bored-girl

44 things you can do to keep yourself busy at home in self isolation mode

Try these activities to keep you busy during the COVID-19 lockdown...

Emily Stedman

With the world practising social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic, all individuals in the UK have been urged to stay alert if venturing outside. But staying in can be just as fun and productive as going out, with HELLO!'s tips to keep boredom at bay during the COVID-19 lockdown. From learning new skills to embracing your inner DIY guru, we've got you covered…

1. Clear out your wardrobe

Dedicate your new-found time and attention to sorting out your clothes, declutter your home, ditching items you haven't worn for six months and co-ordinating clothes into sections so it's easier to browse in the mornings. This is a great opportunity to get inspired by new outfits or rediscover an old favourite.

What you'll need: Good music on, some vacuum storage bags and a 'does it spark joy?' mindset 

organised-clothes

BUY STORAGE ON AMAZON

MORE: The garden furniture to buy now for your first BBQ of the summer

2. Give yourself a gel manicure

Sometimes it's the small things in life that make us feel better, with a fresh manicure being up there. Take some time for yourself, push your cuticles down, slather on some hand cream and choose a shade that makes you smile from ear to ear. If you love your gels, you might want to invest in an at-home gel machine set

nail-art

Nail art photo we love: @overglowedit

What you'll need: Some cool neon nail colours

neon-polish

nails inc. neon set of four polishes, £22, LookFantastic

BUY NOW

RELATED: Picasso nails are the Instagram beauty trend we never knew we needed

3. Read a book

It's time to read that book that's been sat on your shelf for the last few months. Get inspired by a best-selling memoir, indulge in a celeb-approved book or escape to a different world for a few hours. Hot drink and blanket desirable. If you don't own a Kindle Paperwhite yet, you might wish to invest. 

What you'll need: The most talked about book of lockdown - Normal People by Sally Rooney

normal-people-book

BUY ON AMAZON

RELATED: 11 must-read books in 2020 so far

4. Get motivated

Motivational speaker, and author of Yucan, Neil Thubron is putting on a Charity Big Goal Workshop on 4 June to raise money for the charity MIND - it is free to attend with the option to donate to the charity. The two-hour workshop will help attendees focus on their goals and build a plan for achieving their goals. It could be a personal, business or sporting goal, he just wants to help people get motivated to achieve them.

What you'll need: A notepad and a positive mindset

The details and the link to sign up can be found on neilthubron.com.

5. Start a podcast 

Obsessed with podcasts? Are you and your family hilarious? Maybe it's time you looked into making a business out of podcasting. You'll need all the technical equipment, but first, swot up on how you're going to make your millions from your dining room table.

What you'll need: A book about podcasting for beginners 

podcast-book

How To Start A Podcast And Create A Profitable Podcasting Business by Amanda Mayo, £16, Amazon

BUY NOW

6. Write a letter

Remember how enjoyable it was to receive a letter in the post? Do that with your friends and family - make their day. Buy some nice paper and spread some love to a friend or family member.

What you'll need: A personalised letter writing set 

letter-writing

Letter writing set, £24.99, Papier

BUY NOW

7. Learn how to do calligraphy

If you really want to elevate your letter writing - how about doing a spot of calligraphy? This book is reportedly very good, with rave reviews online. 

What you'll need: A calligraphy guide for beginners

calligraphy-beginners

The Ultimate Guide To Modern Calligraphy and Hand Lettering for Beginners, £5.99, Amazon

BUY NOW

SHOP: The best loungewear sets to wear while on lock down at home

8. Do evening drinks (from home)

More and more of us are turning to virtual slumber parties on video apps like Houseparty and Zoom so we can keep up with friends, have a laugh, a glass of wine or three, and make the best of the lockdown. Why not become the Quiz Master and organise the ultimate pub quiz.

