Lifestyle & Culture

Iso Projects

Bored in the house and in the house bored? Charlotte Lloyd’s got you covered with some amazing ideas of iso projects to keep you entertained.

Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of isolation. We have seen at home hair cuts and endless amounts of banana bread, but despite the world seeming to slowly put things back in order, this is the best and possibly one of the only times where starting a project is somewhat acceptable. We don’t need to come out the other side of this pandemic thriving, we need to come out of it alive, and some ways in which people ave been treating the much needed ‘break,’ is through a project. This could mean taking up embroidery or knitting or even simpler than that, watching a tv show you’ve always wanted to see or picking up that dammed book. It can be incredibly hard to find the motivation to do something – anything, really – and it is in no way a time to push yourself to do better and be better. Everyone’s different and so will how they deal with a situation like this. As students, time between study would usually be spent with friends at the beach or procrastinating (at least, that’s my situation), but with isolation being our new best friend, time socialising is now free time and that is where a project can fit in!

If you’ve ever bought something and never (or hardly) used it, now is your time to shine. On my 18th birthday, I was gifted, upon my own request, a sewing machine. A few hundred dollars later and it was all mine. But there it was, sitting in my garage throughout all of Year 12 and all of the year after that. It wasn’t until the summer holidays of this year that I decided to give it a go. Now I didn’t get too far and besides hemming and a few bits and pieces, I am not all that useful with it. However, this is just one example of I guess you could say ‘jumping back on the horse’ of doing something you love!

Below are some suggestions of projects and ideas that can not only cure your iso boredom, but also hopefully puts a smile on your face – and hey, it makes you feel good!

1. Become a Masterchef!

Not literally a Masterchef, I mean there’s only so far you can go, but all I’m saying is, to try out new recipes and stop picking up those take out menus. It can be super hard to want to cook for yourself, especially when it takes so much effort to prepare and about half the time to eat it, however, it can not only be fun, but give you a sense of accomplishment by the end. I’m not much of an experimental chef at breakfast and lunches but oh boy, when dinner comes around, you can bet that I’ll be in the kitchen singing along to some hits while making my dream meal (at the moment it’s pork meatball miso soup, if you were wondering). K-Mart is your go-to shop for cheap, easy to follow cookbooks, with ‘The Student Kitchen’ being one of my faves! They are simple, budget-friendly, and taste so so good! It doesn’t always have to be a drag and disappointing by the end of your meal! If you’re wanting to dip your toe in the water a little, try for three times a week and make extra so there are those gorgeous leftovers for the days to come. I mean come on, for some reason food always tastes better the day after, and don’t try and prove me wrong – it’s true! And…if you’re more of a sweet tooth, I would highly recommend giving in to the iso trend (that somehow has become hugely popular) and bake a good old fashion banana bread to give you all those winter feels, with a warm hot choccy by your side.

2. Try a New Form of Exercise

Now I’m not talking a run every day and a HIIT class afterward, no no no, this is more of a yoga, meditation type plug. I’ve never been much for all those flexibility stretches and exercises and I definitely was not the star of my childhood dance studio but, yoga is a great way to de-stress, re-focus, and become balanced for a day ahead, of uni or Netflix binging, you pick. I personally love the app ‘Nike Training Club,’ it has workouts from high intensity right down to a five-minute yoga sess to re-charge. From only starting to do this since isolation, it has now become our new reality, and I can personally say that not only has my body had time to relax and prepare for a day of all those lovely assessments, but what do you know, my flexibility has increased. Starting from five minutes to an hour, there is a yoga session for absolutely everyone. This is not a rant about fitness nor is it a way to get people off their backside, this is to a way to be stress-free if only for 10 minutes. With everything happening around the world at the moment, mental health has risen, which isn’t a surprise, but this can be and is a way to allow your stresses to be acknowledged and to understand how to tackle them day to day. I have also heard (from two slightly stressed parents), that a 10-minute meditation session is a way to be mindful in the present, understand your surroundings, and remain balanced and calm. This is something that I have definitely been putting off, but procrastinating from mediation seems kind of contradicting, to say the least. We need to keep moving during this time, to get that Vitamin D, and even just a walk is more than enough for anyone. Moving your body should never be about punishing yourself and in the very simplest forms, yoga and meditation are a way to remain calm and collected during what can only be described as a crazy crazy time.

3. Say Hello to Creativity

As mentioned above, my sewing encounter has been short-lived to be put nicely, however, I still intend to continue working on it – and who knows, maybe you’ll see me make my own clothes one day. Some of you will probably hate the idea of getting creative and I totally get it. The creative arts are not for everyone and that is understandable. But for those looking to expand their skills, why not head down to your local art or crafts shop and stock up (or jump online considering our current circumstance). As of recently, I have purchased an embroidery kit, the price wasn’t extortionate and I definitely am not planning on making it my be-all and end-all. But, in saying that, it is a complete de-stressor and super satisfying and I can only imagine how happy I will be by the end. Another option for those wanting to dig a little deeper could be to make yourself a blanket or cardigan and invest in some knitting needles, or crocheting if you want to go that way. It is something that takes a little more time but with winter coming up, this is the best time to start making those warm woolies for those colder days. Painting is also another popular option that I know a lot of people have chosen to go towards. My mother, for instance, has taken up painting as a side hobby and it has become a massive investment for her. Mostly through the time, she spends on it but it has quickly been a way to build her skills and also have a little downtime while doing it. Creativity shouldn’t be pressured and if you’re completely happy binging friends on repeat than so be it. Creativity should be fun and is a simple way to take your mind of things, whether it’s the stresses of uni or the thought of not seeing your friends for another month, if not longer. I think we could all use a little pick me up and nothing says that better than a completed painting or a new sweater for winter…that you made yourself!

4. Set Goals

I don’t know about anyone else but I have been a victim of cancelled travel and kind of a big trip at that. Your time at uni are some of the best times to travel. During breaks I know I want nothing more than to see as much of the world as I can with some of my closest friends. And of course, money is always an issue being a student and all. But why not use this time to plan a few things that could potentially be ticked off your bucket list. With endless amounts of travel books, blogs, websites, and information, planning a trip from your home could not be simpler. Who needs travel agents when you’ve got yourself right? Think of somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. Plan it to death. Plan it down to the very last detail. Where you’re going, what you’re going to do, the itinerary, the flights, how much it will cost, how much spending money you need, and the list keep going and going. While we can’t travel right now, god knows those flights are going to be super cheap when we can, so if you have everything planned to the last detail, all that needs to be done when we can book a trip is the click of a button. This is a time when becoming financially stable is not the easiest thing to do for most, however, is does teach us to not spend our money on things that we in all fairness don’t really need, so why not plan that trip and round up your friends. We can dream and dream and dream until it becomes a reality and if you’re determined enough it will (or so they say). There are so many places to go in the world, so many unexplored wonders. To quote Lily James in Mammia Mia 2′; “Life is short, the world is wide, I want to make some memories.”


Nostalgia is a dammed thing because, before this pandemic, we didn’t know what we had until it’s gone and isolation (though very slowly getting better) is still in place for a while longer. So jump on something you’d love to do, instead of cutting your hair that could possibly end up being the worst decision of your life to date, plan a trip, take a walk, knit a sweater to impress your friends, and if you’re going to cook you might as well make that banana bread.

Feature Image: Madelyn Gardiner, Yak Media Designer

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