I’m sure, like the rest of the world, if you’re reading this, your country is on lockdown. And, again, like the rest of us, it’s probably the only thing you can think about, read about, and talk about.
As stifling as it is to be told you can’t leave your home, you can try and find the silver lining by getting on with things you’ve been putting off for months (or in my case, years).
If you’re like me, then you’ve probably spent the last week or so working your way through Netflix and sporadically switching from daytime loungewear to night time loungewear. Are you bored yet? I’m definitely getting there. It’s good to take time to relax and readjust to the new circumstances we’re all undergoing, but it’s also a good time to catch up on some of those to-do’s you keep demoting to “tomorrow jobs”.
If you read my last blogpost, you’ll know it was all about self-care and maintaining good mental health while isolating from society. This time I’ve opted to put together some suggestions of general things to help you productively pass the time while the whole world goes into lockdown.
Declutter & organise
I know for a fact that your house is as cluttered as mine is. I’ve got things in my room that I’ve not seen or used for years, yet, I don’t throw them out. For example, I have four boxes of clutter from my University room just sitting in my wardrobe… why? Am I ever going to need that inflatable flamingo again? My heart says yes, but my mind says no.
They say a tidy room equals a tidy mind. How true this is, I am yet to find out; my to-do list has had this entry on there since before I was sentient. Well, now is the time to find out for sure.
A good indication of whether or not you need to do this is to ask yourself: how many DVDs do you own? Then, ask yourself: how many DVD players do you own? If you own one and not the other, it’s time.
This also covers anything that you feel like you should do to improve your living environment, so, for me it includes repotting some of my overgrown plants. Or, maybe you need to repaint a wall that is looking a little worse for wear.
I did recently clean out my memory box, and when I was sifting through the various receipts and train tickets, I realised how much of it jogged absolutely nothing from my memory. There were at least fifty tickets from my train station to the city centre, which is a commute I take almost every day. While I don’t mind the journey in and out, a 15-minute train ride into Birmingham is barely a notable experience, never mind a memorable one.
This got me thinking about how much rubbish I’ve accumulated over the years, so, that’s why decluttering is now top of the lockdown to-do list.
Sort out that wardrobe
Speaking of decluttering, let’s see if we can put any of our items to good use by donating them, and the most common household item to donate is clothing.
They say everything comes back into fashion, but we’ve all got clothes in the back of the wardrobe that really have no business being there.
No, you really don’t need to keep that waistcoat from 10 years ago anymore; no event is going to require you to wear that pair of cowboy boots you’ve worn once as a joke; and, seriously, when are you planning on going to prom again?
A general rule of thumb, and one – I admit – I’m not the best at following: If you haven’t worn it since the last clear-out, it’s time to go.
It’s a good time to really reflect on what items you do and don’t need, and what might be put to better use elsewhere.
Unfortunatley, donation is suspended until the pandemic is over, so, it might be a good idea to store the donatable items away until you can safely take them to charity shops.
Bin your expired beauty products
This one is for all of you who invest any of your capital in the beauty & cosmetics industry.
Whether you’re an occasional tinted-moisturiser-wearer, or a seasoned beauty professional, we’ve all got products that should’ve been thrown out months ago lurking in the bag/drawer/suitcase.
I’m no MUA, but if you’ve been using the same eyeliner pen since sixth form, it has got to go. Do you enjoy getting conjunctivitis?
This also goes for bath and body lotions that you use from time to time, and didn’t keep track of how far the most recent time was from the very first time. If you’ve had something opened for more than a few months, or at least longer than you can remember, get rid.
And, while we’re here, clean your makeup brushes. I know you don’t do it often enough.
Revisit old passions
Once you’ve had enough of cleaning, I suggest revisiting something you’ve had an interest in but simply no time for.
If you’re working from home or currently displaced from employment due to the crisis, there’s now time for those skills you let go of. Working life can interrupt a lot of the habits we wish we could get into, due to tiredness, or simply prioritising other commitments.
This one can work for most people, even those of us who are trying to work from home and play teacher to their kids who are no longer in school. Taking time to yourself over the weekend to do something you enjoy, simply because you have the time, is going to prove seriously invaluable.
My mom, who usually works Monday-Friday and has commitments on the weekend, has found the time again to bake for us (something the whole house is very happy about). While my dad is working his way through every puzzle residing in our home.
If you’re struggling with finding a balance or finding something you’d enjoy doing with your time, you might find my last post helpful.
- How to know whether your “dream job” is right for you
- Are we stigmatising diners and drinkers in the post-lockdown life?
- A comprehensive list of things you shouldn’t say when talking about the Black Lives Matter movement
- How has job hunting changed in the age of COVID-19?
- Lockdown reflections: Getting tired of feeling uninspired
Mix it up
Don’t get too hung up on being productive all the time – downtime is just as important. Spring is springing, and if you’re able to get outdoors for that one bit of exercise a day, do it.
For those of you who enjoy a Netflix binge session, like me, I’ve got some belting suggestions for you.
- Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness
- RuPaul’s Drag Race
- Love is Blind
- Sex Education
- Big Mouth
- Spinning Out
- Orange is the New Black
Or, Disney+ has hundred of Disney, Pixar, Marvel and NatGeo films and TV shows for you to sink your teeth into – and they’re offering a 7-day free trial for sign ups right now.
Alternatively, Sims are offering a deal on their expansion packs now, too. Why not live vicariously?
If you have anything you’re getting up to that you think is worth a mention, let me know!
And don’t forget to subscribe for more.