Romantic date ideas for lockdown in the UK.

Romantic date ideas for lockdown in the UK.

So you and your other half are on lockdown together and bored thinking of things to do. Normally you would go out for a movie or a trip to your faviourite coffee place and find something fun to do. But now you’re stuck inside. Nothing is open and your stuck thinking….What can we do? Well here’s some ideas.

First of all try not to see being home together as such a bad thing for a few hours. In reality we are all getting a bit bored stuck in the house but try think for a few hours your in the present it is what it is and enjoy some time with your spouse. Once you have a more positive mindset you may feel a bit better about the day and be ready for a indoor date.

First of all, dress up. Yes i know the tracksuit bottoms you have had since your 15 because they were once the most comfortable things you ever owned but don’t want to admit they’re now a food stained scratch mess are a comfort clothing choice during the lock down but think would i go to a date wearing that? If the answers no, change! You want to feel like you’re on a date so that means washing your greasy hair and having a shower. It’s amazing how much a shower or bath will lift your spirits. A spritz of perfume too will make you feel super fab even if there is nowhere to go. It has become a luxury from a time long forgot.If you want to wear make up to feel like youre going out it is not a waste if it’s going to make you feel good for a few hours and if you don’t want to and want to give your skin a much needed break then as shia labeouf would say “just do it”!

Here’s some indoor activivities you could do.

First up a cocktail making night! Get all your alcoholic drinks and fruit juices and fizzys and experiment making cocktails. You can order a fun cocktail making kit offline if you wanted to be more professional in your cocktail making skills. You can make mocktails to so it doesn’t have to be alcoholic i.e if you don’t drink or pregnant or something like that! Google some recipes online and work together to make some cocktails together as a team and obviously after sample them. Play some music in the background and just enjoy being free for a little bit. You might even end up a bit tipsy after so there is that too. You could always face time another couple and do the same and double date!

Try and cook something new from scrtach together. Then enjoy a candlelit meal together. You could flick through a cook book looking at something new you both might like and pick one at random. Or you could raid the cupboards for things you have that might go and make your own recipe up together. You could also challenge each other too cook a dish each and have your own master chef at home. Brownie points if your other half can’t cook and learns too.

Obviously hand in hand with cooking something new you could bake a cake or some cookies together. Helping each other and helping to decorate together can be quite a nice bonding experience and something to be proud of when finished. Also if you have a sweet tooth like me it’s great for being able to eat something naughty afterwards too.

Have a movie night. Get your favourite snacks. Set it up nicely so it feels a bit better (not eating from packets) put the lighting down low and choose some films. Watch a favourite each or choose something random too! Turn your phones off cuddle on the couch and get a blanket out. If you’re not a movie watcher binge, binge, binge a series!

Have a gaming night. Get some terrible multiplayer games out and shove a game on. Get competitive and have fun. Play things you wouldn’t normally play and retro classics to fully enjoy the experience.

Have a indoor picnic. Pack a picnic blanket and make space in your livingroom. Push sofas out the way and put a blanket or picnic mat down. Sit down together and turn everything of and just chat and enjoy your food. Have some wine if you like, Treat yourself!

Play some board games. Get uno out, monopoly, a puzzle or any games you might like. Make a competition of it and stop a game if you get bored> if you don’t have games make your own or play charades. Anything that makes you laugh. Again you could invite friends to play charades or drawing games.

Try and do a fancy dress with what you have and make a competition of it. Dress up as a cat, a Disney character or whatever you can think of. You can use paper, clothes or anything and have a bit of fun.

Do some art and crafts together. Make something or paint something together play some calming music and just relax together. Start a new hobby together.

Learn how to dance together watch a video online and learn how to dance. Or just have a simple bad dance session together. It’s always good for stress release to dance it all out.

Write each other letters. It’s romantic as heck and a great moment to keep. You can even do as a paper anniversary gift.

Have a self care night, have facemasks, spa trearments and give eachother massages. No it doesn’t always have to be erotic as i’m sure you don’t find it erotic at a spa. It’s wuite nice to show someone you care by treating them to a relaxing treatment every now and then and if the spas aren’t open bring them to you. Light a load of candles and get the aromatherapy essential oils on the go and just relax.

These are just some ideas of things you could do together obviously it’s not the biggest list and you might just want to chill in pj’s with a takeaway too as its a age old date from when you first started dating no doubt. Also remember we are still able to exercise once a day.. So go for a romantic stroll in the countryside. Go somewhere new everyday and look at different things. You can try bike riding together if you both have one and having a race against each other. Take your phone or cameras and take some photography and enjoy taking photos of things you see and each other. If you are away from partners too a lot of these could adapted to face time.

