We are now experiencing a historical moment in time, one that many of us thought that we'd never have to live through. Sitting at my desk in a safe little bubble, it seems almost surreal that this global pandemic is happening. You see it on the tv, you watch the Prime Minister's updates and wherever you go on social media, Covid-19 is all anyone is talking about.
Whether you are powering through the lockdown like a champ and just need five to clear your head, or you are struggling to stay positive and are taking it day by day, here are some small things you can do to give your busy mind a rest. I genuinely do every single one of these and it makes all the difference!
Is your wardrobe overflowing with old clothes, shoes or toys? Got a cupboard or drawer that you were always "meaning to clean out" on a rainy day, or maybe a loose door handle you never got round to tightening? Now is the perfect opportunity to get those pesky tasks done. Clearing out clutter not only gives you a beautiful home but is an effective way to help clear the mind too, allowing you to create space both physically and mentally. By focusing on what you actually "need" in your home, it becomes more functional for you and your family. In our house we are doing this room by room, putting aside anything that neighbours could use or can be donated to those in need. I always take this opportunity to do a deep clean and dust, as it sets you up with a fresh environment to go about your day and makes your space feel "healthier".
Another trick I picked up to stay organised is wardrobe rotation. As a child I would often watch my mother's friend organise her four double wardrobes in this way - two for clothes she'd use in the upcoming season and two for the previous. For those who invest in good quality clothes and hold on to these for multiple years, start taking anything that you will not wear in the season ahead and place it into a drawer or box and tuck away. As we prep for New Zealand Autumn/Winter, our summertime slacks are being moved to our spare room wardrobe, so that we aren't riffling through clothes every morning. By doing this, you are saying to yourself "I have what I need, to do what I need to do". If you have clothes that need a mend, now is the time to fix them up!
For anyone who saw my recent stories, a method I use to feel more in control during this time is meal planning. Supermarket shopping has become a big event during Covid-19, so this is a great tool to ensure that you are getting what you need for the week and that it is nutritionally balanced. You can create this however you like or use our free rough-and-ready template. Having one of these on your wall means you can visualise the ingredients and quantities you need to feed the family, so that you avoid buying up all the alphabetti spaghetti and lentils, then wondering what the hell to do with them! Let's face it, no one needs ten cans of chickpeas. On this point, supermarkets are still filled with fresh produce so take advantage of this. Research new recipes, go for foods that people aren't hoarding and make it a fun experiment to increase your mealtime repertoire. I recently discovered Hummusapien and Minimalist Baker and have fallen in love with so many new dishes!
For those who want to avoid supermarkets altogether and support local, head to the likes of GoodFor and Commonsense for bulk food and great organic snacks, Ozone for their coffee subscription (the Empire blend is insane!) and Garage Project if you need some cheeky beers to get you through. The new Instagram handle The Isolist is also aggregating local businesses who are working through the lockdown, so check them out!
Diffuse the situation
Love to light a candle to get your chill on? If you are a big fan like me, making the move to a room diffuser is a game changer! They work wonders in purifying the air safely and naturally to get rid of bacteria and other nasties. Inhaling certain essential oil blends can strengthen your immune system, though this should be done at a distance from your diffuser and for no more than 20 minutes at a time. If you have invested in one of these beauties make sure to use only 100% pure essential oils, as these are what will give you the most health benefits and avoids inhalation of unwanted chemicals. Investing in a good organic blend will cost around $30 NZD, but will last you for months. For those wanting to purify their home, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Lemongrass and Rosemary oils are ideal. If you want to destress and get a good night's sleep, look for Lavendar, Bergamot, Chamomile or Frankincense. I buy my organic oils from Absolute Essentials and recently got their Immune Plus blend - it's amazing!
Keeping up to date on developments is important, however over-exposure can be destructive and cause unnecessary anxiety. Try to minimise contact with channels or handles that indulge in too much hype and focus on those who are keeping it factual and positive. Actively take in any good news stories, examples of communities coming together and share your own creative tips and tricks to keep yourself entertained. Creating a group of close-knit gals and guys who are setting themselves challenges, having daily catch ups or are sharing activities are all positive outlets. Remember to also take this positive interaction offline and spend time with the family, play a board game, read a book, learn something new, or actually just do sweet FA! For those looking to try meditation, which I strongly recommend, Headspace is second to none and Andy's voice is incredibly relaxing.
Whilst I am definitely an advocate for spending the odd day in PJs, it is important during the week to get out for some fresh air and keep yourself moving. Physical exercise releases endorphins that are good for your body and soul. Being outside also allows you to soak up some much needed Vitamin D and gets some clean air in your lungs. Roping in a housemate or partner to join you is a good way to make sure the household takes a break from being indoors and gives you accountability for staying active.
One of the most exciting parts of my day is going on to Instagram and seeing all of the amazing creations people are whipping up during self-isolation! Whether it is baking, cooking, drawing or knitting, it is great to see people creating more. I have probably learned more recipes in the last week than I have for years and my only regret is that I didn't get knitting needles and yarn before the lockdown. Over the next week I will be sharing my own creative tips and resources to keep both adults and children entertained during this time, so watch this space.
I hope these tips have given you some inspiration and reassurance. As always, stay safe and tag me in any cool creations you share!