With the world practising social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic, all individuals in the UK have been urged to stay alert if venturing outside. But staying in can be just as fun and productive as going out, with HELLO!'s tips to keep boredom at bay during the COVID-19 lockdown. From learning new skills to embracing your inner DIY guru, we've got you covered…
1. Clear out your wardrobe
Dedicate your new-found time and attention to sorting out your clothes, declutter your home, ditching items you haven't worn for six months and co-ordinating clothes into sections so it's easier to browse in the mornings. This is a great opportunity to get inspired by new outfits or rediscover an old favourite.
What you'll need: Good music on, some vacuum storage bags and a 'does it spark joy?' mindset
MORE: The garden furniture to buy now for your first BBQ of the summer
2. Give yourself a gel manicure
Sometimes it's the small things in life that make us feel better, with a fresh manicure being up there. Take some time for yourself, push your cuticles down, slather on some hand cream and choose a shade that makes you smile from ear to ear. If you love your gels, you might want to invest in an at-home gel machine set.
Nail art photo we love: @overglowedit
What you'll need: Some cool neon nail colours
nails inc. neon set of four polishes, £22, LookFantastic
RELATED: Picasso nails are the Instagram beauty trend we never knew we needed
3. Read a book
It's time to read that book that's been sat on your shelf for the last few months. Get inspired by a best-selling memoir, indulge in a celeb-approved book or escape to a different world for a few hours. Hot drink and blanket desirable. If you don't own a Kindle Paperwhite yet, you might wish to invest.
What you'll need: The most talked about book of lockdown - Normal People by Sally Rooney
RELATED: 11 must-read books in 2020 so far
4. Get motivated
Now's the time to read a book to give you a boost. Motivational speaker, Neil Thubron and author of Yucan, has been spending lockdown offering workshops for his followers. The Charity Big Goal Workshop raised money for the charity MIND and was free to attend with the option to donate to the charity. He helps people focus on their goals and build a plan for achieving them. It could be a personal, business or sporting goal, he just wants to help people get motivated to achieve them.
What you'll need: His book and a positive mindset
Yucan by Neil Thubron, £4.99, Amazon
The details and the link to sign up can be found on neilthubron.com.
5. Start a podcast
Obsessed with podcasts? Are you and your family hilarious? Maybe it's time you looked into making a business out of podcasting. You'll need all the technical equipment, but first, swot up on how you're going to make your millions from your dining room table.
What you'll need: A book about podcasting for beginners
How To Start A Podcast And Create A Profitable Podcasting Business by Amanda Mayo, £16, Amazon
6. Write a letter
Remember how enjoyable it was to receive a letter in the post? Do that with your friends and family - make their day. Buy some nice paper and spread some love to a friend or family member.
What you'll need: A personalised letter writing set
Letter writing set, £24.99, Papier
7. Learn how to do calligraphy
If you really want to elevate your letter writing - how about doing a spot of calligraphy? This book is reportedly very good, with rave reviews online.
What you'll need: A calligraphy guide for beginners
The Ultimate Guide To Modern Calligraphy and Hand Lettering for Beginners, £5.99, Amazon
SHOP: The best loungewear sets to wear while on lock down at home
8. Do evening drinks (from home)
More and more of us are turning to virtual slumber parties on video apps like Houseparty and Zoom so we can keep up with friends, have a laugh, a glass of wine or three, and make the best of the lockdown. Why not become the Quiz Master and organise the ultimate pub quiz.
What you'll need: Your girls, wine, and maybe some snacks. A quiz book could come in handy, too.
Collins Quiz Night, £3.99, Amazon
Lockdown sparkling wine set, £93.99 for a case of six, Fizz Republic
CHEERS! Royal-inspired cocktails to make at home
David Beckham has been killing time in coronavirus lockdown by building Lego sculptures with his kids, and who can blame him? Lego is perfect for keeping your mind busy and you get the ta-da at the end of it. Winning.
What you'll need: The Beckham-approved Lego London Bus
Lego Creator London Bus, £109, LEGO
Did you miss the Game of Thrones craze or are you late to the Grey's Anatomy party? Now's the time to catch up on all that TV you've been curious about, so get comfy and get ready to commit hours of your life to watching someone else's dramas. As well as Normal People, everyone has been loving Gangs of London while on lockdown. If you don't have Sky, you can catch up with it by subscribing to NOW TV.