Isolation anxiety.

Isolation anxiety.

It’s a funny thing being in isolation. As a child it is used as a form of punishment in school. Being sent outside or to a room for the day to be alone in the hope that you fall in line with the rest of the children. And now… it appears to of become a way of life. I guess in some ways it is still a form of punishment. Because the world would not listen to the powers that be it has caused the sad spreading of the corona virus (covid-19) at a catastrophic rate. The advice was simple avoid non essential travel wash your hands and keep two metres apart, It really wasn’t that much to ask of a human.But that’s the thing about our species is we seem to have this function where we can choose whether we listen or not. Of course many people listened. Many of the elderly and the vulnerable self isolated and practised social distancing. But as always, some people just can’t take no for an answer. The restaurants had to shut, then then leisure centres which then spiralled to all public places to meet up such as museums, library, play parks and shops that are non essential. Now we are forced to stay home unless your job cannot be done from home or safely (unless your a key-worker). We are however permitted to leave the house for medical reasons or to shop for essentials. Fortunately as it stands we are aloud out for one form of exercise. However there are still plenty of people who are not listening. Who are making trips to the shops to buy paint or standing on street corners treating this another bank holiday. People are loosing their jobs day by day because of this disease and the longer people ignore advice the longer it will drag on. I am still seeing people visiting family and friends or having bbqs in the garden. People are also flocking in supermarkets getting to close for comfort to buy an Easter egg and no essential items other than that much needed product. The longer people carry the virus to households the longer this goes on. You may not know you have the virus or of already had it and be a carrier and spreading it to have a quick conversation with someone. Does everyone else in the world think we are all choosing not to see out family and friends for a laugh? Like we enjoy saying i can’t see you i might make you ill or you might make me ill.

Being in isolation has been quite hard. It’s hard for everyone but being a mother it makes it just that little bit harder for me personally. My son is almost two and a half years old and i am a stay at home mum. I am used to staying in some days but not all the time. Me and my son and my whole family really have very active social lifes. When i first became a stay at home mum after returning to work for ten months i spent quite alot of time alone at home and at the time i suffered quite heavily with post natal depression. I found that what helped me was socialising often be it seeing friends of family and making an active effort to get out of the house to attend groups or see others. Now that we have to stay home and not go out or mix households it takes me back to a time where i felt so alone. Obviously i have my son and husband (When he is not at work) and they are all the company i need but at times it’s hard to not be able to go out and see and speak to other human beings. Humans are really social creatures and i think that is why i struggle so hard with not being able to go out much. Being in isolation has been quite hard for my little chap too. He is asthmatic (as am i) and we are trying to stay in as much as possible. It is quite hard having to tell him every day he cannot see his friends and his nanny and granddad. Every morning he wakes up and tells me he wants to go swimming or to the park or to soft play and i have to keep saying no he can’t right now. Hes to little to understand which in some ways is a blessing but in other ways a curse. Luckily we face time a lot of friends and family and he is happy enough on there for a few minutes and can at least see their faces. However when the call stops he wants to see them and gets quite upset. I am trying my hardest to try and come up with fun play ideas everyday to bring him some excitement and structure to our days to prevent us both going mad. I have been making my own learning tools and arranging toys in ways to make them more fun but i am now getting to that stage of burnout when i can’t think that much anymore. You can see some of these play ideas on my Instagram page under the play ideas highlight.

We are still able to go for a walk a day but i am really struggling some days now to want to go for a walk. Unless others in the house want to go for a walk i really don’t feel up for it. Of course when i am out i feel glorious my worries fade away and i am unplugged from the world for a moment or two. But it’s hard to have the energy when you have started to fear the outside world. I think today my plan will be to go for a walk. I want to get Elijah to have some exercise other than online fitness videos for kids and enjoy leaving the house for a little while. Before restrictions i would take elijah to the play park behind the house for a kick about and trip to the play equipment but now its shut he wont understand and i don’t want him getting upset and me getting stressed from a oncoming tantrum.So it looks like i will have to walk a extra 15 minutes to the local meadows to get some fresh air so that means lugging the buggy as someone will not walk too long by himself.

