Due to Covid-19, the nation is social-distancing. If you’re feeling worried, anxious or overwhelmed, then please know that you are not alone in feeling this way. Although social-distancing is something that is essential for us to do to protect one another, time away from social interaction can have a negative impact on our mental health. To try and help, I have come up with this list of 101 things to keep your body and your mind occupied as we find ourselves having to self-isolate…
- Call and FaceTime your loved ones – your parents, friends and grandparents will all want to hear your voice and know that you’re ok. But please, under no circumstances, use this as an excuse to text your ex!
2. Check on your neighbours – especially if you’re living in halls. It can be a really challenging time for people stuck in their rooms. So knock on and talk through the door, or text/call them.
3. Stay connected on social media – the UNDEB Bangor Corona Community is the perfect way to do this. People are sharing playlists, Netflix suggestions and there’s even been a live yoga session!
4. Watch the news – stay connected and stay informed about what’s going on in the world. Also, it’s not all doom and gloom – the Good News Network shares positive news and inspiring stories from around the world.
5. Write positive affirmations on your whiteboard / notice board each morning, and share them with your friends and family via text or email.
6. Catch up on your University work and make a plan on how you can get it all done. Taking breaks and remaining positive are skills you can practise and develop. Use this time wisely to get work done without compromising your mental health.
7. Look at what future projects and assignments you’ll have coming up at University, and plan what resources and books you will need for them.
8. Make use of the University services – staff may be working from home, but the University isn’t actually ‘closed’. The Employability Service, International Support Office, and Student’s Union are all still contactable via email and here to support you.
9. Exercise – There are loads of home workouts available for free on Youtube. I often do FitnessBlender workouts because most of them don’t require you to have any of your own equipment, and they vary in length so you choose whether you want a quick or longer workout. I’ve also set myself the challenge of doing the ‘Bring Sally Up’ Squat Challenge, so watch this space (and my bum) in a few month’s time! “The only bad workout is the one that didn’t happen”
10. General life admin – it’s boring but it has to be done. If you have bills to pay, you’re thinking of changing your broadband/insurance provider, or have to get a new passport, now is the perfect time to get organised and get it done!
11. Plan your days – to give yourself structure and routine. A simple list at the start of each day listing everything you want to achieve that day will help you feel productive and positive. “The key to a successful day is preparation.
12. Plan ahead – look at opportunities you want to take up in the future e.g. job opportunities or work experience. Having a goal in mind will give you more motivation when doing your University work and also getting your other jobs done.
13. Set goals for the next week, month and year – lockdown won’t last forever and it’s important to have things to look forward to.
14. Write a letter to your future self – writing down the goals you have made and also a prediction of what the world will be like. Keep the letter safe and read it in a year’s time.
15. Practise different makeup looks – practising them now will save you a lot of stress before nights out in months to come! Some amazing makeup Instagrammers for you to try are: @plouise_makeup_academy , and @nikkietutorials.
16. Complete the Bangor Employability Award (BEA) – there are compulsory online modules that you need to complete to get it, and you also need to log all the various activities you’ve done while you’ve been at Bangor. It’s definitely worth completing before you graduate and will make you more attractive to employers!
17. Keep a healthy sleep pattern. Most adults need between 7 and 9 hours sleep a night, having a lot more or less than this can really affect your mental health. It’s a good idea to go to sleep and wake up at a similar time each day, you could set alarms if you think it will help you.
18. Get fresh air – open your window every day, and if possible go outside for at least an hour a day. Fresh air cleans our lungs, strengthens our immune system and is scientifically proven to make us happier.
19. Open your curtains and make the most of day light – having daylight improves our bodies’ alertness and also helps regulate our sleeping patterns.
20. Visit a museum online – The Louvre in Paris, The Vatican in Rome, and The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg are all places who have virtual tours online so you can still get your culture fix while stuck at home.
21. Online dating – you might not be able to go out on date IRL, but this is the perfect opportunity for you to set up a Tinder, Hinge or Bumble account. Be careful, beware of catfishers, and have fun!
22. Wear a nice outfit every day – or at least get dressed! Your wardrobe is probably full of lovely clothes, so don’t let self-isolation stop you from feeling and looking gorge!
23. Post a selfie – if you’ve done your makeup and you’re wearing a nice outfit, don’t let it go to waste!
24. Online learning – if you don’t have enough University work online to keep you busy, then why not take an online TEFL course, or one of the many free courses run by the OpenUniversity.
25. Shower every day – personal hygiene is a must.
26. Get a takeaway – many small businesses are really struggling at the moment, so if you can’t be bothered to cook and can afford it, support a local business by ordering a takeaway or delivery meal.
27. Live stream gigs / DJ’s – lots of artists are still performing and streaming it live on social media. Why not bring the gig to your bedroom!
28. Pamper your pet – they’re probably loving the fact that you are home most of the day with them. Give your pet some TLC.
29. Polish your nails – if you haven’t got any polish, OPI are currently offering 20% off!
30. Get all the toilet rolls you’ve hoarded and make them into a tower. Let’s not lie, we have all panic bought toilet roll in the past week!!
31. Clean your room – full Marie Kondo style. Take your time to fold and organise all your individual items into your drawers. And if you have no idea who Marie Kondo is, Netflix that sh*t now!
32. Tidy and clean your car – nobody is judging you for the McDonald’s cups and crisp wrappers you’ve hoarded over the past month, but there’s no excuse now you have time to empty them into the bin!
33. Organise your kitchen shelves and fridge. Apparently fridge shelves should be wiped weekly, and a deep clean of the fridge should happen every three months!
