The world is currently closed. Your home has quite literally become your castle right now, and you’re staying indoors behind your moat. Which means you have time on hand to get started, and even working your way down that list you’ve been making since forever.

Work from home happy

Life is pretty much at a standstill for most of us, with the COVID-19 virus confining us all to our homes as governments the world over ask us to stay in – and stay safe. It is certainly a hard time, but this is also a unique opportunity for most of us to tackle tasks, to-dos and ‘around to-its’or two. Don’t let feelings of despondency or boredom get you down during the lockdown – rather, use this time and all that pent up energy to your motivational advantage.

Whether you want to start an exercise routine, redecorate, organise your kitchen, study or kids’ room, learn a new language, brush up on your guitar/piano/singing skills, improve your cooking or cocktail making, dust off the sewing machine or power tools and get handy (phew!), there is no time like right now. The internet offers innumerable options for tutorials, DIY how-to’s, language learning sites, instructional videos and written advice on pretty much anything you want to learn or re-learn.

If you are one of those people who creates mental or written lists with things they will do when they have time – guess what? You have that elusive ‘time’ now, not to mention a need to alleviate boredom (and keep your mind occupied and the worry over life in the time of virus) at bay.

Exercising using online guide

Exercise – Your body and mind need it now more than ever

If you are a regular gym-goer, then not being able to head to your usual spot for a workout is deeply frustrating and a loss of a good routine. If you’re someone who is used to going for long runs every morning, you may have either cut back, stopped, or be severely limited in your geographical boundaries. And if you are one of those people who has been promising yourself that this week/month/year is when you seriously incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine, you now have some more flexibility in your schedule to allow it.

Getting into an exercise regime, whether it is as simple as running up and down the stairs x number of times, walking in your neighbourhood, subscribing to an online class at your gym or downloading a fitness app – start now. It will, aside from preventing your muscles from atrophying from sitting on the couch/at your home desk all day, also help reduce the stress that you are feeling during this period of uncertainty. Consistency and routine will go a long way to keeping anxiety at bay. Even though it might be a tough time mentally, motivating yourself to exercise will help you to feel good.

Redecorate

Redecorate and recalibrate

Working from home is not the norm for most of us – we are used to putting on office attire and heading to an office of some sort. For those of us not in essential services, the four walls of our homes have become our offices. And it can be mighty challenging to find the motivation to keep up with business as usual during a global pandemic.

One way to ensure you remain motivated and productive is to create a space for work and not just end up having your dining table or couch (or worse, your bed) be your go-to spot for everything. If possible, you need to have working, eating, sleeping and watching Netflix spaces separate

We recommend doing a little rejig of a room in your home so you have a dedicated workspace. Or if you can’t have a separate room as an office, then take a look around the space you have and create a work spot. If possible, try to have it be near a window – that corner office with magnificent view and window may not be yours yet at the office, but you can have a window view in your home office.

As you create this workspace, it is also a great opportunity to do a little redecorating and sprucing up of your surroundings. A quick lick of paint, a DIY table or shelf, an organized desk – all small little things that can go a long way towards keeping your spirits and motivation from flagging in these troubling times. It is such a nice feeling to do some cleaning, clearing and reorganising, getting your space refreshed and ready for action.

As you do that deep cleaning, it may become apparent to you just how much ‘stuff’ you have. It’s a good time to Marie Kondo your life and get rid of what you don’t need. Then, with your new, streamlined life, do a tally-up and make sure you’re adequately insured. For contents insurance or if you have completed renovations that have increased the value of your home, take time to do a tally up and make sure you’re covered. With uncertainty over the near future, this is a good time to evaluate your insurance needs.

Learn cooking

Embrace your inner artist and express yourself

There is a certain artistry in speaking another language, cooking a hearty healthy meal, or sewing something, not just in painting or playing a musical instrument. If you have wanted to learn a new language or take up cross stitch, now is the time.

The same goes for signing up for music lessons online or finally learning to tango or salsa. Video tutorials and live sessions abound. If you want to learn to make a gourmet meal or just healthy fare, there are celebrity chefs, bloggers, and restaurateurs and bartenders across the world eagerly sharing recipes, tips and tricks to help you achieve that goal and teach an important life skill to the young ones at home (maybe not the cocktail making). And if art, be it drawing, painting or even colouring, is what appeals, start now. Art is a great family friendly activity too, which can keep every member engaged.

Whatever you do, make sure it makes your life better. Life is tough when we’re locked away 24/7. Do whatever you can so you can emerge mentally strong, balanced, and relatively unscathed post lockdown.