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Tue, 31 Aug 2021
After a week or two, lockdown life seems to take on its own quiet routine. Staying in bed a little longer, eating a touch more at breakfast time and indulging in a spot of relaxed scrolling before settling down to some intense reminiscing about the good old days of Uber Eats and lipstick.
Whether you're tearing your hair out through sheer boredom or a WFHer desperately trying to focus, there will be times when you're looking for something other than pay-TV and homeschooling to occupy your you-time. Here's a list of suggestions:
Do nothing for a while Sit and let your thoughts drift. Keep a pencil and paper nearby so that if inspiration or chores come to mind, you can write them down to look at later.
Take a daily nap Either luxuriously in bed or grab a throw and commandeer the couch. When you get up, have a glass of water and light a candle or some incense and let peacefulness linger.
Pat your pet for ages Scratch those itchy spots and give your pet some undivided attention.
Feed the birds Cut apples and mandarins on the cross-section or peel one section from bananas so that the birds can get access to the fruit without making a gooey mess. Mornings and evenings are the best times to sit inside and watch the birds come to feed.
Take an online course • Read that self-help book lingering on the shelf • Learn a language with the free DuoLingo app • Watch documentaries that you wouldn’t otherwise have time for.
Get up to date with international opinions and issues besides the pandemic; try Al Jazeera, The Guardian, The New York Times, The Onion.
Dreading the thought of going back to your job? Try researching what else you could do with your skills and passions; write up a new CV; Draft a list of reasons why you should get that pay rise or promotion.
If you have a business idea, now’s the time to research it and write a list of pros and cons, or look for suitable investors.
For free ebooks, digital audiobooks and magazines from your public library, download the library app, Libby.
Got books sitting on your bookshelf, waiting to be read ‘one day’? This is that day.
Need help choosing a book? Try Goodreads for inspiration.
Work your way through Time Out's 'best concerts to watch on YouTube' list.
Make floral art with only items picked on your walks. Try using greens plucked gently from trees, wild-growing flowers (weeds), or incorporate twigs found on the ground.
Try Zen Doodling (Zentangle): Start by creating a flowing pattern without lifting pen from paper, or create a structured group of lines, then fill sections of that doodle with repeating patterns of your choice. Just keep it simple, there is no right or wrong way and no good or bad drawing. The idea is that the repetition of drawing simple patterns becomes meditative and it might relieve stress or anxiety while nurturing your creativity.
Organise your photos into albums on your computer, or order a photo book to be made. Try the Once Upon app, among others.
Blind Baking Flick through the 'Cakes and Biscuits' section of your favourite cookbook with your eyes closed and point at random to choose what to bake today.
'Empty the freezer' soup or stew See if you can create a complete meal using only items from your freezer. It’s a fun way to reduce waste and make space for ice cream!
Toast competition Think out of the box and see who can create the tastiest toast toppings. Mushroom, cheese & potato; cream cheese, beetroot & tomato; peanut butter, banana & cinnamon are good for starters!
Take a look at your diet, could your nutrition do with an overhaul? Now is a good time to research allergens, gut issues and environmental impacts as related to what you consume.
Meal plan for the upcoming weeks. Sometimes, deciding what to have is the hardest part of dinner prep. If you create a monthly plan, you can shop accordingly (read: less waste), enjoy your favourite meals and avoid that 6pm “what’s for dinner?” quandary. Start with writing down everyone’s favourite meals and separate them into quick 'n' easy and those more complicated. Then plan the simple meals for weeknights and the more complicated meals for days when there is more time for preparation.
Stretch Missing that short walk from the car park to the office each morning, the flights of stairs or even just the walk to the lunch bar? Do simple stretches every day to wake your body up.
Journaling Similar to writing a diary, but rather than telling the story of your thoughts and feelings, journaling is like doodling in words. You just let the words spill onto paper, however nonsensical they might read. It's recommended to journal for five minutes or so on wakening. If journaling doesn't sound like you, try writing three things you are grateful for each day.
Meditation Just ten minutes per day can be beneficial for easing anxiety and clearing the mind. Use one of the many apps available to help you get started.
Tidy your room!
Play charades If you don’t have the game at home, ‘Charades!’ is free in your app store.
Play 20 questions A classic game for all ages. One player thinks of a person, place or thing and other player/s get 20 yes or no questions to guess what it is! Check the guidelines here.
Sock basketball Ball up a few pairs of socks, get a laundry basket and you’re set to shoot. Take turns shooting to score, and if you’re up for more of a challenge, switch to a smaller goal (like a bucket) or take a step backwards and go for the long shot.
Make a bird feeder Cover an empty toilet roll with peanut butter and roll it in birdseed, then pop it into nearby trees by slipping over the tips of branches or just attach it with string. You can buy birdseed at most supermarkets.
Learn ‘Shuffling’ (find many tutorials on Instagram Reels). Like the Running Man and Moonwalk on steroids, this dance craze will give your mind and body a super workout!
Play Dressups You're never too old for this game.
Clear out your drawers Pack up your reject items, ready to donate to charities or learn how to upcycle them via the thousands of YouTube tutorials on the subject. There are many ideas that don’t need a sewing machine or require skills to achieve.
Try bleach dyeing Whereas normal dyeing adds colour, bleach (reverse) dyeing removes colour to achieve interesting patterns or simply to lighten the colour. You can dip-dye using bleach, tie-dye, or even paint it on with a brush. The great thing about bleach dyeing is that you can see the colour change happening, so can remove the item and rinse once the desired shade is achieved. NB: Always check the label before using bleach. Wear gloves and protect your clothing. Use only in a well-ventilated area. Dispose of any excess as per the instructions on the label.
Mending Get all of your garments into shipshape condition by trimming loose threads, reattaching buttons, fixing holes, de-pilling, mending tears and attending to stains. You can buy a sewing kit at most supermarkets.
Shop your wardrobe
Grab everything out and separate it all into colour groups, then play with different items to find outfit options you hadn’t considered before.
Try everything on - and then try it on backwards, does it work? You might have just created another clothing item!
Plan outfits and take pictures of the ones you love to keep on file when you need inspiration for something to wear.
Above, clockwise from top left: Donate to charity or perhaps upcycle?; mend clothes to keep them - and you - looking good; tie-dyeing is simple; the DIY Designer on YouTube has a wealth of hacks to try.
What better time than to put pencil to paper and map out a renovation or landscaping project? When you need a garage door and opener, speak to your friendly local Dominator Dealer about NZ made Dominator Garage Doors.