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10 Ways To Make The Most of Time at Home

Using your at-home time wisely will help keep your spirits up

Carina Bartle By Carina BartleVP Sales & Partnerships

With most of the world stuck behind closed doors, many are using this self-isolation as a time to get back to the pastimes for which we so rarely have opportunity. Life is full of simpler pleasures that are too often taken for granted or not given the time needed to enjoy them for what they are—slow and steady, life-affirming tasks. In need of some inspiration for how to wile away the days? LuxDeco VP Sales & Partnerships Carina shares her look-forward-to-doing list.

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1. Quality time with those that matter

Taking the most positive perspective possible (considering the current climate), one gratifying situation to come out of self-isolation is the extra time we get to spend with loved ones.

Starting the day with a family breakfast every day of the week is a very beautiful thing. Reconvening at the kitchen table for an afternoon pot of tea and slice of cake, a luxury. Establishing a family movie night twice a week with bowlfuls of popcorn, joyful. Everyone needs some uplift right now and this extra time for connection could be the answer.

Should you live alone, remember that we are fortunate to live in a time where we have Facetime, Skype, Zoom and House Party at our fingertips. Digital communication might not fulfil you in the same way that face-to-face catch-ups do, but it will certainly serve to keep you connected with your nearest and dearest.

2. Press reset

With the commute long gone for many of us and reduced working hours a reality that much of the population is getting accustomed to, we find ourselves with much more spare time than perhaps ever before.

So try, wherever you can, to carve out some time each day to relax, recuperate and to reset your system. It could be as simple as sipping your morning coffee watching the sun rise or treating yourself to a bath surrounded by delicious scents of an afternoon.

Health troubles and financial struggles there may be, but there are little luxuries to be had so that can help you to feel more rested and less anxious as we get through these trying times together.

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3. Get scheming

Moodboards at the ready!

One of the most popular coping mechanisms for having to stay indoors is to redecorate a room (or two) as so many of you have been documenting on Instagram. From repainting your bedroom to sprucing up your front door with a fresh colour and polished hardware, there’s something very satisfying about getting hands-on and completing an interiors project all by yourself.

The world might not be your oyster right now, but your home has the potential to emerge from the COVID-19 cocoon as a transformed re-wallpapered butterfly.

4. Give yourself some goals

Time to do some forward-thinking. This one is especially invigorating if work is on the quiet side and you need something into which you can channel efforts and steely determination.

Set yourself a number of goals. They could be about mastering a new skill (how long have you been wishing for time to pick up a new language?), improving fitness levels (hello squat challenge) or developing that business plan that’s been at the back of your mind.

Map out meaningful steps to achieve then on a week by week or day by day basis, and then push yourself to get going. You’ll feel all the better for it.

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5. How does your garden grow?

Rolling lawn in the countryside or window box in the heart of the city—whatever your outdoor space, there’s always a reason to get gardening.

Right now is the perfect time to step outdoors, not least because we all need some fresh air while we’re housebound, but because spring has sprung and the conditions are ideal.

Read up on gardening tips suited to your level and start learning all there is to know about soil types, seeds versus bulbs, what’s in season when and the secrets to a perfectly scarified lawn.

Enjoy the view from a comfortable lounger or look forward to al fresco dinner parties with friends with a new garden dining set.

6. Take stock and reorganise

Spring is here which means self-isolation is somewhat timed for spring cleaning. I can safely say that this weekend I will be emptying cupboards and drawers in every room of our home to identify what can be donated to a charity shop the moment we can roam free again, what has been forgotten about that I want to resurface and what can be stored in a more sensible way.

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7. Read up

We should all be determined to pass some decent time with a book in hand while we remain safely indoors. Or, if the sun is shining, take a blanket and sit in the garden and read in the company of chirping birds and a fresh spring breeze. You could even start a book club with friends and arrange a once-weekly video call to discuss and dissect every novel, every autobiography and every cookbook you get through.

8. Become quite the cook

Home-cooked meals are on the up in a big way, because most of us are able to get to the stove at a reasonable hour to cook up a storm.

This is the ideal opportunity to brush up on your knife skills, your baking prowess, your carving and recipe concocting and ability to master a whole new cuisine. (Maybe Balinese, Ethiopian or Nordic?)

Be curious and try your hand at something unusual that could open your mind to a whole new world of ingredient combinations that could be easier to come across than you might think as they’ll be the least popular of items to raid from the supermarket.

9. Fitness first

If one of our quarantine goals is to get fit then upping your fitness levels is an activity for the taking right now.

With the once-a-day dose of exercise allotment, get out and push yourself to walk faster than usual to up your heart rate or try your hand (or feet) at a gentle jog.

Lean on friends and family again to brainstorm a shared workout plan that you could all tackle together. Or you can take part in online pilates sessions or get back on your bike—what’s stopping you?

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10. Establishing new traditions

This time, if used well, may be the impetus for developing a variety of self-improvement changes, including enhanced wellbeing. Hopefully, they will have improved our relationships and will have helped us all to achieve a more satisfactory work-life balance. But what happens when normal service resumes and suddenly there’s no time for all of the things that were making such a difference?

Identify which of your new pastimes mean the most to you and to turn those into rituals that you can fit into your everyday. Those that are enjoyable but realistically too time-consuming for regular schedules can be turned into traditions or once-a-month activities so that they remain in some shape or form.

On the other side, I imagine that, for most, mealtimes will undoubtedly return to their far less adventurous, pre-COVID-19 state; we may not manage daily 5k runs; and gardens will grow wild once more. but those lessons learned, habits formed and memories shared will nonetheless be life-changing.

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