No one likes a lockdown, it’s isolating and lonely. People want nothing more to meet up, go out for dinner or drink a few pints in the pub. 2020 and now 2021 has been dominated by the effects of lockdowns, but how can we make a lockdown work to our advantage?
It doesn’t all need to be doom and gloom, if you are smart and manage your time well lockdowns could prove to be really useful. In this article we will examine how you can take advantage of all this extra free time.
- We don’t read enough
- Join the fight against Covid
- Stay active and improve your fitness
- Make yourself more employable
- Learn a new skill
- Get lost in your hobbies
We Don’t Read Enough
Books have be described as a doorway into another world, be it a fantasy world, a classic novel or a romantic drama you could loose yourself for a few hours a day. After we leave school the amount we read in our day to day lives drops dramatically. You could use lockdown as an opportunity to discover new worlds, or learn something new through books.
Some of the books I have been reading include ‘Rules of Engagement’ by Tim Collins, ‘A Life on Our Planet’ by Sir David Attenborough and ‘Listening to the Animals’ by Noel Fitzpatrick. Throughout the year I aim to read at least one book every month, you could do the same.
A site I would recommend where you can buy second hand book at a very reasonable price is World of Books. I personally have used this site to buy far too many books, plus they offer free postage! Alternatively, you can buy online from WHSmith and Waterstones (both have January sales on going).
Join the Fight Against Covid!
If you have been furloughed from your current job due to lockdown you may only be getting 80% of your normal wage. What better way to top up your income than by joining the fight against Covid. There are loads of jobs working in for NHS Test and Trace from test centers to phoning and checking up on people told to self isolate. Additionally, with the vaccine being rolled out, they will need staff to administer the vaccine or support the wider operation.
These jobs are typically very flexible and on a full or part time basis. You could work for a few weeks to a few months, this is what I have been doing. I spend around two days a week working at my local drive in test center. By doing this not only have I earned some extra cash, I have kept myself occupied while also helping to stop the spread of Covid. You are provided all the training you need to do your job as well as all the PPE in the world.
Check out this Covid Jobs Site.
Stay Active and Improve Your Fitness
During lockdown one of the few acceptable reasons to leave home is for exercise. While there is no time limit for how long you can exercise, it should still be done local to where you live. Therefore, this does not mean you can drive 45mins to a beauty spot to then have a long walk.
As a nation we do need to improve our overall levels of activity and fitness. In 2019 only 63% of people ages 16 and over in England were physically active – 150 mins or more of moderate physical activity per week. 62% of the UK population is overweight, the worst in Europe. During lockdown we can easily begin to reverse this trend by taking the time to be more active and lead healthier lifestyles.
150 mins a week of physical activity can be split into three 50 min walks a week, something we all can do. I have made it part of my goals in 2021 to lose a further 5kg in body weight, what is your goal?
Make Yourself More Employable
In the first lockdown as well as starting this blog, I also did work related study. I completed a Train the Trainer Level 5 Diploma as well as anything my workplace was offering. I am currently doing a Mental Health First Aid certification and asbestos surveyor training, all useful for my job.
While you will have to pay to get certification on courses you have studied, it has never been easier to learn online. My go to place to search for heavily discounted courses is Reed Courses, I have purchased all my online learning courses via Reed and have not yet been disappointed. Additionally, you can do free online learning with the Open University’s OpenLearn platform. On the OpenLearn platform you can study a range of subjects and topics at either an introductory, intermediate or advanced level; it’s well worth checking it out.
Lockdown can be a great opportunity to upskill yourself which, when combined with your work experience, could help you progress in your chosen career.
Learn a New Skill or Knowledge
Along with writing a blog I have poured myself into learning personal finance and anything to do with stock markets. This not only really enjoyable but can be really useful in my life. Many people have taken to doing DIY home improvements, anything from painting and decorating to building sheds or putting down a load baring floor in the loft.
Now is a great time to do those projects that you always want to do, learn that skill or language. Honestly, the list of things you could learn is endless, just follow your interests and the motivation will follow.
Get Lost in Your Hobbies
We always complained that we didn’t have time to really dedicate ourselves to our passion projects, work or other life events always got in the way. In a lockdown you can now truly dedicate yourself to your hobbies. It’s important to have a hobby as they provide you will fulfillment and allow you at achieve something that is entirely your own.
Whether it is through volunteering or collecting something you should dedicate time to what makes you happy. I have done just that with my coin and Pokémon card collection.