What you'll need: Your girls, wine, and maybe some snacks. A quiz book could come in handy, too. 

quiz-night

Collins Quiz Night, £3.99, Amazon

BUY NOW

bubbles

Lockdown sparkling wine set, £93.99 for a case of six, Fizz Republic

BUY NOW

CHEERS! Royal-inspired cocktails to make at home

9. Lego 

David Beckham has been killing time in coronavirus lockdown by building Lego sculptures with his kids, and who can blame him? Lego is perfect for keeping your mind busy and you get the ta-da at the end of it. Winning. 

What you'll need: The Beckham-approved Lego London Bus

lego

Lego Creator London Bus, £109, LEGO 

BUY NOW

10. TV

Did you miss the Game of Thrones craze or are you late to the Grey's Anatomy party? Now's the time to catch up on all that TV you've been curious about, so get comfy and get ready to commit hours of your life to watching someone else's dramas. As well as Normal People, everyone has been loving Gangs of London while on lockdown. If you don't have Sky, you can catch up with it by subscribing to NOW TV.

What you'll need: A NOW TV subscription 

gangs-of-london

NOW TV subscription, one week free 

SIGN UP NOW

READ: Get the latest on what's on TV

11. Watch Disney movies 

How often do you get a chance to sit around and watch Disney movies all weekend? Disney+ launched at the beginning of lockdown which was perfect timing for parents around the world. Prepare to be obsessed if you haven't downloaded it yet. 

What you'll need: A Disney+ subscription

maggie-simpson

Disney+ Subscription, £59.99, Disney+

BUY NOW

BARGAIN: How to get Disney+ FREE for. a week

12. Buy a dartboard 

Can't go to the pub? Bring the pub to you with a cool dartboard. This one is magnetic, so a lot safer if you have children.

 What you'll need: A dartboard

magnetic-dartboard

Magnetic dartboard, £14.21, Amazon

BUY NOW

13. Do a crossword/Sudoku

Looking for something a bit more challenging? Put your brain to the test and do a crossword or Sudoku puzzle and see how far you can get. There are lots of online crosswords or word puzzles which means you don't have to leave the house to have a go.

What you'll need: A crossword challenge

crosswords

Collins crossword challenge book, £5.54, Amazon

BUY NOW

14. Do a jigsaw puzzle for adults

Take your eyes off a screen for an afternoon while you tackle a tricky 1000-piece jigsaw. Amazon has plenty to choose from, and stocks puzzles for all ages. Here's HELLO!'s picks for the best jigsaw puzzles for adults. 

What you'll need: 1000-piece jigsaw

new-jigsaw

SHOP ADULT JIGSAW PUZZLES ON AMAZON

MORE: The best puzzles for adults to keep you occupied during isolation

15. Read a saucy book

According to reports, quarantine erotica is on the rise - and more and more women are enjoying downtime reading a saucy book. Move over Fifty Shades of Grey, the new book causing a fuss is Sex During the Coronavirus Pandemic by WH Fielding. Protagonist Lucy tries to satisfy her sexual desires while performing social distancing, and the strapline is: "They could lock down her country, but not her heart" and the front cover features a protective mask. 

What you'll need: A page-turner 

the-mister

The Mister by E L James, prices start at £2.99, Amazon

BUY NOW

16. Make cheese from scratch 

Calling all cheese lovers! This kit is the ultimate lockdown essential - equipped with a range of herbs and spices, three cheese moulds, and a glorious recipe book. There are enough ingredients to make a grand total of 40 batches, and the kit has a shelf life of at least 12 months - so it’ll keep you going for ages. 

What you'll need: A cheese-making set 

cheese-kit

The Ultimate Cheese Making Kit, £36.50, Amazon

BUY NOW

SWOT UP: These bestselling cookbooks are here to switch up your mealtimes

17. Make a photo album/back up your phone pictures

Remember that girls' holiday you took in 2016 or when you swam with dolphins? Ensure that memories like this are treasured by taking the time to compile a photo album or scrapbook. Similarly, make a back-up of photos on your phone, to ensure you don't lose them in years to come.