The thing about social distancing i’m not enjoying is the worry that anything or anyone could carry the virus and that when i am visiting a shop for essentials that i am going to pick it up from a trolley, or the food i but or someone standing that bit too close to me. I went shopping for the first time in weeks the other day and i felt a panic attack coming on in the que to buy my shopping. The shops have changed and have lines on where to stand and que (not everyone listens) people wear masks and gloves and everything’s a little bit more stressful. I felt overwhelmed buying things as i was doing a big shop to avoid trips to my local little shop because i felt like i was being judged even though i brought everything i normally buy and less than that. I felt i was judged for everything i put in my trolley and wondered if someone would judge the gingerbread men kit i put in my trolley to entertain my son one day. The reduced tills meant i had to rush loading and unloading my shopping with others looking at me. I felt my heart beating faster, my hands getting sweaty and my eyes filling up and feeling hot. i spent every minute of my shop apologising to others and feeling really overwhelmed. When i got home i felt safe and like a weight was lifted off my shoulder. I’m starting to get anxious about leaving the house and passing people in the street and worrying in case i needed medical care for my pre-existing conditions and have to be around other sick individuals.

There is also a lot of mum shaming at the moment. Mums are telling parents to not teach their children whose schools have been closed and sent home with learning resources and expected to learn from.There are also parents shaming people for not doing enough. Who the hell cares what other parents do to get through this crisis. So long as your child is happy and perhaps learning something it is better than nothing. We have enough on our plates without others telling us how to raise our kids and the anxiety from posting a photo on Instagram of something that may upset someone because your either watching cbeebies or doing a puzzle with your kid.Like get over it. Mind your own damn business while your self isolating because hate is just going to make it worse.

I’m starting to realise my depression is creeping back. This may be because i am left with a lot of my thoughts recently or due to the under stimulation of being stuck in everyday without face to face socialisation. I’m becoming more tired and not wanting to do as much again. This may be due to the fact i had james home for a week and had help parenting and now i’m back to being alone monday to friday 6-5. Single mothers out there i salute you and take my hat off to you because it isn’t bloody east having nobody there to help. I am due to try a new high dose relaxant that helps with anxiety from pain management at the hospital and he said it works as a anti depressant so hopefully i’ll feel a bit better when taking it because the loss of sleep with this experience isn’t doing me any favours either.

So today i don’t have any tips really on how to get through isolation anxiety because really i don’t know myself how to get through any of this either. I don’t think anyone does. I think what is important is that we use this time to strengthen family links within the home and outside. Drop a few texts, make a few face time calls and even send letters. Ask others how they are doing and also take notice of who doesn’t ask how you are back. You will soon realise who really does have your best interests in heart and cares about you as much as you care about them and in some ways this is therapeutic too. Try is you can to enjoy your house, rearrange things and tidy things and organise your living space. Try and take in every part of your home remember what each bit of furniture brings to you in memories. For example i remember sofa shopping with my friend and how we laughed trying every sofa in the shop. I remember buying too many pillows to fit in the shopping trolleys with james and elijah looking like he was in a pillow fort, I remember buying every bit of my furniture and its memories that will last forever if i choose not to forget them. Stop seeing yourself locked inside but instead safe inside your home (if you feel safe) you are safe from the virus if you stay home. Remember that this will one day be over it will have to be the world won’t stay closed for ever and shops and restaurants will need to open again. One day soon you will step onto the front step shut the door breathe deeply and smile because the world once again is your oyster. You will no longer take a coffee with friends for granted, you will enjoy a trip to the theatre feeling each bit of emotion that little bit more understanding all these actors sacrifice to bring you that show.You will never again think of any trip outside of your house as a wasted day and see the world as more beautiful then it ever was before.

Things to keep your toddler entertained indoors

Things to keep your toddler entertained indoors

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen a few of my play ideas pop up on my stories every so often. If you don’t head over and check my play ideas as I’m always updating with new things we do together to play.

Being in isolation at the moment one thing is on every parents mind… How can I keep my child entertained? And the answer is simple. Just spend time with them. Get to their level to the best you can and play with them. For you parents that may at times struggle with mobility bring the games and toys to you at the sofa or on the kitchen table. For more able bodied mums and dads get on the floor as much as you possibly can and get stuck in and play with them. A child learns best from engagement with parents/caregivers and it can be anything from talking or actively encouraging learning though play and spending the time teaching that benefits them the most. All children are different and learn different ways so what may suit my child might not suit yours but if your child and you enjoy something I do that is good enough for me!

Get yourself down to or online to a craft store. Order the basics of crayons, paints, paintbrushes, paper and glue. Modelling dough or play doh is great fun too or you can make your own!Anything else you want to try is a bonus too! You can make so many things yourself to engage play with your little one. I like to make our own games and activity’s by drawing and cutting things myself and helping Elijah play games or colouring in what I’ve done earlier for him. Colouring books and sticker books are great for lone playing this teaches them independence while they learn. Reusable sticker books are great as you can make a scene and reuse them. Normal stickers are great too as these can be saved for reward charts too! Also if your buying anything I recommend a tuff tray for tidy messy play indoors.

