Curb quarantine boredom with these nifty ideas for self-isolation survival!
The Covid-19 outbreak is downright scary. It is bringing with it a wave of devastation to life, the economy, our NHS and if that wasn’t enough it is separating us all from our nearest and dearest. The whole globe is in a very uncertain and very frightening situation and the gravity of which, we take very seriously. We do feel though, that in times like this it’s good to bring about positivity where you can and make the best out of a bad situation. Hence our self-isolation survival ideas ; )
As everyone is doing their bit by staying at home, we have a feeling some of you might be climbing the walls. It goes without saying that self-isolation is essential to delay the spread of the Coronavirus and prevent our National Health Service from being brought to its knees. Even knowing that staying at home around the clock is for the greater good, doesn’t stop it from being tough at times. We need to make sure that we’re taking care our ourselves too, especially our minds.
So before you go totally nuts, the OLO team have a few ideas to stave off that cabin fever to make being stuck at home a lot more fun! We hope these suggestions inspire you to keep your bodies and minds active and provide some respite from the worry of the reality the world is facing. Let us be clear, we are not trying to trivialise what is going on at all. We are merely trying to uplift people, so we hope this does the trick!
1. Up-cycle some old furniture
Why not give an old piece of furniture a new lease of life? While you’re rattling around at home, you might as well spruce the place up! Sophie is going to be stencilling and old coffee table while she’s staying at home. We’ll keep you updated with her project and we welcome you to share any pictures of your own home improvements too!
2. Cook up a storm
Our lives are usually so hectic. Working the 9-5 is rarely compatible with producing wholesome foods cooked from scratch. So one positive to take from all this extra time in the house is an opportunity to do just that. Homemade meals are healthier for the body and often the bank balance and you might even enjoy the process! Here is a comforting recipe from Sophie to try at home!
Open Top Pie
2 cloves of crushed garlic
3 slices of smoked bacon
2 chicken breasts
A handful of mushrooms (I’m using chestnut in this case so that would mean 5-6 if you had button obviously that would be a lot more)
1 ½ heaped tablespoons of Plain Flour
700 ml of Vegetable Stock
100 ml of Milk
200 ml White Wine
2 sprigs of fresh Thyme
A pinch of Basil, Salt and Pepper
Glug of Olive Oil
1 knob of Butter
Lidded stew pot
1. Preheat the oven 180 degrees. Turn the largest hob ring onto medium heat and add the glug of olive oil and knob of butter to your stew pot – mine is 21cm by 21cm. While that’s heating up, wash the leeks thoroughly and cut off the ends, chop into centimetres and add to the pot.
2. While the leek is cooking, cut up your mushrooms and smoked bacon. Make sure to stir the leeks regularly and when starting to turn golden take them out of the pan and set aside.
3. Add the bacon and mushrooms to the pot until golden and crispy. While these are cooking, cut up your chicken breasts into small chunks but remember to stir your pot occasionally. When the bacon and mushrooms have cooked set them aside with the leeks.
4. When the chicken is starting to brown add the bacon, mushrooms and leeks back to the pot with the garlic, herbs and spices. Add the flour and make sure to coat all the ingredients.
5. Add your stock and stir for 2 minutes before adding the milk and wine to the mix, bring to a low simmer before taking off the heat, putting the lid on and placing it in the oven for 45 minutes. After 20 minutes give the mis a little stir, if its looking dry, you can add some water.
6. While your pot is in the oven, roll out your puff pastry and cut into circle. Add these to the top of your pie mix 15 minutes before your pot is ready to take out of the oven and remove herb stalks before serving.
This is best served with roast potatoes cooked in a little goose fat and a handful of green beans and asparagus.
