So here we are in lockdown 2.0, hopefully just for 4 weeks but who really knows.
Rest assured your not on your own in feeling anxious about being cooped up in doors and cut off from friends and loved ones.
There are ways of making staying at home for a month slightly more palatable, below are some of the ways I help keep my spirits lifted.
Create a home spa.
Sunday nights are usually my bath night, where I will wallow in the bath with my favourite beauty products and feel refreshed and ready for the week ahead.
Run yourself a perfect bubble bath, light a candle, take a drink and your favourite book or magazine and after giving yourself a little at home facial lay back and relax.
Some of my favourite products I use are:
Your Good Skin Calming Cream Cleanser – I was given this as a gift for my birthday and its beautiful. Lovely and cream and instantly feels calming on your skin. I little goes a long way and my skins feels beautiful and clean after using this. https://www.yourgoodskin.com/uk/shop/cleanse/blemish-clearing-calming-cream-cleanser
I use this along with a cleansing brush.
I change between a traditional exfoliator and an acid peel.
Your Good Skin Energising Facial Scrub – a lovely creamy and not too harsh on the skin. https://www.yourgoodskin.com/uk/shop/cleanse/energizing-facial-scrub
Apple Cider Vinegar Acid Peel – It sounds scary but its not! Warning, it does smell like vinegar but hey that’s what its made for and just proves they aren’t adding any skin harming perfumes! You leave it on for 10 minutes and simply rinse off afterwards. It leaves my skin lovely and smooth and bright. https://uk.theinkeylist.com/products/apple-cider-vinegar-acid-peel
I’m of the age now where I am obsessed with getting collagen back into my skin so I love a collagen mask but there are so many amazing masks out there.
Mario Badescu is a firm favourite of celebs and has been around for over 40 years and I love this collagen mask - https://www.beautybay.com/p/mario-badescu/super-collagen-mask/?ctyid=gb&gclsrc=aw.ds&&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIkqnw0snt7AIVDeztCh2ZMgl3EAQYASABEgJ6cvD_BwE
Dr. Jart+ is a South Korean skin care brand. It was created in 2004 by entrepreneur Lee Jin-wook, with consultation from dermatologist Dr. Jung Sung-jae. I love the Dr Jart Masks. They come in a range for all skin types, the shake and shot masks are great fun and super thick and soothing on your skin. -https://www.cultbeauty.co.uk/dr-jart/skin-care/masks-exfoliators
I’ve been horrible to my poor hair over the years constantly colouring it, so I’ve decided lock down is the time to give it some love and rest. I’ve vowed to stop colouring it and look after it more. It’s the perfect time with working from home I’m not having to blow dry it and can even go a few days without washing it which can do wonders for your hair.
Obviously, the holy grail of hair treatments, especially if your hair is colour damaged is Olaplex. I use the No.3 hair perfector and the bonding hair oil just before styling or drying. I can be pricy, but the results are totally worth it. https://olaplex.com/collections/all-products
Another good mask I like to use is Bleach London Reincarnation Mask. This can be used as a treatment and a day to day hair conditioner, so you get 2 for the price of one. https://bleachlondon.com/products/reincarnation-mask-200ml
After my little mini treatments and a soak in the bath I like a good moisturise. For my face I’ll use a serum first and then a moisturiser. Again, I’m currently using a collagen serum but there are loads of there to chose from based on your skin type my current go-to moisturiser is Body Shop Roots of Strength. I’ve seen a massive improvement on my skin since using this. Fine lines have really reduced, and my skins feels plumper and firmer. I’m no longer feeling the need for foundation when I go out (I still use some fake tan on my face for a bit of colour)
Now this may sound strange to everyone else, but I double moisturise my body. Mainly because I can suffer from dry skin (mostly on my legs) but I also love a body oil but don’t necessarily feel like they give me the moisturisation I feel I need. It makes sense in my head.
I love Superdrug’s vitamin E body moisturiser. It smells amazing and comes in a massive tub that’s lasts for months! https://www.superdrug.com/Skin/Body-Care/Body-Butter/Superdrug-Vitamin-E-Body-Butter-200ml/p/780261
And then I don’t think you can beat the classics so I use Palmers Coco Butter body oil, which you can get almost anywhere and everywhere! I’ve used this for years and just love it so much.
Enjoy Outside Areas
The weather may be very different from the last lockdown but that’s still no excuse to get out an enjoy the outside spaces we have around us. In this country I think we are so lucky to have some of the amazing parks and countryside areas that we do.
