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Sunday, 22 March 2020

Things to do during self isolation and social distancing due to Coronavirus

I’m sure most of us are still in a little state of shock/denial of the state of the world right now but whether we like it or not, being in self isolation for the foreseeable is unavoidable. It’s not going to be over in a week or two, we’re in it for the long haul so the best thing we can do for our physical and mental well-being is to try where possible to keep a positive mental attitude and fill our time with enjoyable activities, albeit, inside.

When I was a lot younger, I used to say ‘only boring people get bored’ and used to pride myself on keeping entertained in any situation, okay besides at work, but that’s different! So I wanted to share some ideas with you all on some things to keep you occupied and some things I’ll be doing over the coming weeks to beat the boredom.

Social Media

Firstly, I wanted to say that I totally understand social media and the news right now can be so triggering, but there’s absolutely no harm in putting away your phone, taking some me time and limiting how much you see on social media but muting words or phrases. We can be our own worst enemy, wanting information yet getting obsessed with the information and it leads to stress and anxiety when it’s not good news. Try and make a conscious effort to notice when it’s getting too much and take a step back

Okay now for the fun stuff!


Never underestimate the relaxation of colouring. A quick amazon search brings up so many options of colouring books for adults, some of which are pretty cheap and absolutely beautiful. This weekend as the sun has been out I’ve been laying outside with my colouring book and it’s genuinely so relaxing.

If you’re looking after the pennies during isolation, you can take it old school and draw shapes and lines on a piece of paper and colour them all in, or if you have a printer at home there’s so many print outs you can find using good old Google.


I know this may be a sore subject right now as the whole of the UK for some reason thinks it’s okay to buy the contents of Sainsbury’s the second food hits the shelves but, see it as an opportunity to cook new things. You can search online for recipes that include food you already have and learn to make something new. I love using Pinterest, BBC Good Food and All Recipes. Maybe there’s something you’ve always wanted to try making, now is a good time! I’ve always wanted to try and make bread, I managed to get some bread flour and make my own loaf yesterday and felt really proud of myself!

You can also start some Pinterest boards of things you want to try and make when ingredients are more readily available and have your own inspiration board. I have lots of ideas especially on baking and desserts on my Pinterest, with all types of food and drinks split into separate boards so search for whatever interests you.

Make a photobook

I think we’re all guilty of storing thousands of photos on our phones but do we ever do anything with them? Not really! During isolation I’ve started to organise the photos on my phone and I’m creating a photobook which I’m so excited to get printed. They do take a long time to do so I’m taking it one month of photos at a time and giving myself a couple of days to get each month done.

My favourite website to create photos books is Cewe. I have also recently downloaded the Once Upon a Time app which does make beautiful books but you don’t have the creative freedom to move your photos and change templates as much as you do with other programmes so I’m not sure I’m convinced of that one yet.

If you spend your time on a project like this, you’re going to have a beautiful physical photobook to look back on that will last longer than your phone once it’s dead and you lose photos. If you’re feeling generous or have any birthdays coming up, how about making a photobook for a friend or family member. This is always the most thoughtful gift they can keep forever.

Online quizzes

This is where my super geeky side comes out. For years, I’ve done online quizzes and trivia online for fun. My favourite website is Sporcle, the world’s largest quiz website. They have a quiz for every single thing you could think of. I won’t even list them all as I’ll be here forever but just check them out! I love the Countries of Europe and States of US ones – who knew there were so many European countries I always forget about!!

If you take a quiz, let me know which one and what score you get!!

Online Surveys for Money

When I was at University and had a lot of time on my hands, I started doing online surveys for money or vouchers. I actually made a few hundred pounds over a couple of months which was pretty easy for something to do in front of the TV. That was about 8 years ago now but Money Saving Expert has a whole post on online paid surveys with links to the best ones so check them out!

Zoom/skype/facetime in groups with your friends

My friends and I have lived miles away from each other for most of our friendships and this week I was surprised when I actually thought, we’d never been on Facetime/Skype together. We’ve started doing this and it definitely makes the days of isolation less lonely. We all participated in a virtual pub quiz on Friday and had so much fun, my husband and I are going to host our own one next weekend for our friends and family via zoom for everyone to dial in to. Make the most of the wonderful technology we have and keep in touch with your loved ones, because we’re all in the same boat.


Dust of those books that might be in your cupboard or on the shelf, or if you have a kindle treat yourself to a new book. Most of the books I read on my kindle are between 99p and £2.99 so really cost effective. Before I had my kindle, I used to buy used books on Amazon which were also quite cheap if charity shops are currently closed.

Maybe ask your friends or followers on social media if anyone wants to start a book club and read together then discuss the books. It’s a great way to be introduced to new books and make friends.


