Here’s how to cope with the fam during lock-down

Beware the family yoga sesh

Isolation has given us the joy of lie-ins and intense Netflix sessions, but brings with it the obligation of being around our families for twenty-four hours a day. This may be painless for some but if you’re anything like my family, it’s not all plain sailing.

Ever wondered how you can turn that isolation frown upside down? Aside from your bog standard board game evenings, here are a few ways we tried to liven up isolation:

Family yoga sessions mean a lot more beef and a lot less zen

I love my family, but there’s really only so much all of us can take of each other. So, to create some zen amongst my somewhat agitated household, we thought a nice yoga session might just do the trick.

That’s right Alfie, run away as fast as you can

My parents are complete yoga addicts, so we let my dad lead the class. Five minutes in, my mum had decided she wasn’t having any of it and was doing her own yoga session. Classic.

The rest of us carried on with the sesh and were well on our way to finding zen, but it was all too peaceful for the dog’s liking. In an act of sabotage, he decided to cause havoc. I’m talking barking, jumping on everyone, and rolling all over the mats. If it would disrupt our inner peace, then he pulled out all the stops to do it. I mean, you can’t blame the poor guy, I’d be concerned too.

‘Dad, why are you doing the splits on the lawn?’

Oh, and then a bird took a cheeky poo on my sister’s yoga mat. So yeah, yoga went great. It lasted ten minutes and brought me absolutely no zen, but it was worth a shot.

Who said you couldn’t do a pub crawl in isolation?

As we continued our journey to find zen, I thought I’d stick to what I know: alcohol. I can’t believe I didn’t think of it before. At this point, I’m getting slight separation anxiety from nights out. So, for the sake of nostalgia, we decided to have a pub crawl in the house. It might not be the Woody, but I’ll take any opportunity to do the pub in pyjamas.

honestly, anything is procrastination at this point

The room crawl was a success. Changing rooms helped ward off the boredom, and the alcohol kept any tantrums at bay. The hardest part was trying to keep my parents awake. Turns out once you hit 50, alcohol makes you tired and not drunk. No thanks.

Quizmaster do your worst

Tip to keeping your folks awake: make a pub quiz. If your parents are anything like mine, it’ll be the most exciting part of the night – even if my Dad’s face says otherwise. We had a different round in each room, and made sure our drinks were topped up the entire time. You know, just to make the pub crawl realistic. It was nice to not be talking about Coronavirus for a change, too.

Can’t you see all those happy faces?

A cocktail (or five) a day keeps the arguments at bay

Go hard or go home. Well, you can’t go anywhere else as we’re in isolation, but you get the point. A side note about my family, we don’t do anything half-heartedly and the pub crawl was no exception. We started the night off with a spot of cocktail making, just to get everyone in the mood. This was a stark contrast to my usual Carling-fuelled pub crawls in Cathays, but who can turn down a cocktail or two?

Don’t be fooled by the apparatus, we’re no experts

Even Mary Berry would be proud of our bake off attempt

At this point, I was scouting for potential ideas at every corner. So, after watching our weekly dosage of Celebrity Bake Off, I thought it would be a good idea to have a little competition. What’s better than channelling all that boredom into something you can eat? The bake needed to be something that had ample room for error but could be managed with the correct amount of skill and precision, so the choice was obvious: the humble roulade.

Mine ended up looking like a rather aged and tired yule log, not that I expected anything more really. I was awarded three 8/10’s for the overall execution and, to be honest, I’ll take that over my degree right now.

Ain’t no soggy bottoms around here

Warning: If you do try this at home, your mum will definitely transform into Prue Leith in the judging. She kindly informed me: “[your] meringue was much too soft you can’t have whipped enough air into it”.

Beauty school drop-outs

Whether it’s some swanky nail art or just attempting a haircut, it works to swerve off the boredom. Now, I can’t guarantee that it won’t cause arguments…or bald patches. But it really does pass the time! Nails, haircuts – we do it all in this family. Isolation can’t stop us from looking our best. Not that dad was happy about this, mind.

No Pain(t) No gain

I don’t think the paints have been out in our house for about ten years. But after some digging, we found them and put them to work. With the help of alcohol, we managed to create what some might call art. After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right?

Is that a monkey, mum?

Isolating with the family can be a tough task, but hopefully these little tips can offer you some sanity.

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