What you'll need: Scrapbooks 

scrapbook-z

Scrapbooks, £15.99, Amazon

BUY NOW

18. Plant some flowers

Introduce some welcome colour to your house or garden and plant some flowers. Now that the sun is shining, it's the ideal time to get out in the garden and watch your flowers bloom. 

What you'll need: A gardening kit

gardening-kit

Essential Garden Tool Bag, £15.99, Amazon

BUY NOW

SHOP: The gardening buys to keep you occupied during isolation

19. Start a blog

Are you the modern-day Carrie Bradshaw or Bridget Jones? Or does your fashion taste rival that of Olivia Palermo and Estée Lalonde? Use your down-time wisely and start a blog to share your thoughts or favourite hobbies. WordPress is a favourite with most bloggers and it's very simple to use. 

What you'll need: A tripod

tripod

Tripod, £13.99, Amazon

BUY NOW

20. Marie Kondo your drawers

In the words of everyone's favourite Japanese organisation expert, if it doesn't 'spark joy' it's got to go. Sift between socks, underwear and whatever else is lurking in the depths of your drawers and reap the rewards of a tidy and organised chest of drawers.

What you'll need: Drawer dividers

draw-dividers

Drawer organiser, £12, Amazon

BUY NOW

MORE: 5 lessons everyone can learn from Netflix's Marie Kondo

21. Bake

Indulge your sweet tooth and try a Bake Off masterpiece of your own at home. David Beckham loves baking and has taken to social media to show off a delicious lemon drizzle cake - we're copying him immediately. 

What you'll need: A fun cake set

funfetti

SHOP BAKING KITS ON AMAZON

GET READY, BAKE! 3 Tasty recipes to bake for your neighbours during coronavirus

22. Ice biscuits 

It's time to have a little fun with some sweet treats. Why not try your hand at icing some beautiful spring flowers from the comfort of your kitchen? Inside this Biscuiteers DIY kit you'll find everything you need to become a Biscuiteer at home - from ready baked chocolate biscuit flowers to piping bags, icing sugar, a set of colourful decorations and a step-by-step guide.

What you'll need: The Biscuiteers' help

ice-biscuits

Spring flowers DIY tin, £35, Biscuiteers

BUY NOW 

23. Learn how to knit

Pick up your needles and take the time to hone a new skill like knitting. Not just for grandmas, knitting is considered incredibly therapeutic and practical.

What you'll need: A knitting kit

knitting-kit

Knitting kit for beginners, £27.99, Amazon

BUY NOW

24. Camp out under the stars (in the back garden)

On a warm balmy night, how lovely would it be to camp out under the stars and pretend like you're out in the wilderness. The best bit? If you need the loo, you can just venture inside.

What you'll need: A 4-man tent

tent

Tent, £104.72, Amazon

BUY NOW

25. Dance it out

Blast out some of your favourite tunes and get dancing in your bedroom, living room or bathroom. Hairbrush microphone optional. 

What you'll need: A karaoke kit

karaoke

Lucky Voice Karaoke Kit, £52.94, Amazon

BUY NOW

26. Tie-dye

It's the current trend du jour with the fash-pack, so why not join in on the fun. Fashion stylist Emma Lane, who has started 'The Tie-Dye Factory' while on lockdown, told us her top tip was to: "WEAR GLOVES and have a bit of fun don't worry too much about it or overthink it they always turn out fab." 

What you'll need: Fabric dye for tie-dying 

tie-dye-kit

Violet Dylon fabric dye, £3, Amazon

BUY NOW

RELATED: Tie-dye soars in popularity thanks to Victoria Beckham & Kendall Jenner - shop our favourite pieces

27. Exercise

Replace your gym visit with an at-home work-out, with squats, burpees and press-ups all achievable without equipment. Transform your lounge into a yoga space and stretch it out.

