As I said the other day on Instagram, how often have we all complained about a lack of time? How often have we wished for more of it? Well, now many of us have plenty of time on our hands, so here are some free things to do on lock down.
Unless you are one of our heroic front line workers (and all praise to our NHS, police, delivery drivers, pharmacists, supermarket staff and all other key workers), you may be stuck at home wondering how you are going to pass the time without going bonkers. If you are with other family members that’s one thing, but if you are alone it becomes a challenge to deal with loneliness as well as boredom.
Keeping busy and positive
I am all for staying positive. Sitting around leaves too much time for worry and anxiety to kick in.
Personally, I always seem to have loads to do. I have lots of ideas for blog posts, a big garden, eBay stuff to list and post, and a puppy to train. However, I work from home anyway, so my plan is to carry on for as long as possible. Not everyone is as fortunate as me, and if your hours are usually filled with the day job how do you create a new routine?
Many of us are worried about money too, so this is a list of FREE things to do on lock down. Please add your ideas to the comments, so that we can motivate each other and share ideas.
We are very fortunate in this situation to have the internet, so many of these ideas are online. However, I have included some that aren’t as well if you want to get away from the screen.
Free things to do on lock down
Learn a language
There are a surprising number of free online resources if you want to learn something new. Open Culture has 300 free language courses.
We have to believe that we will be able to travel abroad again at some point, so why not learn the language of your dream holiday destination?
Further your education
Open Culture doesn’t just do language courses, actually. The site also lists free business and general educational courses, which are worth a look.
Future Learn is another good site for exploring online learning. One that they list that I have been considering is their Teaching English Online course. Could be a useful source of income if the lockdown continues!
Quell your anxiety
Future Learn also has several courses to promote your mental well-being, which will be helpful for many of us at this unsettled time.
Sort your finances
Some of us have been affected by job losses or a reduction in income during our current situation. Even if you haven’t, this crisis is bound to impact on the economy for years to come. So now is the perfect time to sort your finances!
Future Learn has a Financial Planning and Budgeting course to help you sort your household finances and manage your money more effectively.
If you have kids being home schooled currently, why not teach them about money too? Practical Money Skills has a wealth of online games and activities to improve your financial literacy, with quite a lot aimed at young people and children.
Virtual museum tours
I love a good museum! However, since they are all currently closed, how about a virtual tour?
Virtual zoo visit
The kids might like this one – many museums offer a virtual peek into the lives of some of their animals. You can get up much closer than you might if you were actually there too.
There is a useful list of zoos with webcams here.
Free audio books
There are a surprising number of free audio books available online, such as those here. The quality of the narration can be a bit hit and miss though – they tend to be read by amateurs.
You can also get a free 30 day trial of Audible* , which offers a huge selection of audiobooks, including bestsellers, new releases, sci-fi, romances, mysteries, classics and more. Please note, you need to cancel after the 30 day period or pay £7.99 a month subscription.
Free digital reads
You may not be able to get to the library, but don’t forget that most offer e-books to read on your device these days. Find your library service online. You should be able to register for the online service if you haven’t already.
Many libraries also offer free online magazines to read, including the usually very expensive glossy lifestyle ones.
If you have a Kindle or the Kindle app on your phone, you can also try a free 330 day Kindle Unlimited trial*. Again, this will cost you £7.99 a month if you decide to keep it going after the free trial.
I enjoyed mine so much I now have a regular subscription. It is excellent value, especially if you read a lot. It gives you unlimited access to over a million e-books, as well as magazines and books with audible narration.
The number of joggers I have seen out and about makes me think that some people are taking this long period off work as an opportunity to work on their fitness.
If you don’t fancy running, Fitness Blender offers many free workouts of all kinds. My sister put me onto this one – she enjoys the Pilates classes.
Joe Wicks is also famously doing regular workouts for kids each day. Anyone can join in with his PE for kids though!
Learn to sing
This is probably a good one if you are home alone! Mind you, the neighbours might not appreciate it :).
If you have always fancied singing, try typing ‘learn to sing’ into You Tube. Loads of videos come up! By the time the virus has gone you may be ready for Britain’s Got Talent….
Finding free things to do on lock down that make you smile is really important.
All you need to start a journal is a pen and some paper. Writing down your thoughts and feelings, any funny things you heard or saw, interesting conversations you had, etc can be a great creative outlet.
You don’t need to be a brilliant writer or show your journal to anyone else. Just start writing and try to do it regularly.
This could be a good activity for children at home too. They might like to add pictures or glue in things they come across in the garden, such as leaves and petals.
You could even take this a step further and start a blog!
Make the most of your own resources
Most homes have playing cards, puzzles and games hidden away in a dusty cupboard. Now is the time to get them out and make use of them.
Ditto any unused craft items. Perhaps you started learning to crochet or knit before getting side tracked? Maybe you have some paints and a canvas in the shed that you have never had time to make use of? Now is your opportunity to get creative.
Even though I recently had a clear out, I have to admit to owning quite a large number of books that I have yet to read. I usually save them for holidays, but now is the time to finally get my money’s worth.
What about that barely used bicycle or piece of gym equipment that you purchased with all good intentions but have rarely used? We are being encouraged to get some daily exercise to keep our immune systems strong, so there is your motivation.
There are really loads of free things to do on lock down. Maybe you will start something that will become a new hobby when this situation has passed!
Whatever you find to do, stay safe and follow advice. It will pass!
What free things to do on lock down have you discovered? Please share in the comments.
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