Meet Brandon – CEO of Brave Top Construction

Today we’re jumping across the pond to Ontario, Canada, to chat with someone who really knows the definition of hard work – Brandon, CEO of Brave Top Construction and Clean Er Up Bin Rentals. Let’s dive in!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your professional background. 

I’m 26 years old from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. I started Gutter Cleaning as a side job while running a bin rental business. 

I spent around 10 years doing roofing working for my father so it came naturally to me, watching him and my mother sell to people either on the phone or in person. 

That, combined with reading, and the fact that friends my friends were concerned about money during Covid 19 motivated me to start a side hustle on top of an already busy business. I wanted to show that you can juggle two businesses at the same time. 

Lots of my friends were complaining about how difficult it was to make money. I also wanted to prove them wrong – that it was actually achievable if you took the time to educate yourself about an industry by reading books, learning from YouTube, and applying that into action!

When did you join Bark, and why did you join? 

I joined Bark in June 2020. I wanted to challenge myself, and Bark seemed like the perfect platform to grow my second gutter cleaning business.

I started off with a goal to reach $10,000 in gross income in 1 month, and I knew I could do it as there were so many leads coming through on Bark – I just had to plan it accordingly. 

Did you experience any setbacks in the early stages of your business? 

Absolutely! When I first started I failed on every single lead. I was in a brand new role and industry, so I didn’t know what I was doing wrong. It was only through trial and error that I started to see some success. 

Within a few months, the business started to grow from strength to strength. My income was $200 in June 2020, and six months later I’d crossed my personal goal of $100,000 gross income. 

After that, the business just blew up. My favourite moment was when a major rainstorm happened – I got 52 Leads in one day and I had to turn off my business phone, it was going crazy!

What do you owe your success to? 

I focused on customer service, not money. The money will always come when you offer great service and care about the customers. 

Before launching my business, I also read a lot on sales, stocks, economics, business and decision-making skills. This gave me the foundation to deal with the everyday challenges of business. 

What’s the best thing about owning your own business? 

My favourite thing about having this business is being able to meet new people, which has also led to opportunities for business partnerships. 

For example, I’ve created a partnership with Alu-Rex where I upsell Leaf Guard to customers who are tired of having their gutters cleaned. 

Working with Alu-Rex has shown me different ways to approach customers, as well as teaching me how to educate customers on how Leaf Guards work. It’s a win-win scenario.

Tell us about your experience with Bark 

It’s been absolutely amazing. The customer support team respond to my queries on the same day. I owe a lot of my success to the team at Bark 90% of success comes from Bark, the other 10% comes from me doing the job. Bark is there for you all the way. 

What’s the best thing about Bark? 

The customer support is like having free employees so why not leverage their amazing team?! They’re with you all the way, from teaching you how to be successful, to providing tips on how to sell to customers. You’ll have instant success if you understand how to engage with customers, Bark gives you all the tools to succeed.

Do you have any tips for success for professionals new to Bark? Or for new business owners in general? 

  • Respond instantly to every lead you know you can complete right away or you know you can book it in for the next day or so.
  • Make sure you have good credit so you can leverage your borrowing power for tools/materials. 
  • Customer Service first, money ALWAYS last.
  • Be prepared to reinvest your money and buy a bigger credit package, as this will give you a better discount per credit.
  • Ask the Bark team for help when needed. Let them know what they can do better to make your experience better.
  • Be honest to customers & don’t do poor work. Follow this and your life will change positively.
  • You can still do business on Bark if you don’t have a work vehicle. Just book your jobs in for the weekend and rent a van/truck for the weekend so you can complete the jobs. No excuses to not work for yourself.

How helpful have you found the Customer Success team? 

Extremely helpful. Occasionally I’ll send over suggestions on how to improve Bark. They scratch my back so I scratch theirs.

Anything else you’d like us to include? 

Bark has changed my life forever and they will change yours as well.

I want to say thank you Bark for the opportunity to change my life and inspire the friends and family that are closest to me. I always tell customers to go onto Bark if they need help finding any other services. Bark is the present and the future and I recommend it to everyone – customer OR professional. 

