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Top 15 things to do in lockdown

Posted: 4pm 04 Aug 2021

Lockdown bored already? Need a to-do list? Here’s some ideas to get you moving, keep you busy and make the most of the chance to get some stuff done.

#1 Read a book

Download that book you’ve been wanting to read forever and haven’t had the time, or if you’re a more hands-on person, grab one that’s gathering dust on your bookshelf and is begging to be read. If there’s nothing new on your bookshelf, close your eyes, spin around and randomly select one from the shelf. If you don’t land on one you’re keen to read, we reckon you secretly know which one you do want to revisit. If you find it hard to sit still and want to do something else while you’re ‘reading’? Download an audiobook so you can multitask.

#2 Relearn an instrument

Heading to your local music store to buy a new instrument is not an essential reason to be out and about but many of us still have that guitar, flute or violin we learnt on when we were kids but have somehow forgotten how to play. With time on your hands, youtube and an endless supply of material online there’s no reason not to give it another crack. If you’re really stuck for something to do, you could even try learning with the kids. The neighbours may not thank you though!

#3 Walk the dog

Pop on a mask – you not the dog – and go for a walk. It’s a chance to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine close to home (within 10km), after a day of staring at your tiny laptop screen. Your eyes will thank you for it, and like magic - the pounding eye-strain headache will go. Best thing? With a mask, hat and sunnies on no-one will recognise you, so you don’t have to worry about doing it in your PJs or daggy trackies if that’s been your ‘work attire’ for the day. Winning!!

#4 Forget banana bread, bake brownies

Banana bread is so 2020!! This is a new COVID lockdown, so more intense backed goods are required. We’re talking sweet, hot, chocolate brownies (with a scoop of vanilla ice cream to balance the bowl). Search for a recipe online, consult one of the recipe books gathering dust on your bookshelf or cheat and buy a packet mix when you’re next shopping for essentials. You can enjoy them hot or freeze them for another time. Best of all, they are quick and easy to make, and will draw out the sweet-tooths following you on Instagram. Tip: dust with icing sugar before you take that drool-worthy photo!

#5 Conquer the jigsaw

Most of us have one – a jigsaw gift still in its plastic wrapping on a shelf with the board games we rarely play. You’ll be surprised how addictive piecing that picture together can be and it’s an activity everyone in the house can get involved in. So, clear off the dining room table (let’s face it, we’re all eating on the couch anyway) and get started. Some people like to start with the edges, others go for colour blocks. We say, make your own rules and just give it a crack.

#6 Rediscover the garden

The garden – that place outside that looks great when you’ve had a burst of inspiration and been busy, but mostly needs some work. There’s no need to try to squeeze some serious weeding into a weekend, with plenty of time during lockdown to pop out during your lunch break (if you’re working from home) and to get the kids busy during theirs! Start with the weeds, mowing and high-pressure cleaning. Shopping for plants is not an essential activity but when you can go out, you’ll be ready to add some colour or greenery to the garden. In the meantime, look online for inspiration and plan what you want to do and buy. It will save you time and money in the long run.

#7 Declutter – take on a room

Most of us have a room that’s the dumping ground for all kinds of random stuff, from all members of the household. Open the door, and the window, and start with what’s stacked up in piles around the edges, in between and under furniture. When you’ve dragged all of that out, it’s time to empty the cupboard and drawers. Pull it all out and be brutal – toss out the stuff you don’t need or want and donate what is in good order. Do not spend the day looking at it before putting it all back exactly where it was!

#8 Discover what’s at the back of the pantry

From bags of flour, hundreds and thousands to Dijon mustard … you’ll be surprised at the variety of foodstuffs lurking in the back of your pantry. With non-essential trips to the supermarket not advised at the moment, it’s the perfect chance to use up what you already have. While we’re not suggesting Dijon mustard and sprinkles are an ideal combo for a sandwich or any other meal, we are recommending a good clean-out and some creative thinking to use what’s there. Get Googling and search for recipes using the ingredients you have and brace yourself for some flavour sensations.

#9 Cook some ribs

Fire up the slow cooker or smoker and make a meal that will melt in your mouth. There’s no need to plan an 8-10 hour cook around weekend chores, sport or anything else. You can take your time, experiment with flavours and enjoy the aroma as your ribs are cooking. Best of all, you’ll have a feast the whole household can enjoy at the end of the day. Lockdown bliss!!

#10 Clean out the shed … seriously, do it!

If you can’t walk into your shed because there’s so much stuff in it, or the mower is in sight but out of reach, it’s time to do something about. Seriously, it is ... Not kidding, get in there and sort that out! We recommend starting at the front (let’s face it you’ve got no hope starting any place else) and pulling everything out. Make sure you pick a sunny day and give yourself plenty of time to sort, stack and sweep.

#11 Sort out the photos on your phone

Is the storage space on your phone just about full because there are thousands of photos on there waiting to be sorted, saved, downloaded or sent to the cloud? Put on your favourite playlist and start sorting and deleting. It will take longer than you think, so some coffee, snacks and the occasional eye-strain break will be needed. Then, when lockdown is over, get those special ones printed and into frames and albums.

#12 Send a card to friend or family member

When was the last time you sent someone a card? For many of us, it was a while ago and the cost of stamps might be a shock! There’s something special about receiving a handwritten card or letter in the mail, and this is the perfect time to make someone you love feel good. Don’t have a card? Make one or get the kids to!

#13 Unleash your inner Van Gogh

You don’t need professional art supplies to have a crack at being creative. All you really need are pencils and paper, water colours, crayons, old paint, or even a smart phone. Youtube is filled with tutorials to help you unleash your creative flair – discover drawing, painting and photography/filmmaking while you’re in lockdown. You might even be a writer! Being creative is fun and good for the mind and soul.

#14 Make your way through your CD collection or build a mega playlist

If you’re old enough to own CDs, vinyl record or even cassettes, pick a row – any row – in the rack, start from the top and make your way down (or across in the case of vinyl records). You’ll relive your youth, make up new words to the songs you haven’t heard in a while and possibly do a little loungeroom dancing. Too young for CDs? Create a mega playlist of all your favourites, or targeted playlists for specific occasions – cleaning the house, road trips, parties, barbecues or lazy Sunday afternoons. It will be the lockdown gift that keeps giving.

#15 Binge watch a new show or relive an old fave

No one said you couldn’t just relax on the couch, fill a bowl of popcorn and enjoy hours of your favourite TV show or discover a new series worth binge watching. It is lockdown … no one is going to pop over and interrupt, and you are under no pressure to go anywhere. In fact, the Chief Health Officer wants to you stay there … all day. You can subscribe to streaming services or see what’s available for free via the free-to-air TV networks.

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