What you'll need: A subscription to Fiit

fiit

Train free for 14 days and £10 a month after, Fiit

GET TRAINING

SHOP: The best home gym equipment to make exercising at home easier

28. Make a travel bucket list

Write it down in black and white the places you've yet to explore, the trips you want to take and the food you've got to sample. Similarly, Pinterest is the perfect place to find inspiration and pin places you want to go to.

What you'll need: A map

maps

World map poster, £15.97, Amazon

BUY NOW

DREAM: 13 eco-friendly hotels to dream about: From coastal retreats to city boutiques

29. Learn a language

Challenge yourself to learn a new language in just a few weeks, ready for your next trip away. With a ton of apps and websites that give you lessons for free, you've truly run out of excuses not to.

What you'll need: A book to help you

fluent

Fluent Forever, £9.99, Amazon

BUY NOW

PARENTING TIPS: 6 best educational websites and apps to help kids during school closures

30. Give your face a workout 

Hear us out! FaceGym - the UK's only gym studio for the face - is hosting a masterclass to teach people how to relieve stress in the face. Trainers from London, NYC and LA are taking part in a 15-minute live stream class on Instagram (@facegym), and each masterclass will focus on a different muscle group to tone, lift and sculpt the face. If you want a more thorough lesson, there's also a 1-2-1 online face training session which will teach you a series of FaceGym’s signature muscle workout techniques. 

What you'll need: A session with a FaceGym expert

Each session will begin with a skin consultation, followed up a tailored warm-up, cardio, sculpt and cool down for a fresh-from-the-studio look. £45 for 45 minutes, book through FaceGym.com for a private Zoom link.

31. Get your DIY on

Take the time to tackle some interior improvements – be that painting your walls, upholstering old furniture or rearranging a room. Remember health and safety at all times!

What you'll need: A toolset

toolkit-blue

60-piece tool kit, £39.99, Amazon

BUY NOW

32. Call your nan

The chances are you're not the only one that's self-isolating and people will appreciate a friendly chat or text message to let them know you're thinking of them. Call your grandparents to check on them or suggest a funny thread in the girls' WhatsApp group.

What you'll need: A phone stand (there will be some long conversations!)

phone-stand

Phone, £20.99, Amazon

BUY NOW

33. Play board games

If you're lucky enough to be in quarantine with company, embrace some old school entertainment and crack out the board games for some light competition. Monopoly should be chosen at your own risk.

What you'll need: Monopoly

monopoly-game

Monopoly, £29.51, Amazon

BUY NOW

HAVE FUN: The family-friendly board games to play during lockdown

34. Let your creative juices flow

Embark on a creative arts and crafts challenge, from sketching and mindful colouring to pottery. Stuck for ideas? 64 Million Artists have some great suggestions to get you started, launching a two-week daily creative challenge you can get involved in.

What you'll need: Colouring pencils

crayola

Crayola colouring pencils, £6.49, Amazon

BUY NOW

35. Learn to play an instrument

Dedicate your new-found time to music and learn an instrument that you've always wanted to play.

What you'll need: Headphones (for the sake of your family)

headphones

Headphones, £24.45, ASOS

BUY NOW

36. Practice, practice, practice

How often do you have time to practice the things that you struggle with when it comes to your beauty routine?! Whether it's doing the perfect eyeliner flick, contouring, or applying false lashes, now's the time to become an expert. 

What you'll need: Faux lashes 

tatti-lashes

TL7 Faux Me, £9, Tatti Lashes 

BUY ME

RELATED: How to give yourself a facial at home

37. Become a hairstyling pro

Curling your hair isn't easy, and if you're not a natural when it comes to hair styling, maybe now's the time to hone your skills. That's what the celebrities have been doing - just look at Sam Faiers who showed her Instagram followers her first hair tutorial using her go-to hair gadget - the Dyson Air Wrap. 

