This isn’t an easy time for any of us to navigate, but there are some simple strategies you can put into place immediately to support yourself during the lockdown, to love yourself and make life that little bit easier and brighter.
*First published in March 2020, and re-published July 2021.
I have been a journalist and travel writer for over 20 years, and much of my life and time is spent alone in hotel rooms or at home having to put in a full day’s work, so this is not new for me. Here are some of my tips to get the most out of your day.
Get out of bed early during the lockdown. Daylight savings starts next weekend which will make it easier to get up earlier, but sleeping in right now is not a great idea. Get up and kick start your day – and if you’re tired go to bed earlier that night.
Shower, and groom yourself properly. Just because you may not go outside today and even if no-one will see you, love yourself enough to shower, wash your hair and make yourself look good. (You will be glad you did if you find an instagrammable moment or feel like a Tik Tok during the day).
Dress professionally for work as you usually do even if no-one will see you. I have worked from home for over a decade and one of the many secrets is dressing as if I am going to an office. It’s a mental thing, and helps me subconciously open my mind for work.
Have a daily routine with times allocated for working, lunch and so on during this lockdown. A daily schedule is critical right now to push yourself through the day and remain focussed. Whether it’s on ical or hand written in your diary, give every day a plan. Make sure you allocate breaks, as sitting at the desk for hours can become debilitating.
Exercise daily. A simple walk helps calm the mind and provides fitness for the body. This is probably the most important aspect of every day. Many local gyms are posting bespoke workouts and there are plenty online if you prefer.
Make times to catch up with friends on Skype as you usually would in person and stick to them. The other night I face-timed a friend in Singapore and we laughed a lot, and had a fantastic chat. I am filling my diary with coffee appointments on line. It’s a great pick me up.
Enjoy the luxury of extra time around the house to do jobs you never have enough time for like basic filing, your tax return, cleaning out drawers or the pantry or filling the house with local, fresh flowers. Ok so it might sound boring, but at least when life returns to normal, all of the menial tasks will be well and truly done and flowers bring in energy, colour and life during lockdown.
Consider learning something new. From cooking new recipes to learning Michelin star cooking secrets, a language, make-up course or improving the mind, there are a myriad of on-line courses to engage with.
Photo Books: These are time consuming to make, but such a joy. Now that you have time thanks to the corona virus lockdown, invest in creating beautiful books to hold all of your special memories.
Consider a fast (or giving up alcohol, sugar, smokes). Many people find if they challenge themselves it can take their mind off the every day routine. Intermittent Fasting means not eating for several hours a day, and believe it or not, many people are enjoying the challenge (and weight loss) it is bringing at this time.
Indulge yourself by using your beauty products during lockdown. If we are all honest, we all have a pile of beauty products around the house we have half used or barely used. This is the time to commit to a beauty routine that involves regular conditioning hair packs, exfoliation, masks, leave-in conditioner and so on.
Renae Leith travels the world writing (www.renaesworld.com.au). She has had a colourful media career as a journalist in many magazines and newspapers, and spends her time writing, consulting to new businesses, running, doing yoga, swimming & cycling.
She's likes healthy eating, but thinks chocolate cake is just as important as kale chips.
She spends most weekends writing, and hanging out with her gorgeous twins.