With the recent announcement of social distancing in the UK ‘likely to be in place until the end of the year’, it’s never been clearer that things won’t be returning to ‘normal’ any time soon. Despite this news, I personally want to make the most of this time that we have, for the most part, at home.
Don’t get me wrong – lockdown sucks. But despite its limitations, and the negative reasons we are in a state of lockdown, you can almost see this time as a blessing in disguise. You now have a lot of time to yourself. What do you plan to do with all of it?
I’ve mustered up five things (some of which I’ll be doing myself) to take the sting out of lockdown. It’s already a shocking, confusing and sad time – let’s use the time we have now to make it a bit brighter.
Grow Your Own Food
For the last few years, every April (sometimes May if I’m late), I grow cherry tomatoes in my garden. And each year, I’m amazed by what can happen if you cut some tomatoes in half and put them in soil. Growing food has always seemed a bit daunting, but once I got into the swing of things with the tomatoes, I thought I’d branch out and try a few new things this year.
And I went crazy.
By some stroke of luck (and a lot of resilience) this year I am growing: Cherry Tomatoes, Butternut Squash, Bell Peppers, Chilli Peppers, Garlic, Strawberries, (yes there’s more) Courgettes, Celery, Sweetcorn, Rosemary, Thyme, Basil and Parsley. Now, will they all work? I have no clue – but I can say with some certainty that so far it has been such a rewarding experience. Starting plants from seed and seeing them grow up, get strong and develop is inspiring – it’s a reminder every day that the world out there is a beautiful one.
I’m not saying you need to go all out and grow everything – especially if space and/or resources is an issue, but you could start small – you could start with a pot of soil on your windowsill, and some seeds from a cherry tomato in your fridge.
Master Baking Bread
Why has lockdown meant that we first bulk bought toilet roll, and are now raiding stores for strong white bread flour to mass-produce sourdough bread? Or Banana Bread? It may be a stab at self-sufficiency, and to be fair, would be a great skill to have coming out of lockdown… but random? Most definitely. Regardless, I’ve always found cooking to be a form of escapism – for me it’s almost therapy. For however long, the kitchen is yours, and you have the opportunity to create anythingyou want to make – as long as you have the ingredients, and the willpower to do it. Take the opportunity now while you have the time, to fall in love with food.
Take Back Your Skin
If you are not currently working, or have the pleasure of working from home – not having to leave the house has many benefits – no more makeup, warm cosy clothes replace our office-wear, and we are unlimited in our options for what to have for our meals everyday!
Use this time to take back your skin, hair and nails. Nourish your body with good food and watch your skin start to glow from the inside out! Leave your makeup alone and your skin to breathe and take in the sun and the clean air we’re having! (I haven’t worn makeup for the best part of two months!!!).
Repair your hair in the same way by eating lots of healthy fats and proteins, and treat yourself to a hair mask once a week to add to its shine! You’ll be a dream coming out of this quarantine!
Taking time for yourself is so, so important. It’ll help keep you sane
Of man’s many great talents, the composition of the arts have to be up there with some of the greatest things ever created. Artistic expression, whether it be through the medium of film, music, literature, painting or sculpture is beautiful, and at the focal point of many of our lives. At times like these, I feel we can all find great comfort in immersing ourselves fully and wholeheartedly into them all.
I’m sure you’ve heard of so many greats you’ve always been recommended, but have never got around to watching… why not start now?
I’ve always been a big fan of Tarantino films – and frankly I’d recommend them all! Especially if you have the stomach for a bit of gore – ‘Pulp Fiction’, ‘Kill Bill’ 1 and 2, ‘Inglorious Basterds’ and ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’ are all amazing watches. ‘Goodfellas’, ‘The Breakfast Club’, ‘The Shawshank Redemption’, ‘Fargo’ are just a few ‘greats’ that I have been asked to watch over the years, I hope these are a good starting point!
The same goes for reading, and writing! There are so many great books out there I wouldn’t even know where to start, but reading books, fiction or non-fiction can be a great gateway into writing stories of your own. It would be great to document these times actually, they are once in a lifetime.
Painting can serve as a great release for tension and anxiety – another great idea to try!
Clean Up, Clear Out, and Decorate!
I, as well as others within the First Love team, have been sharing our success in finally getting round to doing bits and bobs around the house to spruce things up a bit. If we have to stay indoors, why not make it a bit more homely?
In our day to day lives, more than ever it’s been made clear to us that we really haven’t had the chance to take time for ourselves. The commute to and from work takes its toll on the best of us. After working the usual 9-5, and getting home 1-2 hours later, investing time in continuing to make your house a home is a daunting task. Now that we are almost bound to our homes and home life, do yourself a favour and make your house somewhere you really love to live.
“If you have kids, giving them the task of growing a plant from seed will give them a sense of ownership and responsibility.”
As mentioned earlier, plants are a great way to spruce things up and bring some life into your home – fun pots and planters keep things fresh and helps bring a certain individualism into your home. If you have kids, giving them the task of growing a plant from seed will give them a sense of ownership and responsibility, and is a great summer project that they can check in on nearly every day! DIY is a great way to spend the time and another great project the whole family can get involved in! Reclaimed wood shelves, hand-formed clay pottery, and hand-painted prints are just some of the things easy to create, but would easily add so much beauty to your interiors.
Transforming your bedroom can really transform your peace of mind. Yasmine, part of team First Love, made a great point the other day that rings true for so many of us – “What you see when you wake up really effects how you feel, and often frames your mood for the day.” Give yourself the best chance at feeling great every day by investing a bit of time, and maybe a bit of money into making your space feel and look amazing.
Whatever your creative outlet is, to help get through this a little easier, let us know. We’d love to hear what you’ve been doing with your days.