What you'll need: Your hair tool of choice 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Samantha Faiers (@samanthafaiers) on

Sam used the Dyson Air Wrap, £449.99, available now at John Lewis

38. Download an epic mobile game

Feeling the boredom? Get stuck into a good mobile game to pass the time. One of our current favourites is My Talking Tom 2, which is free to download and similar to a Tamagotchi style game where you look after an animal! Or try Talking Tom Hero Dash and embark on a globetrotting adventure to rescue members of the Talking Tom Heroes from pesky raccoons! Both adults and families will love these downloads.

What you'll need: Your phone and that's it

talking-tom

38. Have fun on TikTok

Everyone is on TikTok right now; from the Beckham kids to Olly Murs playing pranks on his girlfriend, the social media platform can provide hours of entertainment. Be warned: The dance routines aren't as easy as they look. 

What you'll need: Patience

MORE: Celeb kids teaching TikTok to their parents

39. Do cocktail night! 

If you're looking to de-stress and have a little fun, how about indulging in some cocktails. We've become obsessed with NIO Cocktails while on lockdown. It's very simple - you build your own box of cocktails from the menu, which is created by Head Mixologist Patrick Pistolesi. The boxes hold three, six, or nine cocktails and are delivered straight through your letterbox. Each cocktail is packaged in its own uniquely-designed sleeve – ideal for lining up on a shelf to stock your very own cocktail bar or for spreading out on a table for you and your fellow quarantiners to pick and choose from.

What you'll need: Plenty of ice cubes

nio-cocktails

Prices start from £19.50, NIO Cocktails

BUY NOW

RELATED: Get Zoom party ready with these alcohol home delivery subscription services

40. Send a Guardian Angel postcard to a loved one

Fancy a break from the old video calling? Then revert to snail mail with these Guardian Angel postcards. Inspired by hospital workers on the frontline, these postcards are available to order from artist Jasmine Barcelona via her Instagram page. They're free to order but any donations to her Just Giving page are appreciated; all funds raised go to helping feed vulnerable families in the Philippines during the coronavirus pandemic. While you're writing to your loved ones and spreading the cheer the old-fashioned way, a family on the other side of the world is getting food on their table. 

What you'll need: To place an order

postcard-pile

Order Guardian Angel postcards by messaging Jasmine on Instagram

ORDER NOW ON INSTAGRAM

41. Indulge in a chocolate-making class

Though Easter may be over, our sugar cravings most certainly are not! Give in to temptation and sign up to a Live Chocolate Truffle Making Webinar, learning skills such as marbling and caging whilst equally indulging in some sweet treats. Sign up for a class and accompanying chocolate kit at MyChocolate now.

What you'll need: Sign up to the class

my-chocolate-class

Classes are £15 per household, MyChocolate

BUY NOW

42. Buy a 2021 diary. and get planning

We don't know about you but we're writing off 2020 plans, and we're planning for Summer 2021. 

What you'll need: A lovely 2021 diary

2021-diary

2021 diary, £5.87, Amazon

BUY NOW

43. Play a Murder Mystery game

Bored of pub quizzes? Elevate your Zoom game with a virtual Murder Mystery session. Available to buy online, you have a choice of three packages: downloadable ready parties, immersive evenings with a performer, and fully bespoke soirees. There's an array of themes to choose from, including 1920s Paris and Vintage Circus, while the game is suitable for four to 24 people.

What you'll need: Download a virtual game

murder-mystery-game

Murder Mystery Game, from £69, The Digital Murder Mystery Co.

BUY NOW

44. Read the best magazine on the planet 

We have been working from our homes, dedicated to producing a magazine that is uplifting, positive and full of joy, in a bid to provide some much-needed entertainment as a gentle reprieve from all the difficult news around us. 

What you'll need: a HELLO! magazine subscription

hello-subscriptiont

HELLO! subscription, prices start from £5.99

ORDER NOW!

This article contains affiliate links, which means HELLO! may earn a small commission if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase. More information.

Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.