During this time you may have found yourself confined to your house for days at a time. You might be becoming a little stir crazy or at least, feeling bored, which is very understandable. Usually, human beings are not great at dealing with endless time at home, not really knowing what to do with themselves.
As our working routines have been affected drastically, and the lines between work-life and home-life have become blurred, we need to make sure that we take effective breaks to avoid burnout. A healthy balance of work and downtime is more important than ever during this lockdown, especially with limited contact to the outside world.
This can be achieved by using breaks from work effectively; by channeling our energy into enjoyable activities we can do at home in our downtime. We wanted to highlight the importance of engaging in pleaseurable activities to ensure we are staying upbeat, positive and motivated whilst working from home.
A range of hobbies can feed directly into our wellbeing and therefore our productivity and performance when working from home. This can be as simple as spending half an hour of your lunch break in the garden or exercising first thing in the morning, before sitting down to your desk.
Short, frequent breaks from working not only give our eyes a much needed screen break, they also allow us to come back refreshed, recharged and ready to tackle the task at hand.
You don’t need to use this time to write the next big novel, or reinvent the wheel, you just need to stay content, occupied and engaged. If you are looking for some structure to your downtime, here are some activity ideas to try during the COVID-19 quarantine:
1) Do a Workout
Exercise has been proven to improve your mental health by reducing anxiety, depression and can do wonders for your overall mood.
Exercise is not just about aerobic capacity and muscle size. Exercise is for everyone, and people who exercise regularly tend to do so because it gives them a strong sense of well-being.
If you are looking for some inspiration, we have seen many home workouts with the use of chairs.
2) Reading is Crucial - Have a Break from Your Screen!
When was the last time you read a book or a substantial magazine? Reading offers many excellent benefits such as mental stimulation and stress reduction, alongside improving your knowledge on an interesting subject.
In our internet-crazed world, your attention is drawn in a million different directions at once as we multi-task through everyday life. When you read a book, all of your attention is focused on the information/story being told and the rest of the world just falls away- meaning you can fully immerse yourself in every fine detail your book has to offer.
If you are looking for an online bookseller to get your fix, Hive.co.uk and Wordery is still open for business as usual!
Gardening isn’t just about making the outside of your house look good. Caring for plants can do wonders for your own well-being.
Growing your own food can be an excellent way of cultivating a feeling of achievement too. A productive plot is also a great way to promote a better diet by supplying fresh, healthy produce. Dietary guidelines recommend eating at least 2 cups of vegetables and 1 ½ cups of fruits per day to get the necessary nutrients.
So roll up your sleeves and get digging, planting, or weeding!
4) Watch a TV series
If you are looking to get your teeth into something other than work, watching a TV series can be a great alternative to keep you entertained and occupied during this time.
Depending on your personal preference, there is a vast range of genres to explore; whether you are into documentaries or thrillers, there is a series for everyone.
A huge benefit to watching tv series is that you get to learn and appreciate new cultures. By learning new cultures, you are able to discover new words and phrases that could become useful in your everyday life.
Watching a TV series can also help you organise your thoughts in the right manner. A great advantage of some series is that you can interact and join the fun. This can lead you to organise your thoughts since you have a broader comprehension of issues.
Netflix or Amazon Prime are great sites to indulge yourself. So, just sit back and take in the cinematic brilliance.
5) Create a Website
During this time you may have a brilliant idea for a small business or you want to build on an idea you’ve had for a while. This time is a perfect opportunity to create a website for it. Creating a website has many great benefits such as:
Enhancing your online presence
Efficient way to promote your business
Showcasing your work to the world
Websites, in general, are great ways for providing potential investors a place to be referred to.
Wix, Squarespace or Wordpress are great sites to make your idea come to life!
Remember the spare room you were supposed to paint last summer? Well here’s your chance. Decorating is a great way to increase your interest levels and motivation towards your work. Alongside this, cultivating your environment could lead to increased productivity in your work. Not only is it healthy to get used to change but it's also nice to live in a space that's inspiring to dwell in.
Even decorating a little bit will increase your motivation!
7) Video Games and Board Games
Complex, challenging and ambitious, video games have come a long way since the arcade days of the 1970s. There are now many benefits to playing both puzzle type games and video games, such as eye-hand coordination and a sense of belonging. Video games give a sense of belonging within the gaming world, which can be really helpful during these uncertain times.
