Blimey it’s been tough this time round hasn’t it? Lockdown 3 in the UK has coincided with the shittiest month, bloody awful weather and short days, dark nights. I think we’ve all struggled a bit more this time round and the novelty of being at home and the enthusiasm we perhaps had first time round for some activities has definitely waned.
I’m not going to lie there have been days when I’ve felt what’s the point getting out of bed, but I am generally a do-er and a planner so I felt I needed to try and keep that mindset a bit if I was to keep my mental health reasonably level. But it’s hard because the stuff we would all normally plan at this time of the year is not an option and it can be hard to keep coming up with new ideas to keep the boredom and monotony of lockdown life at bay. Sometimes you just need to see what others are up to to spark new ideas, so here are some of the things me and my family have enjoyed in Lockdown part 3.
I have loved taking part in some online courses and it has been a great way of supporting some small businesses too and goodness they are having it tough. I have throughly enjoyed many cook-a-longs with Fearless in the Kitchen. I’ve made an Italian Feast, ultimate Chocolate cake, Thai dinner, Healthy snacks and most recently vegan Buddha bowls. She has courses running most weeks and it is lovely to be cooking along with others. You also come away with meals enough for at least 2 days so a very economical course.
Most recently my husband and I have been joining at Papercourt Studio’s online art classes. For 90 minutes we paint along and it is such a calming and relaxing experience.
I also took part in a fab writing workshop with My Beautiful Pen. I love writing but found I hadn’t been able to bring myself to write anything for pleasure the last few months. Mandy’s gentle style really inspired and it was like a morning with friends just chatting and being creative, and it unlocked the writer’s block I found myself in.
Social Media really gets a bad rap but I know it has been a lifeline for many this last year. I would advise that it is all down to who you follow. Don’t follow any account that makes you feel unworthy, I try and just follow accounts that inspire but are also down to earth and realistic.
Most of us are probably spending too much time scrolling but if we are we can do some good and support small businesses while we’re there. We probably have more time to like, comment or share a post at the moment, so why not do it. It will mean the world to a small business if you can.
I have also taken part in some Instagram challenges, mainly the photography one that Kerry J Photo ran and a couple of Styled by Susie ones. They both helped me be more creative in my every day life, fostered a sense of community as you see others posting and gave a bit of a focus. There are lots of challenges you could take part in, I’ve seen sketching, fitness, writing, so why not find something you love and have a go.
Blimey how many walks have we all been on this last year? I have loved getting to know the beauty in my local area. I even started a facebook group (Surrey Walks) to help inspire others in the local area with new ideas, but I have to admit I’ve found it hard to get motivated in the last few weeks for many walks. It’s been largely cold and wet when I’ve had time, and it is so muddy everywhere!
Today my other half came up with the idea of left and two rights. Basically you turn left when you first leave the house and then next two rights, then a left and then two rights again, you get the idea. We were rewarded with the river, some great winter planting and the first signs of spring. It took us on some weird routes and double backs which caused amusement but it meant we didn’t really have to think, just enjoy some fresh air and get the steps up.
Food is probably what most of us look forward to at the moment. Apart from the online cook-a-alongs I’m sure I’m not alone in running out of ideas at times. And having the kitchen in a continual bombsite state caused me to yell out the other day – “Can everyone in this house just stop eating!”
To break up the monotony we try and have some special food nights every week or so. We’ve done fish nights, mezze nights, indoor picnics and probably my favourite, a German market night where we made currywurst, creamed spinach and cheesy chips washed down with hot wine as we sat round the fire pit. It has certainly helped to give us something to look forward to.
We also try and dress the table, dress up ourselves and use some nice and interesting serving dishes to make it feel a bit more like a restaurant experience.
We are always on the lookout for more ways to make lockdown bearable so do share any of the things you have found that have lightened the load.