30 things to do at home during the pandemic

MARY ROSE MCCARTHY has come up with a list of things to do at home, during the COVID-19 outbreak — some are serious, but others are tongue in cheek... as we navigate this stressful time
30 things to do at home during the pandemic
Why not grow-it-yourself, during self-isolation...

THESE are extraordinary times — a term repeated so often in the last week as to be almost meaningless.

The response from the Irish people has so far and in the main been wonderful. Not just the people in scrubs, as described by Leo Varadkar, but supermarket workers, lorry drivers delivering, and people working round the clock to produce the food and medicines we need.

It is uplifting to see the voluntary and community response where people are coming together to help those who are cocooned or self isolating.

It can be difficult to put down the time when there is so little external things we can partake in. That isolation and the fear an invisible threat such as this covid 19 pandemic produces can have a negative impact on our peace of mind and equilibrium.

Below are some suggestions as to how to cope. One or two might be slightly tongue in cheek, a sense of humour is also good in times of high stress. Most of the proposals are real and doable and will make a difference when we come out the other side of this in a few weeks time.

1. Read War and Peace. Or any other book you kept meaning to read and kept putting off.

2. Stand at the front door many times a day just to get air and some of the now welcome sunshine.

3. Write a novel. They do say there is a book in everyone.

4. Lose half a stone. Make this an achievable weight loss target. Not just an idealised image of you being size six in time for your next birthday.

5. Write a letter the old fashioned snail mail way to someone you can’t meet face to face at the moment. This may be family or friends or work colleagues if you’re off sick.

6. Grow beautiful roses. Or vegetables or whatever takes your fancy. Remember this is the era of GIY- grow it yourself. Even dandelions in window box as food for the bees.

7. Successfully paint a watercolour. Don’t we all want to produce a masterpiece? There are many free online classes teaching drawing and painting.

8. On that note here are many free online classes MOOCS (Massive online open learning courses) in all sorts of subjects both academic or leisure hobby orientated.

9. Write a poem that makes sense. Making sense is the hard bit.

10. Learn and remember all the words of the national anthem. Instead of mouthing along sheepishly before an Ireland game.

11. Learn and remember an entire poem. Good for the mind. We could do it when in school why not now. If you don’t have any poetry books there are many poems freely available on line.

Read all the books in your 'to-read' pile.
Read all the books in your 'to-read' pile.

12. Read all the books in my ‘to be read’ pile. Self explanatory.

13. Not add to my ‘to be read’ pile until it is all read. Relates to above and if honoured will have an economic dividend also.

14. On a similar note, join the library. It’s free and you can borrow books via borrow box, access a large range of magazines online and again they offer many free online courses. Librariesireland.com

15. Run/jog a 5k race. If you can do this already set your targets higher. Even in cities such as Paris which is in extreme lockdown citizens can leave the house for thirty minutes of exercise. Being outdoors is good just keep your distance.

16. Buy a bike and use it. Another thing we could do when younger and now have lost the habit of. If there’s a shop open where you can do this you’ll help the economy. Again when out cycling remember the mantra of keep your distance.

17. Play music. Many opera houses and other music venues around the world are free streaming past concerts and performances. Music feeds the soul and does lift the mood.

18. Organise all important documents such as life assurance policy, passports, wills, bank account details. Label and file in a fire proof filing system. And while you’re at discard those endless sheets of unnecessary papers that come with bills and insurance renewals.

19. Write a will. Relates to above. Very important to do this as it avoids family feuds later on.

20. Watch less soaps this could on a phased basis so as not to lose the story lines. Sadly this will be a necessity as actors are stood down from many of our daily/weekly dramas.

21. Take the extra time on your hands to sort out getting more of your bills online. This not only makes payment easier but also saves the environment.

22. Tidy out the cutlery draw. Nothing more need be said.

23. Master Tai Chi- the graceful martial art beloved of the Chinese.

Take some time to calm your mind.
Take some time to calm your mind.

24. Meditate each day. Will help with the above.

25. Clean and organise the cupboard under the sink. Ah, well now we could write a book about under the sink, thus achieving number three above.

26. Do a jigsaw. Again, there are many puzzles online. They give a very satisfying click when the correct pieces join up. This prevents the struggle of determinedly forcing pieces together when they patently don’t fit.

27. Keep alcohol intake within WHO guidelines. This is vitally important for overall health and energy levels. All too easy in these surreal times to blur the edges with nightly booze beyond a safe level.

28. Follow an online book club. A great way to get book recommendations perhaps outside your normal reading habits.

29. Learn cross stitch, knitting, sewing online. You’ll be surprised at the amount of materials lying around the house that you can use for crafting purposes.

30. Limit your time on social media. Be especially aware of false news. Also it is a good idea to limit how many times you listen to reliable news updates. Too much information can generate fear and anxiety the very things you want to limit at these times.

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