Wow – it’s pretty impressive to get your side hustle off the ground in the middle of a global pandemic, while holding down a busy full-time job – serious props to Brandon! 

If you’re looking for Gutter cleaning, demolition services, skip hire or waste management check out Brave Top Construction’s Bark Profile. Read their 5-star reviews, view photos of their work and request contact! 

Want to get to know more professionals? Head over to the professional spotlight section of our blog, where you’ll plenty of inspiration from people who built flourishing careers despite Covid-19.  

Could the next success story be yours? Join as a professional on Bark today. 

Meet Ivan – Founder and CEO of Magic Pro Cleaning

This week we’re off to Burnham in the UK, where we have the pleasure of chatting with Ivan, founder and CEO of Magic Pro Cleaning! 

Let’s hear how Ivan’s company has flourished into a thriving business, with a little bit of Bark magic. 

Tell us a little bit about your company and how long you’ve been operating for 

Magic Pro Cleaning was born in 2013 with the idea to create a unique experience for our clients. 

In the beginning, we provided carpet cleaning only. As demand grew for more and more services, I knew that if Magic Pro Cleaning was only a carpet company, the competition would devour it. Shortly after, I added deep cleaning to the list. Not long after, I added window cleaning and pressure washing to our services. Our goal is to be a one-stop-shop for cleaning. 

If you aren’t competitive and you don’t change according to your clients’ demands, it’ won’t be long before your business stagnates. 

What made you join Bark? 

Magic Pro Cleaning joined the Bark family in 2020. I’ve used Bark from the customer side, so I knew how it worked and wanted to give it a go. In less than a year, Magic Pro Cleaning has become one of the top-rated providers on Bark – we’re very proud to have been awarded the Bark Certificate of Excellence for our services. 

Tell us about your experience with Bark! 

On Bark, I managed to find many of Magic Pro Cleaning`s clients. It is also really helpful to know how our customers rate our services through the review section on our Bark profile  – it gives me the strength to go on!



What’s the best thing about Bark? 

It is really great to have a clear view of what the clients want before your first contact with them. When you call them with an offer it is a lot easier to convert the lead into a booking. 

Bark has provided me with a steady flow of clients, even in the coronavirus pandemic. 

What are your top tips for success as a professional on Bark? 

To succeed with so much competition out there you must offer a top service and listen to your clients.

How helpful have you found Bark’s Customer Success team? 

They are always there when I needed them! 

And there you have it, one man’s mission to change the world one cleaning service at a time, and a little bit of Bark magic. If you’re looking for a reliable, top-rated cleaning service, check out Magic Pro Cleaning on Bark. 

Magic Pro Cleaning is also on social! Check them out on Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok, and Youtube

Want to reach new heights with your business? Join as a professional today on Bark today. 

Meet Adrian – Owner of Ristin Construction

Today we’re off to Bedfordshire to chat with Adrian, proud owner of Ristin Construction. 

Let’s hear Adrian’s story about his company and how he’s grown it through Bark. 

Tell us a bit about you and your background! 

I’ve been in the construction industry for about 9 years. Before Ristin Construction, I started my journey in a labourer position and worked my way up to a site supervisor. It was in this role that I learnt the importance of health and safety, leadership, and teamwork. After years of learning and working hard, I decided to open up my own company and try to work on my own because I have a passion for what I do. 

When did you join Bark, and why did you join? 

I joined Bark in October 2018. I saw an advertisement for Bark and thought I’d give it a go – it looked like the right platform for what I was looking for. 

What has your experience on Bark been like so far? 

I’ve had the best experience since joining Bark. It’s really helped me get closer and closer to my goal, from the regular product updates to the staff that answer our calls and offer us insight and guidance. 

What do you like most about Bark? 

The best thing about Bark has to be how straightforward the whole process is, from making the account to the point where you start getting jobs – you feel supported by the team from the very beginning. 

Do you have any tips for success for professionals new to Bark? Or for new business owners in general? 

  • Visualise your goal, work hard, and never give up.
  • Don’t forget to ask for help and guidance from Bark’s Customer Success Team.
  • Insist on getting jobs, and work hard.
  • Finally, be polite, be friendly, and be yourself. Speak on the phone with a smile on your face (the clients can feel that). 

