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Keeping yourself occupied during the coronavirus lockdown

Written by Ipswich Building Society

19 Apr 2020

Tags

COVID-19, Mental health, Personal finance

4 min read

With coronavirus restrictions set to continue for at least another three weeks to the beginning of May, many of us have a lot more free time at home. Here are our top 5 ideas on how to spend that extra time productively, rather than stuck in front of the TV!

Take up a hobby

Do you remember that guitar you purchased a few years ago that’s since been relegated to the loft? Or how about that painting kit you got for Christmas? It’s likely many of us will never have more free time about the home than right now, so why not use it to start learning something new – or better yet – devote more attention to an existing hobby.

Whether it’s something creative, musical, brushing up on a foreign language or even learning to juggle, hobbies can be a great way to pass the time when you’re stuck at home.

Get outdoors for some socially-distanced activity

We’re all allowed to get out for some exercise one per day, whether that be for a run, walk or cycle, as long as you adhere to the 2 metre rule. This could be an ideal time to pay a bit more attention to your own personal fitness by setting yourself a goal or target, especially if you’re not currently able to do your preferred activity (such as swimming for example).

Fitness aside, there have been loads of studies on the positive impact of exercise on mental health and taking up a new activity not only helps to keep your body fit, but your mind as well which is just as important at a time like this.

Give your home a clear out and make a bit of extra cash

Many of us will be in a similar position where we have that cupboard, drawer or loft space which we desperately need to clear out but simply “haven’t had the time” to get around to yet. If you have a lot of spare time on your hands now might be that ideal opportunity – not just to clear some space, but also to make a pretty penny or two selling some of your unwanted items!

Donate your time to the NHS or another charity

Many charities have quickly found themselves in dire straits since the coronavirus crisis took hold, with some seeing their revenues dry up entirely and others experiencing unprecedented demand for their services. Food banks in particular are in desperate need of donations, drivers, food parcel packers and other essential volunteers. If you’re out of work, furloughed or otherwise with a lot of time on your hands volunteering for a local charity will make a huge difference.

You could also sign up to be an NHS volunteer responder through the GoodSAM app, which assigns tasks to volunteers in the community from helping to ferry patients out of hospital to delivering medicine and food parcels to those in need.

Sort out your finances

Now could be an ideal time to sort out your finances, for those who struggle to find the time to do it amongst the pressures of everyday life. With so many people experiencing financial hardship and the future uncertain for millions of self employed and furloughed staff, it’s a sad necessity that many of us will have no choice but to tighten our collective belts until the pandemic has passed and life slowly begins to return to normal.

For tips on how to set up and manage a monthly budget click here or visit our blog to find out how to take a closer look at your household expenses.

This article was published under our previous name of Ipswich Building Society. We changed our name in 2021 – find out more.

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