Online resources. Look about online I am always finding free to print resources which I use to help teach Elijah things. Such as colouring and activity sheets. Many children’s centres and online community’s regularly share ideas of fun and interactive play ideas too! Some kids tablets have great educational apps to if that’s something your interested in too!

Emotions. Learning about emotions is important for all ages and something I am currently teaching Elijah now. We like to pull faces and talk about the emotions we may be feeling and also explain our emotions throughout the day so that Elijah can learn to communicate his emotions more accurately as he gets older instead of constant meltdowns. We also printed out some activity sheets of emotions on animals. We play a game by matching the emotion and using a peg to find the match. We talk through the emotions as we play this and ask questions like why may he feel like this and so forth and what makes you happy?

Reuse recyclables. Clean down old plastics and you can reuse them for craft. Keep your paper tube toilet rolls, plastic bottles and bottle caps and make something new! Tubes can become animals or a slide for toys. Keep bottles to make future toys or sensory bottles! I will be making some next time I get a bottle to give to friends with babies! Bottle caps (plastic) make great counters to teach counting or playing noughts and crosses. Keep boxes to make castles or hiding places, the possibility’s are endless!

Jelly play. Using jelly make a sensory explosion by following the instructions on the packet place some toys or objects in jelly as your about to leave to cool in fridge and in a few hours your ready to play. It helps to have a theme like dinosaurs or animals. Ask about the textures and let them go nuts they’ll enjoy fishing for there toys and the weird textures and colours of the jelly!

Sand play. A bag of sand goes a long way! Let little one explore a box filled with sand and let them feel and burry toys. Pop some toy diggers or hide some animals/dinosaurs in the sand for them to find. If you prefer less mess you could get some kinetic sand and recreate the play indoors. Although a bit less messy it still is with its mess!

Balloons. Always handy to keep balloons left over from party’s. You can blow them up and put words and numbers on to teach them whilst allowing to play with the balloons. Also gets rid of energy for some calm after.

Magnetic numbers and letters. Or cubes. These can teach a whole host of things from spelling to just learning to read and count. They can also be fun making figing games using a beer bottle opener on a bit of string or a magnetic fishing line if you have a toy one. You can also play with magnets putting them on white boards, cold radiators/ side of stair gates and the fridge.

Water play. Elijah loves our water table and if you don’t have one there’s so much you can use to have water play. You can use your washing up bowl and put toys in with sand dish soap and a sponge so your kids can wash their toys. You can fill a tubberwear box with water and put some toys or saucepans in and let them play. You can colour water with water paint and also fill a watering can and teach them to care for their garden.

Playing with food. Maybe when the pandemic is over you can cook and using food colouring, colour spaghetti for messy play from 6 months up. Kids love it and they can eat it. You can also dye rice and normal pasta for sensory play. You can set up toys with food or just let them explore with their hands. You can also make a beautiful piece of art using the food too if not cooked.

Painting pebbles or bits from the garden. You can paint pebbles collected from beaches and this is fun for all ages. Collect things from walks and use them in your play and arts and crafts I’ve collected flowers, leaves, twigs and conkers and used them for learning and play. You can also chalk on the pavements outside the house to create art. My brothers who are teenagers seemed to like this to😂

Get your toddler involved in the housework. You’d be surprised how much they like wiping, dusting, sweeping and hoovering. Give them little tasks of their own like making their bed every day and tidying up their toys. Not only are they learning about keeping their house tidy they can have fun doing it if you make a game out of it and don’t make it feel like a chore!

Set up there toys in a theme. Separate animals according to where they live in the world and make it a play session. Pre arrange a theme or selection of toys that haven’t been played with in a while and they treat these as new toys.

Cook with them! Make cakes and sweet treats but also get them to help you in the kitchen as much as they can using blunt utensils. Even if it’s just a stir here and there or helping put things in a bowl. It can make them feel important while also learning food doesn’t magically appear in front of them. You can talk about what your cooking and what steps you take and talk about they’re role in the kitchen too. You can buy little steps to help them reach to kitchen surfaces too if you want to let them help butter toast or something in the kitchen!

I hope you’ve enjoyed some of my suggestions any questions just drop a dm or comment. Check my Instagram stories and highlights for more ideas as they come to me. Stay safe and be happy!