What you'll need: A NOW TV subscription
NOW TV subscription, one week free
READ: Get the latest on what's on TV
11. Watch Disney movies
How often do you get a chance to sit around and watch Disney movies all weekend? Disney+ launched at the beginning of lockdown which was perfect timing for parents around the world. Prepare to be obsessed if you haven't downloaded it yet.
What you'll need: A Disney+ subscription
Disney+ Subscription, £59.99, Disney+
BARGAIN: How to get Disney+ FREE for. a week
12. Buy a dartboard
Can't go to the pub? Bring the pub to you with a cool dartboard. This one is magnetic, so a lot safer if you have children.
What you'll need: A dartboard
Magnetic dartboard, £14.21, Amazon
13. Do a crossword/Sudoku
Looking for something a bit more challenging? Put your brain to the test and do a crossword or Sudoku puzzle and see how far you can get. There are lots of online crosswords or word puzzles which means you don't have to leave the house to have a go.
What you'll need: A crossword challenge
Collins crossword challenge book, £5.54, Amazon
14. Do a jigsaw puzzle for adults
Take your eyes off a screen for an afternoon while you tackle a tricky 1000-piece jigsaw. Amazon has plenty to choose from, and stocks puzzles for all ages. Here's HELLO!'s picks for the best jigsaw puzzles for adults.
What you'll need: 1000-piece jigsaw
MORE: The best puzzles for adults to keep you occupied during isolation
15. Read a saucy book
According to reports, quarantine erotica is on the rise - and more and more women are enjoying downtime reading a saucy book. Move over Fifty Shades of Grey, the new book causing a fuss is Sex During the Coronavirus Pandemic by WH Fielding. Protagonist Lucy tries to satisfy her sexual desires while performing social distancing, and the strapline is: "They could lock down her country, but not her heart" and the front cover features a protective mask.
What you'll need: A page-turner
The Mister by E L James, prices start at £2.99, Amazon
16. Make cheese from scratch
Calling all cheese lovers! This kit is the ultimate lockdown essential - equipped with a range of herbs and spices, three cheese moulds, and a glorious recipe book. There are enough ingredients to make a grand total of 40 batches, and the kit has a shelf life of at least 12 months - so it’ll keep you going for ages.
What you'll need: A cheese-making set
The Ultimate Cheese Making Kit, £36.50, Amazon
SWOT UP: These bestselling cookbooks are here to switch up your mealtimes
17. Make a photo album/back up your phone pictures
Remember that girls' holiday you took in 2016 or when you swam with dolphins? Ensure that memories like this are treasured by taking the time to compile a photo album or scrapbook. Similarly, make a back-up of photos on your phone, to ensure you don't lose them in years to come.
What you'll need: Scrapbooks
Scrapbooks, £15.99, Amazon
18. Plant some flowers
Introduce some welcome colour to your house or garden and plant some flowers. Now that the sun is shining, it's the ideal time to get out in the garden and watch your flowers bloom.
What you'll need: A gardening kit
Essential Garden Tool Bag, £15.99, Amazon
SHOP: The gardening buys to keep you occupied during isolation
19. Start a blog
Are you the modern-day Carrie Bradshaw or Bridget Jones? Or does your fashion taste rival that of Olivia Palermo and Estée Lalonde? Use your down-time wisely and start a blog to share your thoughts or favourite hobbies. WordPress is a favourite with most bloggers and it's very simple to use.
What you'll need: A tripod
Tripod, £13.99, Amazon
20. Marie Kondo your drawers
In the words of everyone's favourite Japanese organisation expert, if it doesn't 'spark joy' it's got to go. Sift between socks, underwear and whatever else is lurking in the depths of your drawers and reap the rewards of a tidy and organised chest of drawers.
What you'll need: Drawer dividers
Drawer organiser, £12, Amazon
MORE: 5 lessons everyone can learn from Netflix's Marie Kondo
Indulge your sweet tooth and try a Bake Off masterpiece of your own at home. David Beckham loves baking and has taken to social media to show off a delicious lemon drizzle cake - we're copying him immediately.
What you'll need: A fun cake set
GET READY, BAKE! 3 Tasty recipes to bake for your neighbours during coronavirus
22. Ice biscuits
It's time to have a little fun with some sweet treats. Why not try your hand at icing some beautiful spring flowers from the comfort of your kitchen? Inside this Biscuiteers DIY kit you'll find everything you need to become a Biscuiteer at home - from ready baked chocolate biscuit flowers to piping bags, icing sugar, a set of colourful decorations and a step-by-step guide.
