In most countries across the world, it is evident that we are going to have to cope with the novel coronavirus being part of our lives for the foreseeable future. Some experts have indicated that a vaccine could be ready in months, but questions have been raised about whether the supply and production capabilities are ready for a mass rollout out. With spikes in the virus occurring in many places, the prospect of local and national lockdowns are never far from anyone’s minds.
The secret to getting through difficult times lies in positive thinking, which is why I’ve decided to explore ways in which to prepare for a winter lockdown at home.
Create a home cinema
Although cinemas and theaters have reopened in many places, it isn’t really the same atmosphere at all. So rather than worry about social distancing and travel, why not create a home cinema experience on your doorstep! Whether you’ve got a garage that can be redesigned or a guest bedroom that’s currently not in use, there are many home cinema projectors and screens available for home delivery. Simply connect them into your internet or entertainment subscription service or connect directly to your phone, laptop or dvd player. If you’ve got a bit of budget and want it to become a permanent fixture in your home, you could even splash out on some elegant cinema chairs to make the experience even more authentic.
Bring the outside in
The miserable weather can make us all feel down. In fact a survey by AO.com revealed that 60% of people had experienced at least one symptom associated with seasonal affective disorder. So why not bring a bit of the outdoors in with some greenery? Plants and flowers are always a welcome addition to any interior, and there is no better smell than fresh flowers on a miserable day! Plants are also known to improve concentration too, so if you are working from home, this could help you to stay focused on the tasks at hand. A research study conducted at Exeter University in the U.K. found that indoor plants can improve concentration, productivity and well-being by 47%. They also discovered that plants can boost memory by up to 20%.
Create a games room
If your house is anything like mine, then you’ll find toys in every crevice of your home. Children love to spread out and as the winter weather sweeps in they’ll be spending even more time indoors trying to keep themselves amused. If you have a spare room or even a large room that could be sectioned in half, consider creating a dedicated games/toy room. They’ll still leave stuff everywhere, but this way you’ve got a single room to just chuck everything into at the end of the day, leaving you to enjoy your living room in the way it was intended and not as a makeshift toy hospital.
Invest in a hot tub
OK this one may be a little extravagant but hear me out. As the winter approaches, the prospects of getting outside and enjoying the garden are likely to be far and few between, but a hot tub nestled in the corner of your patio area, perhaps under a veranda, could be the perfect relaxation treat to lift your spirits after a long week. Hot tubs can be enjoyed all year round and can be enjoyed by adults and children alike, with supervision of course. There are many different price points when it comes to hot tubs, so there’s something to fit all budgets. You can opt for a temporary tub or a more permanent fixture depending on your preferences and many come with additional features such as lights and music.
Build a Garden Office/Man/Woman/Family Cave
Winter in general can be pretty taxing on the whole family, even without the prospect of self-isolation or lockdown. If you’ve got space in your garden, now could be the perfect time to get to work on building an outhouse that could be used for some of the ideas above, as a home office, or just as a space to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. There is something cathartic about shutting the door behind you and just breathing in the silence! If you or your family are handy in the DIY area you could build it yourself, alternatively there are many options available online, some also offer to erect it for you on site (social distancing measures in place obviously). The great thing about this idea is that once in place, you can change its use in the future too. This means that this additional space can grow with you and your family.
The next few months are likely to be challenging for many of us, but by investing your energy in creating a little buzz in your home, you can help make the time a lot more enjoyable.