The Essential Lockdown Care Package

The Essential Lockdown Care Package

After seeing a post over on the British Black Girl’s Instagram , she created a ‘covid care package’, I thought this was something that was right up my street. I love the idea of creating care packages, so I thought I’d try my own virtual one for a change!

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Beneficial Habits I’ve Picked Up During Lockdown

Beneficial Habits I’ve Picked Up During Lockdown

Lockdown has allowed us to have more time for ourselves and has left us wondering what to do with our time (unless you’re an essential worker, and if that’s the case, thanks for your hard work!). Whether you think this free time is a good or bad thing, I’m sure most of us can agree we have been doing things differently in one way or the other, or have tried and tested things you maybe haven’t done before for the sake of not being bored.

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A Social Media-Free Day: How Social Media Has Impacted On Our Lives

A Social Media-Free Day: How Social Media Has Impacted On Our Lives

During this lockdown, my screen time has been crazy, with it being somewhere around nine and a half hours for almost the entire time. Crazy, right?

In this day and age, it’s normal to see people always looking down at their phones: answering messages, checking notifications, scrolling through social media. It’s just part of our everyday lives now.

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Letters to Loved Ones

Letters to Loved Ones

In this difficult time, it’s easy to missed loved ones, especially if you’re used to seeing them often. I’ve been thinking about those around me a lot more, and I can’t wait to see them again.

I had been thinking for a while to do something maybe a tad unusual but something a bit more meaningful, especially for family. I had an idea a while ago to write some handwritten letters, just checking up on them and expressing my gratitude and appreciation for them (this most probably was better for me as my family lives abroad, so I can’t see them as much). However, the coronavirus came around and I realised that we’re not seeing everyone we love and appreciate as much anymore, and I think we all need some cheering up during this strange time.

This is why I have come up with Letters to Loved Ones. Letters to Loved Ones is simply where you write a letter or message to someone you wish to reach out with a bit more and brighten up their day (I feel like this would be the best idea for grandparents). I do want to expand this idea out a bit more though: I’m making my Letters to Loved Ones to those around me who deserve a reminder of how great they are. It doesn’t matter how long or short this may be, but just something unexpected that will boost their mood a little. If you don’t want to write a letter (it’s not for everyone, it’s just the writer in me that appreciates a good old-fashioned letter), send a message to a friend and tell them how much they mean to you. It could also be someone that you don’t speak to as often that deserves a bit of unexpected love.

I’ve hand-written a couple of my own (to family etc.), but I’m going to end this blog post with little online messages of my own. Today, try and send a message to those you care about. Do a good thing today.

To those close to me, if you spot which message is for you, I wanted to say thank you, because you truly deserve the world.

To my mum’s biggest fan,

You’re not just my friend, your family at this point. Thank you for putting up with me after all these years and I couldn’t be more glad that we met. I miss our little Costa tea outings, our London trips and just having the longest chats with you (even when my mum infiltrates and we have a group conversation). I know I can always count on you, and I know you’ll always ground me when I’m not thinking straight. I trust you with the world and your friendship means so much to me. You’re so funny, genuine and a little fighter and I love that so much about you. When this is all over, we have to finally get on that night out we always spoke about, and I’ll try the famous WooWoo drink you spoke about. Hope you’re keeping well, and I’ll facetime you soon with a cuppa ready.

To my travel buddy,

In the short space of time we’ve known each other, we’ve been on so many adventures: from Greece to The Netherlands, and hopefully many more to come (maybe we’ll make that festival in Spain one year!). I’m so grateful that we met. You made my uni experience 10x better and I don’t know what I would’ve done if I hadn’t met you. I know I can trust you and come to you with advice for anything. You’re one of the people that really started to get me out my comfort zone in the best way and start to live my life more fully and explore more. I’ve had so much fun with you and I love how open we are with each other. I cherish you as a close friend so so much. You’ve got such a good heart and I can’t wait for our next car ride, blasting Stormzy and Tinie Tempah.

To the biggest tea drinker I know,

I’ve sure met a lot of people who love tea, but I’ve never met someone who can down 5+ cups of tea in a day as a normal agenda. Thank you so much for being so amazing. You make me laugh, you always make me feel comfortable and you’re one of the kindest souls I’ve ever met. I don’t think I ever told you this, but thinking back now, I remember meeting you and just wanting to be your friend. You were just so lovely and sweet. You’re one of those people that the more you get to know, the more you don’t expect and that’s so interesting. I can’t wait for our next Spoons meetup (or maybe even Wimbledon meetup, depends if you’re working at the pizza section again, then I’ll come rescue you for 10 minutes!).

