Lockdown Resolutions: Things To Do At Home

Hello, survivor! Missed the 2020 New Year Resolutions? No worries, you get a second chance now. We have some serious home time coming – which may sound like desperately boring to some, but it can actually be a great opportunity. If you’re wondering what to do at home all this time, keep reading to get some ideas:

1. Save money!

Yes, it’s a perfect time to save in travel, commute, eating out… If you live in places like London or New York, you know that even breathing outside your house is expensive. Take advantage of staying home and save some money – just remember to keep your sanity and not screw it by panic buying, ordering too much take away, getting too many new subscriptions, etc. See here an example list of what you need and what you don’t for groceries. Try to use Amazon ‘Add to Wishlist’ rather than ‘Buy now’ so you can see all your potential spending together and sort out what you really need – a.k.a. the Marie Kondo shopping; but be careful with the ‘spark of joy’, everything sparks when you don’t have it yet.

Keep track of your new expenses and ensure they make sense with the recommended couple week supply and with your savings – remember that it’s not the end of civilisation, and most services will still be running. It might be a good time to educate yourself in personal finance or to set a home accounting system.

Furthermore, we’re not expecting all banks to collapse anytime soon, so no need to rush to get cash out of your account and put it under your mattress. With the right systems in place, bank staff and clients can operate from home; also, electronic payments are free of physical contact, and therefore, free of virus transmission risk πŸ™‚

2. Get Ripped

Yes, I know the sofa is tempting (I believe they have their own gravity field, but that’s a theory for another day), but there’s a lot you can do at home to stay fit. Starting with eating properly – which may help you with #1, Save Money) and then to yoga, crossfit, etc. There are tons of free resources online with routines that you can make at home. Just get a yoga/exercise mat, adjust the furniture to leave some exercise space a couple times a week. My experience: I manage with a space of around 2 m by 1.5 m and I’m 1.76 m tall, though if you have more you’ll be more comfortable – in nonsensical imperial units that should be about 6ft 6″ x 5ft for a 5ft 9″ person.

Youtube, Vimeo etc are full of free videos that you can follow. Cast the video to your TV, or place your laptop/phone where you can see it in different positions (sitting, standing, laying down – or at least that you can hear it from every position). I recommend picking some videos that you like, up to five, and repeating them along your sessions e.g. two or three a week. When you’re more familiar with a video, you won’t need to look at the screen so often and you’ll be able to focus better on exercising properly. If you don’t have equipment at home (dumbbells, yoga straps, bricks etc) don’t worry it’s not essential – you’d be surprised how much you can get knackered with just your own weight. Don’t make it an excuse!

Also, if you’re not a youngster anymore and you’re not in great shape, there are still some light exercises you can do – and for you it is especially important to stay active. This kind of routine – Exercise for Older Adults – will help you stay healthy.

Yoga

If you have never done it before, give it a go. It’s a very complete exercise that builds strength, flexibility and also improves your mental health. Don’t expect to match the moves of the instructor in your first try – feeling useless at the beginning is part of the process. Just do what you can and at the end, enjoy the relaxing shavasana pose (a.k.a. lay on your back doing nothing)

As an example, I do some routines from Cat Meffan – many options and different levels available, also, she explains how to make an easier or more challenging version of most exercises, so you can repeat the same video and take new challenges as you see yourself improving. If you have any other videos that you like, don’t hesitate to speak up in the comments!

Crossfit

If you want something with more cardio, this is for you: a combination of strenght, speed and stamina exercises that if you do properly, it will leave you knackered. A couple warnings – you may need to jump, so watch the hours and neighbours underneath; also, ensure you have space around, as you may need to run a couple steps to the sides/front.

If you’re serious about getting ripped, there are some high intensity workout programs such as Insanity. Warning: not quite a walk in the park! Otherwise you may take it easy and find some free online video routines (for example) to do at home and get in shape little by little.

Any other ideas? Let me know in the comments.

3. Productive Hobby #1: Cooking

Cooking is a win-win in this kind of situation. This activity can save you money, keep you healthy, and strengthen bonds with family, kids and those at your home, if you do it together (and you don’t argue too much about it). Find what kind of food you like and balance it with your cooking level and kitchen tools (e.g. you may love wood-fired pizza, but if you don’t have that kind of oven, you’ll have to find alternatives). You could start by searching for easy at home recipes.

Also, it is a great way to keep a lively social network feed – your instagram will be happy! Just try to go more towards colourful salads that sparkly bakery – a batch of cupcakes won’t do much good to your health if you can’t take the spare ones to the office and have to eat them all yourself.

4. Productive Hobby #2: Arts and Crafts

Did you always have some craft learning in your bucket list? It’s the moment to do it! Drawing, painting, origami, calligraphy… The list is endless. Obviously, different crafts have different requirements: Oil painting or sculpture, for example, will probably require a space for it and specialised material, especially if you work with larger format – and it will get messy; drawing, however, can be done with a pen and a notebook. Origami can be done with spare paper – some even with that toilet paper you’ve been hoarding. Take a look at Pinterest/Instagram for some inspiration and find what kind of material you need. With a bit of love, you may be able to make your own gifts, cards, etc – having fun and saving some money on the way πŸ™‚

Origami

Origami is a very satisfying hobby if you have patience and spare paper around. If you’re a beginner, avoid diagrams – they can be difficult to understand. Go for videos instead, where you can see the folding process and repeat some step if you need. I recommend you to try modular origami – which is, folding paper to make repetitive components (modules) that you can group in many different ways. Sonobe module, for example, is great for that – you learn to make a 1 minute piece, repeat it many times (you can get your family/housemates to participate) and assemble, disassemble and reassemble as you get more modules. There are many different modules around – for example, with enough patience you can do beautiful things like this swan.

Drawing

Why do we stop drawing when we grow up? To be honest, I don’t know. But this may be a chance to get back to that. Charcoal is very good for quick expressive sketches. You can also get some brown/coloured paper (my favourite!) and make very expressive drawings with chalk and charcoal. If you can’t get any of this, don’t worry – you only need paper and something that leaves a trace on it – pencil, pen, anything. It is not so much about learning to draw as about learning to see – avoid your preconceptions and seeing only what you have in front of you, light and proportion – or just unleash your creativity and do something different!

5. Meditation

Meditation is a very undervalued exercise that you can do anywhere, especially at home. Some people say… ‘I can’t meditate! My thoughts are constantly bothering me – it would just make me worse to be alone with them!’ Well, meditation is just the opposite – taking your mind away from that. You just think about breathing, and release everything else – it helps develop focus and control of your thoughts and emotions in your day to day life. Try short exercises and see how it feels. The Headspace app, for example, is great for that – and no, you don’t need the yoga pose to do it.

6. Reach your loved ones

Yes, it’s a pandemic, but it’s not the Black Death. Apart from being 20 times less deadly, these Coronavirus times are not medieval anymore – we all have phone, Whatsapp, Skype, and social networks to reach all our loved ones regardless of which part of the globe they’re sitting in.

So… Use them! Stay in touch, ask how their day was, and take advantage of the moment to recover contact with those you haven’t talked in a while to ask how they are. This is especially important if you or them live alone – you will really help them stay happy and take care of themselves.

{This post is under construction and open to any ideas – share your own in the comments below!}

Stay safe, stay sane!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s