With everything that has been going on in the last few weeks, what with the world shutting down and what not, I have found myself with a fair amount of time on my hands and reflecting a lot on where I am in life. A lot of people have spoken about using Lockdown as an opportunity to take a pause, and really consider what to do next. To be honest that is something I’ve always struggled with. But I have tried to make the best of this time and pursue other interests and try new things. Here’s what I’ve been doing to keep busy during Lockdown, and hopefully this gives you some inspiration if you’re stuck!
Yes I know, EW! Well that’s how I felt at the beginning of this process too. I’m a few weeks in and still not exactly loving it, but I’m persevering, and I can honestly say I don’t hate it anymore! I try and go every other day. I vary my routes slightly and push myself to run that little bit further each time before my next rest. Now anyone who knows me (or has read the intro to the blog) will know I don’t have a smartphone so the couch to 5k app is out for me but I’ve heard it’s amazing and for anyone looking to take up running, it’s a great place to start!
For the sake of being able to sleep at night, on the days I don’t run (and sometimes even the days I do) I like to do some exercise videos to burn off all those snacks I’m eating haha! Everyone has their target areas I’m sure, for me it’s my arms and my thighs. I have found some videos on YouTube that I’m doing religiously in the hopes that when I eventually go back to work, my uniform still fits!
Starting a new hobby
You’ve all probably considered trying something new at some point but told yourself you don’t have time to really dedicate to it. Whether learning a new language, an instrument or practising your painting, now is the perfect time. I for one have a whole list I would love to make a start on! Knitting has given me a project to work on for the last few weeks of Lockdown. Having mastered the basic knit and purl stitches, I decided a baby blanket would make a great first project (other than my teddy bears scarf of course!) Again YouTube was my main source and helped me learn all the techniques needed to complete the project.
If you want to try it for yourself, follow the link here to see my step-by-step guide: https://www.emgoingplaces.com/2020/06/a-beginners-guide-to-an-easy-knitted-baby-blanket/
I have Em to thank for this one. We found that reed.com had huge discounts on courses for all levels and interests. And they’re not the only site currently offering these deals! There are loads of sites encouraging you to try something new, and not just academic courses but creative ones too – photography for example! I’ve always loved the idea of being a proofreader but never had the guts to go for it. I always told myself I didn’t have the right qualifications or even know where to start. However now I’ve signed up to the course I feel I can make an informed decision on whether it’s something I actually want to pursue. It’s a bit of fun, but gives me something to work towards and a reason to get up and go!
Baking (if you can get your hands on any flour)
Personally I prefer cooking to baking. But that’s just because baking is way more precise in its measurements and I’m always worried I’ll miss something out! That being said, once I’ve double and triple checked all my ingredients, I actually enjoy the process and obviously the end result a lot more! If you are anything like me with my sweet tooth, you’ll love the prospect of the goodies at the end of it all. Plus don’t we all deserve a little treat every now and then to get us through this stressful time?
As Mum likes to keep reminding us, we are so lucky to live in a time when being able to video call is a thing. Having that face to face interaction makes such a difference. It’s much easier to bounce off each other than if you were just messaging or calling and I’m so grateful. Since Lockdown began I have taken part in more quizzes and games nights than I have in a LONG time! Honestly I’ve seen my friends as a whole group more in Lockdown than I did in the entirety of last year! Terrible I know, but true none the less.
Now I know that for many of you being in Lockdown is really tough. Whether you’re isolating alone, with a partner, or with family, being separated from the outside world can be difficult. Plus it can really highlight new anxieties and even depression.
I know I have really struggled, especially with my anxiety over the last few weeks. It’s easy to spiral and withdraw, and there are days where I struggle to motivate myself at all. But it is so important that you know there is always going to be someone who wants to help. It could be a family member or a friend, or even a strangers voice on the end of the phone. Just reach out and talk.
If nothing else I hope you have found this helpful. Maybe it’s given you some inspiration or just something positive to focus on in these strange, strange times.
Find us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/emgoingplaces