2020 – the year we find ourselves coping with the challenging task of adjusting to the reality of social distancing. We learn to stay away from our loved ones and workplaces, for the safety of our nation.

During these times, The Mortgage Library team wanted to share some handy tips to look after yourself, your home and others during #Coronvirus2020. How can you keep yourself entertained with all this unexpected time on your hands? We’re going to show you the best ways you can help save valuable time and effort when life does start getting back to normality, and to have a bit of fun along the way.

Care for Number 1… and others!

Switch up your morning routine! Start with some light exercise, drinking some lemon water first. No screen time until breakfast! Even if you’re not going anywhere, get showered and dressed so you can feel ready and fresh for the day ahead. Plan your day ahead, giving yourself plenty of opportunities to take breaks and stretch your legs. Schedule in a call with a friend on your lunch break.

Run wild in the kitchen. Whilst you may normally be feeling tired and lazy from a journey back from the office, WFH means that you don’t have this problem when it comes to dinner time. Use this time to get creative in the kitchen and try rustling up a meal from your favourite restaurants or online recipes. Meal prep and getting organised could help you take those steps to a healthier lifestyle. Who knows, you could even keep this routine up when you get back to normal everyday work life!

Managing your finances. It’s important to manage our outgoings at all times, especially now more than ever. Take a review of your outgoings, credit cards and loans. Could you benefit from a new deal anywhere? Your mortgage payment is normally your biggest outgoing and speaking to a financial advisor could put you on track to saving those all-important pennies. Our initial advice is free here at The Mortgage Library and we can help you make the most of your mortgage during COVID-19.

Your loved ones will no doubt be feeling just as lonely as you are. A small gesture can go a long way, send them some flowers or a gift online. You’ll be putting a smile on their face as well as supporting a local business who could be struggling at this time (many florists are offering totally contact-free delivery). Find out if anyone you know (or might not know) needs any help with shopping at this time, your spare time could prove invaluable to others during the next few weeks.

Your Home:

Finish any DIY Jobs. The ones you walk past every time and think ‘I’ll sort that’. Now is your time to shine! Many local DIY stores are offering free, contactless delivery as the government deems these supplies as a necessity at these times. Once the jobs are complete, you’ll feel refreshed and satisfied – and so will your home!

Sort Out that Garden! One thing we can be grateful for right now, the sun is certainly starting to shine. Even just a 20-minute stint a day for a week will prove a noticeable difference in your garden. Not to mention the fact that you can make the most of turning it into your very own space to relax and unwind on those inevitable sunny evenings and weekends. And to top it off, once this is all back to normal, your garden is in tip-top condition to host a reunion with your loved ones.

Tackle Some Exterior Projects. First impressions count! Could your front door do with a freshen-up to help with kerb appeal? What about any other smaller touches and cleaning the windows? Now could be the perfect time to get clearing out those gutters or even spend some time clearing your driveway, ready for those Summer months. These little changes could also add value to your home.

Not feeling up to getting your hands dirty? Bear in mind, when all of this calms down, there will more than likely be a rush for painters/decorators, so whilst they may not be able to come out right now – at least you can get organised, beat the queue and get them booked in yourself.

Now for the fun stuff:

Learn a new language, indulge in yoga or even become a pro salsa dancer! We are lucky enough to have the power of the internet, giving us a temporary escape from isolation without having to step foot out of the door. The world is your oyster! The possibilities are endless. With access to thousands of free online tutorials, you can transform your living room into a yoga studio, or better yet your own dancefloor. YouTube channels have classes to guide you from beginners to professional (ish) in all sorts of activities, so you’re bound to find one you’ll want to try yourself.

Get outside. We are able to leave the house once a day for exercise – make the most of it. The sunshine is here to stay so get exploring your local area. Set yourself a different route each day. Fresh air is good for the body and mind. Could you even be brave enough to attempt the infamous ‘Couch to 5k ‘challenge?

Recreate Social Interactions by making the most of online social media networks. There are many ways to stay in touch with your family, friends and work colleagues, such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Zoom, House Party, etc. You can see each other and chat for hours. If that’s not enough, many of these apps have interactive games you can get stuck in to! And there is a new craze to host your own virtual quiz.

Update your bucket list! Everyone has something they want to do and if you don’t – then find one! The internet steps in again here, offering us hundreds of online blogs and articles where you can find your own inspiration. Perhaps you’re not brave enough for a bungee jump but planning your next trip abroad could prove time-consuming – and exciting.

We hope our tips will help you to keep hold of your sanity during (or perhaps even enjoy!) lockdown. Say ‘goodbye’ to boredom and, ‘hello’ to a new you! Don’t forget though, to make sure everything you do is within Government Guidelines. When this is all over, we will all meet again.