Ok, so you're missing cinema trips, meals out, and holidays (we know, it hurts) – but that doesn't mean this summer has to be a total washout. Yes, you could sit there wishing the weeks away, scrolling through rosy memories on social media, blowing your cash on scented candles and pyjamas and making big plans for next year. Or, you could have some fun right now. There's still time to make this summer one to remember (for some of the right reasons as well as all the wrong ones).

A little creativity goes a long way in lockdown. From super-sweet birthday plans to faux cinema fun and feeling the burn with semi-enthusiastic mates, these hacks can help you live your best 2020 from the not-at-all-claustrophobic comfort of your own home. Here are some boredom lockdown ideas for you to try. You're welcome.

Backyard cinema

Annual cinema pass gathering dust? That indeed sucks, but with a little effort, you can have the best cinema experience of your life at home (apart from when you cried tears of joy during Avengers: Endgame). If you've got a projector and a white sheet (or can hire one) you're already winning, but otherwise it's time to take the TV out onto the balcony or into the garden. Find a dry place and get to work making it snuggly. Aesthetics are everything in the boutique cinema experience, even if it's just you guys seeing it, choose matching cushions, festoon lights, boho rugs and cosy blankets. Think of your favourite extra Instagram influencer; what would they do? Next snacks. No gin and tonic too fancy, no Pinterest popcorn set-up too much bother – you're treating yo'self. All that's left to do is pick the film choice. You could go for a family classic from the 80s, a hot-from-the-box-office Oscar winner, a musical, a romantic black and white film or even an arty folk horror if you're feeling it.

Birthdays minus the beige buffet

Without running around town like a chicken that seems to be missing its head, lockdown birthdays can actually be kind of amazing. If you've spent weeks listening to them bang on about their next birthday cake (and we don't just mean the kids), then you may need to go BIG. This doesn't mean spending more money, it means spending more time together, and more effort on making it special. Keep it simple, and keep it fun.

With time more likely on your side and no party bags to send you into a pit of despair, you can save money by making things from scratch. From paperchains to Pinterest masterpieces, OTT DIY decorations are a great place to start – plus they double up as a craft activity – is that the “Parent of the Year" awards committee calling? If you manage to save money, you could ditch the usual beige party food and put the difference towards a luxe family feast, homemade pizzas etc (again, do it with them for a two-birds-with-one-stone parenting win). For the pièce de résistance, transform a simple iced cake into something magical by adorning with a sparkler, and use brown paper and colourful twine for gifts hidden round the garden. If that all sounds a bit too zen, there's always Zoom to get some mini guests involved for as long as their attention spans will allow; think musical statues and your secret Disney playlist (shhh, we know, you love Moana, it's ok).

Come brunch with me

Make a regular mate date to enjoy each other's company and share refreshments – whether it's across two picnic blankets or across the internet. A coffee morning, mid-week brunch or afternoon tea with the crossword is a great excuse to put the kettle on and share a virtual cuppa with your nearest and dearest. You can WhatsApp cake recipes and sudoku puzzles to make it more of a shared experience - but why stop there?

For those wishing to get in quality face time, bonding across the miles can be made even more fun with a skill-sharing class – from floristry to wine tasting – or group activities such as a 'crafternoon' (crochet, knitting, paper crafts). For after hours, a virtual 'Come Dine with Me'-style dinner party is a great way to wow friends with your new-found cookery skills - simply email the menu beforehand, or if you're feeling very generous, drop dinner on their doorstep. This approach also works really well with WhatsApp movie nights. Don't hold back on the tacos and popcorn.

Witness the fitness

We don't know if you've noticed, but fitness is BIG right now. Whether you're joining your usual yoga class or enjoying virtual sessions with your PT, now is the time to step your fitness routine up a few notches. Why not set aside some dedicated time each day to exercise with mates, even if you're just doing the same video on YouTube? Burpee, stretch, squat and 5k your way to lasting friendships.

We'd love to hear about all the things you've been doing during lockdown – tell us in the comments. :)

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