7 Things To Do In Lockdown

The latest government roadmap aims to have us returning to almost normal in another few months all going well. That means there are still plenty of things to do in lockdown while you have the time.

Its been a long year in and out of lockdowns. Some people have been forced to learn new things, adapt or re-skill while others have simply had to wait. If you’ve been furloughed or paid self employed grants to do your part you have actually had an opportunity that’s unlikely to be repeated (well we hope not). i.e. Big chunks of time without the need to worry much about making a living are pretty much unheard of in modern life. 

It would be a real shame to come away from this weird reset or paused time empty handed. Much better to look and say “Well at least I did this…”.  Here are 7 things to do in lockdown to usufully fill the next couple of months. 7 things worth doing in lockdown.

7 Things Worth Doing In Lockdown

  1. Make Beer, Cider or Wine.
7 things to do in lockdown. Image of a glass of home made beer - one of the things you could do in lockdown

My list of things to do in lockdown are in no particular order. The first couple are definitely easy. I started making my own beer just before Covid19 reared it”s ugly head. I’d made cider once before – a few bottles from an unusually good yield our single apple tree provided one year. It was good enough to inspire me to use some Christmas money to buy a basic home brew kit. 

Whether you make beer, cider or wine, the basics are much the same: A big fermentation tub, a few accesories, some ingredients and something to store the finished product in. Since I was going to make beer I added some re-usable plastic half litre bottles to my shopping list.

As with any hobby, you can get as serious with homebrewing as you like. You can upgrade your equipment, ingredients and skills over time but the simplest way to start is with a kit. In the case of beer that consists of a can of concentrate, yeast, a bag of sugar and some water. You basically bung those into your big tub and make sure the lid is on nice and tight. Then it’s just a matter of waiting. After the recommended time and a few quick tests you can syphon it into your bottles. After a big more waiting (patience pays dividends here folks) its ready to drink. 

Essentially making beer involves a bit of work to start with: sterilising everything, mixing syrup, sugar and yeast and water together. There’s a bit more work when it comes time to bottle with weeks of simply waiting in between. So what else could you be doing meantime? Read on.

I get all my supplies at Brew2bottle

Change Your Life In Lockdown

2. Make Your Own Bread

7 things to do in lockdown - a person proudly holds a loaf of home made bread

Seemingly making bannana bread was a very popular thing to do in lockdown one for many. Remember the early days of the first lockdown when panic buying led to some supermarket shelves being empty? Pasta, canned tomatoes and toilet rolls were the first items to be stockpiled. Flour soon followed. Not because of a flour shortage but because lots of people started making their own every day (and bannana) bread. Flour distributors more used to selling in bulk to resturants and bakeries soon ran out of their alloted I kg bags for domestic use. 

Anyway if you didn’t start making your own then maybe you could now. The basic ingredients are plentiful once more and its a very satisfying thing to do in lockdown. I started making bread some years back in an attempt to get something close to the amazing stuff the french take for granted. I’m not there yet but its been a delicious journey and in recent years saved many a visit to the shops and a few quid too. 

Like home brewed booze, bread comes in a million varieties. Here’s one of my favourites but again, your good friend Google will lead you to many more.   This one of my faves

3. Learn A New Skill

Ok so making beer, cider or wine is a new skill but to start with at least it’s not exactly a steep learning curve. Learning something more serious and therefore potentially more valuable is one of the best things to do in lockdown. I’d recommend something you are interested in or passionate about. Or something you always wanted to do but never found the time. Since I have to use an example I’ll go with one I picked up myself during the first UK lockdown. Computer music production.

Take Advantage Of Offers

I spent many years playing in a band. As one of the main songwriters I also decided to learn how to record us so that we could sell CDs at our gigs. That took me from small 4 track tape machines to big 24 track digital desks. I was aware that by the time our band broke up most people were recording on laptops or computers. We just never got round to it and instead had a small room full of equipment. I sold most of that when we stopped playing semi professionally.

I had Garageband – Apple’s included recording software – on my Macbook and had fiddled around with it a little. During lockdown my partner was unable to do her day job so we decided to re-record some old songs and write some new ones. So I learned Garageband. 

I quickly got to its limitations and looked at upgrading to the pro version Logic ProX. As it happened Apple extended theor 1 month free trial to 3 months during lockdown. 2 months into the trial I bought it and have never looked back. 

