By Lee Jay
It feels similar to Groundhog Day - the birds are chirping in the trees, signalling the dawn of another day in lockdown, where settling into a new way of life indoors has become the norm. Why not shake things up by introducing some stellar ideas to keep the productivity up as we whittle away these extra hours?
Do a 180 on your workouts
We've been handed the gift of time, and with this is a chance to expend our energy and focus on our health and wellbeing. And what better way than with a workout to set the endorphins through the roof? Alongside the countless benefits, exercise is a sure stead way to reduce stress, anxious thoughts and jolt us with an uplifting boost to last the entire day.
Thanks to the wonderful world wide web, we can selected from hundreds, if not thousands, of free online workout classes for the welcome chance to mix it up! In the habit of pounding the pavements on a daily run? Switch it for a restorative Pilates session to work the core and center the mind. Missing the free weights at the gym? Opt for an energetic HIIT class to elevate the heart and shred the bod. You'll be surprised at the changes which take place on both the inside and out.
Practice small acts of kindness
With many of us living out our days in lockdown within a safe, happy and secure environment, it's important to spare a thought for those in a less fortune situation. Extending a helping hand, whether it's picking up groceries from a neighbor, donating to a charity of choice online, volunteering your services with a local support group, or simply being present at the end of a phone for a family member or friend, these selfless acts of kindness shine positive light back into the world and give us purpose during such extraordinary times.
Get cracking on a skincare routine
We're tucked up indoors for hours on end and our skin is craving some vitamin D, not to mention, attention. Can you think of a better reason to devote to it some love and appreciation? If you're completely new to a skincare routine, start off simple by cleansing, toning and moisturizing the face in the morning, also applying an enriching lotion to the body. I'm a fan of brands stocking vegan and cruelty free products with natural and organic ingredients which feed our skin. Elevate your at home spa experience with a nourishing face mask to cleanse, and a face roller for less puffy and clearer skin.
New skincare rituals can take over a month for visible effects to show, so stick with it - that glow is worth the wait. Trust me, once you're in the swing of it, you won't be looking back.
Dust off the old cookbook
Many of us are guilty... our cookbooks function more as decorative focal pieces than recipe providers. Mouthwatering images aside, our forgotten cookbooks are choc full of divine dishes to bring your culinary visions to life. With restaurants remaining shut and only so much takeout to stomach, this is your encouragement to dawn the apron, pre-heat the oven and embrace your role of chef in the kitchen. It may take a few attempts to perfect that vegan, gluten free lasagna, but hey - we're anything short of time.
Embrace the 'au naturel' look
Not sure about you, but preparing to step foot out of the door pre-COVID-19 was a task in itself. Style the hair, lather on the make-up, co-ordinate that easy breezy, yet ever so fashionable ensemble, (and then change that ensemble as your shirt is crumpled). Save yourself the bother and embrace the natural look instead, just as nature intended. Toss the shaver aside, wriggle into comfy sweat pants, let your face breathe and hair run wild. After all, we need some sense of freedom in lockdown!
Stick to a consistent sleep cycle
When 'normalcy' once again returns to us, your body will be thankful for its consistent sleeping pattern; after all, sleep has been proven to enhance brain function, improve mental health and helps us feel more rooster at dawn.
But with a lack of schedule, time on a track of its own and many of us struggling to flick the mind's internal off switch, getting quality shut eye is an ongoing issue. The Sleep Foundation recommends, among other pointers, sticking to a consistent waking up and bedtime, remaining active throughout the day to burn excess energy, and leave the bed a place for sleep to avoid distraction. That means reserving the living room for Netflix.
De-clutter & reorganize the home
You know that feeling of pure inner calm - when your belongings are neatly aligned and organized by category and color? Besides ridding your space of clutter and unnecessary goods, psychology scholars have long remarked on the mental health benefits resulting from an organized, restorative home. Also, cleaning in itself can be a tremendous stress-reliever, as can letting go of hoarded items of no use or function to your life in the present day. Maybe tackle the wardrobe first and take it from there?