What do you think of the Customer Success team at Bark? 

The customer success team is amazing, very hard working, always there when you need them. 

How has Bark helped you through the Coronavirus pandemic? 

During the pandemic Bark was with me every step of the way, from phone calls to very useful updates, making it even easier to get in contact with the client to secure the job. They also offered information and guidance to take a professional and the clients through every day of the pandemic safely. 

Anything else you’d like to include?

Maybe this will inspire you. 

Before Ristin Construction I went through a bankruptcy, it was a very tough time, I suffered from depression and Bark helped me fight it and leave it behind. The feeling of being useful and to see that it might just be possible to reach my goal. I cannot stress how much Bark has helped me, I am very grateful. Thank you for not stopping, waking up early, and working hard. 

It was an absolute pleasure to chat with someone as motivated and hard-working as Adrian – we could all benefit from adopting some of his work ethic! If you’re looking for handyman jobs, decoration, driveway works, and much more in Bedfordshire check out Ristin Construction’s Bark Profile. Read their incredible 5-star reviews, view before and after photos, and request contact!

Want to meet more professionals? Head over to the professional spotlight section of our blog where you’ll find tonnes of inspiration from people who have grown their careers on Bark during Covid-19.

Could the next success story be yours? Join as a professional on Bark today.

Meet Debra – Personal Trainer at PlatinumFit PRO

This week we’re off to White Plains in the US to speak with owner of PlatinumFit PRO personal training, Debra Ann. 

Let’s hear about Debra’s journey growing her business with Bark. 

Can you tell us a little bit about what you do? 

I’m a certified personal trainer and health coach, with 20 years of experience in the field. I’m a muscle specialist, providing muscle centric movement to prevent, treat, or in some cases reverse chronic conditions that arise from being under muscled. 

By age 30, we are no longer in a growth phase; we experience shifts in hormones and bone mass restructuring. Having a solid resistance training and nutritional plan in place are the foundations to ageing with strength and beauty. 

Resistance training is not about looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger or…it could be. It’s about building on the strengths you already have, addressing concerns and achieving goals.

What made you join Bark? 

I joined Bark in November 2020. I found it by accident when I was browsing the web. I surveyed my clients and a few were familiar with the site and had positive results. On that, I decided to roll the dice and set up a profile and purchase credits.

Tell us about your experience on Bark 

Since joining a month ago, I have successfully anchored new clients. Bark has ample and qualified leads. I love the many distinctions on the client profile.  

What’s the best thing about Bark? 

Personal training is just that…personal. It is a one-on-one service that is a custom fit and tailored to the client. I feel Bark shares the same philosophy with its providers. 

The Bark support team is on call 24 hours a day. They are kind, courteous and helpful. My questions are answered quickly and they provide clever suggestions which have been helpful when setting up my profile. I appreciate having Bark to help grow out my personal training business.

Anything else you’d like us to include? 

Your customer service is the best I have come across. I feel supported by you all.

It was a real pleasure chatting with Debra and learning about her fitness philosophy – we wish we knew that much about how the body works!

If you’re looking for a Personal Trainer or Health Coach in the New York area, head over to PlatinumFit PRO’s Bark profile. Read reviews, find out more information and get in touch – all from one place! 

Keen to meet more professionals? Head over to the professional spotlight section of our blog where you’ll find plenty of inspiration from people who have built fantastic careers on Bark, in a global pandemic! 

Think the next success story could be yours? Join as a professional on Bark today!

How to support local businesses during Covid-19

Shop local initiatives have always been popular, but following the disruption of Covid-19, our local businesses need your support more than ever. From personal trainers to plumbers, restaurants to photographers – all businesses have been affected by the pandemic to some degree.

One of the best ways we all can help is to support your local businesses as much as you can. Here are our top tips on how to do just that. 

Leave reviews

When you leave a review after having a great experience with a product or service, businesses are hugely appreciative. It creates what’s known as ‘user-generated content’, which isn’t just them tooting their own horn, rather members of the public. 

