“Staying home will stem the coronavirus outbreak, but what if you’re healthy — and bored?” Vox.com
Staying in is the new going out as we all self-isolate to avoid spreading coronavirus (COVID-19). As we hunker down and implement social distancing* it’s time to embrace indoor activities and keep the whole family entertained. Staying at home, even if you are healthy, will slow down the infection rate and help save the lives of those more vulnerable.
Here’s some ideas to help keep everyone amused.
Read – What a better time to get started on that pile of books you have stashed than now. Kindle reader? Download some new fiction titles to get you through this imposed ‘stay at home’ period. Like audio books? Try Audible by Amazon.
Recent favourites of mine have been Little Fires Everywhere and Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, Conversations With Friends and Normal People by Sally Rooney, The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris, Never Greener by Ruth Jones, The Holiday by T.M Logan and favourites from last year Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton and This is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay (the Christmas edition Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas is also worth a read).
Fiction titles on my personal to-read list include Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid, Three Women by Lisa Taddeo, Flat Share by Beth O’Leary and Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid.
Podcasts – If you haven’t yet jumped on the podcast bandwagon now is definitely the time. There are so many good podcasts to get stuck into covering every possible genre. My personal favourites include The High Low, Is It Just Me?, Desert Island Discs, Sh**ged Married Annoyed, Ctrl Alt Delete, Off Menu and Castaway. All the males in my household are BIG fans (addicted you might say) of The Joe Rogan Experience. Use the Apple Podcast app or download Acast or Google Podcast apps.
Watch TV/Movies – How did we ever survive without Netflix? So many things to watch and now so much time to binge watch some great series and movies. Here’s some recommendations if you are looking for something new to watch; ATypical, YOU, Cheer, Don’t F*ck With Cats, The Stranger, Sex Education, Grace & Frankie, Spinning Out, Love is Blind and F1 Beyond The Grid. Oldies but goldies have to be all the series of Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and Peaky Blinders.
If you have access to iPlayer and ITV Hub and like a drama try The Spilt, Hidden, A Confession, Flesh and Blood, Liar, The Capture and Killing Eve.
Video Games – Personally I’m not really a fan of video games, apart from murdering a song or two on Singstar and an uncoordinated attempt on the dance mat, I can’t deny that it’s a great way to keep the kids entertained and the big kids who love Fifa and other such popular games. The Wii is also great for some games and the Wii fit helps with exercise too.
Games/Puzzles – We are big fans of game nights here, there’s nothing better than a game of cards, uno, dobble and monopoly deal. Our favourite card games are Kings & Ar*eholes, Rummy, Go Fish and Whist (aka Trumps). We also love a game of Cards Against Humanity, Yahtzee and Pictionary and Game of Life arrived today. Don’t have any cards or games in the house, no problem download Heads Up (most hilarious game ever) on your phone or ipad or have a good old fashion games of charades. Personally I love a puzzle, it focuses your mind on completing the task and gets your screen time down too.
Home Workouts – Download The Body Coach (aka Joe Wicks) or follow him on Instagram for some great home workouts and inspiration as well as recipes for quick and easy nutritious meals. Are you a ClassPass member? Check out their digital home workouts on the app. YouTube is also a great place to find fitness videos. Looking for more inspiration try Kayla Itsines, Kelsey Wells, Alice Liveing or purchase the FIIT app that offers hundreds of classes led by popular trainers with all kinds of workouts from HIIT sessions to yoga (Join from £10 a month/AED 45, 14-day free trail available). Gyms here in the UAE are offering digital workouts too.
Get Cooking – Practice your culinary skills and whip up some delicious meals for the family. Batch cook some of your favourite meals to use over the coming weeks. Home baking is another great activity to keep the kids entertained. Check on-line sites for recipes such as BBC GoodFood, Jamie Oliver and Deliciously Ella – the app that offers delicious plant-based recipes straight to your phone.
Spring Clean – Unleash your inner Mrs Hinch and get organising everything from your wardrobe to your fridge. Cleaning, tidying and decluttering is not only extremely satisfying, it’s also therapeutic and time-consuming which is good when we all have so much of it on our hands. Bag up your unwanted belongings and donate them to charity to help people in the community. Check out Marie Kondo on Instagram and Netflix if you want some top tips on how to organize like a pro.
Look After Your Mental Health – In these uncertain times it’s important to look after your mental health as much as your physical wellbeing. The isolation and uncertainty can contribute to increased anxiety levels and cause extra stress. MENTAL, the podcast that destigmatises mental health issues is a great listen. Download Headspace, the app that gives users a workout for the brain, take ten minutes a day to listen and clear your mind to improve attention spans, alertness and instant calm.
Check in on other people, especially elderly relatives and those who live alone. Send a message and give someone a call, something so simple can mean so much.*Read more about social distancing HERE
All views and recommendations are my own. Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2020. All rights reserved.