As most of us have been asked by our governments to stay inside, work from home, practice social distancing, limit the time we spend outside in public places and most importantly, stay safe during the outbreak of COVID-19, we’ve put together our definitive list of productive and fun things for you to do at home to keep yourselves and others in your family entertained. For many of us, self-isolation can be a difficult and disorientating experience; an experience that we’ve never been through before, so that’s completely understandable! That’s why, during this time it’s important to stay positive, look after your mental wellbeing and make use of the free time we have for ourselves and our loved ones. A plethora of new social technologies have come to light to keep in contact with friends and family, as well as interior design DIY ideas, and live home workouts. We’ve put together some of our favourite things to do at home to keep your physical and mental wellbeing intact and positive!
One of the most important things to make sure of during uncertain times is to keep yourself connected to others. Since all social gatherings of more than two people have been banned, at least in many European countries, and all areas such as pubs, restaurants, cafes, music events, cinemas and more have been closed until further notice, we need to make sure that we are still keeping in contact with each other. An important element of feeling socially connected is giving and receiving support from others, or at least knowing that the support is there to call on if needed. Whether you live with your family, friends, partner, kids, or alone, ensuring you take some time to socialise with friends and family is a crucial thing to do during times like this.
Although the words ‘social distancing’ may seem a little bewildering and unnerving, this doesn’t mean that we have to lose contact with anyone. Take advantage of the new technologies we have available to us which are allowing us to simply communicate with anyone around the world from our smartphones, laptops and tablets!
FaceTime, Skype, Facebook Messenger, etc., these are just some of the best online video calling methods to keep in contact and enjoy activities with one another; whether it’s sitting down and having dinner or joining in on home workouts together all from the safety and comfort of your own homes.
One of the apps we highly recommend to use to connect with others and which has become immensely popular in light of the current situation, is House Party. This app allows you to chat and play games with friends and family via video call, uniting people digitally when they can’t be with each other physically. Whilst this app is free to use just like the other video chat apps we have mentioned, House Party gives a more unique experience to users who want to do more than just sit and chat and you can see everyone on the screen at once — it also allows up to eight people per party!
Staying at home is absolutely crucial for keeping yourself and others safe but let’s not forget about our health. One other important factor we must factor into our daily routine is looking after our physical and mental health. As our regular social activities such as going out for dinner at a restaurant and popping to the cinema aren’t available to us at the moment, we have to take advantage of the extra free time we have and spend a good portion of this focusing on our wellbeing. Home workouts, meditation, or reading an inspiring book are just a few of our favourites.
Creating a new daily routine that prioritises your mental health is a good way of enhancing your day-to-day. Whether you’re working from home or have all your time completely freed up, creating a routine for yourself will really help you to keep your mental health as blissful as possible, avoiding bouts of boredom that could lead to any negative thinking or discontent.
“Physical activity improves mood and well-being and reduces stress and anxiety,” - Dori Rosenberg, PhD, affiliate associate professor at the University of Washington School of Public Health.
With more free time on our hands than we banked on, what better time to work on your physical fitness than now? As exercise is proven to have mood-enhancing benefits with the increase of endorphins, one of the most important things to do during this uncertain time is to keep fit. You may not have all the equipment at home, so why not take advantage of the home workout videos online, fitness apps available and live Instagram workouts that are being held daily by personal trainers. One of the apps we highly recommend is FitOn – a fitness app run by world-class trainers and celebrities where users have access to various types of workouts, including categories such as HIIT, Strength, Cardio, Dance/Barre, Yoga/Pilates and even Pre/Postnatal. No matter what level of fitness you are at, FitOn allows you to completely personalise your workout routine, helping you achieve your goals at your own pace. Not only will this keep your physical health in check, but it will also have subsequent positive benefits on your mental health. Did we mention it’s also completely free? It’s a winner.
If running is more your thing and you’re craving that energetic high or you enjoy a nice bike ride in the park, take advantage of the nice weather outside and use your ‘one exercise a day’ to get some fresh air whilst you workout. Of course, keep in mind that you must socially distance yourself from others by remaining at least two metres apart, but at least you can stretch your legs and breathe in some fresh air to help with the shock of suddenly having to be indoors more frequently than usual.
Whether you opt for home workouts, a run or a cycle around your local park (keeping your distance), working out with others in your household or in the garden, or dusting off the treadmill or spin bike that’s been collecting dust in your garage, working out during these uncertain times will release endorphins into your body to truly assist with your mental and physical health. Not to mention, it’ll also keep you nice and fit, ready for when your travel dreams can once again commence.
Focusing on staying calm and doing activities to help align your positive thinking is extremely important at this time. You may be having some worries in relation to how you’re feeling right now, but there are many intuitive and proven ways to keep your mind occupied.
One good way to help with anxiety is mindfulness meditation. One of these ways is breathing meditation, where you should focus completely on the inhale and exhale of your breath, feeling it move in and out of your body.
If you haven’t done any meditation before or are unsure where to start, there are many apps such as Calm and Headspace that will help provide you with many different types of guided meditations through audio sessions and nature sounds of your choice. So, find a comfy spot in your house or garden, sit up straight, close your eyes and let the sounds of the guided audio sessions or calming nature sounds encourage you to completely relax and enable you to concentrate on your breathing. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious, this is a really good way of helping to clear your mind. Try doing this once a day, at a time that suits you, for about 15-20 minutes. We’re sure it will leave you feeling much more relaxed.
Just because travelling has been put on hold doesn’t mean that we can’t travel with our minds. What better way to fuel our imaginations than by reading a book? No matter what’s going on in the world, there’s nothing better than curling up with a good book, for some welcoming and comforting escapism. Travelling within the pages and pages of stories and pictures that open our minds to a whole new world means that now is the perfect time to finally delve into that book that you’ve been “meaning to read”, revisit an old favourite or order some new books online.