Obviously this is my bag not necessarily yours. My point is that when you have a lot of free time you can learn something quite intense. Lots of companies are offering extended trials and special deals on courses and products rigth now. Look around for something that floats your boat and get stuck in. 

Things To Build During Lockdown

4. Build a cabin

This might sound a little off the wall but take a look on Youtube sites like Bushradical and you’ll see what you can do in a month or two with a little dedication.

Full disclosure – I haven’t yet done this myself but it is on the bucket list. When the derelict garden shed that came with our house finally collapsed recently I started looking into replacing it. If I’m going to do that I thought, why not replace it with something better. As I discovered, that needn’t cost an arm and a leg or require a huge amount of skill. 

If a 10 by 12 cabin or shed seems a little ambitious why not a dog kennel or a gazebo? Since moving to our current home 5 years ago we have built a paved seating area and several paths. We have no previous experience but we do have Google, Youtube, a few basic tools and a willingness to do it. All you need….

It’s only fait to warn you that Youtube is packed full amazing DIY build stuff. You might find yourself going down a rabbit hole lined with log cabins, pizza ovens and camper vans. There are worse things though.  

Coming Out Of Lockdown Better Than You Went In

5. Start An Online Business

7 things to do in lockdown. Image of young man concentrating on his laptop screen. He is building an online business. Image links to registration page for internet training video series.

This would be at the top of my list if I hadn’t already done it. It sits well after building a cabin because they have some things in common: Mindset – a can do attitude – is everything. The tools involved in an online business aren’t particularly complicated or difficult to learn how to use. Its very important to build a strong foundation and take your time doing things properly. Also, with both finding really good mentors will save you a lot of time, money and frustration in the long run.

The internet and digital technology has been changing our world for quite some time now. Whole Industries and corporate giants we once thought indestructible have fallen before it. Even before Covid 19 lockdowns wrecked our traditional economies the internet had weakened them. After a solid year of working, communicating and buying most of what we need online, its unlikely things will return to the old normal.  

An online business ticks all of the low touch and environmental boxes that are now essential. It also offers a great deal of time location and financial independence. Crucially the start up costs and ongoing overheads are a fraction of a bricks and mortar business. For more info on starting your first online business have a look at this free video series by online business mentor Stuart Ross.

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6. Read

Consuming text based, long form content A.K.A reading can be an extremley good use of your time.  In my opinion there is very little written material that isn’t worth reading.  One of the most valuable phrases I learned in my time as an AV technician was RTFM (Read The F**kin Manual) Not the most entertaining reading I admit but since so few do it gives you an immediate advantage.

Knowledge Is King

As does any form of knowledge and what a wealth of that we have at our fingertips these days. Our phones and tablets can hold thousands of books that we can read anywhere we like. Lord of The Rings in a forest anyone? Moby Dick by the sea? We can read for entertainment, education, inspiration and instruction. We can start each day with a dozen new facts on Quora or a fabulous article on Medium. If we can’t be bothered reading we can listen to audio versions instead.

Reading takes time and until fairly recently that was a commodity in short supply. That’s such a shame as its actually our most valuable. Use some of it while you have it to read a classic or two or some autobiographies. Do some self improvement or entertain yourself with some comedy, a crime caper or an insightful new novel. None of that time will be wasted. 

7. Write 

We can’t have reading without writing and alegedly we all have a book in us. Here’s your chance to at least start writing yours. It can be anything you want. You could start a journal, write your biography, start a blog about something you love or let your imagination run riot with a work of fiction. It’s up to you. Just start.

There are some great writing courses online at sites like Udemy if you have no idea where to start. If your writing skills are a bit rusty free online tools like Grammerly and Hemingwayapp will set you straight. 

Leveraging The Web

As the internet grows and grows so does the demand for good content. Writing for a living is a very viable possibility these days. Freelance writers are in demand for all kinds of content as more and more people buy and sell their goods online. But thats only one way of making money from writing. Blogging is another. If you are able to build a following as a blogger you can monetise your work by recommending affiliate products, advertising and sponsorship. 

I hope you found these 7 things to do in lockdown worth considering and actually do at least one of them. Some of them you can do right now. Others will take weeks or months. If it were me I’d pick number 5 since it will give you the time and resources to the rest. If you make bread and produce a perfect french baguette please send me the recipe!.