AS SEEN ON TV

Isolation and bored? Here’s how to pass the time

Coronavirus is an ever evolving challenge. Rising confirmed cases and death rates dominate the news, conversations and just about anywhere we look. At the time of writing, in the UK there are over 157,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 21,092. Pretty bleak. A dark reality and one which we can’t bury our heads in the sand on.

While we can’t bury our heads (and nor should we) it equally doesn’t mean we should wallow in pity and throw in the towel. We hold our heads high. We keep calm and carry on. We know our driving instructor partners and learner drivers are going through a difficult time as learner drivers are not looking to book driving lessons until crisis blows over, we’re looking to share with you some of our insights and a couple of top activities we’ve spotted to keep you occupied during quarantine.

Top challenges with self-isolation?

There are a number things people are finding tough about being isolated. The most obvious being the separation from other people! As humans we need human contact. Contact and conversation is what stitches us together as a species. It’s where we share our stories, frustrations, the latest gossip and chat about trashy TV. People often complain about people, but as soon as the option to be with people is removed, we quickly realise just how much we appreciate the company of others. Maybe that’s one of the positives to be taken away from the crisis? No doubt you would have experienced this as a driving instructor, where most of the day is spent speaking to people, it’s a big adjustment to suddenly being exclusively inside.

The second (closely related) big challenge is the perpetual, indefinite, boredom, which seems to be stretching on for an eternity if social media feeds are anything to go by. This is an interesting one to look at. The average working week is 37 hours and the average daily commute time is an hour (different story if you’re a driving instructor!) – call it 42 hours per week spent on work related activity. Now, with a large portion the population furloughed or working less hours, that’s an awful lot of extra time to be soaked up. But the funny thing is our home set-ups aren’t designed to be sources of entertainment for such periods of time. They’re generally designed to be places of relaxation and tranquillity after long and hectic work days.

Now the shoe is on the other foot and most people are looking around their houses and thinking ‘well this a bit boring isn’t it?’. All of a sudden the dining room looks as though it would have been far better decorated as a games room, inhouse pub or next level mancave. But alas, at the time of decorating the present, more socially acceptable thought of ‘dining room’ prevailed and you’re now looking at a table fit for guests that can’t be invited round due to social distancing.

So we’ve clearly highlighted the problems for driving instructors, learners who can’t book driving lessons and the wider population alike – but what has happened? Has the entire world been backstroking in their own pool of self-pity? Absolutely not! Like anything, life is what you make it. Whether it’s the end or the beginning is entirely dependent on the meaning you attribute to the circumstance you’re in. In a scenario like we are, you could either see an all-encompassing, boredom torture chamber – or you could see it as an opportunity to make fun out of limited resources. 

Here are the top 3 things we’ve spotted for driving instructors and learners to keep busy with over the coming months:

Family working out a puzzle while isolating due to Coronavirus

Puzzles

In case you’ve forgotten, puzzles are the big pictures you can make out of lots of small, wonky shapes that fit together. These guys have been flying off the shelf since quarantine started! The biggest puzzle producer in the US said it would usually sell 1,000 puzzles per day and since Covid-19 they’ve jumped to 10,000 per day!

Puzzles are great because they can take hours to complete, you can partner up with your household and you get a nice rewarding feeling when you’ve completed it.

Cool senior man Premium Photo

Video chat

Tying together a cure for boredom with social interaction, video chat is the answer. As a tech company, we get it, learning new technology can be a bit scary, but I promise you learning how to use video chat applications can get you reconnected with your family and friends during isolation. Yes you can call them, but it’s like comparing listening to a screenplay vs watching the movie. Once you do it once you won’t look back.

The best and easiest to use video applications are:

Zoom (better for video calls from a computer)

Skype (good all rounder but it does require the other person to also have a Skype account)

FaceTime (if you have an iPhone)

WhatsApp (video built into WhatsApp)

DIY work around the house

Odd jobs

“I’ll get round to it when I get the time.” Sound familiar? We all have an extensive ‘I’ll get round to it’ list and now is prime time to hammer through that list and clear the decks. Being a driving instructor is a job which can entail long hours and no days off. So while the diary is emptier than usual – paint the fence; sort the garden; put up the shelf; move around the spare room. Reach the end of quarantine and have the home which would have taken you 6 months to ‘get round to’.

Times like these impact people in different ways. We hope that after reading this blog, by the time you’re back out on the road and learners are ready to book driving lessons again, you’re the proud owner of an array of 1,000 piece puzzles; you’re a technical wizard with video chats and you’ve rekindled old relationships and your house looks like something out of an Ideal Home magazine!