From science fiction and romance novels to true-crime stories and autobiographies, whichever genre of book you’re interested in, how about digging into something a little more travel related? National Geographic’s Destinations Of A Lifetime: 225 of the World’s Most Amazing Places is a fantastic read to inspire you during your time of self isolation. Taking you on a photographic tour of the world, this wonderful coffee-table book illustrates some of the Earth’s most breathtaking wonders; featuring a plethora of scenic islands, ancient monoliths, awe-inspiring cityscapes, majestic rainforests and more. This is the perfect book to inspire us and enable us to travel from the comfort of our own homes, whilst allowing us to create well-prepared itineraries for these destinations for when we’re able to really travel again!
Keeping an eye on our nutrition and making sure we’re getting all the vitamins, minerals and protein we need is very important, now, more than ever. Whether you’re a food lover and have always loved to cook, enjoyed baking here and there or have never really had the opportunity to enjoy the art of cooking, now is the perfect time to start experimenting with some delicious recipes. Although it may be pretty challenging to get all the necessary ingredients right now, we’ve put together a couple of easy and simple recipes that don’t require much preparation or ingredients! From delicious loafs of homemade banana bread to the famous Pasta Aglio e Olio dish from the film Chef, take a look at some of these great recipes and cooking tutorials to help inspire you during this time of self-isolation!
One of our favourite chefs and YouTube personalities is Andrew Rea, also known as Binging with Babish, hosting a cooking show where he mixes his love of cooking and film and television all in one. Babish chooses his recipes by picking comestibles from popular movies and TV shows, regardless of whether they appear to be appetising or not, and demonstrates how to prepare them in real life. It’s simple, easy and fun!
If you’re a fan of Yotam Ottolenghi’s restaurants but are currently unable to indulge in the delicious dishes during this time, why not be inspired and make those very dishes in the comfort of your own home? From his tasty treats to tantalising seafood recipes, what better way to tantalise your tastebuds than by recreating some of Ottolenghi’s delicious culinary dishes?
Another great way to get inspired is to watch Jamie Oliver’s new tips for shopping and cooking during the Coronavirus lockdown. The famous British chef is currently isolating with his family of six just like the rest of us, however, says that we all need to ‘keep cooking and carry on’. Sharing all of his great cooking tips and easy recipes for everyone at home to try, discover the simple dishes using easy ingredients and items found in our cupboards.
Just because travel is on hold doesn’t mean that our creative minds need to be too! If you’ve been meaning to paint that kitchen wall or build those shelves in the spare bedroom but haven’t found the time to do so, now is the perfect opportunity!
You’ve done your home workouts, you’re finished with reading for the day and you’ve made some delicious recipes, now it’s time to get a little more creative. Whether it’s mapping out inspirational mood boards for some new interior design projects you want to do in the house or just looking to explore some new creative ideas with the kids such as painting and arts and crafts, building forts in the living room or making homemade face masks, getting creative during this pandemic is a great way to keep your minds busy and proactive.
Whether you’re looking to “zhuzh” up your house with some more colours and patterns, or wanting to go along with a more minimalistic trend, take a look at some of these amazing interior design books, podcasts and TV series to help boost your inspiration:
Most of us are starting to really appreciate the finer things in life. Interior and household goods designer Christiane Lemeiux has created the perfect book that weaves together the insights and guidance of The Finer Things: Timeless Furniture, Textiles, and Design. Home is our foundation, a place where we unwind and make our own, and a place where we’re currently having to reside. Discover how Lemeiux finds the latest trends and introduces the true qualities of the elements we build in our homes such as furniture, objects and designs – enduring the perfect blend between beauty and comfort.
During self-isolation, it’s very important that you’re within a calm and clean environment. Something that can really keep you busy and productive is organising. Yes, the word organising sounds long and a little tedious, however, if now isn’t the best time to organise things within your home and give it a more ‘Pinterest’ feel, then when would be the best time? Toni Hammersley’s Complete Book of Home Organization is the perfect introduction. From small spaces to large houses, this wonderful book explains the different solutions on how to tackle messy and disorganised areas of your house and get it into tip top shape!
The Great Indoors is a celebration of all things interiors and everything you need to know about making your house a home. A podcast series curated by interior design experts Sophie Robinson and Kate Watson-Smyth, each episode will guide you through the top trends and the hottest topics from the home front. So pull up a chair…
If you’re a true art and design enthusiast, be sure to check out the Netflix series Abstract: The Art of Design. A documentary highlighting artists such as Olafur Eliasson, Neri Oxman, Ruth E. Carter and more, step inside the minds of the most innovative designers in a variety of disciplines and discover how design impacts every aspect of our life.
“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” —Billy Joel
Music has been scientifically confirmed to have a powerful effect on the brain; studies have shown that listening to music releases dopamine — the feel-good chemical in your brain, releasing up to 9% more dopamine than usual. It’s also been proven to help with many aspects of the brain such as mental health conditions including anxiety, trauma, depression, as well as boosting people's memories, helping with stress relief and acting as a motivation element as well as many other effects. During unprecedented times like these, looking after our mental health just as much as our physical is crucial. Therefore, be sure to check out our carefully curated playlist to help yourselves unwind and ease your mind. You can access it by clicking here.
Here at HIP Hotels we want to make sure everyone is safe and well. Though this time is uncertain, we trust and look forward to the resurgence of our travel plans. To our dedicated subscribers worldwide, we will be updating this information accordingly throughout the next few weeks in order to help and support everyone affected as much as we can. Please make sure that you keep up to date with your government’s website, flight details, updated travel restrictions and travel advice as much as possible. Stay home and stay safe! #inthistogether
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