With Lockdown 2.0 rolling across Europe and other parts of the world, who isn't tired of staying at home... even introverts are starting to get sick of the situation! COVID has dominated the social narrative for the better part of the year, and we are tired of talking about it. So instead, lets focus on a few activities you can enjoy, while the world gets its shit together. 


Digital Exhibitions YUGEN

Neri Oxman: Material Ecology (Left), Courtesy of MoMA, Zaha Hadid: Virtual Reality (Top Right), Courtesy of ArchDaily,  Zaha Hadid: Virtual Reality (Bottom Right), Courtesy of Mindesk

For those who love going to museums, and are longing for a creative escape, digital exhibitions are exactly what we proscribe. Museums and independent artists all over the world are creating digital exhibitions, and for once, you don't have to travel very far to see it all! Some of our favourites include the Neri Oxman: Material Ecology offered by the MomA and Zaha Hadid: The Peak offered by the Serpentine Gallery. The former holds a conversation between Neri Oxman herself and Senior Curator Paola Antonelli, where they dive into Oxman’s work, findings and much more. The latter is a 360-degree video perfect if you have a VR headset – but still very much enjoyable if you do not – as it explores the movements of shapes within a VR context. While we recommended The Peak, many of Zaha Hadid’s work can be found on Serpentine Gallery’s YouTube channel, which is definitely worth checking out. Both Oxman’s and Hadid’s work are outstanding, as both reserve a certain escapism from reality.


Educational Course YUGEN

Graphic Design Course (Left), Courtesy of Blue Sky Graphics, The Game, (Right), Courtesy of Forbes

With more free time on our hands, lockdown is the perfect occasion to put our brains to work, and educational courses can be just the right thing to keep ourselves stimulated. Whether it be a coding or painting class, there are free courses for everyone out there. Two standout courses we recommend are IFM Understanding Fashion: From Business to Culture and CalArts Graphic Design. The first course is offered by a prestigious French university, with guest speakers from their faculty and actual industry people including Simon Porte Jacquemus. This 4-week course offers a precise view on fashion, its importance and its impact. The second course is also offered by a university which features its lecturers as speakers. There are five branches to this extensive course, each focusing on a specific aspect of graphic design. Both of these courses are completely free and will grant you a certificate after completion. 


Self-Care & Beauty YUGEN 

Make-up In Motion (Left), Courtesy of Dazed Beauty, Makeup Brutalism (Right), Courtesy of Instagram (@makeupbrutalism)  

During this stressful period, it is of the upmost importance to take care of yourself, both physically and mentally. Daily meditation, exercise, eating right and making time for yourself are just a few ways of caring for your own health. A relaxing bath and regular skin care routine can do wonders... here are a few of our suggestions to further enjoy yourself. First off, we recommend adding a bath bomb or bath salts to your routine. Lush offers a range of cruelty-free and reasonably priced products. Butter Bear, Sleepy Shower Bomb and Ocean Salt are some of our favourites. Furthermore, you could indulge in a Salicylic Acid 2% Masque from The Ordinary, giving your skin that refreshed, smooth and glow-y feeling. For an awakened look, we recommend the Garnier Moisture Bomb Hyaluronic Acid And Orange Juice Hydrating Brightening Eye Sheet Mask. To finish your evening of tranquility, a Jade Crystal Facial Roller by Kitsch will relax your facial muscles, whilst sculpting them. It is always gratifying taking care for yourself, especially during a global pandemic where everything seems so heightened and hectic!


Board Games YUGEN

Conversation Menus (Left), Courtesy of Neilacare, Shot in the Dark (Right), Courtesy of Amazon

Whether you are living with family, a partner or even a friend, being stuck at home with the same people – even though you love them deeply – can be exhausting. The repetitiveness of these days can make anyone more irritable and on-edge. To break away from the day-to-day squabbles, we encourage you to invest in board games, which allow you to further explore each other’s feelings, perspectives and opinions. The School of Life offers Conversation Menus, a great activity meant to be enjoyed over a meal. First you pick one of 25+ topics, ranging from 'Love', to 'School' and many more. Dinner guests then take turns selecting a question for each of the three 'courses' - a starter, main and desert, if you want to mirror the meal. The questions are designed to spark conversation, and help you uncover things you never knew about your guests...For example, what shaped your attitudes towards money? What do you blame your parents for? And many more intimate questions bound to break the ice.

Another game which will definitely ease some tension is Shot in the Dark - The Ultimate Unorthodox Game. This game guarantees a fun night with lots of laughter. While it is a trivia game in which the players must answer a question correctly, the selection of questions is definitely outside-the-box. Some of these questions include; Out of 100 European babies, how many were conceived on an IKEA bed? Or, How much vodka does the average Russian drink yearly? Not only will these games spark new conversations, they will also be a great distraction and time-consuming activity. 


Events YUGEN

Peggy Gou: Streaming From Isolation (Top Left), Courtesy of YouTube, Ciel: Streaming From Isolation (Bottom Left), Courtesy of YouTube,  BRICKS Magazine: Queer House Party (Right), Courtesy of Instagram (@bricks_magazine)

Perhaps what we miss the most, are live event... the sessions, clubs and parties we all used to enjoy so much. And while those cannot be replicated, there are alternatives which may surprise you. For example, to recreate a sophisticated bar experience, you could order an at-home Scottish whisky tasting set from The Spirit Co., for an experimental night in. To enjoy by yourself or with a partner, this will open up your taste buds to new flavours and perhaps a new-found favourite alcohol. Want to amp-up your evening with a live-streamed DJ to re-live the club ambiance? Some of our favourite sets include Peggy Gou’s Boiler Room: Streaming From Isolation and Ciel’s Streaming From Isolation with Discwoman. Both of these were filmed during the first lockdown back in March and April, and were fundraisers for The Global FoodBanking Network. Although the fundraiser ended when the stream did, it is still a possibility to donate to this organisation; a great way to help those in need during these especially hard times while still enjoying yourself.


While most of us are probably feeling anxious, frustrated (angry?) due to the current situation, hopefully some of these suggestions will help. Life will return to normal at some point, and we are all stuck trying to weather the same storm. We hope you are all in good health and mind, and encourage everyone to try and find the right balance. 

If you have any other great ideas which should be added to this list, let us know!  

By Juliette Eleuterio


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