When the business likes or shares customer reviews on their page, it helps instil trust in other customers. You never know, your comment might just persuade someone to shop with that local business versus an online retail giant. 

So often, we only think to leave a review if we’ve had a bad experience (which is why most companies on Trustpilot have a less than favourable score) so don’t forget to leave plenty of positive reviews too, especially for local businesses. 

Interact with their content

Something everyone can do for free to support a local business is to follow them on social media. Better still, give their page a view every once in a while. Like their content, and share it with your friends. Even posting a meaningful comment will help expand their reach, plus it will give some much needed emotional support to businesses who may well be struggling at the moment.

Shop local

It sounds like an obvious point to make, but given how easy it is to order from large online sellers like Amazon, these days, local businesses often get left behind. Yet, it’s these very businesses that give our towns and cities character, not to mention occupy spaces on our high streets. 

Remember, every time you buy from a local business it puts money back into your community, rather than going to global corporations instead. It can also be a great way to get to know people, especially as the owners may well be your neighbours or even friends of friends. 

Recommend to friends and family

While most of our marketing focus is on social media these days, word of mouth still holds incredible value. When it comes to sectors such as tradespeople, everyone wants to hire someone who will do a good job. So if you’ve experienced excellent quality or service from any kind of local business, don’t be shy in telling your friends and family about it.

From the businesses point of view, it’s also a nice pat on the back when someone calls them up mentioning a previous customer pointed them in their direction. If they are a little quiet due to Covid, it can take the strain off their marketing efforts if your kind words are promoting them on their behalf. 

To sum up

Sadly, the phrase ‘use it or lose it’ very much applies to local businesses. However, even a simple gesture such as liking their Facebook page or putting in a good word with friends can be of huge help. By also keeping local businesses at the forefront of your mind while making purchase decisions, you will help support your community at a time when they need it the most.

Staying motivated while working from home

Coronavirus saw monumental changes to both how we work and where we do so. With 46% of people working from home during April 2020 due to the pandemic, you or someone you know likely switched up the office for the spare room or kitchen table. 

There’s no doubt that working from home has its benefits, not least with the reduced commute and being able to stay in your slippers all day. But without the structure of office life, how do you stay motivated? Here are our top tips to stop that procrastination in its tracks. 

Create a routine and stick to it

Hopefully, by now, you’ve figured this whole WFH situation out. But just because you don’t have to spend hours going to and from work anymore, it doesn’t mean you can get flexible with when you wake up. Make sure you set your alarm for the same time each morning, and that you start work promptly. Go to bed around the same time every night too.

While that might sound a little militant, creating a routine will hugely benefit your circadian rhythm. It’s also going to help you stay focused if you do the same tasks (such as checking emails, giving clients a call etc) at similar times each day. Otherwise, the day can slip away and before you know it, you’re having to ‘catch up’ on work late into the night.

Start with the difficult tasks first

Nobody is going to feel motivated to start that company report at 4 pm on a Friday. We naturally have more focus and attention in the morning, because we’ve only just woken up so we have more energy. But as the day drags on, our productivity falls. As we get towards the end of the week this becomes really noticeable, and we start to get distracted with thinking about the weekend.

That’s why you should always start with the most difficult or time-consuming tasks first. What’s great about this tactic is that once you’ve completed the task, you are free to relax with less pressing work. You’re also more likely to do a better job if you have your full concentration too. 

Avoid obvious distractions

The benefits of being out of the office are that you have all your home comforts within easy reach. On the one hand, this is great, but it can soon become a slippery slope. As an example, studies have found we check our phones up to 96 times a day. Then there’s the TV, especially with the likes of Netflix to keep us entertained in the background while we work. 

Removing distractions from your work area will help you keep focused because you’ll know that you can’t access them until your work is done. This in turn will spur you on to get everything completed, as you can use your distractions as a ‘reward’. By only allowing distractions to take up your free time, this will make you less likely to procrastinate. 

To sum up

Working from home has been an experience for us all, especially if it’s the first time you’ve ever been out of the office. Staying productive is one of the best ways to maintain your performance at work, and keep your mental health in check during the pandemic too. 

