It feels weird an extra-terrestrial that I can write about something as bizarre as this and yet it applies to a lot of people.

This time last year, I would have never even contemplated writing about what to do if your country gets shutdown and people are confined to their homes. But hey, 2020 was weird.

For now, 2021 is a continuation of the weirdness.

Most countries around Europe have introduced some form of new lockdown. So it’s important we take what we can from our other lockdown experiences and make this the best one yet!

So here are three ways for you to stay productive and make the most of your government-sanctioned state of reclusiveness.

1) Learn something new

Having the time and mental space to try something completely new can be rare.

Varying restrictions will limit what new activities you can undertake. However, there’s plenty of new things for us to explore.

During the first lockdown, a new skill I learned was meditation. It was something I’d been eager to get around to for a while. Being stuck at home with not a lot going on was the perfect time to download the Headspace app and give meditation a try.

You don’t have to follow in my footsteps and become a wannabe monk. Just give something a go that you can do at home. If you try something and hate it, who cares!

Lockdown can be a weirdly useful time for self-exploration!

2) Get better at something

You may already have a hobby or a skill that you enjoy. Being stuck at home can give the chance to put a bit more time into things and really level-up.

Again, I’ll give my own experience as an example. Pre-coronavirus I was really into coffee. Throughout the first lockdown, I ordered some home-brewing equipment along with lots of delicious beans and massively improved my barista skills! Whilst doing this, not only did I end up with super-tasty morning drinks, I developed a better understanding of all things coffee.

Another thing I wanted to focus on was my writing. By being able to work consistently on this skill, I was actually able to turn it into a paying hobby. Something that probably would have taken me a lot longer (if at all) had there been no lockdown.

Your interests will be different to mine but just use this as an opportunity to grow. The internet means we have the world at our fingertips so use it to get better at something!

3) Stay active

With gyms and most exercise facilities temporarily closing, it’s important to stay active and healthy at home.

Working from home and only leaving your house for groceries can be extremely sedentary and bad for your health.

Last year it was really cool to see a lot of my friends take up things like running and cycling during lockdowns.

You don’t have to go crazy but you’ll drive yourself mad if you don’t keep your body moving. I wrote recently about cheap exercises to do at home, so check that out if you need some inspiration.

Working out nearby to your home may not sound appealing if you’re used to fancy gyms and classes but it’s important to keep your body and mind healthy with physical movement!

Just do your best to keep yourself ticking over until you’re released into the wide world once again.