4 ways to keep busy

It is safe to say that 2020 has gotten off to a rather rocky start. First, the possibility of World War 3 seemed to be on the cards due to leaders of the nations trying to compare sizes and making not so shaded war declarations. Then came the storms, it felt as though we were going to have started building an ark just to get to work. Now we have been hit hard with this pandemic. It came out of nowhere in so many ways. Now everything has been completely thrown off kilter — our work patterns, social calendars, hygiene routines and tourism systems have come to a grinding halt. Many people’s lives have been affected; jobs, homes, businesses and more. It has become a rather scary and even more-so unpredictable world. But even in all of this uncertainty surely some good will come out of this.

Local businesses have been teaming together to help serve the communities by delivering essential goods and items to those in need. There was also the the NHS clap to say thank you to our unsung heroes across the country. In this awful time, there have been so many feel good community stories that have been shared online. Also being in isolation isn’t so great for everyone’s mental health — here is a list of some of the things that I am doing to try and keep myself sane during this time.

Learning new skills

If ever there were a time for learning some new skills or take up a new hobby, now is the time. With so much free time and apart from blocking out time to job hunt, there are a few things that I have always pushed aside for a later date. I signed up to Skillshare to try and get a bit better at drawing, illustration and also brush up on my creative writing skills. I have even been using these ancient Disney drawing books to practice my character sketching.

Tom is considering taking up some creative writing classes alongside working on his maths skills before he starts his new job at an accountancy firm. Also, now might be the time to try and learn at least one song on the piano that we have had hidden in the cupboard since we moved into the flat.

Deep cleaning

I know that this sounds incredibly boring to some, and in a lot of cases that is true. Deep cleaning is always a task that we tend to put off until absolutely necessary. In our household, it usually gets pushed to the weekend. But as we are having to stay in now, deep cleaning no longer becomes a hindrance that takes up the entirety of the weekend, it can now be carried out throughout the week. We started with reorganising one of the closets that had become more of a dumping ground for the items that had no home.

So now that the deep cleaning and organising has started, I am coming up with more places in the flat that need a little extra care. What is great about all of these tasks is that I no longer feel rushed into finishing them within a two day period. Instead, each task can take time over the days without any real rush.

Gaining a green thumb

We do live in a second flood, city-centre flat so the prospect of our thumbs suddenly sprouting green does seem rather unlikely — we may not have a garden to mow or a flowerbed to prune, that won’t stop us. Over the past six months, Tom has been accumulating a ridiculous amount of houseplants. Keeping houseplants in a flat with somewhat minimal lighting can be difficult and many a plant has perished within these walls. But Tom now has a store of spare pots, soil and plant food that he uses to take care of his rather green babies. I have taken a back seat on caring for the plants and this seems to have kept the deaths to a minimum.

Self care

Being stuck inside with minimal contact to the outside world can cause people’s mental health to falter or deteriorate. During this time we all need to make sure that we take tie for ourselves and really look at what keeps us sane and happy.

As we are currently allowed one outing a day, Tom has been running a route along the river whilst I walk it. It allows us both to have moments of alone time, clearing our heads, breathing in fresh air and getting a bit of exercise in. We have also been doing home exercises and stretches to keep our minds and bodies active.

We have been able to catch up on reading, journalling, testing out different recipes and taking long hot baths. Just taking moments for ourselves to clear our heads and also think about what we are grateful for during this time of uncertainty.

Although we don’t know when this pandemic will end, or what the world will look like after the fact we can only hope that there are brighter things on the horizon. So stay safe and stay inside.

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