By following the above tips, you can learn to focus on the task at hand and save anything that’s not important until after you’ve logged off.


5 ways to generate more income for your business during Covid-19

Businesses had a lot of challenges thrown at them during the Covid-19 pandemic. If that sounds familiar, then you may have found your business turning over less profit than normal. 

All is not lost, as with the right approach you can recover your business. Here are 5 ways to generate more income for your business during Covid-19 to tell you more. 

Build an e-commerce offering

Every business model can benefit from adding an e-commerce section to their website. If your business doesn’t sell any physical products (and there are none you can add to make a store), you can even sell vouchers for when you do reopen. 

Consulting a web designer is your best bet here, as is devising a marketing strategy. It needs to be something your customers are genuinely going to want to buy off you. Spread the word through social media and email marketing to increase your reach. Don’t be shy about it – tell all of your customers exactly how they can support you during this time.

Offer virtual services/consultations

If your business doesn’t involve the sale of products, then you may be able to transfer what you do online. For example, counselling, tutoring or personal training. There are many platforms you can use to book in appointments and collect a secure payment from your customers.

Given we don’t know how long working from home will be a thing for, it pays to get flexible with how you work. Plus, it could help you attract clients from different locations around the world which in turn will also boost your profits in the long run.

Use different lead techniques

As Albert Einstein once said: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” The same mantra is true when it comes to how you get your leads in your business, especially if your tactics aren’t proving successful.

These days, video marketing and blogging is an excellent way to attract new clients, especially if you talk about relevant topics and implement SEO. Whatsmore, such resources can also be monetised, meaning you’ll earn money every time someone clicks on your blog or watches your video. 

Write an ebook

If you’re an expert in your field, then people will pay to learn from you. Writing an ebook will take some time, and you may require a proofreader or illustrator to help you out. But, with so many self-publishing options (such as Amazon), it can be a great way to generate both leads and profit for your business.

A great place to start is to research the best selling books in your industry. Find what is it people are responding to, and look to create your own version. It could be anything from a how-to guide on renovating your home, to improving your diet. Create a pricing strategy that works for you, and market your book across all your channels to boost sales. 

Consult a business advisor

Sometimes we all need a little help. If you are feeling stuck in your business and don’t know what to do about it, then a business advisor is the person to turn to. Acting as a mentor, they will shine a guiding light on whatever issue is causing your business to suffer. They will have seen it all, and no doubt will have helped many similar businesses throughout Covid-19 too.

This method will require the investment of time and money. But, if you implement their suggested changes the cost will soon be recouped in the additional revenue it will generate. It’s a good idea to present your business advisor with your main challenges so that they know which areas of your business need immediate attention.

To sum up

The coronavirus pandemic has been a challenging time for businesses. Regardless of what service your business offers, there are always ways to generate more cash. From offering new products to passive income ideas, it’s time to get creative to see yourself through the next few months. Be sure to check in with your local council too, as business grants may also be available for your sector.

How to take care of your mental health during lockdown

Until March 2020, staying at home due to a pandemic isn’t something any of us were very familiar with. Restrictions on how we live our lives have affected everyone to varying degrees. So, if you have noticed your mental health has declined since the coronavirus outbreak began you are far from alone.

If this sounds familiar, finding ways to constructively combat your emotions is essential. Here are our top tips on how to take care of your mental health during lockdown to tell you more. 

Stay connected

It sounds so simple given we are all attached to our phones these days, but staying in touch makes a huge difference. Everyone is feeling isolated to some degree, especially seen as we can’t hang out with our friends and family, or even go to the pub at the minute. 

Social media is ironic in that you may have hundreds of contacts who you never actually engage with. A simple ‘hi, how are you doing?’ is all it takes to spark a conversation. Better still, give someone a call who you haven’t spoken to in a while. You might just make their day, as no doubt they are feeling just the same as you. 

Digital detox

During the first lockdown, the average person spent 45 hours a week interacting with their phones, TVs or laptops. On the one hand, spending more time indoors can’t be avoided. Plus, a lot of people are now working from home too. But, the fact remains that too much screen time isn’t great for our mental health, especially with so much bad news popping up all the time. 

