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The latest UK government guidelines have now stated anyone with a long-term health condition or a weakened immune system should being stringent on social distancing and self-isolation (see NHS website here)
As well as coeliac disease I am also on immuno-suppresant medication for thyroid eye disease. After speaking to my nurse earlier this week I have decided I need to being self-isolating as best I can.
According to Boris, this could be for a period of at least 12 weeks, so to avoid myself going stir-crazy, I decided to put together a list of all the different things I could do while at home!
I know a lot of people are in the same boat, so I wanted to come up with a fun list of all the things we could do during this time! Some serious, some foodie, some just for LOLs - but let me know if you tick any off the list!
Here are 50 things to do if you're self-isolating...
Let me know in the comments if you give any of these a go or have any more suggestions to add to the list!
1. Establish a morning routine
If you're working from home, you'll find it a lot easier if you create a morning routine. This is a great chance to get into good habits of setting the alarm, having a stretch or even a morning walk, and eating a hearty breakfast.
2. Bake some brownies
Now that we don't have to head out to coffee shops and face the typical scene of dry, gluten free brownies (sigh) you can bake some super fudgey brownies yourself! Check out my gluten free millionaire's shortbread brownies or my gluten free Creme Egg brownies for inspiration.
3. Organise your pantry
There's never been a better time to sort through your kitchen cupboards! Find a way to organise them, give them a good clean-up and see if you can find some gems hidden in the back. Now is the time to make use of what we have before going out to buy more - see my post on storecupboard essentials for inspiration.
4. Learn to make gluten free pizza dough
This is my own personal mission! I've ordered a bulk of gluten free flour and will be hoping to bring you guys a recipe soon so you can make your own too!
5. Try some home workouts
Many gyms are now offering free home workouts as they have been forced to face closure. Check out Reform Fitness where we'll be sharing loads of cool ideas to try at home - I promise they'll be super fun! I might even make the odd guest appearance, haha!
6. (Re)watch the whole of Friends
I mean, I do this on a regular basis anyway, but there's never been a better time to marathon through seasons one-to-10 of the greatest television show ever, fact.
7. Batch cook some meals
If you've got time during the day, why not get ahead and batch cook a load of meals? If the food is already in your house, this is a great way to make sure you use it all. Batch cooking and freezing will keep you organised and help prevent any food waste. Check out my guide to gluten free batch cooking here.
8. Practise your piping
If you can get the ingredients, now is a great time to hone your icing skills. Whip up a batch of my gluten free cupcakes - or check out my gluten free Mini Egg cupcakes recipe to try out some multi-coloured piping!
9. Try out some yoga
I used to absolutely love practising yoga but it's something I've fallen out of the habit of. Now I'm going to take the time to find some online teachers - like Cat Meffan who I loooove - and get my mat back out!
10. Find a new podcast
Switching off from social media will definitely help ease your anxiety during self-isolation. I find podcasts a fab way to do this! Once you've listened to Oh Crumbs Podcast (of course!) some others I love are Fearne Cotton's Happy Place, Katy Leeson's 'I Shouldn't Say This But' and Atticus's podcast where he reads his best poetry.
11. Try running
If you're able to get out of the house and keep a safe distance from any crowds, it might be a good time to try running! I've been dying to start running again so I'm taking this as a great opportunity to do just that. But please, PLEASE stick to the social distancing guidelines of 2m apart and if you can't, then don't go.
12. Start that blog!
Always dreamed of writing a blog? Or starting a new Instagram account? Well, there's never been a better time! Why not use the extra time to get started?
13. Learn a musical instrument
I've always wanted to learn to play the piano and despite my friend lending me a keyboard, I still haven't ever used it. Now seems like a great time and having something to focus on learning each day will help my brain.
14. Make a batch of soup
Soup is such a good way to make sure you're getting lots of nutrients. You can also cook up a big batch with minimal ingredients, and then freeze in portions. Perfect for preparing in case anyone in the house is unwell. Why not try my carrot, ginger and chilli soup or whip up a batch of my roast chicken soup recipe?
