This November, the fears of many have been realised. Sadly this month, we have been returned to what has previously rendered this year mundane, relentless and repetitive: lockdown (now an term officially recognised by the Oxford English Dictionary). Thankfully ‘Lockdown 2.0’ will be shorter than the original, but it’s still the perfect time to learn from our past errors and focus on what we are able to do, rather than the restrictions in place. 

From the best film and novel recommendations, to the most scenic and tranquil running routes, we have you covered for things to keep you preoccupied during lockdown number two. 

First thing’s first, it is never too early to get into the Christmas spirit, so, why not put on a Christmas film, like 'Christmas with the Kranks' (you can safely ignore the lack of critical stars), a hilarious comedy, on Netflix, based on the book 'Skipping Christmas' by, incongruously, John Grisham, he of the page-turner thriller and cuddle up with a mug of hot chocolate and some gingerbread? Fortunately, this lockdown, flour and eggs aren’t flying off the shelves due to panic buying, so Christmas baking is on the table -  be sure to check out Teighan Gerad’s (aka Half Baked Harvest) recipe for gingerbread brioche cinnamon rolls on Instagram, they are sure to help the advanced Christmas celebrations! 

It goes without saying that last lockdown we all made fitness resolutions that only the most committed stuck to. Well, this time, with the help of the idyllic, autumnal scenery of Richmond or Bushy park, achieving fitness goals couldn’t be easier. Make sure to wear your warmest pair of leggings and go for a walk or run around the park, maybe even pausing for a bit of seasonal photography, as you are sure to get some insta-worthy snaps this time of the year. You can even track your exercise on Strava, a highly motivational fitness tracker, free on the App store. 

What’s better than a good book on a chilly evening? Having just been made into a brilliant film on Netflix, 'Rebecca' by Daphne Du Maurier, is a fabulous read, exploring current topical themes such as feminism and gender roles. Not really a reader? Not to worry! Why not try a free podcast on the podcast app automatically installed on iphones? Ed Gamble and James Acaster’s 'Off Menu Podcast' is a highly comedic, excellent listen, where the comedians invite special guests into their magical restaurant to discuss their dream meals and 'This American Life' is a podcast discovering sometimes quirky, often funny and always compelling tales of everyday life in the States, described as ‘little movies for radio’.

With a vaccine on the horizon, we will probably never face another national lockdown, so it’s time to embrace this period, sit back and enjoy a slower pace of life. This second lockdown, maybe we won't be just standing and staring.