So you're not panicking (I hope), but you are practising a bit of 'social distancing' due to Covid-19 and spending way more time lurking at home than usual. Or perhaps you're officially in isolation or have even got a mild case of the virus (if so, stay safe and/or get well soon).
And you're bored. So bored! And perhaps just a bit stressed as well.
We've put together a few ideas to get you through it in style and good humour. Plus some of our tips have the happy side effect of helping you support businesses you love so they're still around when the dust settles.
Let's get started on getting you through ...
Sort out your wardrobe
Sorting out your wardrobe is hard to find time to do properly. This is a great opportunity to spend some time getting your wardrobe re-organised and optimised so you can step out in style when this is all over.
- Go through all of your clothing and accessories.
- Try items on to work out what's still wearable - especially clothing or accessories you've forgotten about.
- Work out what you've got, what you need and what you don't want anymore.
- Reorganise your drawers, shelves and hanging space so you can better see what you have and can make the most of it in future.
- Anything you'd like to offload can be set aside out of the way until you're able to distribute it to the appropriate places.
- Make lists of items you'd like to add to your wardrobe and have a think about where you might find them.
Clean your jewellery
I'm a total nag when it comes to reminding people to clean their jewellery, but you'll be amazed by the difference it makes. And right now cleaning is the new hotness, so if you have spare time on your hands you should totally get on with it.
- Go through your jewellery collection and set aside anything that could do with a bit of general cleaning and/or tarnish removal.
- Have a good read of our Jewellery Cleaning Guide and work out the best techniques to clean the different items you have.
- Get in any products that you might need to get the job done.
- ... Get cleaning!
Create a new outfit every day
Once you've got your wardrobe in tip top shape (or maybe as part of the process), why not get creative and style a new outfit every day using what you've already got?
- Pick an item of clothing or an accessory to get started with.
- Experiment with adding and subtracting other clothing items and accessories until you've got a brand new look that you're happy with.
- Share it on Instagram or your social media platform of choice - or just make a note of it so you can remember to wear it somewhere later.
- If you want to be extra-topical and inspire some giggles, why not incorporate toilet paper or some sort of face covering?
- If you'd like some inspiration for styling your jewellery in particular, check out our 15 Top Jewellery Style Tips.
Dress for dinner
So you're either stuck inside or just not going out much and life is pretty dull. Why not make like the olden days and spend time daily dressing up for dinner (and/or lunch, and/or breakfast)? Having a reorganised wardrobe will also help with this one.
- Choose something fancy to wear, do your hair, do your make up, slip on a favourite pair of shoes, etc.
- Encourage the people you live with to do the same - or just do it by yourself and secretly feel extra fancy.
- To add some variation, you could occasionally have dinner in your jammies or undies instead - because you can!
- Again this is something you can share on social media to entertain people and show off what a wonderful time you're having while staying in your house.
- Use the hashtag #dressfordinner so others can check out what you're up to.
Make a new recipe daily
If you're dressing for dinner, the dinner may as well be a bit fancy - or at least a bit different to normal.
- Check out the ingredients you have on hand or can easily get in.
- Do a bit of trawling through your recipes and online and be creative to come up with something you've never made before.
- If you need to get ingredients in, do your best to patronise smaller local shops: fruit and veg outlets, butchers, independent grocers, etc..
- Share your Covid-19 recipe experiments far and wide - including the flops, of course.
Alternatively: order in
If you don't feel like cooking, this is a great time to show struggling local restaurants some love by ordering food in to eat at home.
- Find local restaurants in your area that either deliver or where you can get food picked up from to eat at home.
- Patronise your favourites to help ensure they'll still be running when things settle down.
- Also try new places and new cuisines to broaden your horizons.
- Make the effort to dish up the food on your good crockery and use proper cutlery so it's a bit like you're still eating out.
Try a new cocktail or mocktail
This is already one of my favourite hobbies. It will make your evenings stuck at home seem kinda glamorous (especially if you're already dressing up and eating differently).
- Take stock of the relevant ingredients you've got on hand or figure out what you can get in easily.
- Do some research to find interesting cocktail or mocktail recipes that use them - and innovate as you see fit.
- When you pour them make the effort to have them look fancy so you can photograph them and spread the inspiration: use a nice glass, add some flowers or leaves, etc..
- Looking for ideas? Check out my beautiful cocktails board on Pinterest.
(online only of course!)
