Keeping myself busy

12 Productive Ways To Keep Yourself Busy In Isolation

Self isolation might limit your movements and connection with the outside world for a period of our lives, and there's no doubt that this can be challenging and lonely, but let's not let it limit our minds. Here are some ideas for you to get through this testing time.

1. Learn a new skill or pick up an old one

If you’re feeling well enough and you would like to learn something new this may be the perfect time to do so! Whether you have an old piano in the house that has gathered a layer of dust or a guitar that you once played, there are hundreds of online scores and videos teaching how to read music and play your favourite songs.

Other things you could do would be to learn a new language with free online apps such as Duolingo and or a free BBC language lesson.

Or is there something you've always wanted to learn - from poker to juggling - there will be a video on YouTube to show you how to do it!


Complete an online course or workshop

An online workshop, course or webinar can be a great way to learn something new. The internet is a great resource and offers thousands of online courses ranging from English, Maths, Computing or Speech. Learning an online language such as HTML or JavaScript can be a great career investment. Courses in Microsoft Excel or something more vocational such as Food Hygiene or Marketing are great things to keep you busy! And don't forget that all of our courses are available online - from one-to-one bespoke sessions on effective communication to specifically target your individual needs, to online courses in accent softening - and could help benefit your career and allow you to gain skills and confidence.

3. Take some time out for self care

Taking time off work due to illness or self-isolation can often seem like a major disruption in everyday life and regular routine. However, using the time to look after yourself and promote self-care by sleeping more to allow your body time to rest and recover, being sure to drink lots of water and engaging in high or low impact exercise can help you to de-stress.  

4. Prioritise your mental health

In the hectic and fast-paced lives we lead, we can often neglect our mental health. In uncertain times such as these, anxiety levels can be very high. Try and set aside some time to focus on positivity and to de-stress.  A daily gratitude session - where you write down three things that you are grateful for today - can help you focus on the positives in your life.  To relax and de-stress, you might usually unwind in front of your favourite Netflix series, but if you haven't tried meditating, we highly recommend it.

Light some candles, download the Headspace or Happify apps and you can get started for free. The Yoga Journal also has a great series of free webinar sessions to keep calm and boost your overall wellbeing.

5. Start a blog or create a business plan

Have you always had a business start-up plan that you have never had the chance to put into place? Now is a great time to start putting together a plan to get that off the ground. Whether it is creating an online blog or website (check out Wordpress or Wix for simple ways to set something up today) or compacting your business strategy into a finalised document, now is the perfect time to create your very own dream job in something you are passionate about.  

If you want to chat with like-minded individuals, there are plenty of networking groups around entrepreneurship and small businesses.  Keep an eye out for online events and networking from the likes of Step Up Club, Found & Flourish and Allbright.

6. Write a book

Although this may seem like a daunting challenge at first, writing a book is a brilliant way to put your creative thoughts down and write something you’re passionate about. Whether it’s a fiction book, a non-fiction book or even an autobiography, writing a book in a few is possible with lots of dedication.  With online libraries and resources available, there is plenty of content out there to be researched and written about. National Novel Writing Month (often shortened to NaNoWriMo) is a not-for-profit organisation that encourages people to write a 50,000-word manuscript during the month of November. 

7. Connect with loved ones

For those under the same roof, it's a great opportunity to spend more quality time together as a family. Aren't we always wishing for that when we're snowed under with work? So switch off your phones and computers and get connected.  Dust off the old board games and find the deck of cards.  Start a family project together - sorting out old photos, or the dreaded cupboard under the stairs. 

In time of crisis it is important to rely on loved ones for support and ensure we are all looking out for each other. Keep connected with friends and family members regularly using Skype or WhatsApp video to chat. Some will need more support than others, and now is a time for solidarity and hope.

8. Listen to podcasts

It's your choice to have them on as you potter about and get on with something else, or sit down and really listen. However you choose to listen, people talking about their real lives is always a key point for learning something interesting about the world.

