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Day 3 of lockdown. So far, this may have gone one of two ways for you: you may have rushed through your list of chores, undertaking larger cleaning projects to do something with your time and now at a loss of what to do. Or maybe the minute the Prime Minister delivered his address in ordering a lockdown, you’ve lost all motivation for everything. You don’t see the point in getting up, you don’t feel inspired to exercise and may have spent most of your time watching endless movies and TV shows.

If you’re sitting in either camp, this feature is for you.

Realistically, we don’t know how long we’ll be in isolation for. Although Boris Johnson has said this phase of lockdown will last for 3 weeks, even at the end of this time we could see measures extended, or only somewhat lightened. We need to prepare that we’re going to be spending much of the year at home, it’s going to be a long slog.

In this guide, we want to help you structure your time so you’re achieving things around the home, be inspired for projects you can do, remain active and importantly take this time for some recuperation.

Structuring your time

Time is going to move in a really strange way. Some days it’ll fly by, you’re busy with work, juggling the kids and trying to maintain a home. Others will be quiet, slow and sluggish. We’ll also seemingly have a bit more time as we won’t have our commutes, clubs, nights-out etc. so it’s important we form some kind of structure to ensure we’re still getting regular exercise, feel like we’re achieving something and not affecting our health by spending too long in bed or in front of the TV. Though of course, every now and again it’s encouraged.

Planner 2020

For the most part, we may still have work to help form the structure for most of our day. But when it comes to your down-time (evenings and weekends), it’s important to balance that time with some activities and rest. For example, you may want to do a chore or two around the house, go for a walk, watch a little TV, have a bath or other pamper before winding down before bed.

Top tips when it comes to structuring your time:

Don’t try and work your way through your list of things to do as quickly as possible.

Spread the jobs out and break it up with periods of relaxation in between. As mentioned, we could be doing this for weeks or months and we don’t want to run out of things we can be doing (or unnecessarily repeating tasks).

It’s important to keep your routine

Get up at the same time and go to be bed at the same time. It’s proven to help reduce disease, help your body function and help mental health too!

Eat regularly and try to think healthily

You won’t be moving half as much as you’re use to so may not require as much food as you’d usually consume. You should still continue to have breakfast but listen to your body for when it needs food and water. This may result in a time change for when you usually eat these meals. Eat smaller portion sizes and keep on hand healthy snacks you can have between meals if you get peckish.

Find some balance in your day

Get a bit of physical activity in- whether that’s chores or an exercise programme, plan your working day, what will you do to relax, what will you do for your mental health, what will you do to bring a little joy to your day etc.

Tasks you can do in isolation

We’re sure if you sat down and thought of it (as we did), there are plenty of things you can do around the house and garden. There’s the general tasks you always mean to do, like organising your wardrobe, cleaning the gutters, cleaning the inside rim of the windows etc., and things you want to achieve with your time off, such as: learning a new craft, developing your language skills, learn to cook etc.

You may find it helpful to write down all the things you’d like to do and slowly, as highlighted above, make your way through it.

By outlining a list of things you want to do, you’ll be motivated to get it done. As we said, these are all things you’ve probably needed or wanted to do anyway, you’re just being given the time to do it now. Additionally, it’ll give you a sense of achievement, particularly at the end of the isolation period of all the things you managed to complete. Finally, it’ll give you some encouragement to stay active when otherwise it would be too easy to sit on your butt.

Garden by season

To help get you started, we’re sharing what’s on our to-do lists:

In the home tasks

  • Clean the windows
  • Clean inside the opening of the windows and doors
  • Steam clean the bathroom
  • Clean the blinds
  • Update the flooring in the utility room (we’re going to paint our tiles!)
  • Seal around the sink in the bathroom
  • Sort the garage out
  • Bleach the bins
  • Put up photos
  • Organise a new blind for the bathroom and dining room
  • Empty and change the dehumidifiers
  • Clean all kitchen cupboards and drawers

In the garden tasks

  • Mow the lawn
  • De-weed the patio and borders
  • Bleach out the bins
  • Wash the windows
  • Clean off and get out the garden furniture
  • Deadhead the flowers
  • Feed the flowers
  • Power wash the patio
  • Sort the shed
  • Put new batteries in the lights
  • Remove/replace basket brackets
  • Wash the car
  • Clean the garage door
  • Clean the gutters

Admin tasks

  • eBay clothes
  • See if we can get better deals on our insurance policies
  • Organise photos- take off of phone, organise on computer
  • Look at what we can be crafting for our civil partnership and order materials
  • Organise filing cabinet
  • See if we can organise a better deal on utilities, TV etc.#
  • Organise items to drop at the charity shop

Personal projects

  • Crafting project to decorate sandals
  • Research probiotics and supplements
  • Improve flexibility
  • Practise nail art designs
  • Learn 3 new hairstyles

We hope this provides some helpful ideas on how to use your down-time whilst in isolation. Are there any projects you’ve got in mind you’d like to get working on? If you’re looking for more ideas, we’ve shared some of our popular articles, for things you can do around the home, below.

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