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Are you starting to feel the ‘Lockdown itch’?

As South Africa officially enters its first full week of our 21-day Nationwide Lockdown implemented by our President Cyril Ramaphosa on the 26th of March 2020, you might start to feel the ‘lockdown itch’ set in. And it’s completely understandable! The truth is, it is incredibly important for each and every South African to play their part in adhering to the rules and regulations set in place by our President and our respected Government to stay home in order to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in our beloved country of South Africa and beautiful city of Cape Town.

However, in this time of great uncertainty faced by each and every person across South Africa, Cape Town and the world, it has become more important than ever before to take care of your physical, mental and emotional health and well-being. And do so in ways that we are not typically used to. But, it’s certainly not in our nature as South Africans to shy away from a challenge now is it? We are one of the most resilient nations in the world after all!

So, as we can’t go outside (besides our own backyards of course) to seek any physical, mental or emotional stimulation, it’s time to take it to the online world and get creative in all sorts of new and exciting ways! In order to help you through your lockdown period, we’ve put together a list of things to do during the Coronavirus Nationwide Lockdown in South Africa.

#1 Listen to free audio books from amazon in 6 languages

Photo Credit: Audible

Why not use this time to sit back, relax and dive into a new book? Taking some time for yourself to read a new book is the perfect way to help you break away from the worries, stress and uncertainty of life we currently find ourselves in, if only for a short while, and escape to a whole new world entirely. Plus, it will undoubtedly provide you with some much-needed mental stimulation we not only crave, but need during this 21-day Nationwide Lockdown period.

Here is a great place for you to access some amazing audio books from Amazon in 6 different languages. And, if you’re feeling extra motivated and inspired, you may as well learn a new language while you’re at it!

#2 Embark on a thrilling adventure with free virtual visits to 17 European museums

Photo credit: Adrien Sifre

Now if this doesn’t get you excited, we’re not sure what will! Being under a Nationwide Lockdown certainly doesn’t mean you can’t explore, discover and experience everything this wonderful world of ours has to offer. It just means you have to find new and creative ways to live out your world travel dreams. And this is certainly one of the most exciting and enriching ways to do just that! What are you waiting for, your virtual museum visit and European adventure awaits!

#3 Watch free Broadway shows

Photo credit: Insider.com

Are you a head-over-heels Broadway lover at heart? Then watching free Broadway shows is undoubtedly one of the best things for you to do during the Coronavirus Nationwide Lockdown in South Africa. Of course we know a live Broadway show would absolutely be your first choice, but this definitely is a close second. BroadwayHD, a streaming service for theatre fans which started in 2015, has long been bringing Broadway performances to people’s living rooms. As the company explained in a statement, “BroadwayHD was created with the goal of making high-quality theatre accessible to everyone globally.” On the platform, subscribers will find a combination of acquired performances including performances of “Cats,” “The King and I,” and “The Sound of Music,” along with originals the platform filmed which includes performances of “Kinky Boots” and “42nd Street,” from Broadway, The West End, and other elite venues around the world. Thereby providing every Broadway lover with something to enjoy!

And here is some good news for musical lovers, the theatre-streaming service BroadwayHD is offering a seven-day free trial. So, go wild and live out your Broadway fantasies in the comfort of your own home.

#4 Experience everything Google Arts & Culture has to offer

Photo credit: Bert Kaufmann

Google Arts & Culture is giving you the opportunity to explore and experience the world in a whole new and exciting way from the comfort of your own home. Google Arts & Culture features content from over 2000 leading museums and archives who have partnered with the Google Cultural Institute to bring the world’s treasures online. Thereby inviting you to embark on an exhilarating virtual art and culture journey of some of the world’s most magnificent museums and sought-after art and culture experiences. How remarkable is that? This is one spectacular bucket-list worthy experience you definitely don’t want to miss out on. Especially if you consider yourself to be a die-hard art and culture enthusiast at heart. And even if you’re not, there is no time like the present to embrace a whole new enriching world you’ve never experienced before.

#5 Have a ‘virtual game night’ with friends using the Houseparty App

Photo credit: Houseparty.com

Having a virtual games night with friends and family using the famous Houseparty app is without a doubt one of the most fun things to do! In fact, it might just turn out to be so much fun that you’ll never want to go back to the old-school game nights ever again, who knows? And the best thing is, the Houseparty app is free for everyone to download! Which means no one can chicken out of this one!

