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The world as we know it at the moment has changed dramatically. A month or two ago, we could go about our daily lives as normal and just take the usual precautions. Today, it is a different story. All the recommendations are to stay at home, stay safe and stay well. The problem is, what do we do?

There are only so many programs you can watch on TV and only so much time you can spend knitting waiting for the time to pass. Here are some ideas to get you up and keeping busy.

  1. Clean out your wardrobe. How long have you been hanging onto that coat hoping it will come back into fashion? Will those shoes that you have worn once and got blisters from ever go back on your feet? Will your partner ever throw out that holey shirt? There is always someone who can make good use of good, clean, second-hand clothing. Bag up those unwanted items and drop them off at your nearest clothing bin. Put anything that can’t be repaired in the garbage. While you are at it, sew those buttons back on that blouse!
  2. Is your bookshelf looking a little overcrowded? Too many magazines? Have a clear out of anything you have read and don’t think you will read again. Save them for a time where you can drop them off to a second hand book shop or a community book swap.
  3. Write letters to family and friends. Maybe you can’t get out to post them right now, but write about your current experience. Better still, keep a diary. This is a time in history that people will talk about for some time to come. Record it for your children and grandchildren.
  4. Get outside in your garden or courtyard. Enjoy a tea or coffee, or read one of those magazines or books you just found when you were cleaning the bookshelf. Wander around and pull out some weeds, put some food out to attract the birds, re-pot your favourite plant. Getting outside and catching some Vitamin D will help ward off cabin fever and keep you feeling fresh.
  5. Learn something new. Maybe the kids gave you a tablet last Christmas that you have never really mastered. Now is the time to sit and learn. You could even catch up with the grandchildren on Skype so they can let you know what they have been doing while they are self-isolating. Technology can be a saviour in times like these. It keeps you in touch with the ones you love without putting yourself at risk.
  6. Catch ups. If you know your neighbours well, call them all for drinks and nibbles, from a distance of course! Ask everyone to bring out a chair and sit in their own driveway. Tell each other what you have been doing to keep busy. Maybe someone knows of a service that will help while you are isolated that you don’t already know about.
  7. Most importantly, stay active. Take up tai chi if that is something you have always wanted to try. Turn on some music and dance like no-one is watching. You might have a secret liking for pop music that you don’t want anyone to know about. Even just stretching is good to do. Keep it simple but do it regularly. Experts say half an hour a day. If you’re not sure what moves to use, head online to Youtube and search ‘Tai Chi’ or ‘Stretching exercises’. You’ll be guaranteed to find a tutorial on how to get started, and it will even feel like you have a personal trainer helping you!

What is most important is that you stay well and look after yourself. Catch up with a loved one or neighbour each day by phone or message to let them know you are OK. This self-distancing will pass and life will return to the busy state it was previously. Enjoy the opportunity to breathe deeply in the safety of your own space.

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. This information has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Information in this article is current as at the date of publication. We do not recommend any third party products or services and we are not liable in relation to them. Any links to third party websites are for your information only and we do not endorse their content.

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