Lifestyle features

Beyond banana bread: Tired of Zoom quizzes and daily walks, how will we stay entertained during a second lockdown?

Hayley Spencer predicts the activities which will see us through lockdown 2.0

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iStock-1181683441.jpg

When the nation was plunged into lockdown on 23 March, we all collectively began to while away the days and distract ourselves from the harrowing statistics in suspiciously similar ways as the world appeared to collapse around us. Google searches for banana bread recipes soared and a previously little-known tiger obsessive named Carole Baskin dominated our social feeds. Plus, many people who really shouldn’t have been attempting TikTok dances, attempted TikTok dances.

The loosening of restrictions from 23 June meant the monotony could ease too, as socialising with small groups outside was back on the cards and, come July, we could once more visit restaurants and pubs, cinemas and galleries. And so it was that the sourdough starters were left to go off and Joe Wicks retired his daily PE lessons.

But, as we find ourselves in the midst of a new lockdown, our choice of social activities has dwindled. What’s more, this time round the shorter days and beginnings of baltic temperatures, mean that unless we invest heavily in apres skiwear for everyday use, we may have no choice but to make staying home the new going out.

Here are the activities we predict will fill the void the second time round.

Cinnamon buns are the new banana bread

In times of crisis, we often turn to cooking as a way to take back control. Add to this the mindful properties of baking and the simplicity of banana bread, and its success in phase one was a no-brainer. While Google searches are still surging for the best banana bake, surely we’re ready for a more complex sweet treat to take precedence? When it comes to feeling cosy and comforted, the Danish do it best - hence why we all obsessed over Hygge a few years back. So, for the second wave, surely their sticky, sweet Cinnamon rolls are the answer to our sugar cravings? With almost as many tags on Instagram (1.4m) as banana bread (1.7) and with over 70 per cent of us turning to social media and away from cookbooks for our culinary inspiration, it’s looking to be the basic bake du jour (if you get the cheat versions). 

The Lockdown ‘Lodge’ is the new Kitchen ‘Speakeasy’

A party with your housemates in the kitchen was pretty novel in the first few weeks of phase one, as we eagerly mixed spirits on a kitchen counter designated as the new ‘house bar’. But for phase two the newfound hardiness that we’ve acquired for the outdoors due to being restricted to seeing friends in pub gardens, means we’re ready to take things into our own hands. For those with outdoor space, a gazebo, garden heater and some fairy lights are likely to be the basis of the Tier 2 hangout du jour. Drinking Mulled Wine inside just isn’t the same, after all.

Anything offline is the new Zoom

They were fun at first, but the Zoom Quiz quickly lost its sheen thanks to the obscure rounds, constant overtalking of conversation-starved friends and the fact that most of them raged on for hours. Not to mention the unshakeable feeling that your boss would appear on the call at any time - thanks Zoom meetings. HouseParty was fun for five minutes too, before we feared it had been hacked. So this time around, stepping away from our laptops to let the madness of 2020 sink in, or to mindfully distract ourselves from the news is key. Journaling in a daily diary is a great way to empty your mind. Plus when this is all over, it’ll double up as a great distopian tale.

Journaling in a daily diary is a great way to empty your mind

Home makeovers are the new couch to 5k

Conquering 5K was a lockdown classic. But now it’s dark, cold and the endorphin hit just doesn’t feel the same anymore.  Without Joe Wicks to motivate us, the home workouts have fallen by the wayside, too. Even Adrienne has felt the pressure we’ve placed upon her shoulder stand, recently posting a “Yoga for when you’re dead inside” session. So it’s time for a new form of exertion, and suddenly it feels like our homes are crying out for some TLC. You can thank spending so much time on video calls and the unprecedented access to other people’s home for the fact you’re suddenly finding your own interiors a bit lacklustre. Take two of lockdown is the perfect time to pimp up your home office set-up, or to carve out a corner of calm (slash better backdrop for your video calls). Painting and flatpack furniture are a great workout, too.

Take two of lockdown is the perfect time to pimp up your home 

Old box sets are the new binge-worthy Netflix series

Tiger King, Normal People, I May Destroy You: no sooner did they land on TV than they were binged and we moved on to the next ‘Trending’ series on Netflix or Now TV. During the colder months, after we’ve binged watched The Crown in one weekend, we’ll need even more hours of TV to enjoy mindlessly, so re-watching box sets with multiple seasons has to be the best thing for it. Luckily, Netflix has you covered with six series of Schitt’s Creek and a bonus making-of. Even better, revisiting six seasons of Sex and the City on Prime will take us back two decades before the words Covid-19 had entered our lexicon. The Thick of It’s satire on 2000s politics also has newfound resonance and is ready and waiting on Netflix.

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