I’m still going through massive emotional lockdown ups and downs. Occasionally I do something really annoyingly motivated, like when I signed up recently to start that interior design degree*, but most of the time, as you can see from the frequency of my blog posts, I’m just sort of semi-reclined, reading Poirot books and eating bags of Maryland mini cookies.
(Only 99 calories a bag you know. What do you mean ‘but you ate four bags’? How rude.)
If you DO want something to do during lockdown though, then I’ve pulled together a few ideas for you based on what it feels like a solid half of Instagram is doing right now. (Which probably means no one is actually doing it in real life.)
These are JUST IDEAS though. It’s totally okay if you prefer the Poirot/cookie scenario, or just want to kick back with a puzzle. No one is judging you. It’s a weird time for sure.
Take the couch to 5k challenge
I’m delighted to report that so far no one has tagged me in anything suggesting I run 5k for the NHS. Either these means I have no friends, or that all of my friends know me better than to suggest I run ANYWHERE. Even regular readers should know that running is definitely not my thing, as evidenced here by my own couch to 5k photo collage.
I know everyone says that after a while you start to get a buzz from running, but after completing the whole programme and I can say with absolutely certainty that at no point did I enjoy it at all in any way. The entire time I was ‘running’ my internal monologue was basically ‘this is hell, make it stop, why are you doing this, it’s awful, surely I’ve been going for 20 minutes by now, let’s check the app because surely it should have beeped by now and maybe it’s broken, oh no it’s only been four minutes, this is awful, please save me, help.’
But sure, have a go if that’s your thing.
Clear out your garage
Because now is totally the time to do all the jobs you didn’t want to do even when you were feeling at your most inspired right? I see so many people saying things like ‘so satisfying to finally get around to painting my skirting boards!’ and I think ‘IS IT KAREN?? Is it REALLY?’
Having said that, having a really good rubbish clearance session can be very cathartic, and now the recycling centres are reopening you’ve got somewhere to take it too. I have heard that our local tip is only offering about half its usual facilities though, so it might be the time to treat yourself to one of those skip bags from a rubbish removal company. (I’ve always secretly wanted a skip bag, just to chuck stuff in for fun.)
A couple of my top options would be a skip bag from SKIPBAG, which looks much nicer on your drive than a full on skip. SKIPBAG plants a tree for every bag sold, so you get that little glow of environmental smugness too. Clearabee also has excellent environmental credentials, diverting over 95% of waste on average from landfill. They’re also a carbon neutral company and have loads of initiatives in place for offsetting and reducing their carbon emissions.
Make sourdough bread
Honestly I’ve no idea how you do this but it looks COMPLEX. It seems to involve something called a ‘sourdough starter’, which from what I’ve seen is this sort of gently bubbling oozy mass that you can share about between your neighbours and keep locked in a cupboard for 50 years, feeding occasionally on vegetable scraps, like something from a science fiction film.
Seriously, I’ve no idea. My only experience of sourdough is as part of a brunch that someone else has made for me. Here’s how to actually make a sourdough starter though, in case you’re desperate. It takes five days. No mention of letting it live in the cupboard.
Learn a language
Remember that time I learnt Spanish in three weeks just to go on a date with a Spanish man? Okay, so perhaps ‘learnt Spanish’ is a little generous, but I was actually surprised at how much I could pick up just in that time, and the date went kind of okay. Apart from I think I accidentally said ‘money’ when he asked what I was looking for in a man, but still.
It was part of a project I did with Babble and I found their app and the programme really easy to use, so would definitely recommend if it’s something you’re thinking about.
Design an intricate science experiment for your kids using only a single potato
If there is one silver lining to this whole lockdown thing it’s that I don’t have any school aged children any more because homeschooling is my idea of actual hell. I cannot think of anything worse than having to be responsible for their learning, day in day out, other perhaps than doing it at the same time as seeing hundreds of other Instagram parents doing the same thing, but better.
‘School’s in session!’ boasts Karen, mum of three, in her Instagram stories. ‘First up we’re learning all about fractions using our colour coordinated Lego, then storytelling using prompts from nature, and then this afternoon we’re discovering how to power a washing machine using only lemon juice and a potato!’
Get in the bin Karen.
(Disclaimer: I don’t think you CAN power a washing machine using just a lemon and a potato, I was just feeling a bit bitter by the end of this post.)
What aspirational activities have you tackled during lockdown? Leave a comment and let me know how many cookies you can eat now in one sitting!
*You’ll be relieved to hear I’ve only done one assignment so far, and then got temporarily put off because I only got a merit when I wanted a distinction. I’m very much enjoying ordering free fabric samples online though, and organising them on my shelves, so perhaps I’m more cut out for ‘playing’ interior designers than actually being one.