Podcast recommendations

  • Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith: Manifest the life of your dreams
  • Wayne Dyer: The art of manifestation
  • Jeff Weiner: Leading with compassion
  • Brene Brown: Rising strong
  • Dr Maya Angelou - 9 words that changed her life (an incredible woman and insight into her life)
  • Amy Purdy - The power of visualisation (really moving story of one young woman's courage and strength)
  • Holly Tucker: Conversations on Inspiration
    • Julie Dean - Cambridge Satchell Company
    • Annoushka Ducas MBE - Links of London
    • Rowan Gormley - Naked Wines
    • Veronica Dearly - illustrations
    • Richard Reed - founder of Innocent smoothies
    • Wilfred Emmanuel Jones - truly inspirational

9. Try journaling

Journaling and goal setting is a great way to get your targets in place, planning for the next year, five years and ten years. Start with this exercise:

Write down 10 things that make you smile. Then find a red, orange and green pen and mark each one according to how much attention you're giving it right now - green for lots, red for not enough! For each red one, write an action to make sure you do it. Cue a happier, refuelled you!

10. Have a clear out

For many of us, there's nothing more satisfying than a deep clean. Grab a bag, go through your wardrobe and drawers, and create a pile of clothes and items that can go to your local charity shop when you're out of isolation - no one likes a hoarder! Once you've cleared away the bumph and got the drawers looking tidy, give your house or flat a deep clean.

Clearing out can be a virtual activity too - go through your email inbox and make sure it's categorised into folders, and that no one has been left unanswered. Reward yourself with a cuppa and a Netflix series afterwards!

11. Release your inner interior designer

Being forced to spend time at home is a great opportunity to start a little house project. Whether it's ordering a print or photo you've always wanted to have on your wall, painting the lounge or repotting your house plants, these little touches will contribute to long term happiness and fulfilment. 

12. Remember tough times can bring silver linings

Now this isn’t to say this is going to be easy. It’s not. It’s horrid hearing about empty and struggling restaurants or companies collapsing or knowing that it is the eldest and most fragile who are also most vulnerable. But being sad doesn't help and there are already beautiful moments. A connectivity, a sense of kindness, a concern for people and a willingness to show it. Take every opportunity to show your loved ones how much they mean to you. Check in with distant family members, be more present with those closest to you, buy a book and set yourself an intention of reading it for at least ten minutes every day. 

We hope these twelve activities provide you with some respite during isolation. If you'd like to speak to a member of our team, call us on 020 3137 6323.

We pride ourselves on our simple, intuitive and accessible tools, that have a touch of creative magic. Why not sign up to our regular newsletter  - which is packed full of tips that you can use the very same day, ideas that will resonate and we hope, delight.

Are You Keeping Busy to Avoid Your Feelings?

Have you ever asked yourself, “why am I always so busy?” If so, there may be something — or some feelings — you’re avoiding.

If you feel the need to be busy all the time, you’re not alone.

A Pew Research survey from 2018 found that 6 in 10 adults in the United States said they feel too busy to enjoy life sometimes, and over 1 in 10 said they feel that way all of the time.

The reason for being overly busy is different for everybody. For some, it’s a coping mechanism. The key is checking in to see whether staying busy is making things better or worse for you.

We spoke to Dr. Cheyenne Bryant — psychology expert, renowned life coach, and president of a San Pedro branch of the NAACP — to find out more.

Staying busy isn’t all bad. In fact, it can sometimes be a good thing.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) even recommends “staying active” as a healthy way to cope after traumatic events.

And, a 2016 study on adults ages 50 to 89 found that greater busyness was associated with “better processing speed, working memory, episodic memory, reasoning, and crystallized knowledge.”

According to Bryant, “staying busy can make you feel better, especially if it results in productivity.”

