Updated: May 12, 2020
Well... Covid-19 has absolutely ruined everything hasn't it? School closed, gigs cancelled, bars & restaurants destroyed to the point where your favourite watering hole may not even be there when this is all over.
These disruptions are thankfully not life-threatening though and our specific circumstances vary, but I wanted to take a moment to talk about the ways I've been trying to keep myself busy during #lockdown and if any of these help you out then I'll consider this article a job-well-done.
1. In The Words of 5ive... Keep On Movin'
Staying 'in-in' is the new going 'out-out'. I've been using most of this time to recover from an injury. However the one thing I'll never be able to give up doing is Clubbercise.
Clubbercise classes are usually taught in a darkened room with disco lights and glow sticks set to a soundtrack of old and new club hits. A fusion of dance, toning and combat moves with high/low impact options for all fitness levels, I usually burn between 500-600 calories a session.
People need to keep motivated during #lockdown and my instructor Ricky - or Mr Motivator as I like to affectionately call him - is literally the best. He brings such energy to every class and no matter what shape, size or fitness level you're at he makes you feel as though you can take on the world!
2. Clap Your Little Hearts Out Every Thursday!
I for one am so proud of all our keyworkers. Everyone in the NHS, people working in retail and manufacturing. All of the people who are keeping our world turning right now are absolute heroes! Shout-out to my friends Rachel and Maria who both work in the NHS and two of the most bad-ass women I know.
3. Snuggle Up With Your Adorable Four Legged Friends
Do you know what the best medicine is for busting stress and depression? It’s playtime with your pets. I don't have a pet - sad face. I've wanted a puppy for as long as I can remember but our landlord doesn't allow animals so my dream of petting a small furry thing will have to wait until we buy our own house.
What I do instead, is watch millions of videos on social media of the little cuties, here's a list of my absolute favourites that you need to go and look at immediately:
4. You Show That Mary Berry Just What You Can Do
"Do you know the muffin man?"
"The muffin man?"
"The muffin man!"
"Yes, I know the Muffin Man. W-who lives on Drury Lane?"
"Well, she's married to the Muffin Man..."
Okay so technically this should be the other way around, in so much as my partner is about to marry the muffin lady!
I absolutely love spending an afternoon baking. Cheesecakes, brownies, cookies... you name it, I'll bake it. But when you're in #lockdown it becomes a lot harder to keep baking when you realise you'll have to eat it all between two of you. Instead of taking most of it into the office where everyone would spend hours telling you that you should apply for GBBO - keep whispering those sweet nothings in my ear Mr Hollywood.
I've been trying to master the art of making smaller versions of my bakes. Excuse me while I go and check on my mini doughnuts...
5. Put On Those Overalls And Get Messy
So pretty much the same as the pets rule, our landlord won't let us make any changes to our flat. So as much as I'd love to wallpaper half of our flat, replace the awful chrome coffee table or turn our spare room into a l̶o̶v̶e̶ ̶d̶u̶n̶g̶e̶o̶n̶ home office, it's just not going to happen.
That's not to say I don't have some DIY to be getting on with over the next couple of months. When my partner and I first got engaged, I had this genius (d**khead) idea about us making our own wedding invitations. It's all fun and games when you first start playing with glitter card and glue. But by invitation thirty of sixty I am ready to pull my hair out.
6. Learn A New Skill #Lockdown
I'd love to be one of those people who comes out of lockdown and impresses people with a new skill. Maybe I could learn Mandarin or how to ride a unicycle.
The thing is, I think a lot of us are actually just glad to have a bit of a break. It might be tough-going for business owners at the moment, but for those of us who haven't had a proper holiday in two years and are usually expected to be on-call most of the time, it's actually quite nice to just take a step back.
So... no, I won't be going back into the office offering to cartwheel everyone's lunch to them - although that would be a totally wicked skill. I'm going to spend my days sleeping until 11, wandering into the kitchen to forage for lunch and then slouching down to watch Tiger King for the millionth time.
7. Find Your Inner Yoda/Yoga
Taking up meditation or yoga can help focus the mind away from the pressures we're all facing at the moment. Scientific research consistently shows that yoga and meditation have positive mental and physical health benefits.
Yoga is a gentle exercise that simultaneously provides therapeutic benefits for painful joints and improves flexibility. Yoga poses largely rely on stability and balance. The very pursuit of them strengthens major muscle groups, especially the ones close to the core, which play a key role in maintaining balance.
Meditation is marked as one of the key ways to manage stress. It requires no physical effort, while being very effective in slowing down the heart rate and calming the mind. Deep breathing and meditation also help relieve anxiety and lower your blood pressure.
8. Have You Even Heard Of TikTok?
If you haven't seen any of the #lockdown dance off-trends, then WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?
Follow Jimmy Fallon's lead, find yourself a willing friend and spend hours learning how to do a crazy dance trend for absolutely no reason at all.
9. Read, Read And Read Some More
I don't really read that much, but during furlough I've found it highly therapeutic.
Here's some books I've been enjoying during the pandemic, in case you wanted to grab yourself a copy!
F**king Good Content - Dan Kelsall
Good Vibes, Good Life - Vex King
Shoe Dog - Phil Knight
Building A Story Brand - Donald Miller
The Conflict Resolution Phrase Book - Barbara Mitchell
10. Spend Time With The People You Love
In the almost four years that my fiancé and I have been together, we have never spent this much time confined in one place at the same time.
I do highly recommend a #lockdown for any engaged couples. It's a real test of your commitment to each other and makes for the funniest of arguments. Like when you disagree about the correct way to empty a bin or argue about what flavour rice cakes to buy.
For the moment, thinks might be a bit hectic. But I'm enjoying having the time to look back at memories like this and remember that things will get better.