3. Fold stuff!
No, we don’t mean the Marie Kondo kind of folding- we are talking about Origami, the art of paper folding. Creative activities are proven to alleviate stress and promote mindfulness. So if you are feeling overwhelmed at the moment, then take some time out to be make stuff. There are lots of tutorials on the the internet – you can find lots on Pinterest. You can even download apps to guide you. You could make your Mum a flower bouquet for the Mother’s Day we all missed and it would still be looking fresh by the time you see her!
1. Create your own gym
Being the sports fanatic in the office, Tom’s ideas will help you to stay fit at home and get those endorphins going to lift your mood. With a little imagination, there’s plenty of stuff lying around the house that could be used to assemble your own makeshift gym.
You could try…
– Goblet squats with a plant pot
– Raised press-ups on the garden wall
– Back squat with a rolled-up rug
– Tricep dips on the stairs
2. Learn To juggle
So you’ve got no balls? Then don’t go rushing down to Sports Direct. Despite Mike Ashley’s best efforts to stay open as an ‘essential’ shop (give me strength) – it will be closed! Plus, essential trips only guys. Surely you’ll have a few apples, potatoes or oranges about the place that you could practice to juggle with. You could be a class act in no time!
3. Bog roll keepy-uppys
If any of you crazy panic-buyers out there have 10,000 toilet rolls packed into your pantry….. Ok, so this one is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but in all seriousness though, you could set yourself a some kind of challenge. It would give you something to focus on and you could even compete with friends and family to keep it interesting!
1. Family portraits
You’re probably sick of looking at the faces in your household right now, but if you can stand it, sitting down and drawing each other’s ugly mugs could be a good laugh! The activity is packed with the aforementioned benefits of being creative and it’s a great bonding experience – as long as you’re depictions aren’t too offensive that is!
2. Grow your own
While stocks are low, why not begin to grow your own produce? If you have some fresh potted herbs from the supermarket, then consider planting these in the garden. If you’ve always wondered why you can’t keep your potted herbs alive beyond a few weeks, its because these pots contain several plants crammed into one pot. Split the plants up and pop them into bigger spaces outside and you’ll have a supply of fresh herbs to carry you through the crisis. Mint, Chives and Thyme are particularly resistant towards these frosty mornings we’re still getting.
3. Take a walk down memory lane
A great way to reconnect with friends and relatives you haven’t seen for a while is to make a digital photo album. Get in the attic and scan in some of those old pictures or trawl through your digital library. Reminiscing about the good old times could offer real comfort to someone who is really struggling during this period of social isolation. In the world where there’s an app for everything – I’m sure there’s an app for this!
1. Pet playtime
Your hamster, goldfish, parrot and spaniel, oblivious to the peril the world is facing, will be ecstatic that they get to spend more with their human! Now more than ever pets are being touted for their mood-boosting qualities, so soak up some feel-good with your furry pals by spending some quality time with them. Mick is planning on creating an agility course for his pet tortoise, Sheldon. We’ll let you know how that goes – it could be a while!
2. Go back to your roots
Tracing back your great, great, great, great Grandad would be a worth-while pursuit that would be illuminating for your whole family. The research would stimulate those brain cells and might even uncover some unexpected ancestral legacies!
3. Make a feel-good playlist
What better way to forget about the madness of the world than to get lost in music? Create a playlist of your favourite songs that are guaranteed to make you smile and dance your cares away!
Mick’s feel-good tracks include:
Hall and Oates – ‘You Make My Dreams’
Phil Collins – ‘Sussudio’
Amy Winehouse – ‘Valerie’
Spandau Ballet – ‘Gold’
Queen – “Bohemian Rhapsody’
Deee-Lite – “Groove Is in the Heart
KC and The Sunshine Band – ‘Give it Up’
We hope you enjoyed reading this and give some of these activities a go! If you did find this advice useful, then please share this post on social media so our ideas can reach as many people as possible. We’d also love to hear from you if you’d like to share your experience in self-isolation or have some self-isolation survival ideas of your own, so please get in touch.
Stay safe, stay at home and take care. Best wishes from the team here at OLO!