To The Lowkey H***,

I had to put you two together. I mean, how can I not? We come as collective. I wanted to start off by saying that you both have been my rock for a lot of things. My go-to’s. I couldn’t be more appreciative of that. I will forever cherish how good you both have been to me, and how we’ve always had each others backs through stupid guys to stupid ‘friendships’. I miss our little adventures, and we’re due another Little Venice and Hyde Park trip again. You both always know how to start a party and have fun and I love that. I’m going to start off with B and say that you’re one of the kindest and funniest people I’ve ever met. You go out of your way to make everyone feel comfortable and include everyone. You’ve never failed to give your all when it comes to being a good friend and I truly appreciate that. You’ve always checked up on me in my toughest times and I’ll never ever forget that. C, you’re absolutely hilarious. You’re so honest and are truly loyal to the people you care about most. You’re never afraid to stick up for what you believe in and other people, and that’s so admirable. You’ve actually taught me so much (I probably ask you way too many personal questions, I’m so sorry) and I want to thank you for being an equally good friend and putting up with my shit. I love you both so much.

These are just my closest friends, but there are others that also mean a lot that I appreciate so much. I hope these maybe give you inspiration to write your own. Throughout this quarantine period, I’ll try to send as many short messages as I can expressing my gratitude. Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

Sending you all love and I hope you are all safe and well x

7 Ways To Exercise During Lockdown That Aren’t Running

7 Ways To Exercise During Lockdown That Aren’t Running

During this current lockdown period, we’re only currently allowed one outing per day for the purpose of exercise (in the UK anyways). I don’t know about you, but every time I look at someone’s Snapchat story, people are always outside running and showing how many millions of kilometres they’re doing a day. If you’re like me and don’t like running that much to do it every day, here are some suggestions to keep active.

Go on a walk

Going on a quick walk can be so refreshing and can clear your head if you’ve been working hard at home. If you love nature like me, it can be a great idea to get yourself to the park and enjoy your surroundings. If not, just take a quick walk around your area and get those extra steps in that you wouldn’t have got otherwise.

Home HIIT Workouts

Possibly my favourite thing to do! I wasn’t a big fan of working out till recently, so having short, intense workouts works great for me – I’m working a sweat in a small amount of time (perfect for those who are especially busy!). My favourite home workouts are by Joe Wicks aka The Body Coach (not at all a shock if you’ve watched my Instagram stories) – I found his channel towards the end of 2019 and have been loving it since! He’s regularly updating at the moment with new workouts, so it’s definitely worth a try! If they’re not for you, HIIT workouts are very easily available on Youtube, so have a scroll and see what you like.

Yoga

Yoga is a great way of exercising if you’re not into fast paced movement, but still want to feel the burn. Yoga is mainly great for improving flexibility. I’ve only tried this a couple times myself to help stretch my body, but I know people that swear by this. Again, yoga is very readily available on Youtube for all levels, but my university’s Instagram page is currently recommending Yoga With Adriene, and I’ve heard great things about Madfit, so maybe give them a try! The NHS Website has a few videos on yoga too.

Pilates

Very similar to yoga, except the focus is on strengthening the body. I’ve tried Pilates once on the Blogilates Youtube channel (which I definitely felt the burn with!), but it just wasn’t my favourite, but again I do know a lot of people that love pilates. Do a quick search and see what pilates workouts are available for your level, then maybe when this is all over, you can see if there’s any pilates classes near you. The NHS Website has a great video on pilates for those with back pain, along with many other fitness videos you can follow.

Online Classes

Many individual people and organisations are currently doing live classes via Zoom, Instagram Live etc. to follow along too. Online classes are a great way to help you keep to a routine, as they’ll always be at a certain time during the day/week. My university currently recommends OurParksUK as a great online class, as well as providing their own (check if your university or work is providing anything similar), otherwise many fitness instructors and ‘influencers’ are providing their own, such as Gabby Allen (try checking out some smaller accounts too that have PT experience and help support them!)

Workout Challenges

Workout challenges can be really fun, and most importantly, really adaptable. I get a lot of my inspiration from social media challenges, such as the 100 Burpees a Day challenge (doing 100 burpees each day – it doesn’t have to be all in one go!), or going on Pinterest and finding routines with moves with a certain amounts of reps. The thing I like about these challenges is that you can adjust them to your level but push yourself to do more than you would usually do.

Dancing

And finally…dancing! Who doesn’t like dancing? Have a little boogie in your room and get your heart rate up and going! It’s a fun way to release some energy and get you in a good mood, so stick some music on and have fun!

So these are my 7 ways to keep myself active during this time. Always remember to:

  • Stretch before and after! Don’t hurt yourself in the process. It also lessens the muscle ache you may have the next day.
  • Keep moving even after exercise. Think of it this way: doing 20 minutes to an hour of working out is great and all, but if you just sit down and do nothing for the rest of the day, you’re not helping yourself get to your goal. Think of it as a 20:80 scale. 20 represents the exercise you do, 80 representing the rest of the day. That 80 majority can’t be sitting down doing nothing the rest of the day! Keep moving – get up from your chair, walk around a little, do some tasks in the house, do anything!

And if you’re one of those people that does love to run or wants to get more into running, I would highly recommend the Couch to 5K app: I started using it and it changed my attitude to running completely. It helped me learn more about how to pace yourself, how to keep breathing during a longer run, and kept me in the routine of running 3 times a week. Give it a try if you want to start something new.