15. Read some great books
I absolutely LOVE reading and will be ploughing my way through some good books. There is so much choice and if you have a Kindle it makes life even easier too. Reading is such a great stress reliever too!
16. Learn a new dance routine
I might take a whole day out of my schedule to learn a whole dance routine - just for fun! There are loads of great Youtube videos and it will be great for those post-isolation parties!
17. Try some new beers
If you love gluten free beer then now could be a good time to sign up to a beer subscription service! Best of British Beer offers a great mixed gluten free case, so you can become an expert in beer tasting.
18. Watch the sunset
There's something truly peaceful about watching the sunset. If the weather improves over the next few weeks, see if you can find a good vantage point to watch the beautiful show through your window.
19. Try hit 10,000 steps
I do like a challenge! I find it hard enough some days to hit 10,000 steps, but seeing if I could hit without leaving the house is a whole new level. There could be a lot of stair-climbing involved!
20. Have a duvet and film day
Make up some snacks, stay in your PJs and have a movie marathon! Some days it's good to just chill and a day like this is good for the soul.
21. Have an at home spa day
Run a hot bath, whack on a face mask, deep condition your hair and paint your nails. Set aside the evening (or day!) to really treat yourself and focus on some serious self care and relaxation.
22. Make millionaire's shortbread
Gluten free millionaire's shortbread is one of my FAVE recipes ever, but with all the chilling time between it's not something to make in a hurry. Make this a day project and you will NOT regret it - find the recipe here.
One thing that always makes me smile is whacking on some cheesy tunes and having a boogey in the living room. What better way to start the day when you're feeling bored at home? Check out Instagrammer Chessie King who is doing a daily dance live - complete with inflatable costume - to make you smile!
24. Learn a language
I've always wished I could speak multiple languages, so maybe I could try and use some of this down-time to get to grips with French or Spanish! You can get loads of online courses or apps so it's worth looking around to see what works for you.
25. Go for a walk
Did you know the National Trust has waived charges on all its car parks and sites in the UK? If you have any National Trust spots near you and you're able to get out (while still keeping a safe distance from others) this could be a lovely way to explore and get some fresh air. Once again, please only do this IF you can keep to the social-distancing guidelines of 2m apart. Otherwise, don't go.
26. Re-do Pancake Day
I mean, do we really have to wait for one day of the year to come around just to be able to enjoy pancakes!? Get the whole family involved in a flipping contest and see who can create the perfect pancake. Use my gluten free crêpe recipe for perfect gluten free pancakes every time.
27. Have a household game of GBBO...
Compete against the other people in your house to make a classic cake within a certain time limit, or even get all your friends on Zoom and see if you can all out-do each other virtually. I have some great gluten free cake recipes if you need inspiration to get you started.
28. ...or play Ready Steady Cook!
As we start to get towards the back of the cupboards, who knows what random items you might find! Instead of worrying about what to eat, pick a few items (or let the kids choose!) and then you have to challenge yourself to make something with just those ingredients!
29. Bake some biscuits
If you know neighbours, friends or family who are isolating, why not bake them something to make them smile? You could whip up a batch of my gluten free white chocolate and pistachio shortbread and then deliver them to people's doorsteps so they know you're thinking of them.
30. Get scrapbooking
Got a load of old photos and trinkets around the house? I've been thinking about starting a scrapbook with all the old cuttings from when I worked at a newspaper, so I might just order a few bits online and get started on that during the next few weeks. This could be great to do with kids too!
31. Write to care home residents
I've seen a few threads going around about care home residents who are feeling very sad and lonely due to the isolation. Why not email out your local care homes and see if any would like some emails or letters to cheer residents up? It could be something the whole family gets involved with.
32. Sort through your clothes
Yes, it's one of those tasks I always put off too. But maybe now is the time to Marie Kondo your wardrobe! Sort your wardrobe out and bag up what you don't need ready for donating to charity. Plus it'll be time to get that summer wardrobe out soon!
33. Create a travel wish-list
Yes, the idea of being able to travel again may seem a long way off. But why not use this time to research your next big adventure? That way once the world feels right again, you can support your local travel agency and book a trip for next year.