What you'll need: The Biscuiteers' help
Spring flowers DIY tin, £35, Biscuiteers
23. Learn how to knit
Pick up your needles and take the time to hone a new skill like knitting. Not just for grandmas, knitting is considered incredibly therapeutic and practical.
What you'll need: A knitting kit
Knitting kit for beginners, £27.99, Amazon
24. Camp out under the stars (in the back garden)
On a warm balmy night, how lovely would it be to camp out under the stars and pretend like you're out in the wilderness. The best bit? If you need the loo, you can just venture inside.
What you'll need: A 4-man tent
Tent, £104.72, Amazon
25. Dance it out
Blast out some of your favourite tunes and get dancing in your bedroom, living room or bathroom. Hairbrush microphone optional.
What you'll need: A karaoke kit
Lucky Voice Karaoke Kit, £52.94, Amazon
It's the current trend du jour with the fash-pack, so why not join in on the fun. Fashion stylist Emma Lane, who has started 'The Tie-Dye Factory' while on lockdown, told us her top tip was to: "WEAR GLOVES and have a bit of fun don't worry too much about it or overthink it they always turn out fab."
What you'll need: Fabric dye for tie-dying
Violet Dylon fabric dye, £3, Amazon
RELATED: Tie-dye soars in popularity thanks to Victoria Beckham & Kendall Jenner - shop our favourite pieces
Replace your gym visit with an at-home work-out, with squats, burpees and press-ups all achievable without equipment. Transform your lounge into a yoga space and stretch it out.
What you'll need: A subscription to Fiit
Train free for 14 days and £10 a month after, Fiit
SHOP: The best home gym equipment to make exercising at home easier
28. Make a travel bucket list
Write it down in black and white the places you've yet to explore, the trips you want to take and the food you've got to sample. Similarly, Pinterest is the perfect place to find inspiration and pin places you want to go to.
What you'll need: A map
World map poster, £15.97, Amazon
DREAM: 13 eco-friendly hotels to dream about: From coastal retreats to city boutiques
29. Learn a language
Challenge yourself to learn a new language in just a few weeks, ready for your next trip away. With a ton of apps and websites that give you lessons for free, you've truly run out of excuses not to.
What you'll need: A book to help you
Fluent Forever, £9.99, Amazon
PARENTING TIPS: 6 best educational websites and apps to help kids during school closures
30. Give your face a workout
Hear us out! FaceGym - the UK's only gym studio for the face - is hosting a masterclass to teach people how to relieve stress in the face. Trainers from London, NYC and LA are taking part in a 15-minute live stream class on Instagram (@facegym), and each masterclass will focus on a different muscle group to tone, lift and sculpt the face. If you want a more thorough lesson, there's also a 1-2-1 online face training session which will teach you a series of FaceGym’s signature muscle workout techniques.
What you'll need: A session with a FaceGym expert
Each session will begin with a skin consultation, followed up a tailored warm-up, cardio, sculpt and cool down for a fresh-from-the-studio look. £45 for 45 minutes, book through FaceGym.com for a private Zoom link.
31. Get your DIY on
Take the time to tackle some interior improvements – be that painting your walls, upholstering old furniture or rearranging a room. Remember health and safety at all times!
What you'll need: A toolset
60-piece tool kit, £39.99, Amazon
32. Call your nan
The chances are you're not the only one that's self-isolating and people will appreciate a friendly chat or text message to let them know you're thinking of them. Call your grandparents to check on them or suggest a funny thread in the girls' WhatsApp group.
What you'll need: A phone stand (there will be some long conversations!)
Phone, £20.99, Amazon
33. Play board games
If you're lucky enough to be in quarantine with company, embrace some old school entertainment and crack out the board games for some light competition. Monopoly should be chosen at your own risk.
What you'll need: Monopoly
Monopoly, £29.51, Amazon
HAVE FUN: The family-friendly board games to play during lockdown
34. Let your creative juices flow
Embark on a creative arts and crafts challenge, from sketching and mindful colouring to pottery. Stuck for ideas? 64 Million Artists have some great suggestions to get you started, launching a two-week daily creative challenge you can get involved in.
What you'll need: Colouring pencils
Crayola colouring pencils, £6.49, Amazon
35. Learn to play an instrument
Own a guitar, bass or ukelele that's gathering dust? Or is are you a budding player? Whether you want to learn classic riffs or get the basics under wraps, the Fender Play app does it all with easy to follow video tutorials, diagrams and more. For Desktop, Apple and Android devices.
