Oh no! Twenty-one days of lockdown!  Now what?  No gathering with friends, no Saturday morning parkrun.  Self-isolation seems impossible to survive.  Slouching on the couch is only appealing for a while.  With no live sports events taking place, the thought of the rerun of the 2014 Men’s Wimbledon final suddenly seems less appealing.

You are desperate to be doing SOMETHING but WHAT?

I’ve put together a list of things you can do.  I can assure you that it will make social incarceration a bit more bearable.

Choose A Savings Goal 

Think of something you’d like to save up for. Set a short-and long-term goal and specify the time in which you want to achieve it.  

Create Your Survival Budget

Compile a worst-case scenario budget for when disaster strikes, like losing your job. You need nerves of steel for this but it is a great thing to have.

Create Your Financial Goals

Make a list of everything you want to achieve financially, like buying a house, retirement, a new car, etc.  This is the first step in achieving your goal.  Consult your financial planner.

Create or Update your Monthly Budget

If you don’t tell your money where to go, it will go everywhere (except where it should!)

Track What You Spent Last Month

When tracking everything you’ve spent your money on for just a month, you will be surprised at how much money you spend on unnecessary things.

Keep all your receipts for one month and list everything in their categories, eg.

  • Entertainment
  • Clothing
  • Children
  • Eating out
  • Beauty treatments
  • Unsures or Don’t Knows

Make the necessary adjustments to make your budget balance.

Unsubscribe Your Email

Now is the ideal time to unsubscribe from those “nice-to-have” newsletters that you never read.  It is also a good time to delete obsolete emails and empty your Trash folder.

Take An Online Course

The internet is flooded with free online courses.  Choose a subject that interests you and expand your knowledge.

Organise Personal Documents

We all have “that” drawer or “that” corner of the desk where personal paperwork accumulates.  Get your paperwork together (ID copies, tax returns, insurance information), put them neatly in a file so you can find them easily.

Organise Your Online Presence

Every photo you’ve very uploaded is permanently available for friends and family to see.  It is also available for prospective employers who check Facebook profiles before hiring you.  Take this time to delete any unwanted or unsavoury pictures.

Backup Your Computer & Organise your Laptop

Backup your computer to an external hard drive or the cloud.  Declutter your folders and desktop by removing unused documents from it.

Turn Your Hobby Into An Income

Many hobbies have the potential to earn you extra money. Do some research and evaluate if your hobby can do that for you.  Don’t have a hobby?  No problem!  You will find a lot of inspiration on Pinterest.  But don’t say I didn’t warn you, Pinterest is addictive.

Organise your house and garage in preparation of a Jumble Sale

If you haven’t used it in six months, chances are that you no longer need it.  Set a date for your Jumble Sale and advertise it in your neighbourhood.  Anything that is not sold, donate to charity.

Investigate options to work from home

If working from home sounds appealing, spend time investigating the different options that may be available to you.

Clean Your Own House and Do Some Gardening

When your domestic helpers are casual employees and now you have to do your housework and gardening yourself, you will appreciate them more after this.

Create A Loadshedding Kit

Get all the essentials together for when next we have loadshedding and put it in one place.  This includes solar lamps, candles and matches.

Revamp Your First Aid Kit

Clean out your first aid kit.  Throw away old disinfectant, antiseptic ointment, plasters and the like. Create a basic first aid kit and keep it somewhere where it is easily accessible.

Clean Your Fridge

Nothing attracts smears and droplets as fridges do.  Take everything out and give all the shelves and boxes a good wipe down.  Get rid of old foodstuffs.

Organise Your Closet

Rid closets of all the clothes you no longer wear, no longer want or that no longer fits.  Include it in your Jumble Sale pile or donate it to charity.

Organise “That” Drawer

We all have that one drawer filled with all sorts of nicknacks!  Take 10 minutes to clean it out, be unemotional and ruthless!

Clean Your Jewellery

Jewellery, whether it’s the real deal or a costume fashion item, it tarnishes and fades with time. Give them a clean and shine them up to look like new.

Plan a Vegetable Garden

A veggie garden does not have to be big.  Pots are ideal for growing vegetables in small gardens and patios.

Finish Your Craft Projects

We all start a project with the best of intentions and then we either lose interest or run out of time. Now is the time to finish those projects.

Learn A New Skill by Researching A New Project

Learn a new skill by researching DIY projects.  Again, you will find lots of cool ideas on Pinterest.

Rearrange Your Furniture

Tired of the same old TV lounge?  Move the furniture around to create a new look.  You can also “borrow” furniture from other rooms to create a unique look.

Change Your Photos

Update the photos in your frames, it will give your room a fresh look! Go through the photos on your cellphone and pick the most recent ones.

Create A Favorite Recipes Folder

Take your favourite recipes from different books and collate them into one folder.

Try Out New Recipes

Try a recipe from your favourite celebrity chefs like Anna Olson, Mary Berry or Jamie Oliver.

Take 5 Ingredients And Think Outside The Box

Who doesn’t love Masterchef?  Think outside the box! Choose just 5 ingredients from your grocery cupboard and create a meal. For inspiration, look at Jamie Oliver’s 5 Ingredients Quick & Easy Cookbook.

Plan Your Next Holiday

Look for places you’ve never been or always wanted to go; it doesn’t have to be expensive.  Try to find the cheapest and most obscure location and look for interesting things to do.

Train Your Brain

Spend 10 minutes a day and do some brain training. Memory games and Soduko are great choices.


Set 20 minutes a day aside for meditation.  You can download some apps or find help on YouTube.

Phone A Distant Relative

We often forget that social media is not always accessible to elderly relatives.  Pick up the phone and call them; I bet they will appreciate your effort.

Spend Quality Talking Time With Your Spouse and Children

Modern lives are so busy, we hardly get a chance to ask “how was your day?” before we set off on our next quest.  Add a TV, cell phones and the internet to the equation and you have a recipe for a divorce.

Switch off all the distractions and spend quality time with your loved ones.

Have A Lunch Date With Your Child

When was the last time you spent quality time with your child without doing something else like cooking, driving or checking your phone? Have a lunch date with your child, talk to them and make them feel special, they will love it!

Teach Your Dog A Trick

Teach your dog a new trick. He will be happy and you will get some exercise.

Create A Vision Board Of Future Dreams

A vision board is a beautiful way of creating a visual picture of your future dreams. Paste your favourite destinations, colours, and anything that is important to you.  Put it up and look at it every day.

Create or Update Your Bucket List

Bucket lists are the perfect tool to plan your goals and achieve them in a very specific time-frame. Most people create bucket lists of things to achieve before a significant birthday e.g. 30, 40 or 50.

Once created, you can tick off the things as you achieved it.

Watch TEDTalk on YouTube

Looking for bite-sized information to consider and think about?  Then TEDTalks is for you! 

Start A Journal

A journal is a great way to record thoughts, feelings and loves.  You can find lots of inspiration on Pinterest.

Draw A Picture

Everyone can draw, all it takes is some practice! Drawing is free!

Read A Book

How often do you get time to sit and read a book?  A good time to read the book you’ve been meaning to is now!  Make a list of books you want to read and download them.

Build A Puzzle

Puzzle times are fun times!  If you don’t have one, borrow one from your neighbour.

Give Yourself A Manicure

Set up a spa corner in a quiet area in your house or garden.  A DYI manicure costs nothing! Pamper your hands, clean, moisturise and shape your nails.  Add a pretty nail varnish if you want!

Now that you have a few ideas, which ones are you going to start first?

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