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54 fun things you can do to keep yourself busy at home if you're self-isolating

Self isolating? Try these activities to keep you busy...

bored girl
Leanne Bayley
Director of Lifestyle & Commerce
Updated: January 6, 2022
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Well, 2022 is proving to be quite the rollercoaster so far amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. As we continue to navigate the country's situation, it can feel a bit unsettling. A lot of us are self-isolating after testing positive for the Omicron variant of COVID-19, and while it's not ideal, we need to remember that staying in can be just as fun and productive as going out, with HELLO!'s tips to keep boredom at bay. From learning new skills to embracing your inner DIY guru, we've got you covered…

RELATED: Bored at home? 35 productive things you can do to keep yourself entertained

1. Clear out your wardrobe 

Dedicate your time and attention to sorting out your clothes, declutter your home, ditching items you haven't worn for six months and co-ordinating clothes into sections so it's easier to browse in the mornings. This is a great opportunity to get inspired by new outfits or rediscover an old favourite.

What you'll need: Good music on, some vacuum storage bags and a 'does it spark joy?' mindset 

organised clothes

2. Hone your cooking skills

If you didn't quite master cooking skills during the various coronavirus lockdowns, maybe it's time you try again and start with the basics. If you can't be bothered, and just want convenience, check out our list of the best meal delivery services in the UK.

What you'll need: Basic skills. 

cooking for beginners

3. Give yourself a manicure

Sometimes it's the small things in life that make us feel better, with a fresh manicure being up there. Take some time for yourself, push your cuticles down, slather on some hand cream and choose a shade that makes you smile from ear to ear. If you love your gels, you might want to invest in an at-home gel machine set

star nails

Nail art photo we love: @overglowedit

What you'll need: Some cool Cheat Sheet nail stickers

ciate cheat

Ciate Cheat Sheet nail stickers, £9.60, Ciate London


RELATED: 38 of the best new beauty products to spark joy

4. Read a New York Times Bestseller

It's time to read that book that's been sat on your shelf for the last few months. Get inspired by a best-selling memoir, indulge in a celeb-approved book or escape to a different world for a few hours. Hot drink and blanket desirable. If you don't own a Kindle Paperwhite yet, you might wish to invest. 

What you'll need: The most talked-about book of lockdown - Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens


RELATED: 27 must-reads: from brilliant novels to must-try cookbooks 

5. Exercise

Replace your gym visit with an at-home work-out, with squats, burpees and press-ups all achievable without equipment. Transform your lounge into a yoga space and stretch it out. The current favourite is the Results Wellness Lifestyle app, which was co-founded by former TOWIE star Lucy Mecklenburgh. 

What you'll need: A free trial to Results Wellness Lifestyle

results wellness lifestyle

Train free for 30 days and £19.99 a month after, Results Wellness Lifestyle


SHOP: The best home gym equipment to make exercising at home easier

6. Book a staycation

We can start making plans, and if you're hoping for a chance to get away nex year, check out the Plum Guide for a gorgeous holiday home to rent in some of the UK's most idyllic hotspots. 

What you'll need: Your suitcase


7. Get motivated

Now's the time to read a book to give you a boost. Motivational speaker, Neil Thubron and author of Yucan, spent the first lockdown offering workshops for his followers. The Charity Big Goal Workshop raised money for the charity MIND. He helps people focus on their goals and build a plan for achieving them. It could be a personal, business or sporting goal, he just wants to help people get motivated to achieve them.

What you'll need: His book and a positive mindset

yu can

Yucan by Neil Thubron, £4.99, Amazon


8. Start a podcast 

Obsessed with podcasts? Are you and your family hilarious? Maybe it's time you looked into making a business out of podcasting. You'll need all the technical equipment, but first, swot up with how you're going to make your millions from your dining room table.

What you'll need: A book about podcasting for beginners 

podcast book

How To Start A Podcast And Create A Profitable Podcasting Business by Amanda Mayo, £16.05, Amazon


9. Write a letter

Remember how enjoyable it was to receive a letter in the post? Do that with your friends and family - make their day. Buy some nice paper and spread some love to a friend or family member.

