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We’re all going through a very peculiar time at the moment, and you’re entitled to feel however you want about it, or do whatever you want while staying at home.
During all of this, there should be no pressure put on you to be the most productive you’ve ever been, but if you want to then that’s great. At the start of this, I know a lot of people that were thinking they could learn a new language, start running, write a book, so many things, but as the weeks have come and gone, we’re all starting to realise that the most productive thing we can do right now is get through each day.
For when you do get those productive bursts during this, here are some ideas of what you can do when staying at home:
Come on, you know those books, that you’ve never actually touched but were really excited when you first got them. Now is the perfect time to give them a go.
The days where we aren’t doing anything, why not sit down for an hour or two and just really get into a book? It could just provide the escape you needed.
Unpopular opinion: I found peace with reading when I told myself that if I’m really not enjoying a book after 150 pages, I can just stop reading it and the world won’t end (sorry!). If I’d still like to know how the story goes, well, there’s always google.
Sort out clothes to sell or give to charity
I had a lot of clothes that needed sorting out before this happened, and it’s been nice to have the time to sort out what I do and don’t want. This time can also allow you to list things on Depop and think about where you might want bits to go (e.g. charity or to friends).
While many charity shops now aren’t taking donations, try to set aside what you do want to take to your nearest shop when you can.
Learn how to cook something new
One positive of staying at home is saving money from eating out, and now is a good time to practice your culinary skills, too. You could challenge yourself to see what you can make from the bits and pieces you have at home when running low on items and can’t get to the shops just yet.
This is a skill that you can take into adult life more generally so now is a great time to improve your cooking!
Sort your phone photos out
Anyone else got about 6GB of photos that they won’t ever look at again? Me too.
This is a good time to sort through your camera roll and see if you’re hoarding old screenshots that you no longer need or photos that just really aren’t needed. This is one of those tasks that doesn’t really require that much attention so you can still enjoy watching TV at the same time.
Got an old drawer of little bits and pieces that you have no idea what to do with? Take 30 minutes to sit down and sort through this, bit by bit, to reduce the amount of clutter you have.
Be realistic with this one, are you ever going to to use those blank revision cards that you bought too many of in year 11?
Make a list of all the things you need to do, even those that you can’t do now but need to remember once you can. Maybe you’re overdue a health check-up or you really need to switch your direct debit payments, make a list and get through the ones that you can do now.
Make a plan for what you want to do after lockdown
We all love dreaming about the things that we could be doing. I’m always sat thinking about my next holiday. So just because I can’t go right now, it doesn’t mean that I can’t plan for the future.
Take some time to think about what you’d like to get up to once this is over and see if you can make a plan for it now. Maybe you can plan a trip away with your friends or think about a fitness challenge you can sign up for.
When things aren’t great in the present, why not just escape by thinking about the future? I love flicking through the ‘Lonely Planet Ultimate Travelist‘ book and planning my next adventure.
Sort your email inbox and files out
Similar to sorting out your photos, have a flick through your email inbox and see what newsletters and business emails you no longer want to receive and unsubscribe from them.
You could also have a look at your laptop files and see what you can delete to free up more space.
This might be quite a quick task or for people like me who seem to have subscribed to every mailing list ever, it may take a few hours.
In my post about getting work experience when you can’t get a job, I outlined how you could volunteer during this time to help others out. This would be a great use of your time as well as demonstrating your willingness to go above and beyond to future employers.
Even if you can’t volunteer for a wider community group or for the NHS, see if you can help just one neighbour or family member out by getting their shopping for them. This could make staying at home more bearable, as you know that when you leave the house it’s for a really good cause.
And the most productive thing you can do throughout all of this, is to just chill out. If you want to laze around day after day, as long as you’re checking in with yourself mentally and making sure you’re coping okay, then you can.
Don’t let your own expectations or any pressures from social media make you think you need to spend every minute wisely through this. Practicing self-care is probably the wisest way to spend it.
One thing that I’ve been able to observe through this is that my normal life is, quite unnecessarily, way too fast paced. I’m always wanting to be doing something and don’t like the idea of not constantly developing. But I’m starting to realise, now I have the time to think about things, that that mindset would become quite damaging in the long run.
What other things have you been getting up to while staying at home? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!