We all get tired of the tedious daily routine. The mind-numbing pattern of waking up and having nothing to do is leading to severe cabin fever. While we're only allowed out for shopping or exercise, we need to keep entertained. If you haven’t got work to keep you busy, then it could lead to long term wellbeing issues. There’s not a lot to amuse yourself with when trapped in the confines of the same four walls. And with so much free time it’s hard not to get bored. Read on to find out what to do on furlough...
Too Much Time
There is such a thing as ‘too much time on your hands’. Try not to think that you’re ‘stuck at home’ with ‘nothing to do’. Flip your perspective and be positive! You’ll never have this much time off work again.
Maybe you’re sitting at home, twiddling your thumbs, without the faintest clue what to do. But, there are a few things you can do to try and curb any feelings of boredom. If you need some new ideas, here are a few suggestions of what to do on furlough during the coronavirus lockdown.
What to do on Furlough
TV & MOVIES
A classic form of entertainment that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Find a new TV series or film and watch it for a couple of hours. Catch up on stuff you’ve missed out on because of your normal busy pre-lockdown life. Although try and not make it your goal to ‘complete’ Netflix. It’s important to not glue to yourself to the television and get up and out once a day.
Sometimes a standard night in with the TV is a great form of relaxation. Grab some popcorn (or snack of your choice) along with your favourite drink for the perfect night.
If you’ve got a subscription to Netflix or Amazon Prime, great. However, if you don’t there are other options you can explore. First of all, with a TV license, you can access a multitude of channels. These may be broadcasting something you’re interested in watching. There is also a website called Openculture which has 1000+ films you can watch for free!
READ & WRITE
Grab your book and read it outside to enjoy the current burst of unexpected sunshine.
Reading is a great activity to stimulate your brain. It will help you to relax and is also known to improve your memory. By reading books you can improve your skills and knowledge. It may help you generate ideas or open opportunities for the future. No matter what you read, whether it’s fiction or even a cookbook, get your nose buried and time will fly by.
Now is the perfect time to peruse a book and get some Vitamin D at the same time. If you don’t have a book to hand, don’t worry. There are numerous websites online that have books you can read for free! Take a look at the following websites to see if there’s anything that interests you:
Maybe you’re a creative person and want to test your writing ability. Start with an online course to give you have an idea of where to begin writing, or delve straight into it. Whatever you feel like, don’t hesitate to grab your writing instruments and start now!
ART & CRAFTS
Whether it’s knitting, painting, journaling, sewing, embroidery, crocheting, or something else, getting stuck into something arty will help you to reduce stress and anxiety. So, if you need a pick-me-up, channel your emotions into your craft.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Staying at home all the time leads to regular snacking habits. To counteract the repercussions of overeating, you should exercise daily. Doing regular exercise is important for both physical and mental health. A balanced diet with regular exercise will keep you from getting cabin fever. It doesn’t even have to be strenuous. Spend at least half an hour a day getting your heart rate up. A 30-minute yoga class can help to give more oxygen to the lungs for a great energy boost. Getting outside to exercise is also a good idea.
If you need some motivation, why not check out a fitness challenge?
LEARN AN INSTRUMENT
With so much free time, now is a great opportunity to pick up that instrument you’ve been meaning to play. If you don’t currently have the instrument to hand, you can order online and get it delivered straight to your door.
Playing an instrument helps to relieve stress as well as improve your memory. YouTube offers thousands of video tutorials teaching users of all abilities. Yousician is also a good investment if you want something more ‘professional’.
Do you already know how to play an instrument? Then why not try writing a song?
LEARN A LANGUAGE
Dedicate some time to learning a new language. There are so many apps available that teach you a new language using tutorials and tasks. Whether you’re a complete beginner or need to brush up your pronunciation, you can improve your skills.
Struggling for what to do on furlough? Why not try baking something you haven’t before? Find new recipes online and test your skills in the kitchen. Even on a limited budget, you can create some delicious treats.
Do you always find yourself procrastinating when it comes to cleaning up? Now there is no excuse. Dust in those awkward to reach spaces and get rid of that stain you’ve been staring at for years. While your cleaning, why not give it a try too. Do you need all those t-shirts? How old is that towel? This is a very productive example of what to do on furlough.
While you’re at home, it’s the perfect time to give your house the makeover you’ve been meaning to do for years. If you haven’t got any DIY projects to work on, a spring clean will make your home feel brand new. At the end of your hard work, you’ll have a sense of achievement. After all, a tidy house is a tidy mind.
Bored of seeing the same faces around the house all day every day? 'Meet’ up with friends and family via video calls! Facetime, WhatsApp, Zoom, Skype and Facebook make it possible to see familiar faces without leaving the house. Have a quick catch up, or schedule some time to play a game. For example, Houseparty lets you compete against each other in a variety of games. Or create your own quiz for everyone to partake in.
HOST A PARTY
It goes without saying, don’t invite anyone around your house. That’s just silly. But there are a few ways you can have a ‘party’ without being physically present. There are lots of apps that offer free video calls to multiple friends such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Houseparty. Create a playlist of your favourite tunes and buy drinks and snacks to get the party started. JQBX lets you sync your music with your friends so you can listen to the same music at the same time!
If workouts aren’t your thing, a party is a great opportunity to burn calories dancing around your room.
If you’re lucky enough to live with someone you like, why not grab a good old board game and enjoy some social time? Get off your screens for a while and play a classic game of Monopoly or chess.
If you haven't got the game to hand, you can find them online. Website’s like Tabletopedia offer some free games for you to play. For more popular or newer games you may have to pay to play.
WATCH A GIG
Everybody is uncertain whether festivals will go ahead this summer, so you should plan your own! If you’re a Spotify user, head to Festify to turn your favourite artists into a music festival line-up. From this you can search YouTube for clips and add these to a personal playlist of your very own.
Many artists are hosting live sessions on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. So make sure to give them a follow and tune into their virtual performance. Or delve deep into YouTube and watch classics like Radiohead’s Glastonbury set in 1997.
With today’s current technology, you can explore the rest of the word from the comfort of your own home. Fancy a trip to an art gallery? Want to explore a museum? Check out Google’s Arts & Culture to find somewhere to view.
VISIT THE ZOO
With lots of people struggling for what to do on furlough, more and more virtual options have opened up. Animals lovers will be happy to know that zoos are broadcasting online. Some places have even set up live cameras so you can keep an eye on what the animals get up to throughout the day. Chester Zoo hosts live virtual tours showing the animals antics.
ATTEND THE THEATRE
All theatres across the UK are closed. But the show still goes on...
The National Theatre is streaming some of their productions. You can access them on their YouTube channel for free . There are also some performances on Marquee who are offering a free trial of their service.
GIVE YOUR TIME
Throughout the lockdown, there have been many opportunities for people to help out. Your local community might have needed a hand or key workers could need support. Or, you simply lent your ear to a neighbour.
GET OFF YOUR SCREEN
Boredom often leads to scrolling aimlessly through social media for hours on end. But this can take its toll on your mental health. Take yourself away from socials and experience real life. Try to reduce your screen time by leaving it in your room – out of sight, out of mind.
LOOK FOR A NEW JOB
If you’re furloughed, or the company is having financial difficulties, you might want to start looking for a job. Check out the Best Job Boards you should be using for your job search. Getting ahead of the curve will likely increase your chances of finding new work. If you've already lost your job, read our blog on What to Do When You Lose Your Job for some guidance.