What you'll need: A personalised letter writing set 

letter writing

Letter writing set, £21.24, Papier


10. Learn how to do calligraphy

If you really want to elevate your letter writing - how about doing a spot of calligraphy? This book is reportedly very good, with rave reviews online. Your Christmas cards will be next level this year.

What you'll need: A calligraphy guide for beginners

calligraphy beginners

The Ultimate Guide To Modern Calligraphy and Hand Lettering for Beginners, £6.99, Amazon


SHOP: The best loungewear sets to wear while at home

11. Do evening drinks (from home)

More and more of us turned to virtual slumber parties via Zoom so we could keep up with friends, have a laugh, a glass of wine or three, and make the best of the lockdown. Well, it was quite fun wasn't it... bring it back! Why not become the Quiz Master and organise the ultimate pub quiz.

What you'll need: Your girls, wine, and maybe some snacks. A quiz book could come in handy, too. 

quiz night

Collins Quiz Night, £3.99, Amazon


CHEERS! Royal-inspired cocktails to make at home

12. Get a personal tarot reading 

If you're feeling in the mood to see what's written in the stars, check out Naomi Stella on Instagram. You can DM for a personalised tarot and intuitive reading and it's all done remotely. It's all done over voice notes and her readings are done as a pay as you can service as she believes everyone should experience a reading. 

What you'll need: Instagram (and an open mind)

tarot reading

13. Lego 

David Beckham kept busy during the first coronavirus lockdown by building Lego sculptures with his kids, and who can blame him? Lego is perfect for keeping your mind busy and you get the ta-da at the end of it. Winning. 

What you'll need: The Beckham-approved Lego London Bus


Lego Creator London Bus, £109.99, LEGO 


14. TV

Did you miss the Game of Thrones craze or are you late to the Grey's Anatomy party? Now's the time to catch up on all that TV you've been curious about, so get comfy and get ready to commit hours of your life to watching someone else's dramas. During the first lockdown it was all about Normal People, in the second it was The Undoing starring Hugh Grant and Nicole Kidman and third. time around it was the saucy period drama, Bridgerton on Netflix. Now? Well, it's Love Island of course.

What you'll need: The remote control, or better yet, SkyGlass

READ: Get the latest on what's on TV

15. Watch Disney movies 

How often do you get a chance to sit around and watch Disney movies all weekend? Disney+ launched at the beginning of the March lockdown which was perfect timing for parents around the world. Prepare to be obsessed if you haven't downloaded it yet. 

What you'll need: A Disney+ subscription

maggie simpson

Disney+ Subscription, £7.99, Disney+


16. Buy a dartboard 

If you're back in isolation, there will be no trips to the pub, so bring the pub to you with a cool dartboard. This one is magnetic, so a lot safer if you have children.

 What you'll need: A dartboard

magnetic dartboard

Magnetic dartboard, £10.60, Amazon


17. Do a crossword/Sudoku

Looking for something a bit more challenging? Put your brain to the test and do a crossword or Sudoku puzzle and see how far you can get. There are lots of online crosswords or word puzzles which means you don't have to leave the house to have a go.

What you'll need: A crossword challenge


Collins crossword challenge book, £5.39, Amazon


18. Do a jigsaw puzzle for adults

Take your eyes off a screen for an afternoon while you tackle a tricky 1000-piece jigsaw. Amazon has plenty to choose from and stocks puzzles for all ages. Here are HELLO!'s picks for the best jigsaw puzzles for adults. 

What you'll need: 1000-piece jigsaw

new jigsaw

MORE: The best puzzles for adults to keep you occupied during isolation

19. Read a saucy book

According to reports, quarantine erotica went sky high during the first lockdown with more and more women enjoying downtime reading a saucy book. Move over Fifty Shades of Grey, the new book causing a fuss is Sex During the Coronavirus Pandemic by WH Fielding. Protagonist Lucy tries to satisfy her sexual desires while performing social distancing, and the strapline is: "They could lock down her country, but not her heart" and the front cover features a protective mask. 