While it might not be feasible to stop screen time altogether, making a conscious effort to cut down can be hugely beneficial. Whether you read a book or go on a walk, try to take some time every single day that does not involve a digital device. Social media platforms in particular are designed to be addictive, and these can have a real drain on your emotions too. 

Personal training

Exercise is one of the best ways to boost your physical and mental health. But as you may have noticed, gyms have once again been forced to close during lockdown. However, you can still access personal training during this time, as many trainers have taken to online classes and individual sessions instead. Alternatively, it is legal to work with a personal trainer in an outdoor public place during lockdown too.  

There’s everything from pilates to HIIT training out there. Granted, it’s not the same as working out in a gym, but as this year has taught us the ability to adapt is how we get through it. Even an hour on Zoom a week will give you a fresh perspective, and it will also help combat feelings of loneliness as you’ll be making a new connection without even having to leave the house. 

Seek therapy

Even before the lockdown, 1 in 4 people reported having mental health concerns. Conditions such as anxiety and depression are common at the best of times, and no doubt lockdown has only made the issue worse. Whether you lack confidence, have experienced trauma or relationship difficulties, there are hundreds of different issues a therapist can help you with.

Sessions are held in confidence and during the lockdown can be carried out over the phone,  Zoom or even live chat. Getting to the root cause of any issues that are weighing you down will benefit you in the long term, well after lockdown is over. So don’t delay in seeking help, especially if you are struggling to cope. 

To sum up

The above steps will point you in the right direction to give yourself some much-needed breathing room. Whether you are worried about your finances or feeling the effects of isolation, you don’t have to go through it on your own. Talking to a neutral party in the form of a therapist, exercising and abstaining from too much screen time will greatly improve things. 


10 free things to do at home during lockdown

In need of some entertainment to make lockdown pass by in a flash? Finding new ideas to nurture your inner self and take care of things you have been putting off is the order of the day. 

The good news is that keeping yourself busy doesn’t always have to involve spending money either. 

Here are 10 free things to do at home during lockdown to zap that boredom away. 

Create a life plan

If lockdown has given us anything it’s thinking time. Even if the future looks a little different from the start of lockdown, it’s still a good idea to decide where your life is heading. Maybe you’ve been considering a new career, or are aiming to buy a house? Now is the time to figure out how you are going to make it happen and to put the wheels in motion. If you need a helping hand to get your life in order then an online life coach is always a good idea! 

Try a lockdown challenge

Bored? It’s time to have a go at toilet roll keepie uppie or even try the latest dance craze on TikTok. Given gyms are shut right now, at least it will get you moving! Lockdown challenges are also a great way to distract the kids, especially if they are feeling pretty restless. 

Rearrange your living space

Interior designer Kelly Hoppen is a huge fan of rearranging her home regularly. While it might seem like a bit of a faff, it can actually help you get the most out of the space you do have. For example, changing the placement of your sofa or moving the dining table to allow more room either side. If you’re unhappy with your current home, this technique can help you see it in a whole new light. 

Research your family tree

Curious about where you came from? Family history websites such as Ancestry and Find My Past offer free trials that can point you in the right direction. Before you start, it’s a good idea to write down what you do know on a piece of paper, as this will help you identify which records are correct. You can begin to build your tree and even find pictures people may have uploaded of your relatives without having to pay.

At-home spa day

Love a good pamper? If so, you likely have a few beauty products hanging around the house. From a manicure to a face mask, and even a conditioning hair mask, taking time out for yourself can do the world of good. Self-care is closely tied with mental health, and we all need to be making sure we look after ourselves. Find some relaxing music playlists on YouTube to give your treatments the spa touch. 

Give an old friend a call

We all know how staying in touch with loved ones matters during lockdown, but don’t forget old friends you haven’t spoken to in years either. Many messaging platforms exist that allow you to call people regardless of where they live for free. Make the most of the time we have to do just that. You never know, it might just make their day to hear from you. 

