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8 Ways to Stay Happy, Healthy & Blissfully Busy Through the Lockdown

· Ali Turner · Discussion

Make the most of your time at home.


COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus. Find out how to protect yourself, when to self-isolate and what to do if you fall ill...

Worried about cabin fever? Think you’ll go stir crazy? Fear not because we’ve got it covered…

Life as we know it has been put on hold. We’ve all been asked to stay at home to help slow the spread of coronavirus. Together, we can save lives and that’s something we can all get behind. But what are you going to do while you’re holed up at home? From binge-watching your favourite shows to sitting down with a good book, we’ve put together a handy list of tips and ideas to make the time fly by.

1. Binge watch your favourite shows

Binge watching

Netflix is your first port of call in the coronavirus storm. Hundreds of shows, movies too, all at the touch of a button. This is the stuff dreams are made of. But you don’t have to fork out for a subscription to get your binge on because there are plenty of free digital TV services to keep you entertained.

Head to BBC iPlayer for a big boxset splurge of Killing Eve, Call the Midwife and Sherlock or mosey on over to All 4 to enjoy back-to-back re-runs of The Inbetweeners, Father Ted and Humans. With ITV Hub and My5 in the mix too, you’ll have enough TV to keep you busy for seven years, let alone seven days, and it’ll be a welcomed escape from the doom and gloom on the news (remember, you can get the latest news from the NHS website). Just make sure you get up and move around between episodes, why not do a 10-minute workout?

2. Workout on your own terms

Inside doesn’t have to mean inactive. In fact, a workout could be exactly what you need to quiet those restless legs – and it’s easier than you think. No need for equipment, just grab your phone and stream the latest exercise videos straight to your living room.

YouTube is definitely your friend. Do Yoga with Adrienne, try HIIT training with MadFit, or mix up your workout with everything from kickboxing to dance thanks to POPSUGAR Fitness. Want to keep it in the palm of your hand? No problem. Try The Nike Training Club app for bodyweight-only sessions or the 7 Minute Workout app for a quick endorphin hit.

3. Catch up on reading


There’s nothing quite like curling up on the sofa with a good book and this is the perfect excuse, so why not put aside the distractions and lose yourself in another world? Whether it’s sci-fi, romance or all the unforgiving detail of non-fiction, there’s something for everyone.

Good old fashioned books work, you can always get them delivered, but these days, it’s all about Kindles and tablets. The former promises an unlimited selection of titles and free classics, while the latter gives you access to a vast collection of ebooks courtesy of the Leeds Library and Information Service. Happy reading!

4. Do a spring clean


At times like these, it’s only natural to want to clean. Because coronavirus a new illness, it’s not clear how it spreads, but if it’s anything like the viruses we’re used to, it’s likely to be through coughs and sneezes. Tiny droplets can be inhaled or land on surfaces where they’re then picked up and transferred elsewhere.

The good news is that they don’t last forever. According to Public Health England, “Under most circumstances, the amount of infectious virus on any contaminated surfaces is likely to have decreased significantly by 24 hours, and even more so by 48 hours.” You can speed up the process by cleaning with bleach and detergent, so a little spring clean might be just what you need.

5. Enjoy a reet-good pamper


Even in the midst of a crisis, it’s important to take time for yourself, so why not enjoy a little pampering? You can’t go to the hairdresser or have your nails done, but you can still run yourself a nice hot bath and luxuriate in a little self-enforced ‘me time’.

If you’ve got time to kill, a mani-pedi will fill a few hours and make you feel a bit more normal at a time when everything seems so strange and unusual. But why stop there? Put on a face mask, deep condition your hair and exfoliate too. In our busy lives, we don’t have enough time for these little luxuries, so make the most of every moment.

6. Try out a new recipe


Supermarkets and other food shops will remain open throughout the coronavirus outbreak, so there’s no need to panic. And with a little extra time on your hands, this could be the perfect excuse to try a new recipe. You’ve probably got a cookbook or two at home, but you’ll also find a wealth of ideas online.

BBC Food has thousands of recipes to take you from breakfast to dinner, including a whole stash of budget-friendly ideas. If you want something a little more challenging, try the culinary creativity at Kitchn and Epicurious. You can get the latest recipes from celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson and Gordon Ramsay too – or why not take on one of The Great British Bake Off challenges?

7. Find a new hobby


Now’s the time to do all the things you never have the time to do. Knit a jumper, write a novel, pick up a paintbrush – this is your chance to rediscover forgotten hobbies or even find a new one.

The possibilities are endless. You could take up scrapbooking or try your hand at soap-making, get into astrology or focus on meditation – the choice is yours. And of course, there’s sure to be lots to do around the house. Whether it’s DIY or gardening, you can really make the most of this time and turn a crisis into an opportunity.

Get your game on


What better way to escape the confines of your living room than by setting off on an almighty adventure? Just fire up your games console and you’re all set. You can explore the medieval realm of Rivia with The Witcher, travel the globe in Unchartered or go back in time with Assassin’s Creed. When you’re feeling lonely, multi-player is a god-send, and you can even get active with games like Just Dance.

No console? No problem. You’ll find hundreds of games on Origin, ready and waiting for you to download, or you can try something a little more lo-fi. From crosswords to sudoku, puzzles are a great way to keep your mind active and they’ll distract you from everything that’s going on. Remember to move around between puzzles, your body will thank you later.