It’s barely been a week and already a lot of us are going a little bit stir-crazy in self-isolation. What we’re all really needing is a good little back-up list of useful or fun activities to do at home whilst we all hunker down for quarantine. I recently spotted a great little post that read “Staying at home for the next 2 weeks? Pretend it’s Christmas. We know what to do during those 2 weeks of leaving the house and love it!” I love the positive spin on these slightly worrying times and, to continue the flow, I thought I’d share a list of things I’ll be getting up to around my work schedule to keep cabin fever at bay.

Create a Treasure Hunt

Kids love treasure hunts and, the beauty of it is, it needn’t be complicated. Hide 20 items around the house and garden (if you have one). You’ll have just given yourself an hour, maybe 2, to do some work or take a well deserved break whilst they get on with their search.

Create a weekly meal plan

Food and grocery shopping is a hot topic right now, so I’m trying to avoid heading out to the stores. I’m hoping that by giving them a breather, it’ll allow them the chance to replenish (whilst creating opportunity for myself to get inventive with some of the bits I’ve had in the cupboard for a while). To do so, I’ve been using my weekly planner to create low-cost family meal plans. For each day, I’ve looked into what I can do with some of the ingredients in my cupboards/fridge/freezer and jotted down to keep track. Not only do I feel a lot calmer and more organised, but I’m picking up some great, easy meal ideas!

One of my favourite recipes (which I’ve adapted slightly) is a Tahini Tray Bake – I got it from the Deliciously Ella app and all you need is 1 sweet potato, 1 can of chickpeas, 1 courgette, 1 lemon, 2 tablespoons tahini, 1 onion, and 1 red pepper.

Method: Cut the veggies into bite-sized chunks and roast them with the chickpeas for 40mins (be sure to add seasoning and a drizzle of olive oil). Once done remove from oven, mix in the tahini and lemon juice. The tastiest and cheapest meal ever; enough to serve 2 adults and 2 children.

Meal Planning

Clean out your inbox

Surely, I can’t be the only one who still has e-mails in their personal folder dating back to 2016? This is one of those tasks that ALWAYS falls right to the bottom of the pile. Sort out your folders and create new ones if necessary. I’ve been listening to Emma Gannon’s, The Multi-Hyphen Method, on Audible and a tip she gives is to create a folder called ‘nice things’ – anytime someone emails you and pays you a compliment on what you’re doing, stick the email in that folder. Any time you suffer from a bit of impostor syndrome, you can refer back to that folder to remind yourself that you are capable and good at what you do.

Take this little bit of home time to wade through the lot and clear out anything that just adds to the clutter Old E-receipts, airline newsletters, daily ‘deal’ lists that you told yourself you’d ‘browse later’ – now’s the time to purge!

Watch an inspiring Ted Talks

There are tons of uplifting Ted Talks available across the internet! A lot of them designed to address everyday human worries and come with some great tips about how to alleviate them. If you find yourself already scouring the internet through bored or anxiety, try re-directing your browsing to a more positive info source. Here’s a few to get you started:

Is Social Media Hurting Your Mental Health?
How to de-clutter your mind (I particularly love this one as it’s hosted by bullet journal creator, Ryder Carroll). Bullet journals have been a great way for me to get my thoughts together and feel in control of things.
How to cope with anxiety

Make a Daily Plan

With schools off, your daily routine is going to be knocked for six. So, in order to keep chaos to a minimum, write down a daily plan or schedule. It may follow something like this:

07.30 – 08.00: Rise and Shine, Breakfast
08.30 – 09.30: Get dressed, walk the dog
09.30 – 10.00: Reading
10.00 – 10.30: Creative Writing
10.30 – 10.45: Snack
10.45 – 11.30: Maths
11.30 – 13.00: Treasure Hunt
13.00 – 14.00: Lunch
14:00 – 15.30: Arts and Crafts
15.30 – 16.30: Exercise / walk dog

Write it down and stick it on the fridge so that your kids know the score, it’s also helpful doing this if you are looking to delegate some chores as well.

to do lists

Go to the Museum…online!

Did you know that you can take a tour of the Louvre online? Don’t believe me? Then see for yourself! A fun and educational activity for the whole family. Kids can brush up on their reading skills too by taking it in turns to read the captions on each section.

Encourage your kids to do a play!

When I was little my best friend and I would spend HOURS making up plays, and that was through choice, not because we were quarantined! We loved playing different characters (although my little brother was often assigned to the role of the ‘baddie’) and had great fun putting on performances to anyone who would watch. Not only is it a fun activity for kids, but it’s also great for their personal development and it’s always hilarious to watch them play like this!

Write a letter to yourself

There’s something really cathartic about sitting down with a good old-fashioned pen and paper and writing a letter. I recently read that writing a letter to yourself can provide great insight and teaches you important lessons that you can reflect on for years to follow. With so much more alone/thinking space, it might be a good time to start a little self-isolation time capsule?

I recommend starting off with notes to yourself about things you are grateful for that day. Practising gratitude for the small stuff on a regular basis has been shown to lift emotional health. These little letters can be stored away for future rainy days and opened to remind us that things aren’t always so bad. This is a particularly lovely family activity as it opens communication with children and gets them to appreciate the simple pleasures of their home. Why not treat yourself to our Thistles and Butterflies Writing Set so that you can hold onto them as pretty keepsakes?

butterfly writing set by Cherith Harrison

Tick off that life admin list

We all have one! Create a physical ‘to-do’ list and start ticking those points off! Review paid subscriptions (which ones aren’t you using?), clear your phone of all those contacts you had saved that you wont use again, back up all your computer files and review your finances. You can’t reach for anything new if your hands are full of yesterday’s clutter!

Teach yourself a new skill

Whether you love to learn through reading, listening or doing, the internet has an endless number of places to pick up a new skill during a spare 5 minutes or so. A quick Google search for ‘free online courses’ will throw up pretty much anything you’re looking for, but I personally love to read through the blogs of other creatives.

I really enjoy an article written with a more human touch and keep a good list of favourite artists and businesses that regularly update their blogs with their ideas and learns. If, like me, you love animals and want to work on your artistic skills, take a look at my recent tips post about how to draw animals.

Or, why not check out Skillshare? It’s an app and there are 1000s of classes you can watch, for free! Whether you are wanting to learn the basics of SEO or learn how to paint like a professional artist you can learn a skill at the tip of your fingertips. YouTube is also packed with video tutorials as well!

Embrace Mess!

With the kids off school it’s time to accept that your house may well be a bit of a tip for the foreseeable future! And do you know what – embrace it! There’s no point in stressing about a messy house if you’re trying to manage work AND juggle children. Why not agree with your kids that they are only allowed to play with their toys in ONE room of the house? That way, the mess is HOPEFULLY contained to just one room?

Whatever you choose to do with your time whilst you’re self-isolating, be sure to check in with loved ones, wash your hands and try to make the most of some valuable time with yourself. I’d like to thank everyone who’s taken the time to send us well-wishes and those who continue to support my animal inspired work.