In our ever-developing world, we face numerous problems and with each day almost becoming as identical to the one before, it's important to keep yourself productive. This could be as simple as learning or playing some problem-solving board games.
Board games like chess make it easier to improve your problem-solving skills. Chess can also improve your concentration, so if you are lacking some at home, dust off the chessboard on your bookshelf and challenge someone to a game!
8) Become an Expert Chef
There’s nothing like a home-cooked meal, right? With more time at home, you are able to really perfect your techniques and skills in the kitchen.
Preparing meals can be more flavoursome and satisfying to make and let’s not forget, cooking meals regularly can be great for saving money. Cooking at home can contribute to a healthier diet as you are in control of your salt, fat and portion size and other considerations such as the number of meals each day. Cooking with a partner has been found to relieve stress, especially when you try something new. All these benefits add to your overall well-being!
A good place to start is YouTube, Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube offers some of the best recipes to keep yourself occupied!
9) Sell Online
Right now is a great opportunity for you to see what you are missing at home. With retailers and couriers operating as usual, people are looking for essential items to buy online. These items could be clothes, trainers or even accessories you have been wanting to sell but have never had the time.
Selling online is also a great way to take a break if you are working from home. Selling your unwanted clothes or shoes on marketplaces like Shpock or Depop can be a great way to get some extra money during these tough times.
10) Become a Blogger
Although the blogging scene has become very popular in the last decade, the benefits are still plenty. Whether your passion is business, personal finance, cooking or photography, blogging offers a place for everyone, allowing you to connect with likeminded people who share your passion.
The more you write, the better you become at it. Although having a thorough grasp of grammar is somewhat important, being a good writer is not a prerequisite for a successful blog. For your blog to be successful you need to write about something that is in demand but ensuring your posts differ from your competition.
You will need to make your blog presentable and engaging for your viewers. Your blog posts need to motivate the viewers to click, so do some research in to what resonates with your viewers and motivate them to click to your post.
Take some time to plan your posts!
11) Draw or Paint Something
Studies have shown that structured colouring of a reasonably complex geometric pattern, can lead to a meditative state that helps reduce anxiety. Consider bringing out your adult colouring books or draw your own patterns.
Studies have shown that colouring geometrical circles known as mandalas can be beneficial over other types of drawing. A great way of keeping occupied is to colour mandalas and use it as a form of meditation. This form of art therapy has become very popular amongst adults as well as children because it is a relaxing exercise that can take your mind off of other things.
12) Play Your Favourite Music
You may have seen many people singing during quarantine and they might be onto something. Singing has been shown to improve people’s mental health, giving them a sense of happiness and - if done in a group - belonging too.
If you are not a confident singer, listening to your favourite music can go a long way towards helping you through this tough time.
Spotify is a great way to gather all of your favourite music in one place!
13) Chat With Your Friends
This activity is crucial. Whether you want to text, email or video chat, catching up with your friends and family can help alleviate any stress you may have. Just because you are socially distancing, doesn’t mean you can’t connect.
If you want to video call a group of friends, use the House Party app or Zoom!
14) Go for a Walk
Sometimes it's just nice to get out of the house and clear your head. Going for a walk not only counts as physical activity but also has many mental health benefits. If you are able to get outside to walk, studies have shown that a brisk walk can make you feel more creative.
In 2016, a study found that even a short walk can make you happier and reduce feelings of boredom and dread.
*In regard to this point, if you do go outside, you must stay at least two metres away from other people during COVID-19.
15) Plan for After COVID-19
This may seem like an obvious idea, but it will enable you to start thinking about life after COVID-19. Whether you missed out on a holiday or your friend's birthday, now is a great time to plan for post-lockdown. Research a favourite destination of yours and plan meticulously, as you’ve got the time.
Now is also a chance for you to think about what you’d like to achieve this year, whether you’d like to learn an instrument or go sky-diving, the opportunities are endless, so don’t give up hope!
Parcel2Go will continue to issue regular guidance to our staff in-line with Government advice. All our staff are currently working from home and anyone displaying symptoms, however mild, is self-isolating.
See our Coronavirus page to get the latest updates of how the parcel delivery industry is minimising the risk of coronavirus.