With a possible end date in sight, Lockdown 3.0 suddenly seems a bit less all-consuming. The light at the end of the tunnel is no longer quite so hidden from sight by fog and mystery, and we have a little something to aim for. Hurrah!
We thought we’d compile a list of some of the small things we’re doing each day to try and keep ourselves going, even when it feels like the work/childcare/lack of social interaction/lack of time to ourselves is an overwhelming battle without victory.
This is our list of little ways to find more joys through the rest of your lockdown days…
Admittedly, I’ve always been a lover of any kind of journaling: teenage angst in diaries, bullet journals, mentstrual cycle journaling. So it’s truly no big surprise that I’ve started writing a line every single day in a notebook about something that’s brought me joy. Most days it’s something teeny tiny: a hot coffee whilst out for a morning push-the-baby-to-sleep walk, a kind Whatsapp message from a friend, or simply making a cracking dinner. It helps me reflect on the day positively before bed, but also helps me look back long-term and work out what lifts me up when I’m feeling dark and overwhelmed.
All sound a bit too much of a faff? Me and my mates have also started texting each other our joys of the day which might sound lame, but it’s an instant mood-booster, promise.
10-Minute Exercise Videos
About two weeks into Lockdown 1.0 we all found some inner determination to find new indoor hobbies and past times to fill the void (enter puzzles, baking and Joe Wicks PE lessons), but nearly a year on? We’re struggling to even leave the house for a walk most days, let alone actually properly move our bodies.
With two kids under four, me-time is virtually non-existent, but I’ve somehow only just realised there’s tons of super short exercise and stretching videos on YouTube. Because I mostly survive in leggings these days it means I can seize an opportunity between naps and episodes of Giant Jack to throw my yoga mat on the floor and attempt to stretch out my stressed body. I just search YouTube for whatever I fancy: ’10-min morning yoga’ or ’15 min yoga for back’ and voila. There’s also toddler yoga too which is a fun distraction to do together for all of a few blinks.
The Four-Part Make-Up Routine
I don’t know about you, but when I wake-up feeling tired and lethargic and like I’m nursing one heck of a wild hangover, then I somehow end up feeling that way too – even when I had a relaxing bath the night before(plus face mask, herbal tea and other attempts at ‘self-care’) and a full eight hours sleep.
Anyway, the point I’m getting at is I tend to feel better once I’ve showered, washed my face, moisturised and put on the bare bones of make-up. I feel, dareisayit, more me. For me that’s a slick of bareMinerals Complexion Rescue, Bobbi Brow’s Pot Rouge, Glossier’s Boy Brow and their Lash Slick too. I feel less like I’m just trying to survive the day and more like maybe, somehow, in a weird twist of fate, I could actually thrive?
(I usually do it whilst the toddler is distracted and the baby is next to me in the bouncer – I chat him through it as if it is a very riveting YouTube make-up tutorial, obvs).
Letting Go Of Lockdown Guilt
I know, I know. So much easier said than done. But I constantly remind myself what we’re living through: a GLOBAL PANDEMIC. This is not our every day for the rest of our lives (touch wood). This is something wildly beyond our dizziest daydreams. This is hard, and so it’s OK to lower expectations and bring in survival tactics. There doesn’t need to be a limit on screen time (unless of course you want there to be), you don’t need to punish your body, you don’t need to save chocolate for periods/weekends/when you’re dead and you certainly don’t need to be productive all the time. Just make it through the day however you can, OK? Go easy on yourself. You’re doing better than you think.
At this stage of the pandemic I’m not going to say ‘GO. FOR. A. WALK’. It’s hard to muster up that kind of energy day in and day out, but you know what you can do? Find some fresh air. I am literally talking about opening your car window if you park up for the supermarket/nursery/work and BREATHING actual outside air in and out slowly. Or opening a window or back door at home and just taking a full minute to stop what you’re doing and focus on the good fresh stuff. Always a good reset once the day has threatened to engulf you whole.