21 things to do for the days under lockdown!
Updated: Apr 1, 2020
Disclaimer: This post is based on my personal views. The hyperlinks are provided for your knowledge only. Read the full disclosure.
World under lockdown
The world is shutting down. Amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, the WHO and ministries across the world are fighting to keep their country safe. The only way to curb the damage is to stay as far away from people as possible. After China, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Canada and so many others have closed their borders and now it's India.
The ultimatum is out in an announcement made by the PM Narendra Modi last night, India will be under lockdown for the next 21 days. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has provided strict guidelines on what services will remain open and what won't. Read the full report on livemint.com
On the bright side
I know we are all stuck inside but there's not much we can do about it apart from cribbing, whining and missing the oh-so golden days of our freedom. 21 days is a long time and such restrictions can make you unproductive, lethargic and depressed. But why to waste this once in a lifetime opportunity. Remember the days we cried about not having enough time? Well, now we do. Lots of it.
21 things to do for the days under lockdown
I have made a list of 21 things that you can do to keep yourself and your family motivated, busy and happy.
1. Play board games
The days of playing ludo, carom, monopoly and chess are back. And please don't start downloading them on your phone. Go find those old board games lying in your closet, forgotten. It's time to switch off from your cell phones for a while and be a family not on Whatsapp groups but in real life.
2. Rewatch old classics
If there's one movie I can watch a dozen times, it has to be "Andaz Apna Apna." It is a classic comedy and you can't help but laugh your heart out. In the current situation, a good laugh with a sprinkle of happiness is what we all need. Make a list of the classics once you loved watching and rewatch them with your parents and/or spouse.
3. Be active
This is a tough one especially for people like me. I work all day on my laptop and some days hardly step up from my desk (basically my couch or a corner on the floor wherever I find the nearest plug point). But it's essential to move as much as you possibly can. Try different workouts at home. Maybe dance with your kids or spouse for a few minutes, help your mom cook or move around the length and breadth of your house.
4. Take the 21-day challenge
If you browse Pinterest as I do, you probably have stumbled upon the 21-day challenge. It can be anything from self-care to lose weight or writing for 21 days. Open the mighty Google baba (God?) and you will find a long list you can pick and choose from.
5. Pursue your hobbies
I know people who tell me they wished they could do more of what they loved. Lucky you, you can now. Take out that bundle of yarn and start knitting the sweater you started off two summers back or the paintbrushes you were gifted on your birthday. Do the things you loved but never got the chance to. This is your time to take a breath and unwind.
6. Take your passion to the next level
"Doing what you love is happiness, loving what you do is freedom."
I read these lines by Lana Del Rey a long time ago and they have stuck with me ever since. Use this time to identify the things you love or used to love and miss doing now. It could be anything from cooking a meal to writing poetries or even making origami. While doing so you might get the courage to work on your passion and once we come out of this situation you could work on realising your dreams.
7. Learn to cook
I know this one's a cliche but very useful skill. You have 21 days to experiment with food. If you already know the basics, try something out of your comfort zone. I know resources are limited hence, all the more reasons to try cooking with what you have at home. Try making the chapati less like a map of an unknown region and more like a circle. I assure you, you won't regret learning to cook. At least I don't.
8. Declutter your space
I love the mess around me. But sometimes even I get my hands deep in the dirt and clean up my wardrobe. Now that I am growing bigger every day (I should be a bit more active) there are more clothes that don't fit me than the ones I can actually wear. So dig deep into those drawers and closets. Clean them up. Ditch the clothes and things you haven't used in the last 6-7 months. Please don't throw away your seasonal wear though! Follow Marie Kondo for inspiration or watch her show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix.
9. Read a book
I love reading. Period. But I also love making other's read. If you like reading it's a good time to catch up on the pile of books you bought years ago but never got the chance to finish. This is an opportunity of a lifetime to tick away as many books from your reading wishlist as you can and hopefully finish the list in this life.
If you don't like reading I suggest you find a topic you like to know more about. Try a magazine, a short story or even a fairytale if you can't read a full-blown novel. The reason being reading is good for your mind's health. Don't have hard copies? Download the Anybooks app it's available on iPhone and Android phones. They have books on almost every topic and it's FREE!