What you'll need: A page-turner 

the mister

The Mister by E L James, prices start at £2.99, Amazon


INSPIRED? The best sizzling hot books to read 

20. Take notes from Lily Allen

Lily Allen launched her own clitoral stimulator in October 2020 and women across the globe have been raving about it ever since. Join in on the fun!

What you'll need: The Womanizer


The Womanizer, £89.99, LoveHoney


21. Make cheese from scratch 

Calling all cheese lovers! This kit is the ultimate lockdown essential - equipped with a range of herbs and spices, three cheese moulds, and a glorious recipe book. There are enough ingredients to make a grand total of 40 batches, and the kit has a shelf life of at least 12 months - so it’ll keep you going for ages. 

What you'll need: A cheese-making set 

cheese kit

The Ultimate Cheese Making Kit, £36.50, Amazon


SWOT UP: These bestselling cookbooks are here to switch up your mealtimes

22. Make a photo album/back up your phone pictures

Remember that girls' holiday you took in 2016 or when you swam with dolphins? Ensure that memories like this are treasured by taking the time to compile a photo album or scrapbook. Similarly, make a back-up of photos on your phone, to ensure you don't lose them in years to come.

What you'll need: A photobook  

family book

Create your own 'My Family' photo book, £35.95, PhotoBook UK


23. Plant some flowers

Introduce some welcome colour to your house or garden and plant some flowers.

What you'll need: A gardening kit

gardening kit

SHOP: The gardening buys to keep you occupied during isolation

24. Start a blog

Are you the modern-day Carrie Bradshaw or Bridget Jones? Or does your fashion taste rival that of Olivia Palermo and Estée Lalonde? Use your down-time wisely and start a blog to share your thoughts or favourite hobbies. WordPress is a favourite with most bloggers and it's very simple to use. You'll need a subscription to Canva for your imagery. 

What you'll need: A tripod


Tripod, £7.86, Amazon


25. Marie Kondo your drawers

In the words of everyone's favourite Japanese organisation expert, if it doesn't 'spark joy' it's got to go. Sift between socks, underwear and whatever else is lurking in the depths of your drawers and reap the rewards of a tidy and organised chest of drawers.

What you'll need: Drawer dividers

draw dividers

Drawer organiser, £16.99, Amazon


MORE: 5 lessons everyone can learn from Netflix's Marie Kondo

26. Bake

Indulge your sweet tooth and try a Bake Off masterpiece of your own at home. David Beckham loves baking and during the first lockdown he showed off his delicious lemon drizzle cake 

What you'll need: A fun cake set


GET READY, BAKE! 3 Tasty recipes to bake while at home 

27. Ice biscuits 

It's time to have a little fun with some sweet treats. Why not try your hand at icing some beautiful snowflake biscuits from the comfort of your kitchen? Inside this DIY kit, you'll find everything you need to become a pro at home.

What you'll need: A DIY kit

gingerbread baking kit

Gingerbreak icing kit, £12.50, NotOnTheHighStreet


28. Learn how to knit

Pick up your needles and take the time to hone a new skill like knitting. Not just for grandmas, knitting is considered incredibly therapeutic and practical.

What you'll need: A knitting kit

knitting kit

Knitting kit for beginners, £27.99, Amazon


29. Cross stitch 

According to reports, Cross stitch soared in popularity due to Bridgerton. In fact, in January of last year there was a 545% spike in interest. Get stitching and then get outside and promenade?

What you'll need: A cross stitch set for beginners 

cross stitch set

Cross stitch set for beginners, £16.99, Amazon


30. Dance it out

Blast out some of your favourite tunes and get dancing in your bedroom, living room or bathroom. Hairbrush microphone optional. 

What you'll need: A karaoke kit


Lucky Voice Karaoke Kit, £46.85, Amazon


31. Mask making

Tie-dye was the trend of the first lockdown and super popular with the fash-pack. This time around, perhaps we'll be making our own face coverings.

