My mother used to say "there is no such thing as being bored, only boring people".

I keep meaning to ask her if she still thinks that after finding herself stuck at home as part of Britain's current lockdown rules.

She has a point though, being bored is a choice. My house is packed full of books, I have various television streaming options, we have board games and puzzles galore. There is plenty to do (including cleaning and ironing, but I've yet to get that bored), it's just a case of deciding to do something.

If cabin fever has hit your house, or you have run out of books to read and shows to watch, then we have curated the very best of online things for you to do, watch and try while you stay home and save lives in alert levels 4 and 3.

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1. Learn a new skill:

Might a lockdown be the time to perfect your photography skills? Photo / Persnickety, Unsplash
Might a lockdown be the time to perfect your photography skills? Photo / Persnickety, Unsplash

I will start with a disclaimer. You do not have to learn a new skill.

No one is judging you if you come out of these alert levels with no new skills at all. No one says you have to use this time to learn a new language or write a best-selling novel.

If you come out of the Covid-19 months with nothing more than a new appreciation of hand sanitiser, that is perfectly fine.

But. If you want to, then how about trying out Nikon's online classes.

If you would love to learn a little bit more about photography, then Nikon School Online might be for you.

The camera company has removed the cost of all 10 of its online photography classes for all of this month. Until the end of April you can learn from the experts how to best photograph children and pets, the basics of creating music videos, how to make macro photographs of things both big and small, and plenty more.

The classes normally cost between US$15 to US$50 each, but now all it will cost you is the time to watch the videos and try out the skills. Lessons last between 15 minutes and an hour.

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Visit the website: www.nikonevents.com/us/live/nikon-school-online for more information and details.

2. Go for a game drive, from the comfort of home.

Don't be bored - there is plenty to do during lockdown.
Don't be bored - there is plenty to do during lockdown.

As someone who truly believes everyone should spend time on an African safari at least once in their lifetime, it is no surprise I have spent more than a few hours while staying home watching hyenas, cheetahs and more roaming freely.

South Africa is in lockdown as well right now, but needless to say that hasn't stopped the wild animals who live there from carrying on as normal.

While safari camps across the country are closed to visitors, they still have rangers working there, keeping poachers at bay and keeping an eye on the wildlife.

The rangers at Mala Mala Game Reserve, which is situated in Mpumalanga close to the Kruger National Park, have created a YouTube channel - Rangers in Isolation - in which they take a camera, and you, on their daily game drives during lockdown.

Tuning in you will see all sorts of African wildlife at their best. From beautiful leopards on the prowl, to a battle between a hyena and a lion.

Watching the videos you almost feel as though you are there yourself, just minus the mosquito bites.

Find yourself a thermos, fill it with coffee, put a blanket on your lap and you will feel as though you are there yourself, riding a safari truck along the tracks scanning the horizon to see what is out there.

Just search for Rangers in Isolation on YouTube.

3. Enjoy a show from London's West End, from the comfort of your sofa.

Being stuck at home doesn't mean you can't see a great show from London's West End such as Myth. Photo / YouTube.
Being stuck at home doesn't mean you can't see a great show from London's West End such as Myth. Photo / YouTube.

Feeling a long way from Broadway right now? Missing London's West End?

No need to worry because now you can watch some great shows from the comfort of your own sitting room. No need to worry about getting the best seats, you already have them!

There are plenty of shows to choose from. The younger members of the family might enjoy watching the sold-out show Celebrating 25 Magical Years of Disney on Broadway for example.

Musical numbers come from a range of Disney musicals including Aladdin, Frozen, Mary Poppins and The Lion King to name just a few. Search for it on YouTube, just don't blame me if you can't get Let it Go out of your head afterwards.

If rock is more your thing than Disney, then you might enjoy Myth. This musical is a modern retelling of the ancient Greek story of Orpheus and the underworld and was filmed on London's West End in 2018.

The ancient Greek tale is given a modern twist by setting it in the contemporary music industry.

Dealing with meaty topics such as mental illness, the musical is as thought-provoking as it is entertaining. Find it on YouTube by searching Myth - live at The Other Palace.

4. Look good on LinkedIn with some study at Yale University.

Study the Science of Wellbeing with Yale University. Photo / 123rf
Study the Science of Wellbeing with Yale University. Photo / 123rf

Yale psychology professor Laurie Santos introduced a course, Psychology and the Good Life, in 2018 in response to the concerning levels of student depression, anxiety, and stress people were seeing.

The course soon became the most popular class in the more than 300-year history of Yale University and gained plenty of attention worldwide.

In response, Santos created an online version of the course and made it available worldwide through Coursera, an American online learning platform.

The course, now named The Science Of Wellbeing, is designed to increase your own happiness and build more productive habits.

During the course Santos will identify some of the misconceptions about happiness, and discuss some of the features of the human mind that make us think the way we do.

The course is completely free to do, or you can opt to pay US$49 to gain a certificate of completion at the end.

Other than bragging rights of having studied a Yale University course, the course promises to teach you the habits you should build to lead a truly happier, more fulfilled life.

To enrol, visit www.coursera.org and look for The Science of Wellbeing.

5. Become a virtual volunteer for the USA's Library of Congress.

Become a virtual volunteer for the Library of Congress.
Become a virtual volunteer for the Library of Congress.

Learn a new skill while helping researchers and family historians now and in the future.

Nearly 16,000 pages of diaries, letters, speeches and other documents relating to the suffrage movement in the United States are among the documents needing transcribing at the Library of Congress.

And no matter where you are in the world, if you have an internet connection then you can help.

People are asked to volunteer their time to help transcribe individual documents, and tag them with key words.

Finalised transcripts will be made available on the library's website, improving access to handwritten and typed documents that computers cannot accurately translate without human intervention.

The enhanced access will occur through better readability and keyword searching of documents and through greater compatibility with accessibility technologies, such as screen readers used by people with low vision.

In other words, the results will benefit thousands of people every day. You don't need to worry about making a mistake either, once a given page has been completed, it must be approved by at least one registered volunteer before it is integrated into the library's main website.

The library has thousands of historical documents to be transcribed and there is no way of knowing just what gem you might personally unearth as a volunteer. Rosa Parks' pancake recipe is just one of the documents transcribed in the past.

To get involved, sign up online at www.crowd.loc.gov
6. Cheat on your Netflix account with a movie from somewhere else.

If you have binge watched everything you ever wanted to on Netflix, don't panic - there's plenty more stuff online.

There are plenty of movies available to watch online free of charge.

One example is Cannibal! The Musical.

Written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, of South Park fame, this black comedy musical film is everything you might expect from the duo.

It was written in 1993, and is loosely based on the true story of Alferd Packer, the only person convicted of cannibalism in America.

Troma Entertainment has made the film available on its YouTube channel for your, erm, entertainment? Find it by searching for Troma Entertainment on YouTube.