What you'll need: Headphones (for the sake of your family)
Fender Play, £9.99 a month, Fender
36. Practice, practice, practice
How often do you have time to practice the things that you struggle with when it comes to your beauty routine?! Whether it's doing the perfect eyeliner flick, contouring, or applying false lashes, now's the time to become an expert.
What you'll need: Faux lashes
TL7 Faux Me, £9, Tatti Lashes
RELATED: How to give yourself a facial at home
37. Become a hairstyling pro
Curling your hair isn't easy, and if you're not a natural when it comes to hair styling, maybe now's the time to hone your skills. That's what the celebrities have been doing - just look at Sam Faiers who showed her Instagram followers her first hair tutorial using her go-to hair gadget - the Dyson Air Wrap.
What you'll need: Your hair tool of choice
Sam used the Dyson Air Wrap, £449.99, available now at John Lewis
38. Download an epic mobile game
Feeling the boredom? Get stuck into a good mobile game to pass the time. One of our current favourites is My Talking Tom 2, which is free to download and similar to a Tamagotchi style game where you look after an animal! Or try Talking Tom Hero Dash and embark on a globetrotting adventure to rescue members of the Talking Tom Heroes from pesky raccoons! Both adults and families will love these downloads.
What you'll need: Your phone and that's it
38. Have fun on TikTok
Everyone is on TikTok right now; from the Beckham kids to Olly Murs playing pranks on his girlfriend, the social media platform can provide hours of entertainment. Be warned: The dance routines aren't as easy as they look.
What you'll need: Patience
MORE: Celeb kids teaching TikTok to their parents
39. Do cocktail night!
If you're looking to de-stress and have a little fun, how about indulging in some cocktails. We've become obsessed with NIO Cocktails while on lockdown. It's very simple - you build your own box of cocktails from the menu, which is created by Head Mixologist Patrick Pistolesi. The boxes hold three, six, or nine cocktails and are delivered straight through your letterbox. Each cocktail is packaged in its own uniquely-designed sleeve – ideal for lining up on a shelf to stock your very own cocktail bar or for spreading out on a table for you and your fellow quarantiners to pick and choose from.
What you'll need: Plenty of ice cubes
Prices start from £19.50, NIO Cocktails
RELATED: Get Zoom party ready with these alcohol home delivery subscription services
40. Send a Guardian Angel postcard to a loved one
Fancy a break from the old video calling? Then revert to snail mail with these Guardian Angel postcards. Inspired by hospital workers on the frontline, these postcards are available to order from artist Jasmine Barcelona via her Instagram page. They're free to order but any donations to her Just Giving page are appreciated; all funds raised go to helping feed vulnerable families in the Philippines during the coronavirus pandemic. While you're writing to your loved ones and spreading the cheer the old-fashioned way, a family on the other side of the world is getting food on their table.
What you'll need: To place an order
Order Guardian Angel postcards by messaging Jasmine on Instagram
41. Indulge in a chocolate-making class
Though Easter may be over, our sugar cravings most certainly are not! Give in to temptation and sign up to a Live Chocolate Truffle Making Webinar, learning skills such as marbling and caging whilst equally indulging in some sweet treats. Sign up for a class and accompanying chocolate kit at MyChocolate now.
What you'll need: Sign up to the class
Classes are £15 per household, MyChocolate
42. Buy a 2021 diary. and get planning
We don't know about you but we're writing off 2020 plans, and we're planning for Summer 2021.
What you'll need: A lovely 2021 diary
2021 diary, £5.87, Amazon
43. Play a Murder Mystery game
Bored of pub quizzes? Elevate your Zoom game with a virtual Murder Mystery session. Available to buy online, you have a choice of three packages: downloadable ready parties, immersive evenings with a performer, and fully bespoke soirees. There's an array of themes to choose from, including 1920s Paris and Vintage Circus, while the game is suitable for four to 24 people.
What you'll need: Download a virtual game
Murder Mystery Game, from £69, The Digital Murder Mystery Co.
44. Read the best magazine on the planet
We have been working from our homes, dedicated to producing a magazine that is uplifting, positive and full of joy, in a bid to provide some much-needed entertainment as a gentle reprieve from all the difficult news around us.
What you'll need: a HELLO! magazine subscription
HELLO! subscription, prices start from £5.99
This article contains affiliate links, which means HELLO! may earn a small commission if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase. More information.
Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.