The COVID-19 global pandemic has affected the whole world and billions of lives. At the time of writing millions of people have been infected and more than 1 million have died as a result of the virus. The UK has been one of the worst affected and has suffered from multiple lockdowns of varying severity and huge restrictions.
All the social distancing and self isolation has taken its toll on industry and incomes. Not only this, but it has affected people’s physical and mental health, too. Humans are social creatures and need company and stimulation. Sitting indoors alone for two weeks is not something many would choose or enjoy doing. How can you keep active and entertained during these difficult times?
Keeping to a normal routine as possible is essential to staying mentally healthy so you need to find ways to fill your time. Here are a few ideas for keeping yourself busy and reducing your boredom levels.
Work from home
Even though you are looking for entertainment (and there will be some below) a good way of keeping to a routine is to try to keep working a few hours a day. Not only does this give you a reason to get out of bed but allows you to structure your day and even better, means you have some form of income.
Assuming your regular job doesn’t allow you to work remotely or you have become unemployed because of the pandemic, then you will have to look at other options.
You can be your own boss by hiring out your skills. If you have a talent for writing or graphic design then offer yourself as a freelancer. Writing articles for online magazines can bring in extra cash and maybe even set you on your way for a second career. Alternatively look for remote working jobs online. These can vary but often include work such as data entry, transcribing and proofreading. Salaries differ on experience and what area you are working in.
Become a cook
Never cooked before? Well with the latest UK lockdown now is the perfect time to learn and take up a new hobby. There are literally thousands of online resources to help you start becoming the next Gordon Ramsay in your own home. As long as the pandemic doesn’t cause panic buying again you should be able to get the ingredients you need. If you can’t leave home then use a delivery service from Tesco or another supermarket. YouTube has many cooking channels for beginners or more advanced and there are plenty of recipe websites that can let you explore new cuisines at home. It is easy to neglect your diet through boredom so being able to combine a new hobby with a way to get a (hopefully) tasty meal is a plus.
Do online surveys and play games for cash
There are a number of companies that offer money and other incentives for spending time online so if you enjoy filling out surveys then you can have fun doing this and pick up some pocket money on the side. Testing games is another way you can have a lot of enjoyment while being paid to do something you like. You may have to spend some time looking for these positions as they are very popular.
Online poker, casinos and gambling sites
During the first lockdown online poker boomed and online casinos became more popular than ever and it is easy to see why. Even players who have never visited a traditional casino before started to login to play slots and other casino games like poker or roulette. The online home game scene thrived. There are many apps you can download to your smartphone for free and websites you can visit with lots of different games. You don’t need to play for money either.
There are plenty of free to play games available but if you do sign up as a new player you may receive a casino bonus in the form of free spins or perhaps a cash deposit in your account to play with. There are plenty of sports bookmakers online also so if you are missing your regular visit to the bookies then open an account online to wager on the Premier League. You will need a photo ID and proof of address to start off with but after that everything should be straightforward.
One of the conveniences of online betting or casino games is that there are no opening hours so if you do find yourself out of routine then you can join a poker tournament and play against other people from all around the world anytime you like.
Streaming TV and movies
YouTube has many free clips and in some cases complete episodes and movies that you can watch at home. As long as you have WiFi you will always find something entertaining to watch. The other options are the streaming giants such as Netflix, Amazon and Disney+. These need not be expensive either. If you are worrying about money then first look for free trials.
Periodically all the big services offer some form of free streaming trial to attract a large number of new subscribers. Netflix often gives away a free month of all their UK content for up to four people without any charge. Just remember to cancel before the month is up.
Alternatively if you want to stream movies and reduce the cost then contact a few friends and make a deal where you all pay for a month each. You can have up to four people on one account and take it in turns to pay the subscription.
Naturally, we’d be remiss if we omitted PokerGO, the excellent streaming service that’s home of all the top poker video content from the past, and always with plenty of new, exciting content in the pipeline.
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Other YouTube uses
YouTube isn’t just for funny fails and old comedy clips. You can use this as a resource for entertainment and learning. There are classes online for cooking, learning a new language, yoga, gaming guides and plenty more. Think what it is you want to do with your time in lockdown and search the net and YouTube for ways to do it.
For once, saying you have no time is no excuse. The problem in lockdown and self isolation is that there is too much time. Try and work out a daily routine and mix up online entertainment with some exercise at home, learn a new recipe or start learning a new language. Alternatively just kick back, switch on Netflix or PokerGO, play Fortnite or log in to a casino site and play craps and slots for fun or money.