Houseparty has actually been around since 2016, but this past month it has surged right to the top of the social networking charts. And with good reason too! Essentially it’s a video chat app for up to eight people at a time. Houseparty is therefore a great way to connect and chat to friends and family, get everyone together at the same time (even though you might be in different parts of the country or world) and of course have tons of fun playing all kinds of virtual games!

In order to make sure you get to join in on all the Houseparty virtual fun and games, you can download the app for free for all devices here.

#6 Download all the South African Magazines you need

Photo credit: Magazine Lib

If you rely on magazines as your daily/weekly reading material or to be your constant source of information, stimulation, general tips, recipes, how-to-guides and a way to keep you up to date with everything that’s going on in the world, you’re in luck! Because we’ve got the perfect place for you to access and download a wide variety of South African magazines for free. From animals, art, business, fashion, health and science to press releases, sport, technology, men’s and women’s magazine, they have something for everyone! Happy reading magazine lovers!

#7 Watch world-class guitarist Nir Hermelin for free online

As Beethoven once said, ‘Music can change the world’, and at the very least give us some hope and inspiration in times of uncertainly and despair. Thereby making listening to music and free online concerts one of the top things to do during the Coronavirus Nationwide Lockdown in South Africa. And lucky for us, we’re being blessed with a free live online concert from one of our local greats, Nir Hermelin, on Thursday the 2nd of April as well as Sunday the 5th of April. But wait, there’s more! Not only is Durban native and classical guitarist Nir Hermelin taking advantage of the live music digital revolution by initiating festival-style live streaming concerts, he will also be adding an extra special touch by featuring top international guitarists, such as fellow local man Guy Buttery. How amazing is that!

The shows will consist of four performers doing three songs each, with performers being announced on the performance day. The first 100 bookings will be allowed onto a Zoom meeting room. Thereby giving the performers faces to perform to and creating an intimate concert feel. The shows will also be streamed on Facebook live for free, so keep an eye on the Fingerstyle United In Isolation event page for booking details.

#8 Visit world-renowned museums from the comfort of your home

Photo credit: José María Mateos

Art, culture and museum lovers, we’ve got another thrilling experience lined-up just for you! In addition to the free virtual visits to 17 European museums we mentioned earlier, we’ve found another incredible way for you to enjoy an exciting and bucket-list worthy visit to some of the world’s most spectacular museums. From the British Museum in London to the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City and even the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. This virtual tour of 12 museums from around the world gives you the amazing opportunity to see anything from Egyptian Mummies to the Ishtar Gate of Babylon and so much more. There truly is nothing quite lie it! Have the time of your life museum lovers!  

#9 Join the Rise Women online workshop hosted by Rachel Kolisi & Tammy Rawstrom

Photo credit: Rise Women

The Rise Women 8-session online workshop hosted by founders of Rise Women, Rachel Kolisi and Tammy Rawstrom, is without a doubt one of the top things to do during the Coronavirus Nationwide Lockdown in South Africa. Especially if you’re looking for some extra motivation, inspiration and empowerment. These incredible and enriching workshops will be centered around goal setting, having a vision for your life, enriching the lives of others, surrounding yourself with people that have similar values and eliminating comparison cycles. It is all about locking down and changing the direction of your life for the better.

Co-founders of Rise Women Rachel and Tammy get super personal about their own journey, decisions they had to make and actions they had to take to get to where they are today. And they are incredibly honored to share their accomplishments, lessons they’ve learned and struggles they’ve faced, and continue to face, with all of you.

#10 Entertain your kiddies with child-friendly podcasts

Photo credit: parenting.nytimes

Keeping kids happy and fully entertained during South Africa’s 21-day Nationwide Lockdown is no easy feat. Especially if you don’t have a big yard for them to play and run around in. And even if you do, we all know how quickly the little ones can get bored and start looking for something new and exciting to keep them entertained. So, when you’ve run out of ideas and played every TV show and game you can think of, podcasts are actually a great way to keep the kiddies entertained and stimulated at the same time. Podcasts are just as fun for children as they are for adults. Plus, they’ll be kept busy with classic children’s stories, folktales from around the world and educational content that will definitely help keep them sharp while schools are closed. Here are some great child-friendly podcasts for kids between the ages of 2-6 years old.