10. Discover new artists and music
The world is in your hand and just a click away. There are thousands and lakhs of musicians out there who make amazing music we don't get to hear. Check them out and who knows which talented treasure you will discover. This could help you develop a new taste in genres you never knew existed or artists you wouldn't listen to otherwise.
11. Clean up your online space
Time to trash all the screenshots and twenty weird clicks for that one good looking selfie. Clean up your phone, delete the numbers you haven't contacted in years and are not to going in the future. Follow people on social media who inspire, encourage and spread positivity.
Watch content that stimulates your mind and gives you something of value.
12. Deep clean your home
In our busy lives, we don't get the time to tidy up the space we live in. Now that you are going to spend most of your time working and actually living in the space, it's a good idea to deep clean all the furniture, corners and upholstery in your house. Disinfect and dust the electronics, toys and box up unnecessary things.
13. Pamper yourself
I know the parlours are shut but you can pamper yourself at home. Light up scented candles, cook yourself a good meal, put on a face mask, hop into a hot shower (or bathtub if you have one), play with your pets, there's so much you can do to feel pampered. Make it fun by inviting your besties on a virtual spa day. This way you won't feel lonely and you can catch up with each other!
14. Attend a webinar
Knowledge is power and luckily accessible if you have an internet connection. There are platforms like Skillshare, Udemy, Youtube, Shaw Academy that provide online courses on varied topics. You can use this time to explore and learn something new. I use Skillshare and Shaw Academy personally. You can get access to 2 months of unlimited premium Skillshare for FREE by using this link.
15. Catch up on quality sleep
The quality of your sleep is more important than quantity. It doesn't matter how long you sleep unless you sleep like a baby. Stick to a schedule, focus on sleeping earlier and if you can't, try switching off your devices at least 30 mins before bed. I listen to this guided meditation if I have difficulty sleeping. It works like a charm. Check it out on Youtube.
16. Podcast your days away
Podcasts are the new blogs. They are getting popular every day and I doubt it's going to change in the coming days. There are podcasts on every topic possible from finance, gadgets to travel shows and even horror! They are easily accessible and don't cost a dime on platforms like Spotify, Jio Saavn, IVM Network, etc.. I love Nilesh Misra's podcasts from the 92.7 Big FM days and he has a whole series on Jio Saavan. If you want to change old or form new habits listen to "The Habit Coach" on IVM Network.
17. Start learning a language
There are apps that help you learn languages free of cost. I personally love Duolingo as it is easy to use and understand. It has 30+ languages and you can sign in for free. Download Duolingo or use Youtube and who knows you might come out of this lockdown speaking Spanish (How romantic!).
18. Maintain a journal
Lockdown can cause depression and other effects on your mental health. Admit it most of us don't like getting stuck with our families even if we love them. Our feelings can be overwhelming at times and to cope up with them we need to let them out. Write down what you feel in a notebook or record it in on your phone. This will help you process your emotions and understand yourself.
19. Practice Meditation
Most of us are not used to staying at home for prolonged periods and it may lead to anxiety and stress. Meditation helps you clear your mind and focus on the bright things. Practise mindfulness and gratitude because there are people who are fighting to keep us safe and alive at the expense of their life.
20. Download audiobooks
Reading can be difficult at times. You can't concentrate or your mind is elsewhere. Luckily, we have audiobooks to save us. Audible by Amazon, Scribd, Storytel are a few apps that I know of. I am sure you can find more if you start searching.
21. Make a list
Write down the things you love, the books you want to read, the places you want to visit, your dreams, your goals basically anything. I once made a guest list for my wedding (not happening anytime soon) just for fun. Although it wasn't fun once it crossed 300 people. Yikes!
It's hard to be locked in the same place for days. The only thing we can do is channel our energies into something productive. Hopefully, this list will help you cope up with all that is going on. What are your thoughts on this list and what are you doing to keep your self busy during the lockdown period? I would love to hear from you. Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org