As coronavirus continues to spread through SA, we are all aware of the number one rule: STAY AT HOME. On Monday March 23 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa made a brave, bold and decisive move declaring a nationwide lockdown for 21 days, starting on Thursday March 26 at midnight.
In a united effort to curb the spread of Covid-19, if you can stay at home, you should. But what to do, is the question. Because, let’s face it, being cooped up indoors requires relentless efforts in creativity to make sure you don’t go bonkers or, worse, start a lasting family feud over who didn’t pick up their socks or wash that mug.
Times are tough, so we’ve come up with ways to help you spend your spare time constructively …
1. BECOME A MICHELIN-STARRED CHEF
You already know how to make a toasted sarmie, and a killer eggs Benedict, but now is as good a time as any to elevate your cooking skills by learning from the best in the biz. Granted, it’s best you stay indoors – and only go grocery shopping when absolutely necessary (do not bulk buy!) – but you can still watch and learn, or use the ingredients you do have. Impress your friends by inviting them over for a Michelin meal when the lockdown is over.
Seven-time Michelin star chef Gordon Ramsay on Masterclass. (R250/month)
WATCH | Gordon Ramsay's Masterclass trailer:
South Africa’s Yuppichef also offers online cooking classes from the likes of local chefs Peter Goffe-Wood, Sarah Graham and Franck Dangereux. (Free for the first 30 days)
2. YOGA – FOR REAL (AND FOR FREE)
If you’re like me, you think you’re good at yoga until you’re in a class downward dogging the wrong way – awks! Use this time at home to go from beginner to intermediate to advanced – without the embarrassment. Or perhaps you are already an expert and just want to continue your practice. It’s a great way to keep fit – and sane. Namasté!
These apps are top notch:
Down Dog (Free until May 1 2020, and July 1 2020 if you are a healthcare professional)
Asana Rebel (R166.66/month)
Not apps, but because we love to support local …
3. VISIT A VIRTUAL GALLERY
These galleries offer an innovative approach to ensure artists can still exhibit and you can explore their creative realm. Might I add how very cool this is? Ever dreamed of visiting the Museum of Modern Art, New York, or perhaps Musée d’Orsay in Paris? Well now you can – from your couch – thanks to Google’s Art & Culture project.
Our top picks:
- Museum of Modern Art, New York
- Musée d’Orsay, Paris
- Tate, various cities in Britain
- Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Also check out Wanted’s list of local galleries offering similar experiences:
4. LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE
Always wanted to learn French, Spanish or Zulu but didn’t have the time? Now you do. As little as 15 minutes a day is all you need.
Our top picks:
- Mzansi Lingos
5. GAMES PEOPLE PLAY
Playing games solo, or with the fam, is a great way to pass the time. The number of options is endless but here are some of our top picks – the games you usually never get to play – which also get you to use your brain.
- Chess. Seriously, who doesn’t own a chess set?
- Uno … classic!
- Monopoly … By the time #Staycation is over, hopefully your game will be too.
- Bananagrams, Boggle or Scrabble.
- Sims 4. This is a personal favourite, and you can buy it online from EA Games. I am not above admitting that I am obsessed – don’t bash it till you’ve tried it. At least you can live vicariously through the characters while you mastermind their lives, like you wish you could your own.
- Minesweeper. First, learn how to actually play here. Hell, you may as well learn to play Hearts as well.
- Puzzles … the 1,000 to 2,000-piece kind.
6. MEDITATE AND BE MINDFUL
This is the perfect time to push pause, reset and re-align your mind and body.
These are our favourite apps …
7. MAKE LIKE MARIE
This time of isolation is perfect for doing those chores you otherwise would've put off — probably forever. Now is as good a time as any to de-clutter and let go of items that no longer bring you joy, ie Marie Kondo your lockdown. Get rid of that old, holey sweater and say goodbye to those jeans you've never worn. Start today! Put the discarded items to one side and, when the lockdown is lifted, you can donate them to worthy causes like Vintage with Love.
WATCH | Tidying up with Marie Kondo trailer:
8. COLOUR IN, BABY
Adult colouring-in books have become a thing – and thank goodness they have. Borrow your kids’ crayons and unleash your creativity. Colouring-in is also a great way to relieve stress and can act as an alternative mindfulness activity.
The Mindfulness Colouring Book by Emma Farrarons (R180, Exclusive Books)
Mindful Mandalas by Zoe Inez (R338, Exclusive Books)
Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Colouring Book by Johanna Basford (R263, Exclusive Books)
If you ran out of time to get to the shops before the nationwide lockdown, you're in luck because there are free online colouring-in platforms:
Color Our Collections: The New York Academy of Medicine has put together a free, downloadable PDF ‘colouring book’ featuring collections of colouring pages from libraries and cultural institutions.
Louise Lawler Tracing: Artist and photographer Louise Lawler and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York have released 12 downloadable black-and-white tracings from Lawler's 2017 exhibition Why Pictures Now.
Audi Coloring Book: The luxury carmaker has launched an online colouring book — yes, you read that right. The book features images of Audi's current models — think Q7, R8 and A6. While you might not be able to go for a drive in your car right now, at least you can colour in one ... for free!
Happy social distancing and, remember, wash those hands!
• This article was updated 31 March 2020.