From watching Tiger King on Netflix to playing board games with the family to taking up gardening for the first time ever… people are certainly finding many different ways to keep themselves occupied during COVID-19 lockdown measures. But, watching Netflix for 12 hours a day can soon get stale, and many other engaging activities are not practically feasible for people living in high rise accommodation away from family. So, how can a person like myself, trapped in a tiny flat avoid boredom during lockdown?
1. Running while making sure to practice social distancing.
My small London flat consists of two bedrooms, a small bathroom, and a narrow hallway — there is no space for any type of exercise besides cleaning. I’m always counting down the minutes until I can go to the local park and carry out my allotted hour of exercise for the day. But, surprise, surprise, everyone else in the area has the same mindset. As a result, I have had to change up my fitness routine and I now do social distance running. This involves running around the park making sure to careen off track whenever someone else gets within a few feet of me. At least I still get to enjoy the nice weather.
2. Discovering new microwave features.
If I had a proper oven or hob in my flat, I would have spent the entire lockdown baking and inevitably caused my flatmate to gain 50 pounds. However, the only cooking appliance I have is a microwave. But, boredom has led me to discover that said microwave has a range of settings that I never knew existed. Did you know you can make cookies, bread, and cheese toasties in the microwave? I do now.
3. Embracing DIY haircuts.
After 6 weeks without a visit to the barbers, my hair was annoying me so much I dug out some hair clippers from the back of my wardrobe that I had bought on a whim last year. After watching a few YouTube videos, I realized that cutting my own hair was not that difficult and doing it gave me a new sense of freedom. Is my current style slightly lopsided? Possibly. But, you know what? I don’t care. The last thing anyone is thinking about in this COVID-19 pandemic is looks.
4. Joining video hangouts.
My virtual social calendar has never been busier. It transpires that I have many friends who like organizing virtual trivia quiz nights, drinking parties over zoom, video interviews, group conference calls, and more. While it’s great to feel part of so many things, it’s easy to inadvertently tune out of virtual environments. I’ve never been a big screen person — trying to connect with all the talking heads displayed in small windows on my laptop screen is not my idea of socializing. Time zone clashes and technological issues make the experience less than optimal. I’m really not looking forward to joining the online classes hosted by my uni in the upcoming weeks.
To be honest, procrastinating when I’m meant to be writing a research proposal is something I would be doing regardless of this whole lockdown situation. Society as everyone knows it might have been upended, yet some habits will always remain.
6. Practicing Golf
Yes, you may not expect me to enjoy it but golf used to be a big part of my life until I moved here. Getting back into it has been one thing I’ve been putting on the long finger for a while. I got my old putter from the cupboard and my golf ball supplies from the web and I can now putt the length of the hallway successfully nine times out of ten. Consistency is king.