#11 Try out some delicious South African recipes & get experimental in the kitchen

Photo credit: J’Something

So, for all the ‘non-chefs’ out there, boy do we like to use the excuse that ‘we just don’t have the time to learn how to cook’, sound familiar? Well, now you do! The truth is, we’re not all Chefs, that’s for sure, but there truly is no time like the present to up your skills in the kitchen, learn a thing or two and let your inner Lorna Maseko or Reuben Riffel shine through. But, this is certainly not only for the beginner cooks out there, but the die-hard home Chefs looking for the perfect time to shine and try out some delicious home-grown recipes too.

The best thing is, even the little ones can join in on the cooking fun and games. Thereby making it an enjoyable and memorable family activity. Here are three amazing recipes by some of our favourite local chefs for you to download and try at home:

• Easy Pancakes by Les Da Chef
Mini Vanilla Cupcakes by Lorna Maseko
• Pizza 101 by J’Something

In addition, here are some great local Chefs’ blogs to inspire your cooking during the 21-day Nationwide Lockdown.

#12 Stay healthy, stay ACTIVE & get exercising!

Photo credit: Rise Women | Rise Studios

Let’s not make “staying indoors,” one more excuse to skip exercise. If you are cooped up and stressing out, we would say it’s the perfect time to exercise, sweat and stretch it out! Whether you’re working from home or merely taking some time off to reflect and recharge during this 21-day Nationwide Lockdown, it is incredibly important to get up, get moving and get the happy endorphins flowing. And although you might not have all the fancy equipment that your local gym does, there’s certainly no reason why you can’t make the best of what you have. So, get creative, get moving, get fit and get healthy! Plus, it will be tons of fun too!

According to Women’s Health, here are a few great Instagram accounts to follow for amazing free workouts, advice and training tips:

  • Kelsey Wells – @kelseywells
  • Shona Vertue – @shonavertue
  • Tammy Rawstrom – @bods_bytam
  • Rise Studious – @rise_studios_
  • Joslyn Thompson Rule – @joslynthompsonrule
  • Melissa Alcantara – @fitgurlmel
  • Kayla Itsines – @kayla_itsines – Founder of the SWEAT app and insanely popular BBG workout programs, Kayla Itsines’ is possibly THE most famous trainer in the world. And the 21-day Nationwide Lockdown is undoubtedly the very best time to start her iconic BBG (Bikini Body Guide) workout program. This is a great option for at-home workouts that will yield unbelievable results.
  • Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill – @jessicaennishill – Here are some of her exclusive at home low-intensity workout plans
  • Simone De La Rue – @bodybysimone – Here are some great postnatal exercises to try by Simone De La Rue
  • Chontel Duncan – @chontelduncan

According to Men’s Health and Men’s Journal here are some great Instagram accounts to follow for amazing free workouts, advice and training tips:

  • Men’s Health Magazine – @menshealthmag
  • Thor Bjornsson – @thorbjornsson
  • Jeff Cavaliere – @athleanx
  • Ben Booker – @thebenbooker
  • Curtis Williams – @curtiswilliams17
  • Will Arrufat – @willthetrainer
  • Mike Donavanik – @mikedfitness
  • Rahman “Ray” Grayson – @mrshutupandtrain
  • Ebenezer Samuel – @ebenezersamuael23
  • Marcus Filly – @marcusfilly
  • Julian Smith – @smith.julian

#13 Spend some time doing fun home decorating or DIY projects

Photo credit: mindfulofthehome.com

Let’s be honest, we’ve all made this excuse one too many times before of not having enough time to start, or in many cases complete, any of our home decorating, renovation or DIY projects at home due to just not having the time to do it. Sound familiar? Well, there truly is no time like the present to get up, be productive, tie up all those loose ends and complete all the home projects you started but never finished. And if you’re looking for something new, fresh and fun to do, Pinterest has no dearth of ideas when it comes to creating cost-effective items for home decoration. So, go wild, get creative and revamp and revitalize your home spaces to give them a fresh new feel.  

#14 Keep your kids fit, health & entertained

Photo credit: Gym Wizards

Just as it’s important for us adults to remain fit and healthy during our 21-day Nationwide Lockdown period, the same thing applies to the little ones as well. Every day until the 16th of April 2020 Gym Wizards will host a fun programme to keep kids active and moving. They’ve created a daily Facebook Live fitness session called Fitnastix Lockdown Workouts. Which will get the kids hopping, bouncing and burning lots of energy from 12-12:30pm. The workouts are free and all you need to do is just have the Gym Wizards Facebook page open.