What you'll need: A mask-making kit

mask making

Mask-making kit, £4, Etsy


RELATED: The best face masks to buy now

32. Make a travel bucket list

Write it down in black and white the places you've yet to explore, the trips you want to take and the food you've got to sample. Similarly, Pinterest is the perfect place to find inspiration and pin places you want to go to.

What you'll need: A map


World map poster, £13.97, Amazon


DREAM: 13 eco-friendly hotels to dream about: From coastal retreats to city boutiques

33. Learn a language

Challenge yourself to learn a new language in just a few weeks, ready for your next trip away. With a ton of apps and websites that give you lessons for free, you've truly run out of excuses not to.

What you'll need: A book to help you


Fluent Forever, £9.45, Amazon


34. Give your face a workout 

FaceGym - the UK's only gym studio for the face - hosted incredible masterclasses during the first lockdown to teach people how to relieve stress in the face. Trainers from London, NYC and LA all took part in a 15-minute live stream class on Instagram (@facegym), and each masterclass focused on a different muscle group to tone, lift and sculpt the face. Now there are kits you can buy to use at home. 

What you'll need: A Face Tool Kit

core kit

Face Gym Face Tool Kit, £60, Face Gym


35. Get your DIY on

Take the time to tackle some interior improvements that you didn't get around to during the previous lockdowns – be that painting your walls, upholstering old furniture or rearranging a room. Remember health and safety at all times!

What you'll need: A toolset


100-piece tool kit, £39.99, Amazon


36. Call someone who's lonely

The chances are you're not the only one that's self-isolating and people will appreciate a friendly chat or text message to let them know you're thinking of them. Call your grandparents to check on them or suggest a funny thread in the girls' WhatsApp group.

What you'll need: A phone stand (there will be some long conversations!)

phone stand

Phone, £13.59, Amazon


37. Play board games

If you're lucky enough to be in isolation with company, embrace some old school entertainment and crack out the board games for some light competition. Monopoly should be chosen at your own risk.

What you'll need: Monopoly

monopoly game

Monopoly, £34.99, Amazon


HAVE FUN: The family-friendly board games to play

38. Get your gaming on

If you think playing app games isn't for you, think again. There's plenty of fun-filled ones to choose from, and our favourite? My Talking Angela 2, the cool new game everyone's talking about. Think a pocket BFF who you can run around town with, playing stylist by dressing her up, decorating her apartment, visiting new cities and taking on new jobs too, from baker to famous musician.

What you'll need: To download the app 

talking angela embed

39. Let your creative juices flow

Embark on a creative arts and crafts challenge, from sketching and mindful colouring to pottery. Stuck for ideas? 64 Million Artists have some great suggestions to get you started, launching a two-week daily creative challenge you can get involved in.

What you'll need: Colouring pencils


40. Learn to play an instrument

Own a guitar, bass or ukelele that's gathering dust? Or is are you a budding player? Whether you want to learn classic riffs or get the basics under wraps, the Fender Play app does it all with easy to follow video tutorials, diagrams and more. What's more, Fender has made the app free to all new users for three months - perfect for November lockdown! For Desktop, Apple and Android devices.

What you'll need: Headphones (for the sake of your family)

fender play app

Fender Play, £9.99 a month, Fender


41. Practice, practice, practice

How often do you have time to practice the things that you struggle with when it comes to your beauty routine?! Whether it's doing the perfect eyeliner flick, contouring, or applying false lashes, now's the time to become an expert. 

What you'll need: Faux lashes 

tatti lashes

TL7 Faux Me, £9, Tatti Lashes 


RELATED: How to give yourself a facial at home

42. Become a hairstyling pro

Curling your hair isn't easy, and if you're not a natural when it comes to hair styling, maybe now's the time to hone your skills. That's what the celebrities have been doing - just look at Sam Faiers who showed her Instagram followers her first hair tutorial using her go-to hair gadget - the Dyson Air Wrap. 

What you'll need: Your hair tool of choice 

View post on Instagram

Sam used the Dyson Air Wrap, £449.99, available now at John Lewis

43. Have fun on TikTok or Instagram Reels

Everyone is on TikTok or Instagram Reels right now; from the Beckham kids to Olly Murs playing pranks on his girlfriend, the social media platforms can provide hours of entertainment. Be warned: The dance routines aren't as easy as they look. 