34. Put fresh bedding on – or go full Mrs Hinch- spray your sheets with Febreze and water mix afterwards.
35. Light a candle (if your landlord allows!) (and even if he doesn’t)
36. Get the Wii sports out and have a tournament with your house/flatmates.
37. Sort out your finances – research what saver’s accounts you could set up, or think about how you can budget better for the future.
38. Do some online quizzes, Sudoku’s or crosswords to keep your brain healthy.
39. Do your laundry – wash, dry, iron and fold away your clothes neatly.
40. Purchase an e-gift card to support a small business – some are really struggling right now, and will appreciate you buying a gift card in advance to use when they reopen.
41. Leave positive reviews for places you’ve been to recently on Tripadvisor or Google – again, small businesses will really appreciate it right now!
42. Share local businesses’ social media pages on your timeline.
43. Say thanks to those working longer hours – if you know any NHS employees, supermarket staff or security guards, drop them a message.
44. Have a bath – sit back, relax, and soak in the bubbles.
45. Scrub all your tan off, and then reapply.
46. Tie-dye an old t-shirt or some knickers.
47. Play games, even if it’s over FaceTime – eg. Charades / Eye-Spy / Guess Who?
48. Make a bird feeder and hang it outside.
49. Practise some guided meditation or mindfulness. There are loads of videos on how to do it on YouTube!
50. Play Board Games – if you’re isolated alone, there are online versions that you can play with friends.
51. Learn a new language – and as we’re in Wales, why not learn a bit of Welsh?! Set yourself small goals like learning how to count to ten, or learning all the days of the week.
52. Try a new recipe or bake a cake.
53. Become a plant parent and buy some plants or cactuses for your bedroom – indoor plants boost your mood, concentration and your creativity.
54. Colouring – mindfulness colouring relaxes your brain, and is a brilliant thing to do before going to sleep.
55. Netflix and Chill – binge watch a new series you’ve always wanted to watch, or re-watch one of your favourites like Gossip Girl or Pretty Little Liars!
56. Make your own ice lollies – they’re really easy to do as long as you have the ice lolly mould and some juice.
57. Polish your jewellery – if you’ve got special jewellery items that are gold or silver. You’ll be surprised at how much better your Michael Kors watch will look after giving it a quick polish!
58. Sing – because singing is a natural antidepressant and stress reliever. You don’t have to be amazingly talented to enjoy singing in your bedroom.
59. Have a wardrobe clear-out – try everything you own on, and decide whether you want to keep it, bin it, or donate it to charity.
60. If you’ve got clothes that you think are sellable, list them on Depop or Ebay.
61. Shop on eBay!
62. Set up TopCashback or EasyFundraising for when you shop online – from purchasing through these sites you’ll be able to donate money to charity or claim it back for yourself.
63. Make origami flowers to decorate your room.
64. Learn to draw.
65. Learn yoga – it increases your flexibility, strength and overall health.
66. Get crafty and learn to knit, sew, or crochet.
67. Watch a black and white movie.
68. Have a Disney movie marathon and rewatch all the films you loved when you were a child.
69. Learn how to play that guitar you bought and never touched.
70. Make your own bath bombs to give away as presents or for yourself.
71. Read a book of any kind.
72. Listen to an audio book – Audible currently has a 30-day free trial available for new members.
73. Write a book, short story or a poem.
74. Write an online blog.
75. Listen to a podcast.
76. Dance around your room like nobody’s watching (because they’re not).
77. Watch YouTube videos – whether it’s true-crime or life-coaching, there are so many talented and inspiring Youtubers to watch.
78. Learn a new skill – it could be curling your hair, winging your eyeliner or tying a certain kind of knot. Again, YouTube is the perfect place to learn how to do these things.
79. Do some DIY around the house – build your IKEA furniture, repair things that are broken, and complete your odd jobs that you’ve been meaning to do for ages.
80. Delete unwanted apps from your phone.
81. Get stuck into some gardening and get your garden ready for the summer. Gardening improves your health and happiness, and spending time outdoors will also help you sleep better.
82. Pamper yourself – shave your legs, put a face mask on, and keep maintaining your roots, you won’t be in isolation forever so don’t let yourself go!
83. Create Spotify playlists for every occasion.
84. Facebook friend clear out – unfollow negative energies.
85. Update your CV and LinkedIn profile.
86. Go through all your photos, organise them into folders and print the best ones for a photo album or your wall.
87. Think about countries / places you want to visit in the future. Work out how you will afford it and make it happen.
88. Put together a care package to donate to someone in need when you’re out of isolation. In a bag you could put in some sanitary and hygiene products and give it to a homeless person.
89. Empty out your freezer shelves and see if any ice lollies have fallen down the back!
90. Write an article about something you’re passionate about – submit it to Seren.
91. Harry Potter movie marathon – there’s eight films for you to get through, and if you don’t feel like watching films, you could always read the books.
92. Start a Couch25k programme – the NHS one is really easy to follow and within a couple of months you could find yourself running 5k without stopping. Running is amazing for your physical and mental health.
93. Walk – whether its beaches, forests or just down to the pier, there is so much choice of places you can go walking in and around Bangor.
94. Climb a mountain – North Wales is the ideal place to do it, there’s so much choice!
95. Cycling – the mapmyride route has some amazing local routes on it.
96. Practise photography while you’re out and about on your adventures.
97. Download TikTok and challenge yourself to learn one of the dance routines that are trending.
98. Bake your own bread – since the shops are selling out of literally everything, why not buy some ingredients and get baking.
99. Redecorate your room (unless you are in rented accommodation!) – order some paint samples and plan what colour scheme and furniture you would like.
100. Take care of your health – eat well, sleep, rest, and be mindful.
101. Sleep, rest and take it easy – doing all these activities will get tiring!