Stay Home, Stay Safe, Stay Sane: Things to do During the Lockdown

While the days might feel long, what the lockdown requires us to do is by no means difficult. I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely grateful about riding out the storm with my family, rediscovering the little things and forgotten pastimes which can bring us so much joy and pleasure. If you’re looking for similar inspiration, here are my top picks for things to do while you bunker in!


Virtual Art Tours

Okay, so you might have had to hold off on your summer travel plans, but you can seek solace in knowing that you can explore the world’s most sought-after museums from the comfort of your couch.

Embark on a virtual walk of Florence’ famed Uffizi Gallery, exploring the unparalleled collection of ancient sculptures and Masterpieces from Botticelli and Caravaggio to Raffaello. Why not venture into the Vatican Museum after, including a pit-stop at the Sistine Chapel where you can marvel at Michelangelo’s paintings adorning the vault and wall of the alter.

The Louvre in Paris is offering a virtual tour of its Ancient Egypt wing and Galerie d’Apollon, as well as the original moat perimeter of the fortress (hidden in its basement!). But to really venture off the beaten path, you can soon have a poke around Salvador Dalí’s self curated collection (featuring melting clocks and the like!) at the Dalí Theatre Museum in Spain, for a unique insight into his imagination and thought process, manifesting in his inimitable paintings, sculptures, installations, holograms, stereoscopes and photography!

Then there’s Google’s Arts & Culture platform, which is a portal to explore over 1,200 international institutions from Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.


Cultural Cravings

Their stage might be dark, but many cultural powerhouses, including The Metropolitan Opera, are continuing to brighten lives with their free online streaming service, featuring stellar performances by all of opera’s greatest singers. Explore The Met’s full schedule, here.

And if you’re struggling to keep the kids busy and productively entertained, Isolation Art School on Instagram is a wonderful platform for creative teaching projects, aimed at artists of all ages and abilities! Look out for classes hosted by the likes of Quentin Blake and Jonathan Yeo.


Level Up

With over 450 free online courses offered by Ivy Universities from Harvard and Princeton to Yale and Dartmouth, there’s never been a better time to step up your learning curve. Whether you’re keen to deepen your understanding of Art and Humanities or Data Science and Programming, take your pick from a high-grade collation of Ivy classes, as detailed here.

Another simple but super effective way to broaden your horizons at this time, is Ted-Ed – a highbrow video platform championing “ideas worth spreading” by the world’s leading thinkers. Dive in, here.

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No, this isn't a Martian helmet or a costume from Westworld. It's cutting-edge augmented-reality headgear that gives wearers a "mental allergy" to the color red. What?! When you put on this 360-degree viewing device from perception designer Jiabao Li, anything red appears engorged and distorted. Her reasoning? “Nowadays, many of us have this kind of allergic reaction to ideas that are different from ours,” says Li, noting that social media silos and online algorithms are making society more divided. “I asked myself, ‘As an artist, what can I create to draw the same kind of attention to the ways digital media … are shaping our reality?’” Click the link in our bio to learn about Li’s other work, including a browser plug-in that rearranges and restores balance to your news feed. 📰⚖️ [Video: @jia.bao.li]

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Kitchen Inspiration

#CookinginTheTimeofCorona is officially trending, with many of us spending our days getting comfortable and creative in the kitchen!

If you’re looking to up the ante, Chef Alex Sanchez has revealed his essentials for stocking the perfect pantry and recreating restaurant-style dishes at home, here.

From scratch-cooking to cutting down on food waste and making the most of your staple pantry ingredients – you’ll also find plenty of tips for clever cooking in lockdown, here.

And of course, from breakfast through to dinner – with lots of desserts in between – you can explore a treasure trove of recipes, here!

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Introducing Mise en Place. A new series on TFD taking its cue from the French phrase which literally translates to “everything in it’s place.” More than just the culinary process of prepping and assembling ingredients beforehand, Mise en Place is a state of mind. A philosophy of cooking, that will equip you will all the tips, tricks and hacks you need to embrace and elevate your inner chef! . As part of the series , we have @chefalexsanchez revealing his picks for stocking the perfect pantry (trust me , it’s a treasure trove of ingredients!) & @rachthebaker sharing bread-baking basics (with a recipe for a milk loaf!). . In other news Lady Foodhall @AvniBiyani shines a spotlight on how coronavirus is changing the way we cook & what we eat. Oh and there are a few new recipes too, including @ChefKelvinCheung’s Asian dishes & @PoojaDhingra’s delicious desserts, drawn from #TheFoodhallCookbook @foodhallindia. . Link’s in the bio. #MiseEnPlace #KitchenInspirationonTheFoodieDiaries

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Elevate your Coffee Game

If you’ve upped the hours spent scrolling down Instagram or on Tik Tok, there’s no way you’ve missed the sensational sight of #DalgonaCoffee – the frothy three-ingredient iced coffee that’s all anybody can sip on right now! Here’s the recipe, if you fancy whipping up the same.

From Vegan Vietnamese Iced Lattes to Dulce de Luche, you can also stir up these creative cold-brew iced lattes, as the perfect antidote to balmy afternoons spent quarantined in lockdown!


Digital Housekeeping

If you like me, are borderline OCD, I’m sure you’ll be using some of that free time to sort out your digital life – from consolidating your photos and music library to finally backing things up. A bit of a boring one I know, but if there were ever a time not to procrastinate!


21 Day Challenge

They say it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. Whether its kicking an addiction, reviving your morning yoga practice or incorporating a superfood in your daily diet – why not take this lockdown period to be a 21 Day Wellness Challenge to help you get things back on track?


Home Workouts

Speaking of which, while gyms across cities and countries might be shut – fitness enthusiasts are sharing plenty by way of motivation on social media! If you’re looking for inspiration to get back in ship-shape, I’d definitely bookmark the home workout series by Matt Roberts – personal trainer extraordinaire to everyone from David Cameron to Tom Ford and Naomi Campbell!


Quarantinis at Happy Hour

And if you’re looking to boost your immunity during these vulnerable times, what better way than with Quarantinis at Happy Hour? Simply combine your spirit of choice (ideally vodka or gin), with vitamin C-rich lemon juice and soothing honey for a potent cocktail thats sure to keep your spirits high and in good health too! Full recipe on The Novice Chef’s blog, here.


Stay home. Stay well. Stay sane. And don’t forget to wash your hands folks!

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