“Being productive releases endorphins known as “happy” hormones, and this experience can leave you feeling empowered and confident while creating positive momentum,” Bryant explains. “Staying busy can also help with reprogramming your mind by distracting yourself from negative thoughts and replacing them with positive busy actions.”

However, there’s a thin line between staying busy for the sake of productivity and avoiding your feelings. The latter may be detrimental to your well-being, which you may want to keep an eye out for.

“Avoided behavior suppresses your unwanted feelings resulting in a buildup of emotions that can manifest into anger, frustration, resentment, isolation, and many other unhealthy mental states,” explains Bryant. “You can only internalize for so long before it affects your mental and physical health.”

There are several signs of staying busy to avoid your emotions. These may also be subtle signs of depression. According to Dr. Bryant, look out for the following:

  1. Anytime you begin to have feelings, you dive into staying busy.
  2. Upon stopping your busyness, your feelings immediately return, leaving you sad or hopeless.
  3. You find yourself feeling angry, frustrated, short-tempered, or anxious.
  4. You no longer have time to take care of yourself or slow down.
  5. You find other people commenting on your busyness and asking if you’re okay.
  6. Your schedule is completely full with no wiggle room for anything else.
  7. You feel burned out or exhausted because of your packed schedule.
  8. It’s been ages since you’ve checked in with yourself.

Do some of those signs feel familiar? If so, that may be a good thing, because awareness is the first step to improvement.

If you find yourself using busyness as a coping mechanism, consider calling a close friend or loved one to ask for their support in accessing your emotions. You don’t have to do this alone.

But if you don’t have a safe space to turn to, Bryant recommends journaling or recording your emotions. “Once you’ve poured out your emotions, take self-inventory on how you feel and want to feel,” says Bryant. “The goal is to get out what’s been suppressed.”

Other ways to create space to address your feelings are:

  • making time to spend time outdoors
  • starting to note how you feel throughout the day
  • making rest or “me time” a priority in your schedule
  • trying a guided meditation specifically for busy people
  • asking yourself, what do I need to feel taken care of?

Suppose you’ve done your self-inventory, taken “me time,” and still find yourself feeling sad or returning to busyness to relieve anxiety, sadness, or depression. In that case, your next step could be to contact a mental health professional. Psych Central’s How to Find Mental Health Support resource may help.

Remember, busyness isn’t always bad.

But if you’re not feeling well or feeling unlike yourself, it may be time to check in and see if your busyness is a sign of something else. Step by step, you can find a schedule that feels good.

And know that, no matter which step you take, every step is progress.

30 ways to make the most of your time when you're bored

Are you bored? Sometimes everyone gets bored, and many do not know what to do with themselves when there is nothing to do at all. Sometimes, overcome by boredom, people completely fall into despair.

But don't be afraid! Here you will find 30 ways to entertain yourself that will drive away boredom. Do not waste precious moments given by life. Do something fun! When terrible boredom overcomes, just scroll through this page and soon you will be absorbed in fun and worthwhile business! nine0003

So here are 30 things to do if you're bored . Also take a look at the article 10 best and romantic ideas for spending time in the summer.

1. Learn a new language.

The acquired knowledge can be useful in many situations. For example, you are going on a trip or just want to play a trick on your friends. Once you start, it's impossible to stop.

Well, stop hanging around and arrange yourself a foreign language lesson. Over time, you will become fluent in it, and all because you managed to overcome boredom and do something really interesting! nine0003

2. Write a screenplay or a book

Even if you don't know anything about writing, it's still fun to spend your free time on a hobby that can also generate income! Write a novel, a comedy, a compelling screenplay, or a book, and when you're done, give your work to someone else to read the manuscript or, if necessary, edit your writing.

There are many places where you can post your own creations and even earn some money from them. You might be interested in the article 10 best ways to make money without leaving home. nine0003

3. Make a collage of photos with family and friends

It's so great that you have memories of really important events of the past! If you have a bunch of old photos lying around, why not make a collage of memories out of them?

