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    Breaking out of the Groundhog Day cycle during COVID-19

    Nine weeks into lockdown and we’re all falling victim to that repetitive Groundhog Day feeling as the alarm goes off and we get out of bed each morning.


    But worry not because we have a host of tips at our disposal to help you vary your routine, keep you entertained and boost your motivation and wellbeing in your spare time while working from home. In the words of Sonny and Cher, we’ve got you babe…


    Learn a language 


    There are plenty of apps which help you learn a language for free, such as DuoLingo and HelloTalk. Download one and spend 30 minutes a day teaching yourself how to speak French, German, Japanese, Mandarin or whatever language takes your fancy.


    Join the fight against COVID-19 


    You can help in the battle against Coronavirus by self-reporting your symptoms every day. King's College London is requesting that people check in daily on this handy app, even if they're feeling well. This will enable scientists to more efficiently track the spread of the disease and identify vulnerable and affected communities.


    Couch to 5k 


    Keep active by downloading a Couch to 5k app, and heading out into the fresh air for a jog three times a week to achieve your desired distance. Just make sure that you carry on social distancing and maintain a two-metre distance from other people while you're out running.


    Socialise via Zoom (Skype or House Party)


    There are so many different types of get together that you can do here with friends and it provides the opportunity to get seriously creative. From virtual pub quizzes, birthday parties, wine tastings and book clubs, not to mention online exercise classes and choir practices, the world is quite simply your oyster.


    Enjoy a virtual tour of Buckingham Palace 


    A host of top UK tourist attractions offer virtual tours so that you can look around from the comfort of your own home and at your own leisure. The Buckingham Palace tour allows you to take a peek around Queen Elizabeth’s house while learning about the royal family.


    Other tours of note include the Natural History Museum, Museum of Modern Art, London Zoo and the National Gallery, also great for educating the kids and keeping them entertained.


    Phone a friend


    In the iconic words of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, take the time to phone an elderly neighbour who might be feeling lonely, a relative who you haven't spoken to in a while, or even just a friend who you normally meet up with for drinks after work. Many people will feel isolated at this time of social distancing and keeping in touch is important for maintaining good mental health.


    Make a food bank donation 


    Many supermarkets have a drop-off point where you can leave donations for your local food bank, perfect for when it’s time to do your weekly shop. Most food banks also allow you to make an online cash donation.


    Appreciate your NHS 


    Say thank you to health workers by going out to clap for them alongside your neighbours every Thursday evening at 8pm.


    Have a wardrobe clearout 


    Make like organising guru Marie Kondo and take your clothes out of your wardrobe, try them on and bag up any that you don't want or that don't fit. Once the lockdown is lifted you can take them straight to a charity shop.


    Take a yoga class 


    Even if you've never done yoga in your life, there are plenty of quality tutorials on YouTube. Pick one and have a go next time you're feeling cooped up and stressed. 


    Do some gardening 


    If you're lucky enough to have a garden, make the most of it, particularly as spring has sprung and summer is on its way. Eat your breakfast outside, get a barbecue on the go, pull up some weeds, plant some flowers or kick a ball about. Anything really to get you out of the house and into the fresh air.


    Learn how to draw 


    It doesn't matter how terrible you were at art at school, just put pencil to paper and draw something. Whether it's a bowl of fruit, the view from your kitchen window or an attempt at a self portrait, challenge yourself to get your creative juices flowing and make some art. 


    Complete a crossword


    Either attempt the crossword in your newspaper or find one for free online, where they vary in difficulty to stretch and challenge you.


    Make a post lockdown to-do list 


    Stay motivated by making a list of all the fun things you're going to do when life gets back to normal. This could be anything from the simple pleasure of buying a takeaway coffee to going out for a meal with friends to a trip to the cinema. Add to the list as and when you think of something new. Try to remember that this lockdown won't last forever and it's good to have things to look forward to once it's all over.


    Do a jigsaw 


    If you have any jigsaws in the house, get them out and have a go with your family. Jigsaws are also available for free online.


    Remember that, above all else, by staying at home and adhering to lockdown rules, you’re ultimately saving lives.