Getting the best out of Easter during lockdown
Getting the best out of Easter during lockdown
With just a few days until Easter and lockdown still firmly in place, it’s a tough time for everyone – especially for those with children. The majority of employees are still working, and many are trying to juggle childcare and work responsibilities within the confines of the home. Even for those without children, staying indoors as the weather warms up is a big – albeit necessary – ask.
So, what can employees do to get the best out of the Easter period?
We’ve rounded up some hints and tips you might want to share with your teams as we head towards the Easter weekend.
Keep up morale
Communication is more important than ever. It can be a huge culture shock for those used to working in busy offices suddenly working in isolation at home. But there are lots of things you can do to ensure teams and individuals continue to feel connected with their colleagues. So make use of Slack and other social media channels to keep collaboration going or schedule in regular video calls via Skype or Zoom.
But it doesn’t all have to be about work. Just as there was plenty of banter in the Before Corona (BC) era, you can keep it up remotely, too. For example, at IHC, we’re sharing weird and wonderful facts about ourselves with our team members to keep the laughter going.
Staying fit and healthy
Our one-permitted daily outdoor exercise session may not be enough for everyone, but there is a wealth of health and fitness apps available at your fingertips, many of which are free or offered at a reduced rate during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Nike Training Club are currently offering premium workouts for free through their app and meditation app Headspace are offering free meditations for new users.
Live-streamed workout and fitness sessions have really taken off, too. Joe Wickes of course, is hugely popular for the young and old. His live workout sessions run from 9-9:30 Monday-Friday and he has a host of other workouts available on his Youtube channel as well.
Meanwhile, Vitality announced last week they’ve partnered up with Peloton to offer members 120 days’ access to home workouts. Members can choose between live or on-demand classes including yoga, meditation and cardio. Non-Vitality members can also sign up for a free 90 day trial through the Peloton app and worldwide fitness chain Les Mills is offering a 14-day free trial of its 900+ video workout library.
There’s also the Vitality Healthcheck at Home service which allows members to earn points for all the key metrics and, as an extra incentive, members will soon be able to enjoy up to two rental films a week from Rakuten TV to reward member activity. 12 activity points are needed to access the first rental followed by 40 activity points for the second.
Juggling work with childcare
It may be Easter for the children, but the rest of us are still officially at work. Talk to your line manager about working more flexible hours over Easter so you can combine work and childcare and plan in some fun family activities.
There’s a lot of advice out there about the need for daily schedules and creating structure but it doesn’t work for every family. Instead, focus on one or two things you’d like to get done each day and mix it up a bit.
It’s also important to keep the focus away from school work during the official Easter holidays. It may feel like the entire lockdown period has been an extended Easter holiday for the children, but they’ll still need a break from traditional learning, even if it has been home-based. Focus instead on teaching them a few life skills like cooking a family meal, vacuum cleaning or helping out with some DIY.
Easter activities for the kids
For the first time ever, you can now visit the likes of Edinburgh Zoo, Buckingham Palace or the Louvre without having to leave the house. Many tourist attractions are now opening up their virtual doors so families can do something a bit different during the holidays.
Children can check up on some of Edinburgh’s resident animals via live cam like Yang Guang the panda, Dharma the Sumatram tiger or the very lively penguins or take a virtual tour of the rooms and galleries at the Louvre. There’s an interactive time-traveller game at the British Museum and there are even virtual tours of street art around the world. Visit inews for a more comprehensive list of virtual days out for all the family.
For something a bit more active, Infinity Disco livestreams themed disco afternoons for children from their Youtube channel and there are some late-night sessions for adults, too. BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing star Oti Mabuse is also streaming daily dance classes for kids focusing on a different kids’ film each day.
And for the budding young artist, illustrator Rob Biddulph uploads fun drawing workshops every Tuesday and Thursday. Meanwhile, audiobook platform Audible have announced they are making hundreds of book titles free for as long as schools remain closed.
And don’t forget the go-to offline favourites for kids such as making dens from bedsheets, camping out in the garden, making junk collages or organising a scavenger hunt.
Finally, encourage your children to keep in contact with their friends as much as possible. They can’t meet up in person yet, but setting up a few video calls between your child and their friends is the next best thing. Social distancing doesn’t have to mean having no contact with friends and loved ones.
Staying in is the new going out – plan a virtual night out
There are plenty of virtual events taking place during the evenings and at that aren’t just for the kids. Try out a virtual pub quiz or book tickets to a comedy night at the Covid Arms.
Many theatre and ballet companies like the National Theatre and Sadlers Wells are now streaming their performances online which can be watched live or on-demand for up to 7 days.
Take a break from the screen
Inevitably, we’re all spending a lot more time than we used to using screens both professionally and socially, but it’s important to take a break from the tablet or laptop to give our eyes and minds a break. So, bring down the board games, dust off the jigsaw puzzles or commit to making the most of your daily outside walk everyday.
Now might be a great time to have a go at a watercolour or an oil painting or get stuck into a new book. The London Review Bookshop regularly post ‘Isolation Reading’ book recommendations on their blog and, if you contact them on Twitter with an example of your favourite genre, they’ll personally recommend one or two books for you to get stuck in to and mail order it for you – right to your door.
Keep safe and stay well.