Wrap / layer up, take a flask (or better yet grab a takeaway coffee from your favourite independent) and take in the fresh air for a couple of hours.
I don’t think there is anything better than a sunny autumn day.
Write a Journal.
Not the kind of 13 year old secret diary we all used to love, but just something to write down our feelings at the end of the day, remember the good things that happened which can so easily be forgotten about during this weird time.
This is good for 3 reasons.
1. You get to buy a new journal (we all love buying stationery, right?) These from Choosing Keeping are like little works of art https://choosingkeeping.com/collections/ck-composition/products/extra-thick-composition-ledger-chiyogami-notebook-1960s-japan-blue-fireworks.
If you are looking for something more purse friendly then Papier have a great range of notebooks and guided journals – my favourite are the Hoste designs by Laura Jackson https://www.papier.com/patchwork-32091
2. It forces you to take a break from your laptop or phone.
We all know that constant staring at a screen isn’t good for us, especially just before trying to sleep. So, write your journal just after getting into bed, remind yourself of the day you’ve just had and set your intentions for the next day.
3. When you have to sit down and write what you’ve done each day (and read it back), you’re more likely to try and do something worth recording rather than falling into a coma while watching Netflix.
Read a book
How many times do we say, “I never have time to read” Well now is the perfect time to do just that! Independent Book shops are still doing online orders and they need our help more then ever now.
How do we know we’re doing it right? By Pandora Sykes is next on my list https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/111/1119094/how-do-we-know-we-re-doing-it-right/9781786332073.html
If your struggling on what to read next, have a look at this list of books everyone should read at least once created by British Vogue https://www.vogue.co.uk/gallery/books-everyone-should-read?image=5d544f4e7e26090008fa87ac
Make sure you get your 8 hours sleep.
It’s a strange time for us all and we all have various worries – money worries, how our children are handling the pandemic, our elderly parents and when will I see my loved ones again?
And this could all affect our sleep patterns which then makes us grumpy, tired, reaching for the wrong foods etc. It’s a vicious cycle.
Make your room a calming place. Soft lighting, lovely cosy bedding, don’t have your phone or any type of screens in bed. Try some relaxing aromatherapy oils or a ready-made pillow spray- https://www.johnlewis.com/this-works-deep-sleep-pillow-spray-75ml/p1795156?sku=234148435&s_ppc=2dx92700055434379253&tmad=c&tmcampid=2&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIqsrzoYfu7AIV0u7tCh1ytg23EAQYAiABEgLetvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
There are also some good headspace apps out there – fancy having a bedtime story read to you by Cillian Murphy or Harry Styles? Then download the Calm app where you can get just that!
Have a social media cleanse
There’s no need to delete your accounts/forgo lockdown-inspired memes altogether, but it is worth going through your Instagram and Twitter and deleting anyone who causes you stress/aggravation in any way.
Do you really need to be following Donald Trump (no need anymore!) or the queen bee from your former school who’s now an influencer promoting diet teas/coffee enemas? No, no you do not.
Working from home? Make your workspace a happy space?
I’m lucky enough to have a (very small) office within my flat. Before lockdown and WFH it had a desk, my sons PlayStation and was a bit of a dumping ground.
We he originally got locked down and all had to work from home I decided to do the space up and make it a happy / calming space. I pimped my desk up using a patterned vinyl from Jess Rose Vinyl - https://jesrose.co.uk/
Some shelving, a new chair, cushions, blankets and candles and now I love my little working space.
It also means I’m not in the same room all day and get a slight change of scenery.
The PlayStation is still there
Have a “work-free” area of your house
Working from home means our spaces can become mixed and work drips into our everyday life. It’s more important than ever to make sure we have ample time away from work, phones, meetings and emails.
Make sure you have an area of your home that is work free. Reclaim at least one place for yourself (it can even just be an armchair that you love) and make it as tranquil as possible. (Note, no phones or laptops allowed.)
Lastly, try and enjoy the slower pace of life. We are constantly rushing from one appointment to another, dropping the kids off at various activities, gym classes, work, meetings but now we have the chance to slow down and enjoy the little things.
I know its easier said then done, especially with having children but it isn’t just about lazy mornings in bed (although how amazing are they) it’s about film days under blankets with snacks or crafting afternoons with the children.
Childless? Go back to bed with your book and snooze the day away not feeling an ounce of guilt about doing absolutely nothing.