Routine, Pilates and Disney+ – Things to do during lockdown

With a lot more of us spending time at home, we’re going to need some ways to pass the time! Here are just a few suggestions on ways to de-stress, protect your mental health and pass the time:

1. Set yourself a routine

A lot of people will struggle with the absence of structure so one of the most important things you can do is set yourself a regular routine. This will bring some sense of normality to your day. Whether that be waking up a little earlier than you would at the weekend, having a shower, doing some light exercise, before reading/doing some art/working on a project, try and put something in place. It will allow you to have a productive day while still appreciating the additional time on your hands. You don’t need to plan it down to the last second, keep some flexibility in there but have a rough idea of what you’d like to accomplish each day.

2. Try out that product in your collection you’ve always been meaning to try

We all have that 1 product (or a few of them) that we purchase and then never really get round to using. Maybe it’s a brighter palette than you’d usually wear everyday, maybe you’d need to master a new technique to make the most of it. Well, there’s no time like the present! You have the perfect opportunity to have a fantastic play with makeup and it not matter who sees it. Of course if it goes right, feel free to take loads of selfies, but if it goes wrong, it’s totally fine too, no one will know! πŸ™‚

3. Try some yoga or pilates

Taking some time out of your day to stretch and get moving in a gentle way can be really positive for your physical as well as mental health. I personally practice pilates for back health and have found some favourites for stress release that I recommend trying*:

  • Lay on your back with your legs on the floor. Lift your arms straight above your head slowly with your hands together, then slowly separate your hands and draw a big circle until your hands meet again over your tummy. Repeat this a few times. You should feel a nice stretch once your begin to separate your hands across the top of your back/shoulders.
  • Lay on your back. Bring both your knees into your chest. Stay here for a few deep breaths, as many as you’d like.
  • Lay on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Put your arms out to one side. Slowly move your knees over to the right side of your body, keeping your left foot stacked on top of your right foot. Turn your head to the left. Take a breath and return to the middle. Repeat for the other side.
  • Child’s pose – come on to all fours. Sit back onto your heels, keeping your hands on the floor. Lower your chest and extend your arms. Relax your shoulders and take some deep breaths. article-migration-image-1920x1080_Childspose-768x432
* I am NOT an expert in the slightest. Please do not do any of the above if it causes you any pain. The idea is to take some nice deep breaths and feel a nice stretch.

4. Binge watch some old (or new!) favourites

Whether Netflix is your thing or you have a pile of box sets, consider revisiting some old favourites. Some programs that I absolutely loved (on and off Netflix) are Desperate Housewives, Gossip Girl, 90210, Umbrella Academy, Love is Blind, Love Island, Ru Paul’s Drag Race, Cheer, Queer Eye, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, 60 Days In, Peaky Blinders, Derry Girls, Sex Education, Gavin and Stacey, Gilmore Girls, Cheapest Weddings. You will find the majority of these on Netflix (Desperate Housewives and 90210 being the exceptions) and *most* are light hearted and funny.

5. Read that book you’ve been meaning to read for a year

Again, everyone has one. Time so often escapes us when it comes to reading regularly. Maybe not for everyone, but it does for me at least. If you’re looking for some great books, I thoroughly recommend the Crazy Rich Asian series, you will NOT put it down! I also love the Dan Brown books and the Khaled Hosseini books (though those are pretty heavy). I’ve been meaning to read the Michelle Obama autobiography since Christmas 2018, so who knows maybe I’ll finally get round to reading it!

6. Spring clean your house

It’s basically spring time now anyway and being in the same surrounding everyday really makes you notice every little thing that is out of place (is it just me?) Consider sorting your wardrobe, dusting high and low, pulling out the sofa. I mean maybe you’re a Hincher and you do this already, but I’ll be having a sort through (if you don’t know what that is, look up who Mrs Hinch is).

7. Get artistic!

This will come in different forms for everyone. For me, it’s photography so I’ll be trying to get the best texture shots I can! But if you’re a painter, a drawer, a doodler, a musician, a cook – make the most of this additional time. Whether it be to work on a piece you’ve been long putting off, practising a new technique you’ve been longing to do for a while but have lacked the time or just playing around!

8. Go for a walk and appreciate nature

If you’re able to get out of the house, take a stroll and just take some time to breathe in some fresh air, feel the sun (if you’re lucky) on your skin and look at the plants starting to come back to life. Whenever I feel down I always like to look at nature and just feel so much lighter for it. The blossom is starting to come out, little flowers are starting to pop up and buds are starting to appear on branches. Going for walks/runs is absolutely fine and encouraged (at least by the UK government), just be sure to keep your distance from others.

