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Coronavirus: 5 things to do while you're self-isolating

The first few days might be easy - there's plenty to catch up with on TV, you're halfway through a book anyway and there's always the daily household chores to keep you distracted. If you're starting to get a little bit bored of self-isolation, however, and need some new ways to keep your brain moving, we've collected a few ideas for you.
There are many video tutorials for staying active (Photo: AdobeStock)

Home exercise

It's important to stay active physically, both for your body and your brain, so find a way to stretch yourself during the day.

There are plenty of apps and tutorials out there for getting some exercise at home. YouTube has videos for almost every variant of exercise you can imagine - yoga, pilates, fast walking, aerobics, dancing.

There's also very inventive ways of turning everyday household items into useful gym equipment - using your pots and pans as weightlifts? Climbing the stairs for a cardio workout, or just using the bottom step for your step aerobics? Genius at work.

thumbnail_IMG_5726Our Vivacity library service includes four e-books apps


There are plenty of people who tell you they prefer the feeling of an actual book in their hands, but if you've run out of new novels and don't know when you can next get to the library, did you know they offer an e-books service? As long as you know your barcode number (located on the back of your library card) you can download an app to your phone, computer or tablet computer and there's a library of books in your hands!

The apps currently offered by the Vivacity Peterborough libraries are cloudLibrary (only needs to know your barcode number), BorrowBox (requests barcode number and PIN number), uLibrary (requests barcode and PIN) and rbDigital (requires additional registration).

These apps are available on the App Store (with Apple devices) or Google Play (with Android devices) and are free to download and use.

woman-in-red-long-sleeve-shirt-holding-her-clothes-3794129Take a good look at what you own and ask if you're going to use/wear it again (Photo: Pexels)

Spring clean

It's not too soon for that annual clear-out of everything you didn't clear out last year because you thought you might still use it... and then didn't.

Find out what you actually have in all of those boxes in the garage. Sort through the clutter on your bookshelves. Take a day to take a look at your wardrobe - what can go to the back now that the warm weather is rolling around? What needs to go in the pile for mending because the buttons are loose or the seams are fraying? What can go in the bag for donating? 

Remember - TK Maxx are running their Give Up Clothes For Good campaign to raise money for Cancer Research, and plenty of other charity shops will appreciate your donation of household items, books, DVDs. 

(When you can leave the house to hand it in, that is!)

thumbnail_IMG_5728Duolingo is one of many apps that offers free language learning courses (Photo: Duolingo app)

Learn a language

Travel might not be an option for the time being, but learning a language is a skill you can keep on hand forever, especially if you're a frequent visitor to a certain country. If you make an annual visit to Spain or Greece or France, why not set yourself up for next year as a fluent speaker?

There are plenty of apps and online courses available for any language you choose. One of the most widely used is DuoLingo, which offers over 30 languages and promises that with just 10 minutes a day you'll be amazed how good you are in three months. An hour a day for the next three weeks might see you emerge from this self-isolation period as someone who can watch foreign films without the subtitles!

soil-2561136_1920Trying to grow your own veg for the summer could be a self-isolation challenge (Photo: Pixabay)

Get green fingers

The advice is not to gather in public places, but your garden will be just fine for the duration of the time in isolation and as the weather warms up it might be nice to get outside. Cut the lawn, order some seeds online if you have some empty flowerpots. It might even be fun to start growing some food if you have an overgrown vegetable patch you've been meaning to get around to clearing. says that the end of March and start of April is often the perfect time to be sowing radishes, potatoes, peas, spring onions, onions and garlic, and there's helpful tips online for getting all of these vegetables to take root.

If growing isn't for you, it's still a good idea to get out into the fresh air. If your neighbours sit outside too then you can have a conversation over the fence - as long as you keep the recommended six foot distance between you, anyway!