It’s January, 2021 and we’re here again!! Lockdown 3.0; as much as we all kind of expected these restrictions I’m not sure any of us were completely prepared, both physically and mentally. I certainly wasn’t! And despite having a great deal of extra time on my hands to write this post I struggled to find an appropriate subject. Very little has changed over the past 10 months, yet at the same time everything has. I finally found some inspiration after a conversation with a client this morning, we both agreed that taking some time for yourself, to relax and pamper is important more than ever right now.
Although lockdown life can be somewhat like Groundhog Day, and many of us find we have too much time, we are all being faced with challenges at the moment in more ways than one. Weekdays become relentless and weekends are long; all social activities out of the window and outdoor plans are very much reliant on good weather, which at this time of year can be very hit and miss. Escaping all this can seem impossible, which is why finding different ways for a bit of ‘you time’ is crucial. By no means am I an expert on mindfulness or meditation but I will give anything a go that brings peace and mental clarity.
I also believe that there are small things we can all do at home, throughout our days to bring a little positivity. A book I once stumbled across but never fully appreciated until now ‘Small Pleasures To Save Your Life’ by Maeve Haran, highlights all the tiny tasks and everyday enjoyments that are simple but bring great satisfaction. There is no time like the present, to rediscover and appreciate these little moments and truly embrace them.
So I have constructed a short list of ways I find help me through and when needed, lift my spirits.
~ Routine – Anyone that knows me will undoubtedly know that I am the biggest fan of routine and planning, these elements combined create structure, purpose and organisation. For me they offer mental control and physical order; something that I have tried to maintain throughout all the lockdowns. Although I feel it’s important to add, this has not been easy and some days much harder than others.
~ Hair Removal – Unfortunately our hair doesn’t know that there is a pandemic and a national lockdown. And along with clients that have a regular root colour, my heart goes out to my regular waxing clients too. I feel your pain, I hate looking in the mirror and seeing my brows growing out of shape or my leg hairs peaking out the bottom of my leggings during a workout. Although I’m fortunate enough to have a wax pot at home and I’m aware not everyone has this luxury or experience but it really did surprise me how much better I felt after a spot of self grooming!
~ Hands and Nails – Even at the best of times a manicure is the perfect ‘pick me up’ treat and something I’m often reminded of by a close friend of mine. But once again there is no chance of that right now!! But do not despair, there are some simple ways you can take care of your hands/nails during these winter lockdown months. Find a moment to sit down with a nail file, hand cream and a bottle of your favourite nail colour…if you don’t yet have one get in touch and this can be easily resolved!! Carefully file your nails to a shape and length you prefer, then taking as much time as you’d like gently massage the hand cream into your palms, fingers, nails, wrists and back of your hands. Before applying your nail polish ensure your nail beds are free of any cream or oily residue by wiping over them with a cotton pad soaked in acetone based nail polish remover. Now sit back, let your nails dry and….RELAX!!!
~ Netflix & Chill – And I genuinely mean Netflix and chill. There are some fantastic series and films to get stuck into and being a self confessed TV addict sometimes there is nothing better than throwing on your comfies and chilling out on the sofa with some trashy tele. All I’d say is; embrace it! Do not feel guilty, enjoy it and make the most of the rest.
Whilst on the subject of embracing rest and taking the guilt element out of relaxing; during Lockdown 1.0 a close friend, Kate Moss brought to my attention the importance of resting. I was mid marathon training, semi injured and struggling internally with the lack of productivity my days were serving me with. Looking for support and advice I turned to Kate; an incredibly talented professional dancer, qualified Yoga instructor and all round amazing person. This was the advice she gave me….
”Do you ever find yourself torn between your to-do list and the one thing you want to do: nothing!?
The fear is that giving in to this urge to ‘do nothing’ renders us unproductive, lazy, incapable. So, instead of embracing this ‘urge’, what many of us do instead is sit, lay, or even potter around feeling guilty about the other thing(s) we ‘should’ be doing, but just don’t quite have the energy or drive for right now …. Yet, is this period of guilt serving us in anyway? Nope. And… oh wait, we’re not doing any of those things on the list either (and I won’t even get into how self criticism triggers your body’s stress response).
The thing we often forget is that doing nothing on purpose (without the guilt or resistance) actually enables us to do something quite powerful: rest… relax, reflect, respond, recuperate, restore!!! These are all genuine needs that we deserve!!
So next time you feel like you need a rest…. REST. If you’re gonna choose nothing, you might as well get something out of it! Allow your body to physically relax and restore, take the time to notice your breath, find a little space in your mind and allow your nervous system to calm down.
Then notice how your productivity bounces back throughout the rest of the day”
~ Take a Bath – For me this is usually the most unproductive use of my time and something I rarely do. But having a long soak in a lovely hot bath (mobile phone free) is the perfect remedy to any stressful day or even week. Find your favourite bubble bath, fill the tub with the perfect water temperature and whether you read a book, sip a glass of wine or just let your mind wander; this is pure bliss/time out in my eyes, so now is the time to do it!!!
~ Read – Picking up a book always seems like a ‘nice to do’, something I’d love to have the time for more of but it always gets pushed to the bottom of the priority list. As I mentioned before though, even if you do a spot of multi tasking and read whilst in the bath, find that slice of time FOR YOU; not the housework, home schooling or zoom meeting but YOU. Pick up that book that’s sat on your bedside table forever or order the one your friend recommended months ago; by reading you’ll not only be able to have a moment or two of escapism but you’ll feel as though you have accomplished something too, giving you that internal positive feeling.
~ Treats – This one is a little naughty but with all restaurants closed and no way of having a nice weekend meal out to look forward to, planning some lovely home cooked food once a week is probably my favourite way of bringing a bit of indulgence home. And why not, who doesn’t love a treat meal now and then!!! And for me, it encourages that drive to achieve my daily/weekly goals too….I can almost taste that pizza and prosecco whilst I’m out on that drizzly, wet run haha!
Interestingly following initially writing this post I read an article in Professional Beauty Magazine that highlighted the upcoming trends for 2021. With forecasters predicting self-care and at home treatments reaching new heights this year, along with ‘skinimalism’, a trend focusing on your natural skin texture shining through and everyday natural makeup. I’d imagine after the huge lack of social events in 2020 many of us have possibly relaxed a little on the hair and makeup side of things; I know I certainly have. So plastering on the foundation and bronzer could at first feel quite alien, but being such an advocate for the natural look this is music to my ears!!
If you’d like anymore ideas on taking time out or help/guidance with the ones I’ve suggested in this post please get in touch; firstname.lastname@example.org or via Facebook/Instagram.