When the government first introduced the idea of a three-week lockdown, many of us were understandably concerned as to what that would actually mean and how we would cope with it. Now in our 4th week, with at least another 2 weeks to go, life seems to have gained some sort of abnormal normality!
So – what have we all been doing during this time to keep ourselves occupied?
Here SMART Garden Offices, who install garden gyms, studios and rooms across the UK, take a look at six things you may or may not currently be doing.
1 – Gardening
For those of us that are lucky enough to have a garden, the British weather has been exceptionally kind to us, allowing us to get out into the garden to carry out a good spring clean.
It’s such a joy to see the garden wake up after the long winter months with the bulbs coming to life, the trees blossoming and the shrubs flowering. Spring is also the busiest time in the garden, the time to tidy up your borders, sow your seeds, trim back any unruly shrubs and bushes and maintain your garden fences, gates and trellises.
With all this additional time on your hands and the glorious sunshine, your garden will never have looked so good.
2 – Exercising
Despite the lockdown and social distancing, we are all able, and encouraged, to carry out an hour’s exercise each day. So even if you are not lucky enough to have a garden, you can still go out for a long walk, a jog, or even brush down your dusty old bicycle and go for an energetic bike ride.
There are, however, many activities that you can do equally as well in the house and garden. Many fitness fanatics have set up virtual classes and failing that, running up and down your stairs can be equally effective, as can giving the house a good clean!
If you are lucky enough to have a home or a garden gym, then you will still be able to carry out your normal workouts, but how about trying them in the open air?
Fresh air has been shown to help you digest food more effectively, improve your blood pressure and heart rate and strengthen your immune system, all leading to a healthier body and mind.
3 – Cooking and Baking
How many of us would love to have had time to bake our own bread, cakes and biscuits, or even turn our hand to trying out some new recipes, but were always too busy? With all this additional time on our hands, many of us our turning our hands to home cooking.
Cooking is wonderfully therapeutic and can reduce calorie consumption and save you money, giving you more control over what you are actually spending and eating.
Cooking is also a great pastime to keep the whole family occupied whilst teaching your children some essential life skills. You can even batch bake and freeze your goodies in readiness for when we return to ’normal’ and you no longer have the time.
4 – Hobbies
Have you felt guilty in the past for making time for your hobby when something more pressing needed to be done? One of the biggest benefits of a lockdown must therefore be that you can spend as long as you like doing your favourite things – without any of the guilt.
Having a hobby is really important in this usually fast-paced world. It keeps you engaged in something you enjoy, takes your mind off the stresses of everyday life, lets you relax and seek pleasure in activities that aren’t associated with work, chores or other responsibilities – and, it has been said, can even help you to become more patient!
Enjoying a hobby can therefore provide the physical, mental, emotional, and creative benefits that make life more meaningful, relaxing and fun. So, if you don’t already have a hobby, but there was always something that appealed to you, then go for it. The benefits of engaging in that hobby will more than likely surprise you.
Many of us are now having to work from home during this time which does at least give us some structure and focus during the day.
As long as you are able to work independently to the rest of the family/household activities, this should be an easy and productive way to carry on with your work.
With less time spent travelling to and from work, this opens up extra time for you to restart doing all the things that you used to enjoy, but rarely had time to do, such as exercise, hobbies, gardening and DIY. Even if you are not working from home, you may decide to use this time to learn new skills in order to enhance your career progression once normality returns.
6 – Virtual Get-Togethers
Lockdown can be a lonely time for those of us that live on our own and would normally spend much of our time out and about socialising with our friends and families, but don’t let that stop you from having as much social interaction as you would normally.
Thankfully technically is so well advanced that we have many ways of keeping in touch, whether that be via social media, WhatsApp, texts, phone calls or even virtual get-togethers through mediums such as Skype or Zoom.
Now is the time to embrace these technologies and set up virtual meals, quizzes or simply enjoy a chinwag and a cheeky drink with your loved ones. Who needs coffee shops, pubs or restaurants to be sociable?
We hope that you find these ideas useful and that it encourages you to add something new into your days. We also hope that you stay safe and well and make the most of any extra time you have been given during this exceptional time.
If you are short on space or fed up of having to clear up your work, exercise equipment or materials at the end of each day, then why not start planning your very own garden gym, garden office or garden room – check out what SMART can do for you. Click here or call us on 0800 242 5559.