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I live alone and during the pandemic I’ve been working from home. I know I am really fortunate, but it has meant I have spent extended periods of time on my own, without seeing other people. I have an extra couple of hours a day as I am not commuting (although really I’ve been staying in bed longer, but I do have more of an evening) and obviously until bubbling was introduced I didn’t see anyone socially at all.

For someone as chatty as me, there were times when I found this hard. I was used to evenings at home on my own, but I had previously been out all day at work chatting with people. I realised I needed to find new ways of keeping myself occupied and entertained. Here I am going to share some of my favourite ways of keeping myself occupied over the past year, but of course, are also budget friendly:

Online Gaming

I have always played lots of games on my phone but I am always on the look out for new ways of gaming. Some of my favourite are platforms such as Backyard where you can play games such as Boggle, Pictionary and do Crosswords online with your friends as the platform has a built in microphone and camera option which makes it a very social distanced activity. If you prefer board games, a great platform such as Tabletopia can be fun. You can play a selection of board game style games, and either on your own, or again with friends. There is a premium membership, but there are plenty of choices for free as well.

Want to just play some games on your own or whilst your friends are busy, a site like Plays is a great resource. This is a new site but which offers games for free which can be played in browser (perfect for home workers). Whatever kind of games you enjoyed playing growing up (PacMan, Tetris, Minesweeper etc) there are plenty of free games for you to try and they are adding new games all the time! Goodbye productivity!


For those of you who are trying to have less screen time, taking up a new craft or hobby can be a great way to fill time, as well as learning something new. In my case, I’ve taken up crochet in the last lockdown. I’m very slow, but I’ve found it really fun to learn (although I have ended up watching lots of tutorials on YouTube so I’ve not eliminated screen time altogether) and seeing something which I’ve made is very satisfying. So far it’s only been for my niece’s doll or toys for the cats, but it is incredibly satisfying.

Going for a walk

It might sound like a cliche, but getting out the house for some fresh air, and a change of scenery really does do the world of good. I got to a stage where I couldn’t remember the last time I unlocked the front door, let alone went out. I started going for a walk on my lunchbreak, and now I borrow my neighbour’s dog and getting out is great for both of us. I can really feel the difference in my mood when I miss a day or two. When you are out with a dog everyone is much more friendly and approachable (although still maintaining distance obviously). Seeing other dog owners and walkers became my social contact and really does lift the spirits.

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