Tuesday 17th March

| BY Dino Bonacic

10 Things to Do in Your Breaks while Working from Home

Judging by the lack of toilet paper and pasta in just about every local supermarket (FYI: the Piccadilly circus Tesco which is the Ten Towers local still had few boxes of Barilla spaghetti left on its shelves earlier today) – it’s clear that the world is in the process of getting ready for isolation. And no going out means no going out. Shops, pubs, bars, clubs, airports, but also cinemas, sports arenas, and theatres – everyone is encouraged to stay away from venues of human interaction, if possible. As part of the self-isolation movement (#StayTheFuckHome is already trending globally), there also comes the experience of working from home. All of a sudden, office 9-5-ers are forced to get used to a freelance-like lifestyle. This includes constant access to your fridge, having to spend a lot of time with your flatmates/ family/ partners, but also using every free moment for self-entertainment. You know, none of your colleagues are there to judge you for going down a spiral of Daily Mail news stories on how reality stars are dealing with the Coronavirus crisis. But I’m here to make sure you spend those in-between moments while working from home on something much more useful(ish). Here are 10 things to do in breaks while WFH that don’t include finding out more information about the current situation.

DISCLAIMER: Please consider this as a guide to living in isolation without simptoms of COVID-19.

1. Start (re)watching Golden Girls from the beginning.

When it comes to taking breaks from work, TV seems like the easy solution. However, it’s important not to get lost in the magic of the black box or your boss might notice you haven’t been behind your computer the whole day. That’s why any 20-minute-per-episode sitcom will work best, but only under the condition you have strong enough will power not to fall into the habit of binge-watching. I strongly recommend Golden Girls as the ultimate tool of escapism that will make you laugh while also sharpen up your sense of sarcasm.

2. Catch up with your dirty laundry.

Sorry about getting boring so soon, but anyone with even slight tendencies of being a clean freak will back me up on this one. Few feelings can compare to the that of seeing an empty laundry basket, yet you rarely get a chance to catch up with your consumption of knickers and socks. Life’s too busy for that. So, perhaps you can use the opportunity of wearing the same lewk for the whole week (sorry, not sorry) as a chance to hand-wash that one knitted jumper you stained back in December but never got around to hand washing it. Who knows, you might even discover a top you forgot you had which will make a perfect outfit on your first day back in the outer world.

3. Rearrange your bookshelf.

Another tidying-up-related suggestion that’s as much about clearing your house as it is about clearing your mind. Sorting out all those books you’ve accumulated for the past couple of years can once again inspire your next weekend read, but also help feel more comfortable in your living space. And don’t think the only option is sorting the literature alphabetically – you can also go the Amy Sedaris direction and have fun organising them according to colour.

4. Call your family (even that estranged aunt you’ve been avoiding speaking to for years).

Look, this is not me going all Boris Johnson on you and warning about getting ready to “lose loved ones.” But perhaps those few moments in-between Skype meetings can be used to text, call or e-mail members of the family you haven’t heard from in a while. Naturally, there will have to be some sort of Corona-related conversations (either making them more aware or calming them down), but in times of isolation when you’re constantly surrounded by the same people, hearing familial voices can be quite reassuring.

5. Do some buying (and selling) on eBay.

Instead of getting lost in stalking people on Instagram or cringing over someone’s attempt at becoming the next TikTok superstar (eek!), consider falling into a black hole of eBay. Search your favourite brands or perhaps a type of jewellery that’s been on your wishlist for a while but never got to the top of it. A great bargain can do a lot for a person’s optimistic outlook on life – at least it does so for me. And once you’re done with spending your pennies, look into your own wardrobe and arrange a quick overhaul of bits and bobs you’ve not touched in ages. PRO TIP: shooting your vintage pieces in daylight will make them look significantly more expensive.

6. Find a new favourite podcast.

Pretty straightforward but an important thing to consider. Despite living in a gold era of podcasts, we tend to listen to the same ones by knowing when they come out and what we can expect out of their content. But what about that food-based pod that Karen from accounting suggested on your lunch-break last week? This is your chance to get into something new – no strings attached. You can always go back to re-listening My Dad Wrote a Porno.

7. Get into Quibi.

Okay so this one is looking into the future, but let’s be realistic – your self-isolation will probably last longer than just a few weeks. Set to launch on April 6th, Quibi is a new short-form mobile video platform Quibi. With 10-minute episodes of diverse content (everything from drag queen docu-series to Steven Spielberg-directed horror series), it makes the perfect solution for people with short attention spans as well as binge-watching maniacs. A middle ground of TV and YouTube, Quibi just might become your next best self-isolation imaginary friend.

8. Practice self-love.

In every way possible. The fact that we’re spending this time alone doesn’t mean we should ignore the fact that humans are sexual beings. To all those living with their partners – good on ya. But if your self-isolation is also limiting your sex life, make sure to remember your personal pleasure is in your hands. Literally.

9. Empty the pockets on all of your jackets (and fix any missing buttons).

This is the part of life-admin you can never really have enough time for. Like, seriously – who wants to spend every day working long hours and then spend your weekend going through your coat rack, emptying the pockets and fixing any loose buttons. But unless you have a pottery wheel inside your flat (in which case – lucky you!), I suggest the kind of craft therapy that will also prove useful in the aftermath.

10. Wash your windows.

It’s been over a month and you haven’t left the four walls of your flat… That’s when you revert to arguably the most tedious of the tasks no one ever really wants to do. But your windows are the only chance to interact with the outdoors in a virus-free way. So why not go that extra mile and make sure your outlook on everything that’s happening outside is crystal clear – both metaphorically and literally.

Stay safe everyone! For all information on what to do if you’re feeling any symptoms of COVID-19 please visit the NHS official website.