From soothing sea sounds and ocean literature to craft, journaling and decorating ideas, we gather some of the best activities for self-isolation that’ll make you feel a little closer to the seaside. Words: Jessica Johnson
1. WRITE ALL ABOUT IT
This uncertain time shall one day pass. But until we can gather together for giant sandy picnics, journaling our thoughts, ideas and dreams about the ocean can be a therapeutic way to help bring clarity and reassurance to the everyday. Coast has its very own journal for sea-lovers that you can order online (£9.99, shop.kelsey.co.uk/product/JOURCST/saltwater-living-journal).
2. GET BEACH-WISE
The RNLI has a brilliant stack of posters, quizzes, activities and colouring-in sheets that are free to download, helping children learn how to keep safe near the water (rnli.org).
3. ADOPT A TURTLE!
If another day of quarantine is leaving you feeling blue, why not pledge to support the future of the endangered turtle. From just £3 a month, you’ll receive an adoption gift pack including certificate, pin badge and your very own pop-up turtle (mcsuk.org/adopt).
4. SPRING INTO THE HISTORY BOOKS
National Trust sites may be closed around the country but online there’s a treasure trove of history waiting to be explored. From the uncovering of Anglesey Abbey’s rare gothic statue to the conservation process of one of the oldest doll’s houses in the country, collections, relics and exhibitions are brought to life for virtual visitors. Put the kettle on, bake a batch of scones and you’re as good as there (nationaltrust.org.uk/art-and-collections).
5. GROW YOUR OWN
Nothing feels as grounding as getting your hands in the soil. Dedicate a patch of your garden to growing vegetables, fruit or herbs or, if you’re garden-less, consider a window box to brighten up those extra long-feeling days.
6. TUNE INTO THE SEA
Science confirms that the sound of breaking waves tells our brain to drop down a gear, boosting levels of serotonin and dopamine. There’s an ocean of apps available to download for free, but if you’re after a deeper relaxation toolkit, the ‘Calm’ app (£12.99 a month) features ocean wave soundscapes together with soothing bedtime stories and expert-led lessons in mindfulness (calm.com).
7. READ THE WAVES
In her beautiful book By The Sea Dr Deborah Cracknell takes us on a scientific deep dive, exploring how and why the sea has such a profound effect on our wellbeing. Buy a copy online or snap it up as an e-book for £3.99 (octopusbooks.co.uk).
8. GET COOKING
Whip up a seafood feast at home and support our country’s fish producers at the same time! The Hebridean Smokehouse in North Uist parcels up its delicious peat-smoked salmon, mackerel and scallops for next-day delivery (hebrideansmokehouse.com).
9. BRING THE SEASIDE IN
Transform your garden or patio into a slice of beach paradise. Whether it’s a comfy floor cushion (from £44), a hammock (from £58) or a deck chair for two (from £175), The Stripes Company have got our candy-striped comforts covered (thestripescompany.com).
10. LIGHT UP
Bring the aroma of the sea indoors with a luxury natural candle – you deserve it. St Eval’s ‘Sea Mist’, which is inspired by the North Cornwall coast (£19.49, st-eval.com/collections/sea-mist), is sure to please the home crowd.
11. CRAFT FOR FREE
Fancy making beeswax candles, your own succulent container garden or how about crocheting a cactus? Online learning platform Yodomo offers courses like this for free, together with paid-for courses that include essential kit (yodomo.co).
12. DEMENTIA-FRIENDLY IDEAS
If you or a loved one is living with dementia, Active Minds has a range of coastal-themed jigsaws, paint sets and family games plus an audio CD of seaside sounds which can help encourage relaxation and spark fresh conversation (active-minds.org/uk/sensory-sounds-seaside-days/).
13. PLAN YOUR NEXT COASTAL ADVENTURE
Along with rich, in-depth features about our Great British seaside, coast magazine is full of inspirational images and features on where to stay, eat, visit, shop, walk, cycle, sail and more. These unusual times will pass, and it’s important to have something to look forward to. Use coast to create that beachy bucket list (coastmagazine.co.uk/subscribe).
14. LISTEN TO A SALTY TALE
Transport yourself to the high seas with actor Timothy West’s reading of Treasure Island or listen to author Raynor Winn read her heart-wrenching tale, The Salt Path, from your very own kitchen. Audible has an incredible selection of audio books to take your mind to far-off places and many of their children’s titles are free to access while schools are closed (audible.co.uk).
15. GO COASTAL
Dreaming of washing your kitchen walls in a bold, harbour blue? coast’s website is packed with ideas for stylish seaside interiors. Featuring a mix of arty and contemporary seaside homes across the coast to buckets of inspiring sea-inspired visuals, it’s a mood board for all the senses (coastmagazine.co.uk/designsandinteriors).
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Feeling creative? We have a great selection of coastal-inspired arts and crafts activities to give a go…