It goes without saying that the last few weeks have been difficult for everyone in one way or another and not how we planned to kick off 2020. Now the challenge is to make it through lockdown without losing our sanity, so we’ve put together a list of our top tips for keeping busy for however long this is going to last - fingers crossed not too much longer. Whether you’re still working on essential jobs or staying at home, we’re sure we’ve got something that could help you fill your free time at home.
1. HOME SCHOOLING HELP
The schools closing was a painful blow for many of us, it meant that homeschooling was going to become the norm and let’s be honest, trying to teach your kids is nowhere near as easy as it sounds. Luckily, you’re not on your own! There are so many resources out there to help you learn with your kids and enjoy it!
The Department for Education has pulled together a list of resources to help you on your way (click here) and there are also a number of celebrities offering free lessons e.g. Joe Wickes’s PE class (be warned, it’s not as easy as it sounds), Maths with Carol Vorderman and English with David Walliams to help you out and keep it fun!
2. WORK AT HOME
Ok, so we know you can’t actually ‘work from home’ but we’ve all got work to do at home that we’ve just never got round to. Use this opportunity to get all those little odd jobs done while you’ve no other excuses, you’ll feel better for it and it might stop some of the earache you’ve been getting.
3. NETFLIX. NEED WE SAY MORE?
Netflix is going to be many people’s best friend over the next couple of months - need we even mention Tiger King? Sit back and catch up on those series you’ve been meaning to start but never got round to, and the best thing, it’s guilt free if you’ve nowhere else you need to be!
4. VIRTUAL GET TOGETHERS
We’re so lucky to live in an age where staying connected is easier than ever, so make the most of it. Check in on family and friends by calling, texting or even get everyone together for a video chat (ideal for not forgetting what everyone looks like). However you prefer to do it, make sure you keep talking.
Are you missing going out for the weekly pub quiz? Fear not, you can still enjoy it in the comfort of your own home. Some people are running live quizzes every week on Facebook and Youtube for you to join in, compete against your friends and family and if you’re feeling generous, even raise some money for charity.
5. DAILY EXERCISE
When have you ever had so much time and so little excuses not to do exercise? Make the most of it, whether it’s a leisurely stroll (sticking to guidelines of course) or a heavy weights session in your garden at home, it all counts. No fancy gym equipment? No problem - grab a bag of screed or bucket of adhesive, you’ll be amazed at what you can do. Even a couple of good old tins of beans make great arm weights!
Set yourself a challenge - see how many press ups you can do everyday or get your 10K PB . Whatever you choose to do, let’s come out of this fitter and healthier than ever before.
6. BE READY FOR BUSINESS AS USUAL
If you’re self-employed, staying on top of things isn’t easy, especially when you’re busy working long days on site. Things like marketing, accounts and general business admin tend to fall by the wayside, but by being a bit more organised they can really help you get back on your feet when we’re back to ‘business as usual’.
Have you got social media for your business? If not, set it up, and if you have, create a content plan and keep posting even if you’re not working right now. Remember, everyone else is stuck at home too and they’re all noticing things that they need doing around the house - make sure you’re the first one they think of when it comes to getting a quote.
7. REVAMP YOUR VAN
Not everyone keeps their van clean and organised (we’ve seen some bad ones in our time) and let’s face it, once it gets out of control, it’s hard to find the time to sort it. Well, now is that time! Put some shelving and racking up, put a new floor down, add some extra security measures - make all those modifications you’ve been thinking of while you’ve got the chance to get all of your tools and materials out.
8. BRUSH UP ON YOUR SKILLS
If you’ve got the tools and some extra materials, why not get practicing some new techniques at home. Perfect those curved borders, bespoke patterns or coloured finishes while you’ve got the chance.
Some manufacturers are even doing webinars, online training and Q&A sessions e.g. F.Ball and Ardex - check out their social channels to make sure you don’t miss out.
9. HELP OUT VULNERABLE NEIGHBOURS
Have you checked in on your vulnerable neighbours yet? Even if you’re managing ok, some people might not be. Even if it’s just popping to the shop for some milk and eggs for Mr. Smith at number 20 or collecting a prescription for Mrs. Jones at number 9, it gets you out the house, helps someone out more than you would think and also, it's really rewarding.
Many communities have set up Facebook groups where people in isolation can request help and people can volunteer their services - have a look and see if there’s any ways you can help, it’s a great way to fill up your free time.
10. STAY POSITIVE
This is the most important one of all but potentially the most difficult. It’s so important not to overload yourself with too much bad news so limit how much news you watch or read during the day - it’s important to keep track of what’s going on but we know it can all be a bit doom and gloom at times.
Keep yourself busy doing some of the other things we’ve mentioned and try to stick to a routine - this will keep you in control and leave you with less time to dwell on things that might drain your positivity.
If you are struggling - talk to someone! We’re just at the other end of the phone even if you just want to call us for a catch up.
These are just some of our tips and how we’re getting through this very strange time - we hope it will be helpful for you!
We'd love to hear from you, even if it's just for a chat. Give us a call, drop us an email or tag us on social media to let us know how you’re getting on and what you’re doing during lockdown.
We hope to see you all again very soon, stay safe and if you can, stay home!