These are going to be very lean times for many businesses - and tough on micro and small businesses in particular. It's a great time to go out of your way to go online and support the small businesses you like - and to find new ones. That way the types of businesses you love are more likely to still be around after things get back to normal.
- Spend time visiting online businesses you like to see what products they have that catch your eye.
- Also have a hunt around on Instagram or Pinterest to find new small businesses you'd like to support.
- If you can afford it, then go shopping far and wide! Fill in those wardrobe gaps or spoil yourself (or someone you love) with some special things.
- If you can't afford it, then share your finds online with friends and family to help spread the word. This simple action can make the world of difference to little businesses like ours.
- Check out our blog post on why it's a great idea to shop small, local and/or handmade.
- A small hint: here's our online jewellery store :)
Sort out a year's worth of gifts
Imagine having a pile of gifts wrapped, carded and ready to be effortlessly handed out to your loved ones as those inevitable special occasions arise over the rest of the year. Now is the perfect time to make that a reality.
- Make a list of the birthdays coming up for the rest of the year and the people you'd like to get Christmas or other holiday gifts for.
- Work out what type of gift you'd get for each person for each occasion.
- Hunt online to find something suitable for each gift recipient.
- If you can afford it, purchase all or some of them: get them delivered, wrap them, write the cards ... and you'll have your pile of presents ready to go in no time.
- If you can't afford to buy so many gifts at once, then simply make a list and keep it handy for when the time comes, saving yourself a lot of time and effort during the busier times of year.
- If you need help choosing gifts, check out our Gift Guide for the Style Challenged.
Plan a holiday
Okay, so it might not be the best time to make bookings that you might not be able to make use of, but why not spend time planning a holiday anyway? The best outcome is that you'll eventually go on a great trip somewhere. At worst you'll have done some lovely daydreaming about lovely places, which seems pretty good to me.
- Pick a place (or several) that you've always wanted to go to.
- Plan an itinerary: when to go, how to get there, how long you'd spend, where you'd like to stay, places and things you'd like to see, etc..
- Figure out a ballpark costing for each trip so you can budget for it.
- Make a note of the details so that when you feel ready you can go ahead and book a great holiday and help tourism-related businesses around your country (or the world) get back on their feet.
- Where would I like to go? I've been thinking a lot about doing a big road trip around the desert in the USA. Or I'm always up for a jaunt to Spain. In terms of more local travel, we've been meaning to get to the Flinders Ranges in South Australia for ages.
- So, where would you like to go?
Find reasons to be cheerful
During the recent bushfire crisis in Australia I did this for a couple of weeks and it genuinely did help me to feel a bit more positive about the world. And I'd like to think my friends got a little something from it too. I think it's a pretty good habit to get into in tough times.
- Every day make the effort to notice at least one thing that gives you a reason to be cheerful, however small or incidental: a flower in your garden, something nice your spouse said, a happy news story, a sunset, etc..
- Ideally take a photo or write about it to make it seem more real to you.
- You can of course share it online to spread some cheer amongst your friends, family and community.
- I sometimes share my reasons to be cheerful on my personal Instagram, which you can find right here.
Read some books
I strongly encourage you to watch this video and ask yourself the question: when did you last take time away from the internet to actually read a book? If it's been a while, then make the most of your time at home to get back into reading.
- Have a think about what you'd like to read: different types of fiction and/or non-fiction topics you'd like to learn about.
- Order some books online (supporting local booksellers if you can).
- When they arrive set aside a dedicated chunk of time every day to take a conscious break from the internet and focus on nothing but reading.
- If reading isn't for you or you already do it as standard, have a think about something else you could do that will take you away from the internet for a while and enrich your life.
Letterbox your neighbours
It might not be the best time to go visiting people, but that doesn't mean you can't work on building your community, helping people out and maybe even making some friends.
- Drop a note into your neighbours' letterboxes to give them your contact details and advise of them your situation if needed.
- Let them know you're happy to have a phone/messenger/email chat if they're isolated and feel bored, lonely or anxious.
- Offer to help them out if you can and if they need it.
* * *
It looks like coronavirus is going to affect us all in one way or another, so being sensible while also staying sane by making the most of things seems like the way to go. Plus making the effort to help others in your community and businesses which are struggling will not only help you feel like you're contributing, it will also help other people get through the upheaval, hopefully in one piece.
Good luck! And don't forget: wash your hands.