As the UK goes into lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus, many of us are left wondering how we’re going to get through this period of enforced confinement. With our usual routines totally disrupted, keeping yourself occupied is one of the best things you can do to maintain your physical and mental well being. Here are a few ideas to keep you busy while hunkering down at home.
Spring clean your home
Cleaning and restoring order to your home can be very therapeutic and when you’re self-isolating, it’s the perfect opportunity for spring cleaning. First, take a look around and see what areas need the most attention. Make a plan and work from top to bottom. Declutter and reorganise your wardrobe, desk drawers and any other areas required. Give kitchens and bathrooms a deep clean, including wiping down walls and tiled surfaces and cleaning any extractor fans. In the living room, move sofas and other large furniture, vacuum and dust thoroughly. Finally, clean the windows in your conservatory and let the spring sunshine flood in.
Redecorate any rooms you’ve been neglecting
Now that the weather’s warming up and windows can be left open all day, it’s a good time of year for decorating so why not use the lockdown period to get on with those jobs you’ve been neglecting? When choosing colours, make test patches so that you can see how the shades appear in different lights. Wait till the paint has dried before deciding as it will dry to a different shade.
Walls are easy to paint with a roller but “cut in” around the edges and corners first with a brush. Satin finish paints are hardwearing so are great for high traffic areas. Matte finishes are better at hiding any imperfections, so are a good choice for older homes. If the chemicals in paint affect your breathing or give you a headache, try water-based paints. They are kinder to the environment and cleaning up is a breeze.
The gym might be closed but you can still make exercise part of your daily routine. Exercising outside in the fresh air and sunshine is a great way to relieve stress. As well as improving your physical fitness, exercise helps to support the immune system and is very important for mental health. Work out with kettlebells or a skipping rope in the garden or have a go on the kids’ trampoline! Conservatories are versatile spaces that many people use as a home gym. You can work out in peace without while admiring the garden views. Don't forget the social aspect of the gym - it’s easy to maintain social contact with friends by working out together on Facetime.
Grow some herbs in your conservatory
If anything can help to get us through this crisis without going crazy, it’s gardening. The satisfaction of planting seeds, then waiting for them to sprout and grow brings an extraordinary sense of optimism and serenity. For beginners, herbs are easy to grow and a conservatory is an ideal place to start them off. All you need is a seed tray (a plastic food tray is ideal as long as it has some drainage holes) and some compost. Basil and parsley can be planted in the same container but grow mint on its own as it will crowd out other herbs. You could also try growing pea shoots to add to salads while nasturtiums and rocket are very easy and will bring colour and flavour to your salads later in the season.
Plant some vegetables
If you have room in your garden, there’s still plenty of time to plant vegetables such as carrots, radish and lettuce. Order the seeds online and have them delivered to your door. Runner beans can be started off indoors before planting out in May when there’s no longer any risk of frosts. You’ll need some canes to support them as they grow. Choose the sunniest part of the garden for growing tomatoes, courgettes and sweet peppers. If you don't have much room, all these vegetables can be planted in grow bags while cherry tomatoes make a very attractive feature in hanging baskets.
Bespoke conservatories by Bergson & Eaton
If you’re planning to enhance your home by installing a conservatory or orangery, browse our website where you can take a look around our virtual showroom for ideas and inspiration. To find out more, please get in touch by entering your details on the contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.