4. Plan a little trip

It's fun to take a trip or outing into the countryside, but planning it can be a daunting task. When there is nothing to do, consider an exciting pastime on the weekend with friends, they will definitely thank you for it. nine0003

5. Go for a run

Playing sports is always good, but very often it can't fit into a busy schedule. So, if you are bored or just don't know what to do with your free time - go for a run . This will help you stay in shape and will very likely become a regular hobby soon.

6. Start selling lemonade

Do you remember when you were a child standing on your front lawn and offering lemonade to passers-by? Do not even think that you are too old for this now! Donate the proceeds from the sale to charity and feel like you've done something truly important. nine0003

7. Make a list of life goals

In striving for a better life, it is always good to have a reference point, this will help you achieve what you want. So when you have nothing to do, start making a list like this and see how life takes turns that you could not imagine.

8. Learn to surf

Everyone loves the sea, so why not take up a sport that is an essential part of this element? Surfing is a useful physical exercise and a great hobby that can change your life! nine0003

9. Play bingo

Think bingo is not for you? It's just because you haven't won yet! If you are bored, play bingo and maybe luck will be on your side.

10. Update your phone book

Have you made new friends or lost old ones? Whatever it is, it never hurts to update your phone book! When there's nothing else to do, put your phone numbers in order. Believe me, after this, not only your book will be updated, but also you yourself. nine0003

11. Babysit

Babysitting people are always needed, whether it's for a member of your own family or a friend. If you can look after children, even if only for a short time, then do it! The advantage will be the opportunity to earn some pocket money. It is worth noting that the nanny is included in the rating of 10 professions that will allow you to travel.

12. Make a home video

YouTube is a goldmine that has changed the lives of many people. If you have a good sense of humor or have an interesting idea for a home video, then how about getting together with your friends and making a video? And when it's ready, place it on YouTube and wait for a hundred views. Glory itself will knock on your door!

13. Come up with your own recipe

Boredom strikes quite often, so every time it happens, make a new recipe. After a while, you will have your own cookbook! You might be interested in the article 6 tips on how to become a culinary specialist in a month.

14. Learn new words

Expanding your vocabulary will never waste your time. So learn new words and use them in everyday life! nine0003

15. Learn a dance with friends suitable for any occasion

Dancing will energize you, make you feel good and keep you in shape. So turn on your favorite music and create a universal dance, suitable for both a friendly party and dances at charity events. Also check out 10 Health Benefits of Dancing.

16. Write a song

Do you like to sing? Or maybe you want to dedicate a song to a specific person? Then go ahead, there is nothing to be bored and beat the buckets! And if you want your work to see the light of day, you can send it to a professional producer for consideration! nine0003

17. Plan a trip around the world

The world is so big, why not make a plan of the places you want to visit? Of course, it will take time to accumulate funds for such a trip, but nothing prevents you from planning a trip right now! Don't forget to read the article 10 Travel Mistakes.

18. Recycle your old clothes

If your wardrobe is full of things that you no longer intend to wear, then try to find a use for them! Cut, resew, add buttons or recolor them. And if you don’t like old clothes at all, then maybe it will come in handy for someone else. Use the opportunity to earn some money by selling it on Ebay! nine0003

19. Make a pen pal

Finding pen pals is a lot of fun and also gives you the opportunity to make a friend for life. If you have an account on the site to find pen pals, you can meet new interesting people, coloring moments of boredom with fun.

20. Master calligraphy

Many people dream of learning the art of calligraphy, because the ability to write in a clear, beautiful handwriting will make your letters 10 times more attractive. Drive away boredom by mastering this art and surprise your family and friends with the results! nine0003

21. Put as many grapes in your mouth as you can.

Yes, it's stupid, but a lot of fun. And who knows, maybe you use this trick to surprise your friends at a party.

22. Write down 10 things you like about someone.

Fill out a list of 10 favorite features that you appreciate most in your acquaintances, and then show the sheet to the person you wrote about. This way you will do something nice for yourself and others.

