Hey all you cool cats and kittens!
Welcome to Week 4 of the UK Covid-19 Lockdown, Kanye’s less-catchy song title alternative.
Since the official government lockdown was put in place on the 23rd March and I was put on furlough on the 1st April, with an hour for outdoor exercise per day, I’ve had a lot of time indoors to get creative.
I am incredibly grateful for the position that I’m in and know that many others will be struggling during this time – whether it be financially or with their mental health.
If you are struggling and need someone to talk to, please feel free to reach out – I may not be able to solve your problems but sometimes it’s just nice to have someone to talk things through with.
For all the key-workers out there, thank you for being brilliant and working hard to support everyone!
This list has come about because:
a) I love any excuse to make a list
b) It will act as a mini diary to document what I got up to in this unprecedented time
c) To hopefully give you lovely lot some inspiration for things to do if you’re bored
Obviously there’s no right or wrong way to spend this time – YOU DO YOU, HUN.
1. Get changed and do my make up at least twice a week
Although I’m not working, I still like to be productive on most days and have a rough routine. The act of changing into ‘day clothes’ rather than staying in my pyjamas or lounge-wear all day creates a sense of structure which helps to set boundaries in my day-to-day.
2. Fitness videos
As James is still wfh, I usually pop on a Pop Sugar Fitness video on YouTube and attempt them in the bedroom. I always work up a sweat and feel great after doing them even if I’m not doing all the moves correctly – it’s just a great way to start the day, knowing that I’ve done some exercise already!
I’ve done this workout quite a few times and half an hour feels like the perfect amount of time for me.
Today, I also had a go at this one which I enjoyed as it’s a little easier (i.e no push-ups or burpees) and I’m hoping my coordination will get better over time…
Let me know if there are any other great exercise videos for beginners that you’d recommend 😉
3. Make the most of your one hour of outdoor exercise a day
I feel very lucky that my closest park is the beautiful Holland Park so I walk there and back most days. It’s so lovely to be somewhere green in this glorious Spring weather! James’ mentor at work has also given us fun challenges to do on our walks, such as seeing how many different types of leaves we could find in 15 minutes and seeing how many different types of animals we came across. Walking around with a goal in mind can make it a little more fun, especially if you have children or if you want an outdoor challenge with your friends where you can share photos of what you find.
4. Take photos of the cherry blossoms
I don’t think that I’d taken a single photo of the cherry blossoms since I returned from Hong Kong at the end of 2017 – I know, I’m as shocked as you are! Being able to slow down and truly appreciate the beauty of everyday life is definitely something I’m grateful for right now, as cringe as that sounds. Plus, the cherry blossoms will only be here for a limited time before summer rolls round and I’m always a sucker for anything limited edition!
5. Read existing books
If, like me, you have a bookshelf full of books that you’ve had for years and never gotten round to reading because you keep buying more (from the charity shops) and you don’t have the time to read them all because you’re either spending most of your time working and consequently having no energy to read in your spare time – this is the perfect time to plough through your existing collection! I’ve read 8 books since lockdown began 😀
6. Make the most of the sunshine if you can
If you know me, you’ll know that I’m low-key obsessed with sunlight. I will go out of my way to walk on the other side of the road if that’s the sunnier side. Sunlight massively impacts my mood so on hot days, I love to be making the most of it. Unfortunately, we don’t have a garden or balcony, so our wonderful neighbours cleared up this ‘balcony’ area where I can now go out and read on sunny days!
7. Clean your home
Dust seems to gather so quickly in our flat that despite having a robot hoover whizzing around once a week, it doesn’t quite manage to clean up the ledges or corners so I bought some Dettol wipes and went to town on it. It looks so much better now and I’m always much more productive in a clean space!
8. Find new recipes to cook and/or perfect old recipes. Make a list of all of the dishes that you like to cook.
In terms of the latter point, we’ve found that it makes life a lot easier at the beginning of the week to decide which dishes we’d like and what ingredients we’ll need. We’ve done this previously but have been extra vigilant in making sure that we get everything that we need in one trip to the supermarket to avoid putting ourselves and others at risk with multiple visits. During lockdown, I’ve enjoyed putting together healthy-ish fry ups and prawn taco salads for lunch. For dinner, our favourite dish recently has been prawns with mixed peppers in a black bean sauce with egg fried rice – much cheaper, healthier, bigger portions and more delicious than getting it from a Chinese takeaway (but we do like to get the odd one every now and then – gotta support our local eateries and all that!)