#15 Enjoy an online wine tasting experience

Photo credit: Waterkloof Wines

It’s wine tasting time, well, with a twist of course! On Friday the 3rd of April 2020 Cellar Master Nadia Barnard-Langenegger from Waterkloof Wines will be hosting a Friday afternoon wine tasting live from the estate in Schapenberg. Nadia will be giving you tasting notes on the Circle Of Life white and False Bay Old School Syrah, starting at 4:30pm on Waterkloof’s Facebook feed and Instagram feed.

#16 Take some online cooking classes & become the Michelin-Star Chef you always wanted to be

Photo credit: Yuppiechef

Besides getting creative and experimental in the kitchen by trying out some new recipes, concoctions and inspired creations, why not take it to the next level and learn from the professionals themselves? Here are three absolutely incredible cooking masterclasses that will undoubtedly turn you into a Michelin-star Chef in no time. Or at least get you pretty close to being one!

#17 Explore the art of Yoga & stay fit during the Lockdown

Photo credit: Wild Thing Yoga & Body Conditioning

Yoga is an incredible form of both exercise and meditation that can provide your mind, body and soul with unlimited benefits. From improved flexibility, enhanced muscle strength, tone and posture, joint and spinal support and increased core strength to better bone health, enhanced blood flow, a greater sense of mindfulness, increased lymph drainage, boosts immunity, relaxes your system, improvements in your balance and overall maintenance of your Nervous System, the list goes on and on. So, whether you’re a beginner just starting out on your yoga journey, and intermediate yogi wanting to take your yoga practice to the next level or an experienced yoga enthusiasts looking to continue, enhance and refine your art of yoga, this is the perfect way to do it. And even if you’ve never done yoga in your life before and you’re just looking for a new and exciting way to stay fit and heathy, this is definitely for you too!

Here are some great yoga apps for you to try out:

  • Down Dog (Free until May 1, 2020, and July 1, 2020 if you are a healthcare professional)
  • Asana Rebel (R166.66/month)

Although these are not apps, we are all about supporting local during this time, so here are some great alternatives to try:

#18 Learn a new language

Photo credit: Memrise

Have you always wanted to learn a new language, but you just never had the time to do it? Well, the time is finally here! And the best thing is, all you need is as little as 15-minutes a day.

Here are some great picks for you to embark on your new and exciting adventure:

#19 Play games!

Playing games solo, or with the family, is a great way to pass the time and have tons of fun while you’re at it! The number of options truly are endless. But, here are some of our top choices of games to play during the lockdown, which will also get you to use your brain.

  • Uno – Such a classic!
  • Chess – Well, that’s if you have a chess board of course.
  • Monopoly – This is one fan-favorite that is always tons of fun! But boy oh boy, it can certainly get the competitive juices flowing too, so try not get too competitive this time around.
  • 30 Second – This is ALWAYS a winner & great for a laugh!
  • Bananagrams, Boggle or Scrabble.
  • Minesweeper – First, learn how to actually play here. And while you’re at it, you may as well learn to play Hearts as well.
  • Puzzles … the 1,000 to 2,000-piece kind.
  • ALL of the card games you can think & come up with, get creative!

#20 Meditate & be mindful

There truly is no better time than right now to push pause, relax, reset, re-charge and re-align your mind and body. It is so incredibly important, now more than ever, to take some time for yourself, meditate and practice mindfulness so that you can re-immerge stronger, more in-tune with who you are, centred and ready to take on the world.

Here are some great apps to help you meditate and practice mindfulness in your daily life:

#21 De-clutter your home & get rid of what you no longer need

Photo credit: Pinterest @Kelley Nan | Gracious Living

This time of isolation is perfect for doing those chores you otherwise would’ve put off — probably forever if we’re truly honest with ourselves! Now is as good a time as any to de-clutter and let go of items that no longer bring you joy, ie Marie Kondo your lockdown. Get rid of that old, holey sweater and say goodbye to those jeans you’ve never worn. Start today! Put the discarded items to one side and, when the lockdown is lifted, you can donate them to worthy causes.