23. Paint your face with special paints

Buy a set of paints that you can use to make drawings and makeup, and try them on yourself and friends. If you're good at it, you can earn some money by making patterns and painting faces regularly!

24. Learn how to do magic tricks

Who doesn't love magic tricks? By learning one trick every time you get bored, you will soon become a real magician!

25. Clean the whole house or just the bedroom

There is nothing better than the feeling that your life is clean and tidy. Often while cleaning, we find things that we had completely forgotten about. So go ahead! Stop messing around, start cleaning!

26. Make a jar of sand

Go down to the beach and collect some sand. Color it with food coloring or regular paints, then pour the sand into the jar, layering the colors. As a result, you will receive a great gift!

27. Go on a picnic! nine0013

You can organize a picnic in nature or cook something for friends at home if the weather is not as good as you would like. This is a great way to spend time with a friendly conversation, and at the same time demonstrate your culinary skills.

28. Get involved in a project that needs volunteer work

Today, many countries need volunteers who can lend a helping hand in bringing about change for the better.

29. Create a holiday album

Pass it on to friends or family who are going on vacation and ask them to attach photos and descriptions of their travels to it. In the end, you will have an amazing album with memories of various picturesque corners of the planet.

30. Gather a Survival Kit

You never know when you might need it, which is why you need this kit! Include things like band-aids, glue, paper napkins, and anything else you might need to survive a dangerous situation. nine0003

See also:

Everything can be treated with humor. What kind of sleepy houses are we, couch potatoes? What to do with it and how to find the answer will help you video 10 ways not to be bored at home.

Things to do at home. 80 exciting, enjoyable and rewarding activities

May 1, 2022 Likbez Relaxation

It just seems that staying at home is boring.

Print this list, cut it into narrow strips with one item each, and put them in a box or jar. When you get bored at home, just pull out any note at random - and act according to the plan. nine0003

1. Dance. To your favorite music, of course!

2. Test the new game. For example, Morphite or Alto's Odyssey.

3. Watch all episodes of Game of Thrones in one fell swoop. If enough weekends, of course.

4. Take a lot of selfies, choose the best and update avatars in instant messengers and social networks.

5. Try on all the current clothes, putting together a few stylish looks.

6. Move furniture to freshen up the interior. Any changes in the surrounding space benefit brain cells, improve memory and mood. nine0003

7. Make a plank.

8. Discover new music. You can search for it in as many as 40 different ways. Try it and you will understand how many great songs you have not heard yet!

9. Rhyme everything that you see around, even if it is "cat - cattle. " Perhaps you will have a poem! It's also a great brain workout.

10. Compose and beautifully design a crossword puzzle.

11. Explore a site you like and get ideas from it. Dig deep! nine0003

12. Start your own blog or Telegram channel.

13. Get lost on Pinterest. What to pair your new pencil skirt with, how to spend your child's first birthday - millions of ideas await you for every taste!

14. Build your own private Pinterest page by saving ideas that interest you.

15. Take a bubble bath with a few drops of your favorite aromatic oil.

16. Arrange a spa at home: with face and hair masks, hand bath and heel brush. nine0003

17. Prepare and slowly, savoring every sip, drink cocoa or perfect hot chocolate.

18. Give yourself a massage.

19. Start reading a book about travel, space, or magic.

20. Turn on a light relaxing film - about something good and without unnecessary frills.

21. Thoughtfully fill an anti-stress coloring book with all possible colors.

22. Start painting by numbers.

23. Practice yoga. All you need is some floor space and a rug (although a rug will do).

24. Seduce a partner.

25. Learn to meditate.

26. Take a nap.

27. Sit in front of the window with a cup of coffee and watch passers-by, leaves and clouds. Feel happy.

28. Spend the whole day on the couch and not worry about it a bit.

29. Read the instructions for household appliances and finally figure out how to make a double latte in a cool new coffee maker. nine0003

30. Cook something interesting according to the recipe of some culinary guru. Or master express dishes that take no more than 5 minutes. Or finally cook the best borscht in your life.

