
26. Join an on line support group
It’s not always easy to take care of your emotional needs when you live on your own, and I get that. That’s why we have created a 12 week live EFT Tapping group starting on Thursday 16 April at 7.00pm GMT.
EFT is a powerful technique from the world of Energy Psychology. Each week you can join us live to learn how to use this amazing technique to literally tap away any emotions you may be experiencing such as loneliness, anxiety, frustration and so on.
27. Start a book of gratitude
When you shift your focus of attention onto what you CAN feel grateful for at this time, it shifts your thinking and your feeling and even creates changes in the physiology of the body. When you do this daily you will really start to experience the magic beding developing an attitude of gratitude.
Every day start your morning by writing a list of what you feel grateful for (you can do this as part of your journaling). Your list can include anything like having clean sheets on your bed, being grateful for all the love and support you have around you, having access to the internet, having money in your bank account, being grateful for a kind word from someone, gratitude for your health, living by a park where yo can take a daily walk. The more you practice keeping a gratitude list, the more you will spot things in your life you can feel grateful for and as a result you will start to experience your whole mood and outlook on life shifts.
And finally, one of my favourite quotes from my favourite film
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”