#LockdownSA: keeping busy, sane and using the lockdown time effectively

It is certainly a tough time for everyone. That said, it has never been easier or more important to play a part in saving lives and communities.

Just wash your hands properly and stay at home to protect yourself as well as others. But this does present the question: what to do with our time?

As of the 26 of March 2020, South Africa entered a national lockdown at the command of President Cyril Ramaphosa in order to help curb the spread of the coronavirus that causes the COVID‐19 disease. The idea is that social distancing slows transmission of the disease which allows medical services to help those in need and not be overwhelmed by patients all getting sick at the same time. This concept is commonly known as ‘flattening the curve’. While the lockdown is set to remain in place until April 16th, there is no knowing whether it will be extended or not.

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Right now, South Africans are learning how to pass the time at home. Many of us are not accustomed to staying home (or working from home) all day, every day, and this will be an extremely difficult and stressful time. Music, reading, watching television, and trying to get some exercise are all useful activities to try to retain some semblance of normality in our lives.

Lockdown could be seen as a golden opportunity to spend time with the family, exercising, playing board games, or cleaning the house together. This is also an ideal opportunity to use the down time to do the research you’ve been meaning to do, whether it be for the holiday you’ve always wanted to take, the new exercise routine you’ve wanted to start, or even the product comparison that has been keeping you from committing to a new tech purchase.

Here’s a list of some more things you can do with family (or on your own) to keep sane during the lockdown:

Keeping active

Physical activity during this time will help to keep your immune system working effectively as exercise flushes bacteria from the lungs and airways, increases white blood cell circulation, and raises body temperature ‐ all of which could help the body fight off infections.

Physical activity will also help improve mental health to help deal with being boxed‐in at home. Being active helps lower stress hormones such as cortisol, and promotes the release of feel‐good hormones, such as endorphins.

With the lockdown in place, home training videos have become appealing to help keep fit and a great TV certainly adds to the experience. And with a quarter of the world’s population under lockdown, the popularity of train‐along scenery and virtual trails has skyrocketed.

A large TV capable of streaming these videos will simplify and enhance indoor‐ and solo training sessions immensely. Although a really large TV for displaying a virtual trail can be a costly purchase, consumers fortunately have alternatives. A rent‐to‐own Samsung 55″ Smart Ultra HD LED TV can be rented from online retailer, Teljoy, from as little as R499 per month.

And if you really wish to bring the outdoors indoors with a life‐size screen, the significantly larger Skyworth 65″ Smart Ultra HD Android LED TV can also be rented from Teljoy for only R669 per month. With a spare room that could be turned into a gym space, the television could be accompanied by a treadmill that you can rent‐to‐buy from Life Trac, and your outdoors indoors training experience will be complete.

If you’ve been considering new tech you may have been torn between options in the past, and this is where the lockdown can be put to use. As deliveries are limited to essential services during the lockdown period this is an ideal time to do research and weigh up the options for your future at‐home exercise and entertainment solution, or for any tech purchases for that matter. The downtime during lockdown is also the ideal opportunity to place your order online on Teljoy’s 24/7 online store. But hey, if you have a big yard, dress up and jog in the yard to make the most of summer’s last warmth and light!

Keeping entertained and connected

Keeping entertained during this time is just as important as keeping active, especially for big families with kids who are cooped up in the house. Television series will not be enough this time around. Many of us will be engaged in a  bit of gaming, on phones, tablets, PC’s and consoles such as the Sony Playstation or XBox gaming consoles, or in the real world with a pool table that can double‐up as both entertainment and a mind‐body activity.

Some will also experience anxiety as a result of being cooped up and not seeing their friends and families, and being connected and able to speak with loved‐ones will help reduce stress levels. It is really important to maintain connections with people, even though only online.

There are a number of devices that allow voice and video calls through mobile apps such as Google Hangouts, Zoom, Skype and WhatsApp. Gaming consoles also offer a degree of connectivity although communication on a console works best in‐game, as opposed to a dedicated communications device and software that is purpose‐built for communication. The choices for a device are myriad, and again, this is the ideal time to assess needs and research a solution that will be usable by the family in the future.

Keeping kids occupied with educational activities

Some South African schools have, since the lockdown, instituted some measures for continued learning during the lockdown period, with key lesson activities sent to parents to actively complete together with their kids. While this will help many parents stay abreast of their children’s education, it will also help many spend quality time with their children, thus building stronger relationships.

These activities do require a bit of work though, and some research to be done on the part of parents. This is, however, not an exercise in vain, as all education in the future will have electronic and online components, and the distance learning necessitated by the lockdown will no doubt set the tone for the future of childrens’ education.

So, a good laptop or tablet and connectivity are a necessity. With computers, more than any other consumer product, research will ensure you purchase the correct tech and the lockdown is the ideal time to do the research and make those purchases ‐ online, of course!

But if you fear making the incorrect choice, or you fear your needs may change soon, rentals, like those offered by Teljoy, makes sense. The online shopping site allows product comparisons to help you make your choice, and remove some of the trepidation when committing to an option.

Making some extra income from home

This is the best time to fully explore the ways the internet can help you earn money. Consider selling those handmade earrings or clothing pieces you no longer have need of; although they can only be delivered after lockdown, a sale would generate cash during the lockdown.

Or offer services online, like streaming workouts or even hosting fun classes like painting and cooking. There are a variety of ways to get set up online, but using a familiar (and secure!) site is your quickest and safest bet. For the most part, Quicket is known as a ticketing platform, but they offer much more than just tickets to the latest (and now streaming) events.

Add your merchandise for sale on the website using the same method you would to list an event, and if you’re streaming content, simply add your streaming link. This may be where you get a break from all the research, as Quicket’s site is really easy to use. You can get started by signing up here.

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All articles written by a STAFF WRITER have been checked and verified to the best of our abilities. Should you have any queries or concerns, please don't hesitate to email them to info@after12mag.co.za

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