9. Wardrobe transition/clear-out
It’s the time of year for the great wardrobe transition from winter to spring/summer clothes. In the process, pop anything that you no longer love or wear into a bag for a friend or family member (if they’d like it), else the charity shops will need your donations more than ever when they reopen.
10. Tidy up your social media channels
This won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but I personally find it really therapeutic. Over time, I find that I’m following a lot of accounts on Instagram and am unable to see everyone’s posts, partly due to the algorithm, but mostly because there’s no way I’ll be able to see the posts of over 900 accounts every day. I quite enjoy going through the accounts I follow to see if their content is something that I still enjoy consuming and if not, I simply unfollow so that I’m able to only see photos from accounts that I truly like. The same goes for any accounts that make you feel negative, BYE FELICIA. The same can be done on Facebook and Twitter.
11. Follow @luvv_hyul on Instagram
I recently discovered this chubby little gem and the account has made me laugh so much – she is just the cutest!
I promise she’ll be able to put a smile on your face 😀
12. Send online cards/gifts to family and friends
James recently discovered Thortful online and I absolutely love it! They have such a great range of beautiful and hilarious cards created by independent artists and you won’t even need to leave the house to send your loved ones something to brighten up their day. I can confirm that it’s an effective mood booster 😉 This month, they are also funding the production of 500 disposable full face visors a day for NHS frontline workers – so you’ll be doubly spreading the joy with your purchase. If you’d like 30% off your first purchase, click here.
13. Draw something for yourself or send it to loved ones
It’s always therapeutic to do something that doesn’t rely on a screen so it’s a good time to put pen/pencil/paint etc to paper! It’s also a lovely, creative alternative to sending something online, like my talented friend, Hannah, who sent me this gorgeous card <3
14. Play card games, board games or do a puzzle
Continuing with the non-screen related fun activities: so far, I’ve managed to persuade James to play a few card games with me – next up, I shall buy a puzzle!
15. Video call friends and family.
We are so lucky to be living in a time when we can still see and keep in touch with loved ones over technology. I’ve done pub quizzes with friends and James’ family which have been lots of fun!
16. Catch up on films, TV series and YouTube videos
When it’s compulsory that you’re indoors for 23 hours a day, there’s never been a better time to whack on something that you’ve been meaning to watch for a while – guilt free! James and I have finally gotten round to watching The Crown on Netflix and we’re also rewatching Friday Night Dinner because I’d never watched it properly all the way through and it’s absolutely hilarious – I’d definitely recommend it if you need a pick-me-up. We also watched Queen and Slim which was brilliant! What’s on your list?
17. Read blog posts
As I follow quite a few bloggers, it’s been nice to have time to catch up on reading what everyone has been up to. I’ll be writing a blog post on some of my favourite blogs soon so I’ll link that here when it’s live.
18. Write a blog
I absolutely love having a blog; it acts as a visual diary and it’s my favourite creative outlet. I’d love it if all of my friends had blogs too as I’m nosy and love to see what everyone is up to. I enjoy reading more long-form copy of people’s thoughts that go along with photos, especially of those that I know. I’d recommend checking out my top pal Nikki’s blog – it’s brilliant and you have her to blame for me starting my own. My gorgeous travel buddy, Heather, blogs all about her travels and it makes for an insightful and hilarious read!
It’s been wonderful to hear everyone clapping and cars honking every Thursday at 8pm to show appreciation for key-workers and our NHS heroes!
20. Make a list of places that you’re looking forward to going or things that you’re looking forward to doing in the future.
As always, any excuse to make a list! I think it’s important to have things to look forward to in the future and I’ll be popping a blog post up on that soon too – there will be lots of London restaurants, new locations for charity shopping and, of course, rescheduling mine and Sophia’s holiday to Thailand <3