Variety is the spice of life — and it’s a rare spice indeed during lockdown. While the early novelty of lockdown involved ambitious plans to take up yoga, bake sourdough, and finally conquer the Russian Novelists, lockdown in late 2021 is a very different beast. You need to take care of yourself, and not set expectations too high. Try these five fun activities that don’t require too much effort (and preserve that energy for what we hope is a wonderful Summer!)
Forget Podcasts, Give Audiobooks A Go
Undoubtedly, this late in lockdown we’ve all overdosed on podcasts, the radio, even our beloved 80s Spotify Mix. Some individuals are also finding that after a day of zoom meetings and staring at the screen, they’re not willing to crack into that tome on the bedside table that they had planned to read this lockdown. Split the difference and try something new by cracking into an audiobook. For example, Amazon’s Audible offers a free 30 day trial, including a free audiobook, allowing you to trial their service and see if audiobooks are for you. Listening to a novel (whether it’s something new, or an old favourite) is a great way of spicing up your daily exercise or even the boring chores around the house. The app is compatible with all brands of smartphone, and can also be accessed through your laptop.
Get A Group For The Good Weekend Quiz (Online!)
Anyone who’s ever done a group zoom call or dinner realises that terrible moment, about ten or fifteen minutes in, when a sudden heavy silence reigns. People want to talk, but they’ve run out of material. They want to be there: but what to discuss? That’s where the Good Weekend Quiz comes in. Available for free each week through their Instagram the quiz is a quick and easy activity for a fun, fast call with friends. Earjobs top tip: invent your own scoring, allocate points for best fact, give half points if you’re kind of right. We average 30 out of 25 each week — can you beat our score?
Take A Virtual Vacation (With a competitive twist)
The last two years haven’t been the best for the Wanderlust inside of us, with many Aussies accruing more leave than they know what to do with! One fun and online alternative is to take a virtual vacation with a geographical guessing game. Our picks? City Guesser and GeoGuessr. In these games, you’re randomly dropped in a city and — relying on only what you can see on the screen — must try and figure out where in the world you are. City Guesser’s Australia game is a great opportunity to explore our own country (top hint: most of the answers are within 300m of Rundle Mall) whereas GeoGuessr is the more professional of the two. If you practice enough, you can even challenge the professionals in GeoGuessr’s Pro League.
Try a Social Media Detox
Okay, okay, hear us out. We know it’s boring. We know it’s long. But have you noticed your screen time climbing perilously high since the start of lockdown? For many Australians, the ceaseless exposure to doom and gloom in the news headlines as well as the FOMO that comes from seeing friends in other states and countries can be an ongoing source of grief or frustration. So, limit your exposure. Setting a few hours aside each day as phone and laptop free times can be a great opportunity to mentally re-set. Often, you can also achieve the same outcome by just disconnecting from the WiFI. Listen to a podcast, an album, or an audiobook — just don’t let yourself get sucked back into social media. A social media detox doesn’t just have to be permanent cold turkey, it can be a few days a week or even just an hour. Our recommendation is you try and ‘log off’ about an hour before going to bed. We have an extensive guide detailing how this could improve your sleep cycle, and with it your overall health and wellbeing, here.
Take A Strange or New Walk
For most Australians under lockdown, the only reasonable physical activity possible is a walk around our neighbourhood. Almost all of us can indicate the most beautiful walk near us: often to a park, a particularly nice street, or just somewhere quiet. To avoid this becoming too much of a repetition, it’s important to seek out new variety. The website KM From Home is a great resource in these times. It identifies exactly where you live, as well as where you can go under current health restrictions. Using this as a basis, you’re much better able to determine the exact parameters of your possible walks — and often, this will introduce you to new or undiscovered possibilities for interesting walking routes. In COVID, committing to one new walk each day on your lunch break or in the afternoon can be a great way of getting some fresh air, clearing the head, and also restoring that all-important feeling of novelty. For individuals looking to exercise with their friends, it’s also a crucial tool for determining who you overlap with.
Nobody likes lockdown — and the social and emotional costs are significant. While early lockdown emphasised new activities, epitomised by bread shortages Australia wide, at this stage we just want chilled activities that can help us get through the day. If you’ve found any great pastimes for this lockdown, let us know with an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.