Have a clear-out

It might not sound like the most exciting task, but if you have junk lying around or clothes you never wear, lockdown is as good a time as any to get rid of everything. Whether you send it to the charity shop or make some money on eBay, you will feel so much better when your spaces are clear and clear. The air will feel much cleaner in your home too. 

Record your family stories

Every family has amazing or hilarious stories that get wheeled out at parties. But not many people think to record them as a keepsake to pass onto the next generation. Recording your family stories either through your phone or even a video camera is an amazing idea everyone should try. Once you are finished, send a copy to everyone in your family. Not only will it bring a smile to their face during lockdown, but it will provide happiness for years to come too. 


If you’ve spent much of this year working from home hunched over the kitchen table, your body is probably feeling it. Yoga isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but the reality is that even some basic stretching can help avoid any aches and pains. Back pain, neck pain and even headaches can be caused by poor posture, and yoga will help you adopt a better frame. Many guru’s upload free videos on YouTube for you to try at home. 

Learn to draw

With so much time spent looking at screens these days, few of us spend time on recreational activities such as learning to draw. All you need is a pen and paper to get started which most people have lying around their homes. If you happen to have any pencils or crayons this is even better. There are millions of tutorials you can access for free online to sharpen your skills. It might just inspire your kids to become budding illustrators in the future too. 

To sum up

The above ideas will hopefully give you some food for thought when it comes to keeping yourself entertained during lockdown. While this time certainly isn’t easy, with the right approach you can use it to get things done you’ve been avoiding until now, plus learn some new skills to boot.


Staying healthy during coronavirus

There’s nothing quite like a global pandemic to make you focus on your health. Aside from the obvious measures we all need to take to avoid coronavirus itself, it’s also important to look after your health as a whole. 

This is especially the case given we aren’t following our normal routines or even getting outside as much as we normally would. Here are our top tips on staying healthy during coronavirus to guide you.

Keep moving

Even before the pandemic, the average person spent 90% of their time indoors. What with the lockdown and working from home, this number is likely even higher now. A sedentary lifestyle is bad for our health in so many ways, so you need to look at creative ways at combating this. 

Try to start each day with 10 minutes of stretching, which will help counteract any aches or pains from being hunched over a screen all day. If you live near any parks or walking trails, make the most of them by going on a walk during your lunch hour or after work. You can also find plenty of free workout tutorials online, or even hire a remote personal trainer

Ditch the takeaways

The temptation to order a pizza when the weather is grim and you can’t go out is all too real. But the reality is that processed food is the last thing we need to be eating right now, especially if you are trying to keep your immune system in check.

If you really must order takeout (and want to support local business which is great), stick to healthier dishes. For example, greens, lean protein or delicious smoothies. It might not be as tasty as a juicy kebab, but your health will seriously thank you for it. If you have no idea where to begin when it comes to healthy eating, a nutritionist or dietitian will be able to set you on the right path. 

Don’t ignore any worrying signs

Sometimes you know something just isn’t right. It can be easy to dismiss what’s going on because you’re afraid, or due to the confusion about which services are still open during lockdown. But this can make whatever it is much more difficult to treat if it does turn out to be anything sinister. 

Likewise, if you are due to attend any health screenings or checkups, do not put these off just because of coronavirus. Unless you are self-isolating, you should still be attending all of your health appointments. Remember, your GP is there to look after you, so don’t delay in accessing treatment if you need it. 

Seek support

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. What with lockdown, economic uncertainty and all the restrictions, it’s perfectly understandable if you’ve experienced a dip in your mental health as a result of the pandemic. It’s really important you don’t suffer alone, especially with so much help available out there.

Many counsellors, therapists and life coaches have switched to working remotely, offering phone and video sessions. Speaking to a neutral party can help you make sense of what you are going through, and help you carve a way forward. In fact, finding the right help can be life-changing especially if you’ve been carrying around emotional baggage for some time. Or if you don’t have much of a support system in place during the pandemic. 

To sum up

Even though you might be finding living through coronavirus tough, it’s still important to stay on top of your general health. Eating the right foods, exercising and acting fast if you notice anything that isn’t quite right will stand you in good stead. As we continue to navigate these difficult times, maintaining your health is one of the best things to focus on.