31. Clean your computer and smartphone from unnecessary applications.

32. Start listening to podcasts: educational or entertaining.

33. Choose an interesting online course and listen to it.

34. View photos and videos stored in the smartphone's memory. Remove redundant. nine0003

35. Update software on laptop and gadgets. Make sure you have the latest OS and antivirus installed.

36. Take pictures of unnecessary things and post them on Avito.

37. Go to Avito and look there for a thing you have been thinking about buying for a long time. Find an inexpensive ideal option, order.

38. Go through the closet and put things in a bag that you can then give to those in need.

39. Dismantle the first-aid kit, leaving only the necessary and not expired in it. nine0003

40. Make a unique interior decoration with your own hands. Lots of ideas and instructions.

41. Start keeping a personal diary.

42. Make a list of goals for the next month, six months, year.

43. Update and expand your resume with hacks that can double your salary.

44. Update your profile on a dating site. If you are registered there, of course.

45. Make a facial massage.

46. Explore Wikipedia. Fall down the "rabbit hole" for a while: follow the links inside the article that interests you, expanding your knowledge of the issue more and more. nine0003

47. Set up a mini vegetable garden on the windowsill: in a couple of weeks you will have your own organic greenery.

48. Prepare office lunches in advance, divide them into portions and place in the refrigerator.

49. Clean up. For example, according to the Japanese principles of kaizen.

50. Shine a bathroom.

51. Wash windows.

52. List the pros and cons of a task that you think about a lot. Whether to have children? Should I buy a car? Go on vacation abroad or within the country? nine0003

53. Assemble an emergency case in case of an emergency.

54. Wash and clean combs and makeup brushes.

55. Learn how to tie a tie or scarf in a dozen stylish ways.

56. Recall an old friend with whom you have not communicated for a long time and send him a message in a messenger or voice mail.

57. Write a letter (real paper!) to grandparents. Tell everything about yourself, your life and how you love your recipients. nine0003

58. Write short messages to your loved one on small pieces of paper so that you can slip them discreetly into his pockets and bag later.

59. Take colored paper, scissors, glue and make some greeting cards for friends and family for the coming holidays. Lifehacker wrote about homemade gifts for February 23 and March 8. But the ideas are so good that they can be used all year round.

60. Make (and write down, so as not to forget!) a list of gifts that will please your loved ones. nine0003

61. Watch TV shows with your friends that perfectly match your mood. Don't forget to order pizza!

62. Talk with a partner about joint plans and goals and be sure to agree on the dates of the next adventure.

63. Meet a friend. Make each other cool hairstyles.

64. Play board games with friends or children.

65. Teach your friends card tricks or surprise them with simple tricks based on the laws of physics. nine0003

66. Compete: who can fold the furthest-flying paper airplane? Anything can be used for aircraft construction: from office paper to old magazines and newspapers.

67. Together with someone, begin to assemble a huge puzzle of a thousand pieces.

68. Give your partner a foot massage.

69. Fortune telling. For example, take the thickest book and invite friends to name the page and line number, and then read the prediction together. Or make magic cookies. nine0003

70. Take plenty of pictures with friends.

71. Blow soap bubbles.

72. Make a new bed, toy or scratching post for your pet. Lifehacker has already collected instructions.

73. Together with your children, write a letter to your family in the future. Hide it in a time capsule and promise to open it and read it in a year.

74. Make a clear joint plan with the children on how you will spend your summer holidays or the next weekend. Choose movies on the websites of the nearest cinemas, book a ticket, plan an itinerary…

75. Snuggle the little ones, arrange pillow fights (it's nice, and such memories will remain in children for a long time).

76. Finally go in for sports. Have you been dreaming of tightening your stomach or buttocks for a long time?