Simple ways to spend your free time during coronavirus

Emma Li

Finding ways to entertain yourself during this long lockdown isn’t always easy. Once you’ve watched all the old movies and every fashionable series on Netflix, and baked miles of banana loaf or a site review, what’s left?

Well, let me offer you a fresh perspective on things. It doesn’t have to be complicated; some of the best things are the simple things in life. Just remember, everyone is in the same boat: so the media and entertainment industries have been working overtime to create new things for us to do.

Check out our list of simple new ways to entertain yourself during the coronavirus lockdown and beyond.

Unexpected free time

You hear the word “lockdown” and “coronavirus” automatically. There’s a long list of things we’re not allowed to do and an even longer list of places we can’t go. But perhaps you should change your mindset and think of all the opportunities this slower pace of life can offer.

Don’t sit around worrying about things you can do nothing about, use this time to learn something new, look after your health and find something to make you happy.

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Don’t think of my suggestions as pressure to achieve anything, they’re just simple ideas of things to do to get you through unusual times and keep your sanity.

Write a blog

I once saw a film, which was a true story about a character who cooks her way through an entire series of famous cookbooks, commenting on each recipe on an online blog. This blog was so popular with foodies that the protagonist got a commission to write her own column in a newspaper and a series of cookbooks.

While cooking may not be your thing, think about what is and start a journal or blog about it. You’ll be surprised to find there are other like-minded folks out there who like the same thing no matter how obscure!

Plant a container herb garden

Just because you have to stay indoors doesn’t mean you can’t get green fingered. Bring the garden inside by nurturing seeds or adding young plants to your container garden. Nurseries, and even some supermarkets, will deliver all you need to produce a wonderful outside – inside.

Bonus tip: You can use your fresh herbs in the vast array of new dishes you’re learning to cook and just looking at the plants has a calming and nurturing effect. Just remember to water.

Take a virtual world tour

It doesn’t even have to be this world – calling all Trekkies or Marvel fans. Visit Sector 001 with Scotty or Thanos with the Avengers. How about Tatooine, Alderaan, Hoth, Bespin, and Yavin with Princess Leia? Anything is possible.

Don’t like sci-fi? There are plenty of real-world tours. The hit BBC1 programme Blue Planet has some great virtual offerings; swim with the dolphins or visit a shipwreck. Consider the London Zoo. Feeding time at the zoo is online to enjoy without the smell of the wild to hold you back.

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Many museums and art galleries have closed, but the exhibits have been taken online. So, you can peruse through the Guggenheim in New York or walk through the Temple of Bacchus, Lebanon online, led by digital guides who know every inch of the paintings and monuments on display. Good news they won’t ask for a tip at the end.

Now that the end is near and Europe will be out of lockdown in a few more weeks, we should consider what our lives will look like after. The rushing about will start again in earnest, and I hope you will be able to look back at this time in your life as reflective and a positive outlook with you.

So in the meantime relax, cook that dish, sprinkle it with homegrown herbs, write your blog while virtually cycling through the orange groves of Andalusia dressed as Princess Leia. I will see you on the other side.

About Emma Li

The writer known as Emma Li writes about travel, food, TV and music. She is a graduate of Goldsmiths and works in education.