With some of the academic pressure taken off by lockdown, it allowed me to read purely for enjoyment for the first time in a long time. It's hardly likely I'll be writing essays on cheesy romance or fantasy stories, but I've enjoyed reading books from authors like Paige Toon and Jojo Moyes anyway.
That's not to say I didn't read books of a more serious nature too. Particularly as the Black Lives Matter movement was brought to attention, I tried to read books to educate myself on Black history. With regards to fiction, I read a book called 'Queenie' by Candace Carty-Williams about a black woman living in London, which is not just an entertaining read but provides an insightful experience of race.
And for non-fiction, I would recommend that anyone wishing to expand their knowledge of Race in Britain to read 'Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire' by Akala which was not only an informative read but also an educational one.
With regards to films, there are two I've watched during lockdown that has stayed with me. The first of these is 'Pride', a film about Gay and Lesbian activists supporting the miner's strike in the 1980s. I had wanted watch it for a while and I'm so glad I did because it is one of the most poignant yet uplifting LGBT films I've seen in a while. The other film, which I wasn't intending to watch but I'm so glad I did, is 'Philomena'. This film, starring Steve Coogan and Judi Dench, is based on a true story of an Irish woman whose child was taken from her in the 1950s and her quest to find him. Both these films were based on historical events but were also incredibly moving and accessible to those who don't know much about what happened or are looking to learn more.
I have also been listening to more podcasts, from Jameela Jamil's 'I Weigh' podcast to educational and comedy podcasts. Finding an interesting podcast to listen to is a great and easy way to entertain yourself during lockdown.
More time at home has allowed me to learn new skills and just do things that I enjoy but don't usually have time to do. Personally, I've spent a lot of time during lockdown learning to knit and baking, but other activities like cross-stitch or crochet can be just as therapeutic and rewarding.
These activities are just some of the things that I have found useful in keeping myself occupied during this period. Activities like these are important for mental health reasons, and also because lockdown provides a unique opportunity to do many things that work had prevented them from doing, so it's important to seize it.