The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire)
Great ideas to help you make the most of your time
For the next few weeks or months, we may be spending more time at home than we are used to.
Watching television or DVDs is fine for a while, as is listening to music, but without something to stimulate the mind, you may soon get bored.
Here’s a few suggestions to help you pass away the time:
Look through those old photographs you have stashed away and sort them into albums.
They’ll bring back lots of happy memories and you’ll get a laugh, especially at the outfits you thought were dead trendy at the time. And here’s a radical thought... De-clutter the pictures on your mobile phone, and if there’s any you really like, print them.
Most people will have books they’ve been “meaning to read for ages”. Now’s your chance. Alternatively, there’s a huge variety of talking/audio books available online as well as books which can be downloaded.
You could even set up an online book club with your chums.
Choose a book you can all read then organise a video conference call to discuss.
Old-style board games are always fun but you can also play lots of games with dice.
Beetle, for example, just requires one dice plus a piece of paper and pencil for each player.
1 = the body; 2 = the head; 3 = a leg; 4 = an eye; 5 = a feeler; 6 = the tail.
Each player throws the dice once, and needs to throw a 1 to begin.
To complete the full beetle you’ll need one body, one head, two feelers, two eyes, six legs and a tail, with each part counting as one point.
The winner is the one who draws the full beetle first and gets a score of 13 points.
All the other players take a note of their score and the game continues until you’re fed up or have reached a pre-arranged total (eg 52, 104, etc).
If the kids are going stir-crazy, there’s one game that can literally stop them in their tracks...
Line them up and challenge them to walk from one side of the room, or along a hallway, for example, and back but as slowly as possible in a straight line.
If they slow down, stop, or change direction, they have to go back to the beginning and start again.
Add an extra layer of difficulty by getting them to balance a cushion or book on their heads.
CRAFTS AND SKILLS
It’s a good time to share any basic skills you have and pass them on to youngsters in the family. For example, how to sew on a button, how to knit, even how to wash dishes properly or iron a shirt. Home-baking is fun, while showing children how to cook simple dishes, such as scrambled eggs, is something we should all be able to do.
Don’t become a couch potato, but think of your home as a mini gym instead.
If you have stairs, and are fit enough, run up and down them for, say, five minutes non-stop, a couple of times a day. Or, use the bottom steps to do gym-style step exercises.
Try a spot of weight-lifting using objects found around the house, such as an old plastic bottle filled with water, tins of beans, etc.
Use chairs to do sit-ups and the floor to do push-ups.
The NHS website has a great 10-minute cardio workout you can do at home that will help you burn calories, lose weight and keep fit.
SING YOUR HEART OUT
Scenes of Italians standing on their balconies singing was hugely uplifting. British choirmaster Gareth Malone has created a “digital choir” that will give everyone who is unable to leave their home during these hard times an outlet to sing.
Gareth said: “Not since the First World War and the Spanish flu outbreak have we been forced to stop coming together physically in order to share the gift of music with one another. Whether we like it or not, this pandemic will change the way we work, the way we make music and the way we value community – why not make it be a change for the better?”