Ten Things to Do During the COVID-19 Lockdown

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Coronavirus is a type of virus. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus. It can affect your lungs and airways. Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading.

Over the past few weeks life has changed a great deal for all of us, and these changes are likely to continue for a while to come as we collectively work to avoid, mitigate, reduce and finally overcome the effects of COVID-19.

The (NIDirect website) has some great information available which will give you the facts about COVID-19, including symptoms to watch out for and ways to help keep yourself and those close to you safe.

The key safety measures we are all being asked to adopt at the moment are social distancing and/or social isolation. This is a real challenge for everyone and it is entirely natural to feel a bit frightened, worried or frustrated at times.

The key thing to remember is that this phase will pass. Given time and the wonderful efforts of our healthcare professionals, advisers and scientists, we will regain control and things will start to improve.

In the meantime, please treat yourself with compassion and understanding. It is natural to feel a somewhat heightened sense of anxiety and loss of control at the moment due to this rapidly evolving health issue.

Many of us are also simultaneously having to adjust to ‘new realities’ such as home-working, being on furlough, applying for interim financial support or bring physically distant from other (or in close proximity to others for extended periods of time) all of which in themselves can bring stress as we mentally and emotionally adjust.

There is temptation among some to try to ‘get the upper hand’ on this issue and regain a sense of control over our lives by setting in place a myriad of new life goals and personal development challenges for ourselves.

Whilst there is no harm at all in trying to harness some good from a bad situation, it is important to remember that there will be a lot of necessary psychological ‘processing’ going on inside all of us below the surface as mentally and emotionally we acclimatise to all that is happening.

Do not take on too much at the moment, leave some capacity for that ‘processing’ to happen and give yourself permission to try your best to get through and make the best of the situation, rather than feeling like you need to be ‘perfectly productive’.

That said, if lockdown has given you some time if your life to pause, look around and expand your horizons, to follow are some suggestions on things you might like to use the time to check out.

1. Watch Britain’s Forgotten Men: This gritty documentary series available free on the (BBC iPlayer) will introduce you to a range of stories about ‘modern manhood’ and how various males are struggling and striving to do their best.

2. Have an At-Home Date Night: If you are sharing lockdown with your partner, the (Art of Manliness website) has a range of low-cost date night ideas you can do at home.

3. What About an At-Home Workout: Back in 2018, the (Evening Standard website) did a review of their top ten fitness apps for at-home workouts. Many of these are free and might be worth a try.

4. Get into Comics: Some of us may not have read a comic since we were children. There are some great titles out there directed at adult audiences that can give a bit of harmless escapism. The (Comixology website) has a number of titles that you can download for free.

5. Try Out a Home Haircut: Ok so we all worry about how this will turn out, but the one good thing about hair is that no matter what the cut, it will grow back in time. The (Independent website) has just published a piece giving you tips on how to take on this home styling challenge.

6. Cook a New Dish: Trying out something new to cook and eat at the moment will not only break up the monotony of eating the same dish all the time, it will give you something to occupy your time and use up whatever you have in your larder. (Jamie Oliver’s website) has some good recipes worth checking out.

7. Go For a Virtual Walk: You may not be able to get out and about to check out faraway places and popular scenic locations in person at the moment, but why not take a virtual walk instead. The (World Walking website) has a range of free virtual walks you can take.

8. Get Crafty: Ok so you may not see yourself as a particular handy or artistic person, but craft projects can be both a good way to occupy your time at home whilst giving you a sense of achievement at what you can produce. The (Crafty Gentleman website) has a lot of crafting projects for you to consider trying out.

9. Do Some Studying: Through its OpenLearn programme, the (Open University website) has a range of free online courses in subject areas such as: health, sports & psychology, history & the arts, languages, nature & the environment and society, politics & the law.

10. Get Gaming to Relax: There are some online games that could actually help you to relax and settle you and can even stimulate a tired mind. The (Lifehack website) has a link to 10 free games it claims can help you to chillout.