9. Stay in touch with friends and family

Everyone is in the same boat, so stay in touch with everyone! Just because you are at home and (potentially) isolating, doesn’t mean you should be isolated! Text your family and friends more often – personally my group chats have been going off for once because everyone is at home! Up the number of calls/facetimes to people, I’m sure they’d be more than happy to see your little face pop up! Check in with each other regularly and try not to talk about the current situation all the time.

10. Disney+

Need I say more? Disney+ launches in the UK on the 24th March here in the UK and it could not come soon enough. Is anyone else super excited!? I cannot wait to binge watch all my favourite Disney films and all the ones I’ve never seen before. I’m actually buzzing particularly to see Recess: School’s Out – did anyone else love it as a kid!?

11. Keep up your usual self care routine (and consider upping it)

If your routine is to mask once a week, maybe consider upping it to twice a week! With all this extra time on our hands, we can take so much more time to take care of ourselves. All of the points above could easily come under self care, but specifically take time out to mask, to do your skincare or to take a bath. Specifically spend time on YOU.

12. Play the Sims

YES I SAID IT! For any Sims lover, now is the time to revisit the game of our childhood! This is definitely one I am planning on doing this weekend! I was even sat listening to the music from the Sims 2 today hehe.

13. Create a playlist of happy music

There are a few good ones going around, but compile all the songs that make you feel good and have good memories attached to them. Play it whenever you need a bit of a boost. Faves for me include Good as Hell by Lizzo, Downtown by Macklemore, That Don’t Impress Me Much by Shania Twain and Foundations by Kate Nash (Yes it is quite the mix).

OR if you feel you want to just do nothing, do whatever you feel you need to do.

If you feel that things are starting to take a toll on your mental health, unplug. Turn off the news, delete social media apps that are causing anxiety and try to keep your mind busy. If you feel your thoughts starting to spiral, one good tip that has always worked for me is focus on your senses. Think of 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can feel, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste. By the time you are onto the things you can hear, your thoughts will have melted away.

This list is by no means definitive and they are just some ideas to get you started. If you have any other ideas that work for you, please leave them in the comments below.

Stay safe and take care of yourselves!

Xo

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50 Self-Care Tips For You to Try

Practicing self-care is one of the most important things to maintaining our overall wellbeing. In the beauty space, often self-care is just applying a face mask or having a bath, but it can be so much more than that. So here are 50 self-care ideas for you to try that will care for every aspect of your wellbeing:

  1. Reread one of your favourite books
  2. Moisturise your body
  3. Do your favourite face mask
  4. Take some extra time to do your skincare, massaging each product in slowly
  5. Read a book that feeds your soul
  6. Burn your favourite candle
  7. Cook a nice meal with your other half/friends
  8. Make a playlist of your favourite songs and play it while you relax
  9. Binge watch an addictive TV show on Netflix
  10. Enjoy a glass of wine/drink of your choice
  11. Persuade your other half to give you a massage
  12. Treat yourself to some chocolate (eat it a square at the time and experience the burst of sugar across your tongue)
  13. Go for a run/an exercise class and feel that endorphin rush!
  14. Meet up with your best friends for catch up and a laugh
  15. Paint your nails with a colour that makes you feel powerful
  16. Sit in a quiet place for 5 minutes, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth
  17. Put on an outfit that you feel confident in
  18. Go for a walk outside
  19. Get snuggled up in a blanket with a hot cup of tea
  20. Put a Disney film on
  21. Have a few kind words with yourself (e.g. you’re doing great; you are a strong, confident women; your strength and determination is what makes your special)
  22. Have a nice long bath and pretend to be a mermaid
  23. Take some time to reorient yourself and consider your goals and what you want to work towards.
  24. Think of 5 things you’re happy with in your life right now
  25. Spend some time with your family – whether it’s via phone call, FaceTime or in person – make the time.
  26. Have a duvet day where you stay in your PJs and spend all day watching films on the sofa
  27. Wake up early in the morning and appreciate the world while it’s still quiet
  28. Read a self help book that will help tackle something you’re working on at the moment
  29. Brush your hair and appreciate how gorgeous your length/texture is
  30. Get creative in whatever form that takes for you (photography, painting, colouring, music making)
  31. Write down one thing that made you feel good every day. Whenever you have a bad day, read through what you’ve written to remind yourself that not every day is like this.
  32. Change your bedsheets and enjoy going to bed in clean, crisp sheets.
  33. Reorganise your wardrobe/beauty stash.
  34. The next time it rains, listen to the sound of the rain and watch it fall and feel the wave of calm it brings.
  35. Use a shower gel or body scrub that smells so good that you go ‘ahhhh’ every time you use it.
  36. Limit your time on social media
  37. Let yourself sleep in at least once on the weekend
  38. Go for a walk during your lunch break – get away from your desk and all of work’s stresses, even if it is just for half an hour. If you’re sat all day, it’s important to get moving when you have the chance.
  39. Try that new recipe you’ve been meaning to do for ages.
  40. Unfollow any social media accounts that make you feel sad, angry or stressed. Instead, fill them with positivity and things that make you feel happy.
  41. Spend some time with animals – they’re great to boost your mood! If you don’t have a pet, you can go to a dog/cat cafe or visit borrowmydoggy.com.
  42. Print off pictures of you and loved ones regularly, don’t just keep them on your phone.
  43. Dig out some old games that you used to play as a child and play them for hours!
  44. Spray a perfume you haven’t used in a while and be transported back to all the memories that you associate with that scent
  45. Stop saying yes to everything!
  46. Work on your work-life balance – you should work to live, not the other way round.
  47. Start putting yourself first. Maybe not all the time, but remember that you’re a priority too.
  48. Brush your teeth really well, and feel how smooth and clean your teeth and mouth feel afterwards
  49. Explore a new place for the day
  50. Try to shift your mindset – instead of finding the negative in everything, seek out the positive and give people the benefit of the doubt.

