Things to do when you’re isolating at home

Published: 12 May 2020

If you have cancer you are likely to have been advised that you fall within the category of the most vulnerable and therefore need to take extra measures to protect yourself from coronavirus.

Advice differs from country to country and even state to state - but it's likely you are staying in and shielding yourself to reduce the risk, with just you, and if you're lucky, your immediate family for entertainment.

No doubt by now you've found many ways to keep yourself going in the confines of your own four walls. But if you're running out of ideas, we've found a few more things you could try. You never know,  maybe you'll find your calling!

Make a TikTok video

If you haven't discovered this social media platform yet take a peek. It's a social video app that allows users to make and share short videos. It's famous for generating global dance crazes, lip-synching and funny video memes.  If you're bored take a look and create your own video. Alternatively, trawl through the millions of videos and see some of the crazy things other people are getting up to in lockdown.

Have a go at crafting

Home videos not your thing? What about getting creative. There's been a bit of a resurgence in home crafting of late, it's calming, it's therapeutic, it takes your mind away from the stresses of everyday like and it's creative. Plus, you might even make something beautiful for your home or a present for someone you love. There are so many crafting ideas and online is a great place to start - some of the ones we love are:

Organize a quiz

You might not be able to meet in person, but many people have been taking full advantage of the various free conferencing apps available. So rather than just chatting, add a bit of competitive spirit to your next online meet-up and arrange a quiz. Stick to five rounds (unless you're serious quizzers), and if you want, add a picture round and send by email or WhatsApp to everyone to complete while the quiz is going on. There are loads of online quiz sites, packed full of questions and answers. Word of advice - don't make it too tough or you'll lose your audience!

The art of letter writing

When's the last time you wrote a personal letter to someone and posted it rather than emailing? And how enjoyable is it to receive a letter from someone else? Write to friends and family that you're no longer able to see and spread some love. It will make their day.

Download the photos on your phone... and make an album

How many times have you said you'll do it, but never seem to have the time? Well, now you do! Nowadays we take more photos than ever, but no one gets to see them. Occasionally shared on social, most are locked in your phone, or saved in folders on your computer. Great - you have a record that will hopefully last forever (as long as you remember to back them up!), but it's not quite the same as flicking through a carefully curated photo album containing all the high days and holidays of your life.

Grow your own veg

There is nothing more rewarding than enjoying the fruits of your hard labor.  And when it comes to growing veg, it's really not that hard. Herbs are great, especially if space is short. You can grow them on a window ledge if you don't have a garden. Lettuce is easy and it grows fast - so a good place to start - plus there are so many varieties to choose from. Runner beans, baby pumpkins and even climbing courgettes will grow vertically on a trellis or frame so won't take up much ground space. Raised beds filled with compost or topsoil are great if you don't want to spend time getting garden soil in shape. And kids love it - so if you're trying to find ways to entertain young children as well as yourself, it's a wonderful thing to do together. And they might even eat the veg they've grown.

Learn how to knit

Knitting is cool again... it has been for some years now. So pick up some needles and take the time to learn a new skill. If there's no one around to teach you, search online and find some tutorials to get you started. It's incredibly therapeutic and practical - hands-up anyone who wants a scarf for Christmas?

Look into your ancestry

Do you know where you come from, what your great grand-parents did for a living, where they lived, and what their lives were like? There's nothing more fascinating than finding out who and what your ancestors got up to. is one of the ways to start from the comfort of your own living room. Their records include everything from census, wills, birth records, and even records of people's jobs. Just enter your family's names and dates of birth, or as much as you know. You'll get hints for other records and people, that help show you where to look next and lead you to even more discoveries.

Learn calligraphy

Calligraphy is a beautiful art form that is relaxing and rewarding at the same time. It is a little like drawing a picture - after you've learned the basics, every greeting card and gift label will have extra special meaning to the person receiving it. You can purchase a calligraphy pen set and ink relatively cheaply online, and once again there are a plethora of tutorials to search and find your favorite. Here's a blog we found that might just get you off the starters' blocks.

8 Tips For Anyone Who Wants To Learn Calligraphy And Hand-Lettering

Learn to tie-dye

Tie-dying is the new 'in-thing' with both Kendall Jenner and even the Beckhams giving it a go. You can pretty much tie-dye anything, as long as the fabric is able to hold the dye. 100% natural fabrics like cotton, rayon, or silk are best. Synthetic fabrics like polyester may not absorb the dye very well, if at all.  We suggest starting with a T-shirt or cotton sarong. There is a surprising range of dye-techniques you can use. This website has some great tutorials with different patterns to aim for.

Try your hand at sourdough

What do you do if you're isolating at home and run out of bread... make your own of course! The smell of freshly baked bread is worth the effort alone, and if you follow this recipe so will the taste. Sourdough requires a little more effort than most bread - that's because you need to prepare a sourdough starter, which takes 6 days - but that's part of the fun... right?  Here's a simple recipe with a step by step guide to follow below.  But if you're not up for the sourdough challenge, normal bread is just as good.

Sourdough bread recipe


We've also added links below that take you to some of our other articles that you might also find useful at this time.

So there you go, a few ideas from us if you're running low. We will get through this, stay strong, stay connected, and stay well. If you are anxious and would like some support, if you need advice and want to connect with other people also coping with cancer during these strange times, join the Chemotherapy Support Group on Facebook.  There are almost 8000 members from across the world - most will be fighting cancer and undergoing treatment right now.

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