34. Have a fake Christmas
Drink some Baileys, bake up a turkey joint if you can find one, and pull the leftover crackers you've still got lying around the house. Make sure you stick on all the Gavin and Stacey Christmas specials and spend the whole day in your PJs too!
35. Try to grow some veg
Got an old potato that's starting to sprout? Why not pot it up and see if you can grow it? Or try grow an avocado tree from a leftover avocado stone. Now is a great time for a project like this and you can find loads of easy tutorials to get you started.
36. Play some boardgames
Why not have a look through the cupboards and the attic to see what classics you can find? Nothing beats a family game of Scrabble or Monopoly - and it's a nice way to shut off from the news.
37. Learn about coffee
Love coffee? Why not get a milk frother and see if you can learn how to make beautiful coffee art? Or test out some of the different ways of grinding and making your favourite brew. You'll become quite the connoisseur. And if it all goes wrong you can use it to make my gluten free coffee and walnut cake instead!
38. Create your own 'pub crawl'
I saw a friend post on Instagram that she was going to put a different kind of drink in each room of her house and call it a pub crawl! It seemed too good an idea not to share!
39. Create a sourdough starter
Ever wanted to make your own gluten free sourdough? The fantastic Naomi Devlin has been sharing her guide to making your own gluten free sourdough starter on her Instagram page - check out her highlights and follow along if you want to give it a go yourself.
40. Make some scones
It doesn't get much easier when it comes to ingredients than baking gluten free scones. Whether you fancy plain gluten free scones or cheesy gluten free scones, why not treat yourself to a lovely afternoon tea?
41. Have a Mad Hatter's Tea Party
Baked up some scones and other goodies? Set up a picnic blanket in the lounge, pour a brew and treat the house to a tea party. Fancy dress optional - kids will love it!
42. Do a jigsaw puzzle
You must have plenty of these lurking around the house, right? This is a great way to spend an afternoon - and a workout for your mind.
43. Take part in a virtual pub quiz
I've seen a lot of pubs forced to closedown have taken their pub quizzes online and I think it's such a fab idea! Do a search online to find out who is streaming and when, and gather your household together to see if you can win!
44. Master gluten free pastry
Gluten free pastry seems to be the nemesis of a lot of home bakers, but it's really not that difficult! I have a foolproof recipe which I use in both my sweet and savoury recipes. Give my gluten free chicken and ham pie or my gluten free Bakewell tart recipe a try!
45. Grow some sunflowers
Order a pack of sunflower seeds online and get together a household competition to see who can grow the biggest sunflower. Why not invite friends to join in and you can share photo progress of your growing blooms each week!
46. Create Cress shapes
If you need something faster-growing which will keep the kids occupied, order some cress seeds and create some fun! Paint faces on yoghurt pots or egg shells and then plant the seeds in them to create some funky hairstyles!
47. Make Viennese Whirls
If you want a baking project to really get stuck into, I can highly recommend giving my gluten free Viennese Whirls recipe a go. These are a slightly more fiddly bake - but SO worth it. The perfect thing to lose an afternoon to!
48. Have a dressing up day
The lovely Lottie over at The Tummy Diaries came up with this and I think it's a fab idea! Have a themed dressing up day if you're working from home! Why not go to work in a ball gown, or answer emails dressed up for the beach!?
49. Build a fort out of toilet rolls
To all the hoarders out there, why not use all the extra toilet roll you panic-bought to make a fort? Or, failing that, go for good ol' Friends-style and build a fort out of cardboard boxes instead!
50. Bake, bake and bake!
When all else fails and you're feeling blue, I always find baking lift my spirits. Keep baking the things you love, keep experimenting and do get in touch if you want to make one of my recipes and are struggling to find the ingredients.
Any others ideas of things to do if you're self-isolating?
If you have any other ideas of things to do when you're stuck at home, then please do share them! I'd love to see photos of any of your bakes at #theglutenfreeblogger or share your ideas in my Facebook group or tag me on Instagram. A
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