I think we can all agree 2020 was a helluva year. Happily, and as far as we know, in 2021 things are looking a bit better. The vaccine is finally here, most vulnerable people are receiving immunisation, and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel (and guys, let me tell you that was a pitch-dark, long, ugly tunnel).
However, we are still in the middle of that last effort before things turn for the better. We are experiencing what will probably be the last big lockdown but we still need to deal with a lot of time at home. At this point, even couch potatoes like me are starting to feel it’s all a bit too much and run out of ideas on how to get ourselves busy AND sane.
Now, I am a hundred per cent aware I am one of the few privileged people who were able to keep working from home full-time through the pandemic and who didn’t even have to experience the added struggle of balancing work and home-schooling. To all the people out there who had to go through furlough or take care of children without the extra-support of school, nursing, or parents all I can say is this: you are heroes. Period.
But even being in such a good place, this experience has been hard to an extent I couldn’t have predicted when things went wild last March. I have already written about all the ways this has been difficult but I thought it could be positive sharing all those little things making the whole lockdown, if not fine, at least slightly more bearable. Like in, “Hey, at least I did not shave my head or something” kind-of-bearable.
So, let me share with you five things saving my sanity during Lockdown.
Daily bubble baths
I know, I know. It sounds like such a cliché. However, it works for me. Usually, I am tired and anxious after a long workday stuck in the house and I need something to make me switch from work-mode to personal life-mode. Through this year, bubble baths have proved to be a simple way to unwind at the end of the day. I love choosing a nice essential oil, get a book or magazine, and the occasional glass of prosecco. It is like magic—especially during wintertime when it’s pitch-dark about 4 in the afternoon and far too cold to venture for a walk.
Practicing ballet at home
January last year, I started attending ballet lessons for adults at a local dance studio. Learning classic ballet had been on my bucket list forever so I decided to give it a go as a part of my 2020 New Year resolutions (and will you Universe let me complete at least one of those once in a while? Thankyouverymuch…).
Unfortunately, London went into lockdown in March, meaning all the gyms and dance studios closed temporarily. This was something that truly took a toll on me: dancing was my weekly ritual to release all work the tension and socialise (not to mention it was the only actual exercise I practiced at the time). So I found myself stuck in the house and not exercising at all. I could see things going down the plughole in a blink and decided to stop it.
About mid-April I found a couple of nice Youtube channels teaching ballet lessons for beginners and transformed my kitchen counter on a ballet barre. And let me tell you that’s probably one of the best lockdown decisions I have ever made. It is crystal-clear I’ll never become an Anna Pavlova but I feel great. So morals are simple here: practice exercise. Any exercise. I think we can all agree we need as many endorphins as we can possibly get at the moment.
Stopped wearing yoga pants all the time
I already wrote a blog post about the time I ended up yelling at my yoga pants but to sum it up, wearing the same clothes over and over will make you feel like you are wearing a prison uniform. These days, I will occasionally wear comfy clothes while staying at home but most of the time, I try to make an effort and wear proper work attire. It makes me feel good, it increases my productivity, and it also creates a sense of separation between the working day and my spare time. Win-win situation here.
Thematic Netflix marathons
Let me tell you something about the lockdown: we’ve been milking our Netflix subscription like CRAZY. In the beginning, we would just watch random stuff. In the last few months though, we have organized a series of thematic marathons. Let’s say we feel like watching dystopian fiction. We look for a list of genre movies from the Netflix catalogue and then organize them in terms of author, actor, or year and watch them. In the meantime, we love to comment on them (yes, we are THAT kind of people… don’t hate us) and even make a list giving them star points. I don’t need to mention the type of nerds we are, do I?
As silly as it sounds, organizing these little marathons has been our weekly highlight and a lovely way to entertain ourselves while avoiding cabin fever. Popcorn anyone?
This year has been the one with all the online socialising: weekend Zoom catch-ups with friends, Sunday morning and mid-week evening Skype coffee dates with family, daily Instagram community chats—you name it. To me, Internet has made the difference between feeling lonely and having a taste of a normal social life (even if it was a socially-distanced one). I can say it has been the one tool saving my sanity during the pandemic and I can’t even imagine how things would have been without an Internet connection. I will neever be grateful enough about that.
So tell me: what are your secret weapons for well-being during lockdown?
Any tips you want to share?