I know the hard part of isolation for a lot of people is the gyms being shut, especially people who use exercise as escapism. But being at home doesn’t mean you need to give up your routine. YouTube is your best friend! I personally love the PopSugarFitness channel and have loved it for about 6 years now. They have exercise tutorials of all types, duration, from beginners to experts. Most of them need little or no equipment too which makes them super easy to do at home.

If you are a regular of a gym class, have a look on YouTube if that class has been filmed. I love Les Mills Body Pump and have some body pump equipment at home so I have been using these videos every day to do the classes I would usually do either in my living room or in the garden. I’ve purchased dumbbells and a kettlebell from Amazon which weren’t too expensive and were delivered quickly.

If you’re willing to spend some money, you can always sign up to a programme like the Body Coach, Results with Lucy and Les Mills Online Classes and there’s a whole wealth of programmes on there. If not, YouTube is just as good and how I’m personally still working out.


Social isolation may mean you won’t be meeting your friends for a picnic in the park, but you also don’t need to be completely confined to the four walls of your house. If you’re able to go for a walk locally, take the chance. As long as it’s not in a busy easy and preferably doesn’t mean you need to touch anything for example gates, then get out there and get some fresh air

Keep blinds open and crack a window

I know this sounds like the smallest most insignificant thing you can do with your time but trust me, it will make you feel so much better. I know it’s tempting to stay in bed with the blinds shut but it does make you feel more awake and upbeat having the blinds/curtains open and having the window open to get some fresh air circulating. Don’t underestimate the power of small things

Take 5 minutes to acknowledge what you’re thankful for that day and what good thing has happened that day

This is something I’ve started to do every day. Some days I write them down, and others I don’t, but I do consciously stop for 10 minutes each day to think about what I’m thankful for and what good thing/s have happened that day. Today I’m thankful for my energetic dog and the bright sunshine and blue skies that allow us to be out in the garden playing together. Taking 10 minutes to appreciate these things will help you remember the important things and the good things, concentrating on positives.

Practice mindfulness and/or meditation

This isn’t something I’ve personally got into yet but I know for many people, mindfulness and meditation genuinely changes their mood and mindset on a daily basis. There are loads of YouTube videos to help you and I have heard from so many people that the Calm app is good too!


Never feel guilty about taking some time to get some extra sleep. Most likely, with all the stress right now, your body will need it! Indulge in that Sunday afternoon nap and don’t feel guilty about it! I laid down for what I thought would be an hour yesterday after a big lunch and turned out it was 4 hours but hey, who cares. I felt so great when I woke up because I clearly needed the sleep and I absolutely didn’t feel guilty for taking some me time.

Pamper yourself

On the subject of ‘me time’, now is a great time to relax and indulge in a bath and a face mask. Okay I don’t really like baths myself but I have taken the time to sort out my skincare routine and have regular facemasks, relaxing on my bed with the window open and fresh air difting through in the breeze and it’s genuinely my most relaxing times… until my crazy dog realises I’m trying to relax and tries to jump on my face.

Learn a craft on YouTube

If you feel like you have a lot of time on your hands, why not learn a craft on YouTube. There’s so many tutorials on almost everything you can think of. I’ve been watching DIY party d├ęcor tutorials and balloon walls ready for when this whole isolation business is over and I can throw a big party. You could learn origami or calligraphy? You never know when it might come in handy and it’s a cool thing to say you can do, not to mention a good use of time as our social lives are currently on hiatus.


I absolutely love old school games and it makes me sad they don’t make really great boardgames any more because technically has taken over. But anyway, what about a game of monopoly with the people you live with? I know that can get a little heated so if you’re looking for something a little less stressful then Uno? Card games? Or even go totally old school and play paper games like boxes? My husband is currently resisting the old school games but I feel like I’m going to win this battle in the end!

If you live on your own, or don't want to play physcial games with the people you live with (I get that!), download some free games on your phone! I have recently downloaded Sonic, Solitare, Spider Solitare and BlockuDoku which I play when I need 10 minutes to myself to relax and clear my mind

Make a bucketlist

I’m sure most people will agree that even if we didn’t go out too much before social distancing was put into place, we sure realise now as soon as we’re not allowed to go out, we want to! Now you have all the inspiration of places to go and things you want to do, make that list and keep it ready for when all of this is over. It’ll be a great bucket list for the rest of the year.

Check in with an old friend or family member

Most important of all, take the time to check in with friends and family members. Maybe this is a good time tor reach out to an old friend you haven’t spoken to for a while. Now is a better time than ever. Take the opportunity and keep checking on your circle, ask if they’re okay. I’m making a conscious effort to check in with my friends every couple of days or so because everyone handles these situations differently.

I hope some of these ideas help you get through the next weeks/months of social distancing or isolation. If you use any of them I would love if you let me know.

Please please keep safe during these times and try where possible to remain positive. We will come through this and I hope we come through it with a greater appreciation for our key worker staff who are keeping things going while the rest of us are home, and an appreciation for our freedom, our health and our life.

Take care, stay home and keep positive.

Love Lauren xxx


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