Wow! Lockdown 2 can be pretty dull. There’s a lot less sitting in the sunshine and a lot more staring at the rain. I had great plans for the first lockdown. I was going to learn the piano, get fit, sort out the garage and decorate the whole house. My expectations soon lowered to getting dressed and battling kids with homeschooling. And it left me feeling rubbish, bored and miserable. I’d failed to be productive, I wasn’t doing anything fun and I had nothing to look forward to. Sound familiar? This time I have a plan…
1. Timing is key
“What day is it again?” Lockdown has stolen our routine. In our house, Tuesdays I did pilates, on Thursdays Adam had ballet and we were catching up with friends on Saturday. Not any more! Now its ‘Wednesday is bin day’ and that’s your lot. Lockdown doesn’t have to steal your schedule, you just need a new (and manageable) one. We have made Tuesday family night. We have a takeaway and we play a games together. Even better, I don’t organise it. The kids decide the food and the game. We’ve played Cluedo, cards and next week we’re stealing an EXIT escape room game from the shop (It’s an escape room in a box and takes a couple of hours to play. Email Alex if you are interested in buying one).
2. TV not Netflix
I’m addicted to box sets. I watch an episode or two night afte
r night until they are all gone. It’s like a box of chocolates, it can’t just go back in the cupboard for another week it needs to be consumed, all at once. But it’s a routine killer! How do I know what day it is if everyday is Netflix day. Grab your remote, have a wander through terrestrial TV and find something to tune into at a set time each week. It could be Strictly Come Dancing, the Great British Bake Off, the soap of your choice. We’re going for the new series of The Northern Lights. We’re not going to watch on replay or binge, we’re going to try and tune in at the right time each week.
3. The art of conversation
‘I’m so bored and I have nothing to talk about!’
That was me moaning to a friend on the phone last week. And I really felt it was true - corona, lockdown, all the things I miss or can’t do - all my conversations are the same and none of them are about anything fun or upbeat. This week we discussed why we love finger food (ri
bs, chicken drumsticks, seafood etc) which seamlessly moved onto my favourite (and only) barnacles fact (largest willies in proportion to their body - always a useful fact to know). It was great! We laughed, we didn’t sigh or moan and we left feeling like we’d had a little break from 2020 monotony.
What did I learn? Have some different topics of conversation. It really doesn’t matter what! Here are a few for you:
If you gave Santa a makeover, what colour would you have him wear?
Would you rather have a pet monkey or a pet kangaroo?
If you could be a character in a TV programme/movie, who would you be?
How early is too early to start on the Christmas chocolates and Baileys? Just asking for a friend ;-)
We have a great game called ‘Sussed’ (no affiliation) that is great for starting conversations.
4. Do something different
We’re all bored of our homes. We’ve decorated and baked and crafted and Netflixed and now we have run out of ideas. What can I do that is different but at home? Well, Sneaky Dog Escapes can help you with this! First up, we have our VR hire. You get over 30 games and experiences delivered to your door and it’s definitely new and different and exciting. We’re introducing a new weekday scheme where you can hire for 2 days at a fantastic price too to bring a buzz to your midweek blues. Next up are our online escape games, such as The Pegasus Project. They make a good evening’s entertainment and best of all you can play alongside friends and family in other houses (you simply all log into the same game at the same time).
5. Self care
I find self care stressful!! What!?!? Last lockdown it just became another thing I hadn’t done. I hadn’t put on a face mask, or painted my nails, or got all zen with some meditation and I felt guilty for not making time for myself! I felt it was another thing to tick off the to do list - empty the dishwasher, hang out the washing, make time for self care.
This time it’s going to be different. My self care is having a cuddle on the sofa, tell jokes with the kids, eat my favourite breakfast, drink a cup of tea before it gets cold. Because I realised self care is about taking a little break from the to do list, not another item on it.
6. Go outside
I’m no gym bunny but I have to take my Sneaky dogs out everyday for a walk. If I didn’t, my bottom would be permanently stuck to the sofa. Even when it’s cold, the outdoors does have some magic feel good properties that really helps pep us up. It’s also one of the few places we’re still allowed. So next time you are stopping work for a cup of tea, make it in a thermal cup, pop on your shoes and have a wander.
7. Get Christmas ready
Sod it! Let’s start Christmas early. Whether you’re a super organised September Christmas shopping or a last minute Christmas eve buyer, lockdown is the perfect time to get into the festive vibe. This year more than ever I’m trying to shop local and support local businesses. For me, I’m all about something to look forward to, so I love activities and experiences. We sell gift vouchers for our virtual reality adventure which make a great treat and a perfect gift to brighten up January!
So, what’s your plan for the rest of lockdown? Let me know in the comments and why not share a great conversation topic too!
Stay safe, stay sneaky, stay smiling