Thanks to Boris's lockdown roadmap announcement there's officially a light at the end of the tunnel. We're here to help you beat those lockdown blues and make the most of what should be...dare we say it...our final lockdown!
Discover new hobbies while you have all the time in the world. Work on your mental health ready for that magical day on the 21st of June when life as we used to know it starts again.
Here are some of the best ways to beat insomnia, tackle boredom and to help you make the most out of the next few weeks.
Walking is one of the easiest forms of exercise, no equipment or crazy fitness levels are required yet it has so many health benefits. Getting out of the house for a stroll boosts your mental health, giving you time to think and process. stimulates your body and brain whilst also getting your eyes away from a screen. On top of this, you learn so much about your local area, finding hidden gems, new walking routes and local nature reserves you never knew existed.
A top tip we recommend is downloading an app such as Strava for free on your phone to map out your route, time your pace and show the distance you’ve covered. It’s almost second nature to become competitive, wanting to get a new personal best each day. Increasing that distance, or your pace.
Anything that helps boost your motivation is a good thing. If you have a smartwatch you should be able to track most of this through that too.
Most of us could do with extra money, whether it's to help boost furlough or to save for when lockdown ends. Although it may have gotten a bit tedious we are lucky to have all this spare time, now we're on the final stretch let's make the most of it.
Start earning money from online surveys, all from the comfort of your own sofa. Paid surveys are a fab way to work from home when it suits you. This could mean working around the kids and when they go to bed, turning that lunch break into extra cash or simply just being something different to do whilst waiting for an ad break on TV.
Our two favourite online paid survey websites are Branded Surveys and Power of Opinion. Help provide valuable market research and in return get rewarded for your opinion. Earning from home is really that simple. Most survey sites give you a range of rewards, for example, you could earn gift cards for brands such as Amazon, Argos or simply get cash via PayPal.
To find out more ways to earn from home through paid surveys click here
One of the best ways to switch off and relax is reading a book. There are now so many ways to get your hands on unlimited libraries instantly. No having to leave the house, no waiting for the postman.
We love Kindle Unlimited, and no... you don't have to have a kindle to use this. We simply have the app on our iPhone and iPad, both sync up perfectly so we can access our books wherever we are. Get unlimited access to over 1 million books and magazines from any device.
You don't even have to physically read a book anymore if you're on the go or simply prefer to give your eyes a rest you can just listen. Audiobooks are amazing, listen to them in the car, as you fall asleep, whilst you work...dare we say it...they're also great entertainment on a plane for whenever we can travel again.
Try it yourself today with a FREE audiobook thanks to Audible, listen whilst you work, as you're going to sleep or even pop a book on during storytime with your kids.
There's so much to choose from, there really is something for everyone. Our favourites include Harry Potter narrated by Stephen Fry (who doesn't love this?!), Derren Brown's Boot Camp for the Brain and Bedtime Stories - if you need help to fall asleep you need this in your life!
Why not get your kids involved in reading too, it's fantastic for opening their little eyes to adventures, new cultures, experiences and so much more. You can even get your hands on a free children's book thanks to Beans and Sparks, which is personal to your child.
Create their avatar and add their name so they become the star of the story. They're amazing as personalised gifts for children, that helps them learn and makes storytime so much more fun. Get your first book free, simply just pay £2.99 postage. If you love them you'll get a new personalised book delivered each month.
When the night draws in or the weather is miserable there’s nothing better than curling up in front of the TV and losing yourself in a new series or movie. Let’s face it this is how most of us have spent this past lockdown. It's a great way to escape everything around us and beat the lockdown boredom.
Our favourite go-to subscription service is Prime Video, especially with its recent Original releases but because you also get the addition of next day delivery on your Amazon shopping. We’re impatient, when we buy something we want it now.
If you haven’t watched Greenland with Gerard Butler and Deadpool’s Morena Baccarin yet, do so. One, because who doesn’t want to stare at Gerard Butler for a couple of hours and two, because it’s very gripping. It’s definitely scarier watching a film about comets hurtling to earth since we’ve had something like Covid hit the world but that’s all part of the thrill.
If you’re looking for a feel-good and light-hearted family film we recommend Instant Family. It stars Rose Bryne and Mark Wahlberg who decide to adopt not one but three children. One of which is a teenager ready to push them to their limits. However, that’s all part of the fun of the film!
So many of us are guilty of filling up our phones with numerous photos over the years but never doing anything with them. That holiday to Barcelona, that family party, that trip to London, that moment your dog looked cute...played with a toy, was sleeping, yawned...ok our gallery has a lot of dog photos.
If covid has taught us anything it’s just how precious those moments really are. A fab way to help ease the boredom of lockdown is to give yourself a mini-project. Pop up new photo frames, update the prints in old frames or put together a photo album. You could also give them to your friends and family as gifts to remind them of all the fun memories we’ve had and what’s to come once this pandemic passes.
Apps like FreePrints are fantastic, giving you 40 free photo prints every month...that’s 500 free photo prints a year! With no subscriptions or commitments, there are no rebills to worry about. It’s super quick and easy to use:
Chances are you subscribe to Netflix, potentially Spotify too...so why not a beauty box. Give yourself a boost each month with the arrival of a box of surprise beauty goodies. Beauty boxes are perfect for a little pamper session and pick me up.
Self-care is so important, if any of you follow the big sister of TikTok Vickaboox you’ll know how much Victoria advocates making sure you have some ‘me time’. Whether that's a bath, popping on a face mask, doing your makeup...whatever makes you happy and feel good. Like we mentioned earlier, sometimes only something little like a daily walk can really have a positive impact on your mental health. Beauty boxes are also a great way to discover new beauty brands and to try new products, without the crazy price tags attached to them.
Our personal favourite is The Pip Box because it’s cruelty-free and vegan friendly! It feels good to expand our beauty collection knowing that no animals have been hurt. We’ve also been amazed by how many big brands are now making the transition to vegan. The February box contained a Lime Crime lipstick and a Beauty Bakerie setting powder - all of which we loved! Every box is always worth way more than you spend, for example, each Pip Box is always worth over £55 but only costs £19.99 (with postage all included too). Bargain! There are no contracts so you can choose to cancel whenever suits you, though we’re pretty sure once you start you’ll get hooked.
Mediation has been on the rise this past year as loads of people are discovering the benefits, both in your physical and your mental health. At a time when your brain is in overdrive and all the events around us happening out of our control, it's even more important to learn how to switch your mind off. Meditation helps you to clear your mind, stops you from focusing on negativity and keeping calm. There are now so many different tools and apps to help you to boost your mindfulness.
In a world that's so go go go meditation helps you to remove yourself from all the distractions. It's a very easy and natural way to relieve any stress and to help manage anxiety. We tested out an app called Calm which has a 7 Days of Calming Anxiety program that we tried for free thanks to their 7-day free trial. Calm really helped us relax and zone out to the app, it was so soothing to listen too. This program combined with their sleep stories voiced by people like Idris Elba, Harry Styles and Kate Winslet are also fantastic for helping anyone battling insomnia!
There are so many apps around to help, click here to find a list of the best meditation apps of 2020
If you have any recommendations for helping to beat the lockdown blues pop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org