What you'll need: Patience

MORE: Celeb kids teaching TikTok to their parents

44. Do cocktail night! 

If you're looking to de-stress and have a little fun, how about indulging in some cocktails. It's very simple - you build your own box of cocktails from the menu, which is created by Head Mixologist Patrick Pistolesi. The boxes hold three, six, or nine cocktails and are delivered straight through your letterbox. Each cocktail is packaged in its own uniquely-designed sleeve – ideal for lining up on a shelf to stock your very own cocktail bar or for spreading out on a table for you and your fellow quarantiners to pick and choose from.

What you'll need: Plenty of ice cubes

nio cocktails

Prices start from £19.50, NIO Cocktails


RELATED: Get Zoom party ready with these alcohol home delivery subscription services

45. Indulge in a chocolate-making class

Lockdown and chocolate go hand in hand. Give in to temptation and enjoy a luxury chocolate making set. 

What you'll need: The willpower to resist eating it before it's finished

chocolate set

Luxury chocolate making workshop for two, £105, NotOnTheHighStreet


46. Play a Murder Mystery game

Bored of pub quizzes? Elevate your Zoom game with a virtual Murder Mystery session. Available to buy online, you have a choice of three packages: downloadable ready parties, immersive evenings with a performer, and fully bespoke soirees. There's an array of themes to choose from, including 1920s Paris and Vintage Circus, while the game is suitable for four to 24 people.

What you'll need: Download a virtual game

murder mystery game

Murder Mystery Game, from £69, The Digital Murder Mystery Co.


47. Read the best magazine on the planet 

We have been working from our homes, dedicated to producing a magazine that is uplifting, positive and full of joy, in a bid to provide some much-needed entertainment as a gentle reprieve from all the difficult news around us. 

What you'll need: a HELLO! magazine subscription

hello subscriptiont

HELLO! subscription, prices start from £5.99


48. Binge-watch the best of royal documentaries

Treat yourself subscription of, the world’s first and only on-demand TV service devoted to premium royal content, and watch endless shows about your favourite royal family members!

What you'll need: a True Royalty TV subscription

true royalty tv© True Royalty TV

49. Buy a 2022 diary and get planning

Times are tough but the rest of 2022 needn't be a total write off. Get planning for the months ahead, so that you have things to look forward to, whether that be a catch up with friends or a birthday party. 

What you'll need: A lovely diary

2022 diary

2022 leather diary and pen, £55, Aspinal of London


50. Book in to The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience

Why not grab a group of friends and have a fun virtual outing to The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience? The 'Dome from Home' works best with a minimum of four players and you can even opt to have a Maze Master to really elevate the experience. It definitely makes a change to your average Zoom catch-up or team-building experience!

What you'll need: tickets to The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience

crystal maze live

The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience, from £15pp, Crystal Maze


51. Make your own pasta

A trip to Italy might not be on the cards, but why not bring the streets of Florence to your kitchen and make your very own pasta from scratch? 

What you'll need: A pasta maker

pasta maker

Pasta Maker, £36.99, Amazon


52. Learn how to play chess

You've been meaning to since you watched The Queen's Gambit, right? It's said to improve your memory, focus and creativity, which we could all do with a bit of, and Amazon has a huge range of sets available, so try swapping Netflix for a game of chess, you might just enjoy yourself. 

What you'll need: A chess set and some determination

Chess set

Hunters Wooden Chess Set, £14.95, Amazon


53. Create a balloon arch 

You've probably never created one before and you can spend the rest of the day posing in front of it - it's a win-win situation! 

balloon arch kit

Balloon arch making kit, £12.95, Amazon


54. Shop the New Year sales 

There are so many sales on right now - it would be rude not to. From John Lewis to MADE.COM, Dunelm and Mango, we've been going wild in the aisles.


HELLO!'s selection is editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items our editors love and approve of. HELLO! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. To find out more visit our FAQ page.

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