At the start of 2021, we've once again again found ourselves spending the majority of our time at home, restricted from going out and socialising. It's only natural that boredom will set in, and whether it was taking part in Zoom Quizzes, Baking, Exercising outside, or Gardening, it may feel as though you exhausted most of the hobbies or pass times you could think of during the summer of 2020. But there's still things you can do that will help you make the most of the additional time on your hands. Way out West looks at a few of them.

Clear out your wardrobe. Why not dedicate some of your new found time to ditching the things you no longer need and making it easier for yourself to pick out your clothes each morning? Decluttering is known to reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, boost productivity and creativity, and even save money, so it’s definitely worth a few hours of your time.

Improve your cooking skills. This idea is nothing new, but if you didn't quite master your cooking skills during the first coronavirus lockdown, maybe it's time you tried again? Start with the basics and work your way up from there. You may find that when we return to normal life you have a fantastic new skillset which will stand you well for the future.

Exercise. This is something people never stop talking about, and for good reason. Even if you can’t visit your gym there’s still plenty you can do at home. Exercises like squats, burpees and press-ups can even be done without any equipment, while alternatively daily walks or runs allow you to get out into the fresh air (even if the weather isn't always as enticing as it was in the summer).

Try out a new podcast or TV show. Podcasts are a great source of information and entertainment; whether it’s learning for your course or just listening to your favourite comedian. In recent years, TV series’ have replaced movies as our favourite source of entertainment. With so many to choice from, there’ll be something to cure the boredom.

Connect with friends. You’re not the only one a bit bored these days. People will appreciate a friendly chat or text message to let them know you're thinking of them. An evening on Zoom can't full replicate a night or an evening in with friends, but it's still a good way to talk and support each other. Likewise a phone call or even a text can lift someone's mood and improve your own.

Give DIY a go or even learn a new language. There’s plenty of time these days to tackle some interior improvements that you didn't get around to during the summer – be that painting your walls or rearranging a room. Or, if that’s not your thing, challenge yourself to learn a new language in just a few weeks. There are tons of free apps and websites dedicated to helping you.

Not all of these activities will suit everyone, and there's no one who could do them all, but if you commit to one or two of them your wellbeing could be all the better for it!

Plan for the future. It's easier said than done, especially in the middle of a third lockdown, but as well as these activities, there's no harm in using time when you can't do much to think about what you want to do when we return to normality. This might mean where you want to go out with your friends, or where you hope your first holiday destination will be, but it can also be more long term, such as thinking about the future career you want or the next steps in your education. Thinking about all these things is a great way to maintain a sense of ambition and progress at a time when it can easily feel like things are standing still.

South West College is here to help provide you with information to plan your future education and even career. For further information and advice on further education, higher education and apprenticeship options, explore the SWC Virtual Open Days this February. Higher Education and Higher Level Apprenticeship events: 8-10 February, 5:30pm-6:30pm. Further Education and Apprenticeship events: 22-24 February, 5:30pm-6:30pm. To register for these virtual events please visit: www.