What a start to 2020! We are only three months in and most of the world is on lockdown. Many of us are either practising social distancing, self-isolating, working from home or have been instructed to stay at home unless in need of essentials such as medicine or groceries. This will result in most of us spending a lot of time indoors and at home over the remainder of the month (or until further notice). While some of us (home-bodies) may find this easy, the social butterflies amongst us and those with children may be feeling slightly anxious about being confined to four walls.
To ease the stress a little, team Home Club ME have compiled a list of 20 things to do while staying home this month, avoiding the risk of spreading or contracting COVID19. If you have anything else to suggest or share, feel free to leave them in the comments below:
1: Time to spring clean your home – Get those gloves out and scrub to your heart’s content, light a candle and treat yourself to a glass of something special.
2: Read those books gathering dust – Never have time to simply sit back, relax and enjoy a good book? There is no better time than now and will help to keep your screen time healthy.
3: Organise your documents and paperwork – Now is a great time to go over your personal files and paperwork, to ensure all is in order and easily accessible. Check at the bottom of this article for a great promo from The Breathing Room Home Organizing.
4: Plan your 2021 holidays – Research, make notes, budget – The travel and tourist industry will need your business more than ever when things get back to normal.
5: Declutter/organise your wardrobes – BCME vendor Ella Cole of The Breathing Room Home Organizing offers this practical advice on home organizing:
• Start on a small scale. Give yourself 30 minutes to tackle a small space (a drawer, shelf, or small cupboard) and purge with intention. Keep only what’s useful and find a home for the things that don’t belong in that space. If you can’t re-home those said things, it’s probably time to get rid of them.
• Make tidying a celebration by saying goodbye to stuff that doesn’t serve you anymore, in your own way: like literally say ‘thank you and goodbye’, perhaps sing a song, whatever works for you!
• If you’re decluttering on your own, either enjoy the peace and quiet in that space or listen to a favourite podcast or song that will help you keep focused on the task.
• Don’t forget to celebrate your win for that day or 30 minutes of decluttering by doing something kind to yourself: a hot bath, glass of something or eating your fave dessert.
6: Cook wholesome meals and try new recipes – We were recently gifted goodies from local/homegrown business The Broth Lab and intend on making full use of their various broths at home, we’re especially excited about this given the immunity-boosting properties bone broth contains – we shall keep you posted. For more yummy recipes to try at home, click here.
7: BBQ – This one is for those of you lucky enough to have a garden, but with only a month or two (if that) left of nice weather, make the most of it! Crack open the ‘barbie’ and enjoy the garden.
8: Make use of current online discounts and special offers and buy ahead for gifting – A great group to check right now is Dirham Stretcher on Facebook, a social media resource packed full of useful local promotions, best buys and discounts. But remember, buy from the small and struggling businesses first.
9: Get Fit – With gyms and pools now closed in the UAE, take this time to get fit at home – There are thousands of exercise channels on YouTube and loads of gyms offering free online tasters and challenges, if you have a garden, get outside and get active. If you have a personal trainer already, their liveyhoods are at risk right now, see how you can still assign their services safely in the comfort of your own home or via online/virtual sessions.
10: Have a spa night – Take this to time to catch up on self-care and have a spa night – Light candles, play chilled music and create your own little spa. Have a warm bubble bath, apply a facemask, make your own DIY body scrub and simply rest.
BONUS: 10 Things to do at home with kids
1. Pitch a tent inside or in your garden – crack open your imagination and have a family campout.
2. Do a spot of Easter DIY and decorate the house – With Easter around the corner, it’s time to get crafty. There are loads of fun things to do with the kids, just check out this link for ideas.
3. Cook and bake together – Get messy in the kitchen, cooking and baking is one of the most interactive things you can do with children, as well as teaching them important life skills it kills some time and keeps them engaged increasing their fine motor skills and so much more.
4. Buy an activity box from @Elberg.ae – As well as your kids having lots of fun with Elbirg’s creative sensory boxes and activity kits, you will also be supporting a small business.
5. Practise mindfulness (maybe not applicable for toddlers, although you can try) and meditate – Turn the lights down, light candles and try out the app for kids.
6. Visit museums from the comfort of your home – That’s right, you can tour museums, national icons and parks right from your sofa. Thanks to Google Arts & Culture, you can go on virtual tours of the largest temple complex on Earth, Champs-Élysées, Yellowstone National Park, the gardens of Versailles and many more.
7. Movie marathon – Kick back, open a box of popcorn and have a marathon movie session.
8. Get Theatrical – Get out those Halloween and party costumes and test your kids acting skills. They can write and create their own stories and scripts and put on a show for the whole family.
9. Dance/sing-off – Whack on your favourite tunes and have a dance-off! Take heed from the Italians, let your hair down and sing at the top of your lungs, who knows? you may find an Opera singer amongst you.
10. Just Enjoy Each other – I know this sounds so simple and obvious, but simply enjoy being in each other’s presence. Hug, tell each other stories, laugh and play! As a working mum, I know I will be driven insane many times over the next few weeks, but I will also relish and appreciate the time spent with my little boy.
One of our family favourite mummy influencers Helly Obrien, of @mylittleloveblog, offers her words of our advice and shares what she and her family will be doing over the next few weeks –
Sometimes life has the funniest ways of making you pause, slow down and start to enjoy what is important in life. We are practising social distancing by staying inside and playing games, getting creative by following #kidsartideas on Instagram or a spot of yoga with cosmic kids on YouTube. While the weather is cooler, we will continue swimming in our pool, filling the trampoline with baby wash (hey bubbles), chalk drawings outside on the floors and walls (it will all wash off) and bike rides in our community. Failing all the above we will have more iPad and screen time than normal because who doesn’t love a funny movie and a hot chocolate when times are a little strange.
During these uncertain times, many of us will be looking to save those dirhams, so below are some special discounts that may help a little, offered by our awesome Home Club ME listed vendors:
• The Breathing Room Home Organizing is offering A 2-hour paper decluttering/sorting/organizing session for 500 AED and/or their popular organizing file box with personalized file folders and name sticker for 150 AED (175 AED regular price). Quote “Home Club ME” to avail.
• Thinking of deep cleaning your AC units? Pro-Clean AC is offering 10% off their standard rates. Quote “Home Club ME” to avail.
• Hurst First is offering a Mesh Wi-Fi network for your home (meaning your whole home will have Wi-Fi with a single network) for 500AED instead of their normal 600AED charge, and no call out fee. Quote ‘Home Club ME’ to avail and WhatsApp 0555548196 for more information.