#22 Do some colouring in & let your inner artist shine through

Adult colouring-in books have become incredibly popular in recent years. And now is as good a time as any to get creative, get colouring and let your inner artist shine through. Borrow your kids’ crayons and unleash your creativity! Colouring-in is also a great way to relieve stress and can act as an alternative mindfulness activity. Which is just another added benefit to get you through this lockdown period of isolation.

Here are some incredible free online colouring-in platforms that you will undoubtedly enjoy:

  • Color Our Collections: The New York Academy of Medicine has put together a free, downloadable PDF ‘colouring book’ featuring collections of colouring pages from libraries and cultural institutions.
  • Audi Coloring Book: The luxury carmaker has launched an online colouring book. The book features images of Audi’s current models – think Q7, R8 and A6. While you might not be able to go for a drive in your car right now, at least you can colour in one. And it’s for free!
  • Louise Lawler Tracing: Artist and photographer Louise Lawler and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York have released 12 downloadable black-and-white tracings from Lawler’s 2017 exhibition Why Pictures Now. 

#23 Listen to Podcasts

Photo credit: ThoroughlyReviewed

Podcasts are an excellent way to keep yourself entertained while you’re going about your day, doing your routine home tasks, lounging around or just taking some time for yourself to sit back and relax. One of the best things about podcasts are that jjust like other forms of media, new podcasts hit the airwaves all the time and there’s something out there for every taste and style. From true crime, real life stories, news & politics, comedy, sports and recreation and society & culture to pop culture, educational, lifestyle & health, business & technology, arts & entertainment, music podcasts and podcasts for kids and families, there truly is something for everyone.

And they are so easy to listen to and download! Some of the best podcast streaming apps for both Android and iOS include Spotify, iTunes, RadioPublic, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, Castbox, Podbean, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, ListenApp, Google Podcasts, Podcast Republic, Podcast Addict and so many more.

Here are some ideas on Podcasts you can listen to during South Africa’s 21-day Nationwide Lockdown:

With so many incredible podcasts to choose from, the only thing you’ll have trouble with is deciding which one to start with. But, nevertheless, give them a whirl, stay open-minded and pretty soon you’ll be hooked!

#24 Stay social & connected with friends, family & loved ones all over the country & the world

As we all know, South Africa is in the midst of a 21-day Nationwide Lockdown with stringent regulations implemented by our President Cyril Ramaphosa together with the National and Provincial Governments to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in our beloved country. In addition to a range of very important and absolutely vital measures that were implemented, each of which should be upheld and adhered to by each and every South African, we are all urged to stay home and practice social distancing and vital hygiene practises (such as regular hand washing (with soap for up to 20 second and/or hand sanitizer), as well as wear gloves and masks) when we need to leave our homes to collect essential items or receive medical care.

However, this means that while these essential measures remain in place, we will be physically separated from friends, family and loved ones that we are not quarantined/or in Lockdown with. BUT, thankfully technology has come to our rescue! Although maintaining optimal levels of physical health and wellbeing during this time is of the utmost importance, mental and emotional health and wellbeing are just as vital. And getting the opportunity to talk to and connect with those we love and care about is a major contributor to maintaining and enhancing our overall sense of happiness, fulfilment and emotional and mental wellbeing.

To help you stay in-touch with all the people you love and care about, here are 9 amazing apps to help you stay connected and retain your social schedule until we all get back on our feet:

  • Houseparty
  • Google Hangouts
  • Zoom
  • Skype
  • Bunch
  • Zenly
  • Drawful
  • WhatsApp Video Call
  • Facetime

#25 Enjoy free at-home access to Creative Cloud apps via Adobe

Photo credit: Adobe

In response to requests from educators, Adobe has announced that it will be providing free at-home access to Creative Cloud apps to those students who usually only have access on-campus. It’s one way the software maker is trying to empower students to keep learning amid campus closures caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic. Adobe made the following announcement “With many schools facing physical campus closures and moving to online learning due to COVID-19, we’re announcing that we’re giving greater access to Adobe Creative Cloud desktop apps to facilitate distance learning. We believe that doing so will make it possible to keep coursework, teamwork, and student progress on track through at-home access to Creative Cloud for students and educators.”

Higher education and K-12 institutions that pay for on-campus access for their students simply need to request “temporary ‘at-home’ access” through this link. Once verified, access will be granted, free of charge, through May 31st, 2020.