The past six weeks have seen our daily routines tipped upside down, trampled on, kicked around a bit and then accidentally stuck in the washing machine. It’s been one heck of an adjustment for the majority of us to attempt to navigate.
I spoke to five amazing self-employed women about their current work set-ups. About how lockdown has changed their routine and what they’re able to achieve in a day, how they’re juggling childcare, and what they’re doing to keep their wellbeing in check.
Medina Grillo @grillodesigns
Medina, 31, is a DIY and Interiors blogger and author of the book ‘Home Sweet Rented Home’. She previously worked as a nurse and midwife for over a decade. She lives with her husband and seven-year-old son. She says…
Morning: ‘We wake up around 8am-8.30am, and my son and I start the morning with the Body Coach or Cosmic Yoga. Then I”ll have a cup of tea or toast if I’m feeling peckish, but I’m not really a breakfast person.’
Daytime: ‘At the moment I’m working, but there’s no clear routine. My husband fortunately is also working from home so we really just work around each other. I work mainly late afternoon to evenings – but there are days when I don’t feel as productive or my son’s homeschooling is a priority, so work takes a back seat. When lockdown first happened I put so much pressure on myself. I felt like I had to do it all: work, be mama, wife, teacher etc in one day. Now I’m realizing that that is just near impossible.’
‘Lately I’ve been going into my husbands ‘man cave’ office which is basically just a spare box room. Its easier to focus in there I found as I can just shut the door to the world for a few hours. I run two websites so it can get really busy trying to keep everything running smoothly.’
Evening: ‘Most of my emails are answered in the evenings. I normally go to bed around 10pm. I used to have a bad habit of scrolling on my phone for at least an hour pre-lockdown, but now I’ll relax by reading a book instead. Its much better for me mentally.’
Sarah Malone @sarahemalone
Sarah, 32, is co-founder of PR and Influencer agency PWR. She launched the company last year after previous PR roles at New Look and Monsoon. She lives with her husband and two year old son. She says…
Morning: ‘I usually wake up around 6.30am and scroll through social media until my little boy shouts “mummy come get me” when the sun on his GroClock comes up at 7am. I bring him into bed with me and we watch Paw Patrol/Postman Pat/PJ Mask/Peppa Pig until about 7.45am. He has his milk and I have a cup of tea. If my son lets me be, my ideal breakfast is avocado on toast with feta. If not, I will just grab a piece of toast with Marmite!
Daytime: ‘I tend to wear gym leggings (I do Joe Wicks at 9am-9.30am) and a t-shirt. I generally work all morning solidly and then just keep an eye on emails all afternoon. I work upstairs in my bedroom as I have to be out of sight to get anything done. My husband is a firefighter and is still working so we have to juggle childcare between us. I often have a conference calls and have to be on my phone when looking after my son though and I do find it really stressful – constant mum guilt.’
Evening: ‘We have been much better with our dinners now we are just sat at home. We have something like fajitas or pasta bake or stir fry. We have also tried to start eating earlier with our son, which I am actually really enjoying. Does mean I am starving by 8pm though, so I just eat again! I also catch up on any work I didn’t get a chance to finish in the day, and have also watched loads of good series – The Split, Normal People (obsessed!), Killing Eve, Save me, Liar etc.’
Eleanor Bowmer @eleanorbowmer
Eleanor, 32, is a Textile Designer/Illustrator and lives with her husband, a three-year-old daughter, four-month-old son, and dog, Frank. She says…
Morning: ‘I usually wake up at 6.30am – if not multiple times in the night – and have a coffee and feed baba. I have fruit or toast for breakfast and get dressed in leggings, trainers and an oversized jumper.’
Daytime: ‘I have converted our basement into a studio and usually have three girls working with me, but I have been doing it alone the past few weeks. I’m most productive in the afternoon, I find my brain really gets going later in the day and I find myself being more creative! I spend a lot of my time at the moment packing orders and replying to e-mails. I absolutely love designing but haven’t found much time for that at the moment.’
‘I’m working reduced hours right now due to current circumstances. Both me and my husband are self employed so we’re juggling child care and trying to run our businesses as efficiently as possible.’
Evening: ‘I like to have a glass of wine and dinner with my husband. If I haven’t completed my work for the day then I do that too. But generally I like to wind down and watch something on Netflix! And am usually in bed around 10pm.’
Grace Victory @gracefvictory
Grace, 29, is a Content Creator and lives with her boyfriend. She says…
Morning: ‘I wake up at about 7.45am-8am. I use a sleep app called Sleep Cycle and it wakes up when I am in my lightest part of my REM cycle, which apparently makes you feel less tired. I have a poo, and then venture downstairs, open all the windows, grab a glass of water and journal. I will often meditate, pull a few tarot cards and make a smoothie. My mornings are always for me and I like to have an hour to myself before my boyfriend comes down.’
Daytime: ‘There are some days I read all morning and get dressed at 2pm. There are other days I’m up at 7am, shooting content all day, editing videos, jumping on zoom calls and being a productive queen. I’m getting dribs and drabs of work but nothing like I am used to getting. I’m trying NOT to get anxious about it, but it is a little worrying. I tend to have two full days of work – emails, creating my own content and talking to my managers at Gleam about work that’s come in.’
‘Other days I am doing work on myself or my home. I’m really trying to embrace the slow living that I have stumbled into. I’ve been posting A LOT on TikTok (which has surprised me) and working towards bigger and better things for my side project @howtohealholistically.’
Evening: ‘Since lockdown, I rarely work in the evenings which is a blessing for sure. I now read, watch a show on Netflix, journal or pamper myself. My evenings are usually very relaxed and wholesome which means I sleep much better. I go to sleep between 10pm and 11pm. I love my sleep and I can’t cope if I don’t get at least eight hours a night.’
Harriet Davey @harriet.davey
Harriet, 30, has been a Freelance Fashion Editor for the past two years. Prior to that she worked at LOOK Magazine as Fashion News Editor. She lives in East London with her two flatmates and a toy poodle called Blossom. She says…
Morning: ‘My commute is just walking to my kitchen table, so I set my alarm for around 8am – with a potential 20 minute snooze. I jump straight into the shower. I’ve worked from home on and off since I’ve been freelance so I’ve tried the whole slobbing around in your PJs thing. First day was great, but by day three, not so much. I find I’m more productive if I get up and dressed, wash my hair and apply a little bit of makeup as if I were to go into an office. I usually just have Corn Flakes and a cup of tea and wait until at least 11am (okay, maybe 10.30am) until I crack open the biscuits.’
Daytime: ‘I try to do a normal 9.30am-6pm day which is what most magazines stick to. I always make my kitchen table into my desk area – I’ve tried working on my bed but the temptation to have a mid-afternoon nap is too much. I feel most productive between 10am-3pm so I can quite often keep writing through this time and end up having a late lunch.’
‘I’m a writer and stylist so each day can be different depending on the job/client but it’s always quite fun. On writing days I’ll pitch stories to the editors (I get a lot of my inspiration from Instagram/street style) and I’ll spend most of the day choosing images/shopping and writing the stories ready to go to print/get published online.’
Evening: ‘Dinner is my favourite meal of the day so I usually think about this from around 9am! I like homely meals that are something to look forward to so I’ll make a lasagna, cottage pie or anything that has some form of potatoes is always a winner. Sometimes we cook for each other in my houseshare so this is always a treat if someone else is cooking that night. I always tell myself I want to go to bed by 10.30pm, in reality by the time I’ve been scrolling through Instagram or watching the last few eps of my fave series, it’s more like 12.30am.