I tried to include very few options that required spending money, because taking care of yourself shouldn’t be linked to how much money you have. Quite a few of these ideas are very simple, but involve taking a tad more time than we would assign to them on a normal day. You can find self-care in the mundane daily tasks, but it’s up to you and how much time you have whether you can get something out of them.

If you have any others that you enjoy doing that I missed off, please leave them in a comment!

Xo

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7 things you can learn from the England football team

Despite them going out of theΒ World CupΒ semi-finalsΒ last night, I could not be any more proud of the England team. Looking more deeply into the team, there are definitely a fewΒ life lessonsΒ that you can learn from the players and apply to every aspect of your life – whether you’re a football fan or not.

1. Put in the work behind the scenes

England entered the World Cup with no expectations from anyone. Previous teams had not delivered and England have a track record of disappointment in big tournaments. However, what was clear to see from England’s performance was that the work had certainly been put in behind the scenes. Their mentality was different, their set plays and tactics were noticeably improved and they began to make people feel excited about the national team again. What can you learn from this? Put in the hard work when no one is watching. People don’t have to be watching or noticingΒ for you to be succeeding. You don’t need that immediate validation that you’re doing something right or well. Always do your best and eventually your hard work and progress will be noticed and praised.

2. Pressure is okay

For many years people would say that there was too much pressure on the England to perform. This year, the expectations were nil… but as they started to progress, the excitement and pressure began to grow. Pressure and stress is only negative if you believe it is. Pressure allows you to challenge yourself and succeed in ways you never thought you could! It gives you a target to surpass and can give you the drive and push you need to really excel.

3. Keep a cool head

If you watched any of the England matches, we came up against some teams that did not show the most sportsmanship or play the cleanest game. Take a leaf out of England’s book and stay calm.Β  You will come up against people in life who will want to get a rise out of you. Adjust your mind set and keep your focus.Β Ultimately, you can’t control or influence everyone’s behaviour, so just accept how things are and carry on forward. If you want to get really English about it, keep calm and carry on.

4. Exceed expectations

Go further than anyone ever thought you would. Proving people wrong is the best feeling! Show them what you’re made of! Take every opportunity to exceed people’s expectations, whether it be in the work place or in your relationship. Go that extra mile!

5. Always believe in yourself

Back yourself – even when no one else does! You know what you’re capable of, but chances are you are capable of a hell of a lot more. You don’t need the belief of anyone else but yourself to succeed.

6. Success doesn’t mean winning

When looking back on this tournament, this will be considered a massive success for the team. We got much further than we thought, but the success goes much deeper than that. The national unity that had been so lacking since Brexit finally returned and got the nation excited once again. Success is completely relative and personal. If you have a feeling of pride as a result of your actions, or have improved in an area of your life, then that is success.

7. Be gracious in defeat

As painful as it was to see us go out of the World Cup, the boys handled themselves 100% with dignity. In life, not everything will go your way regardless of how hard you try or how badly you want it. Hold your head high and know that you’ve done your absolute best. Take forward what you’ve learnt into the next arena and smash it next time. There WILL be a next time. Dust yourself off, pick yourself up and get ready to go again.

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Whether you’re an England fan or not, I think anyone would be able to appreciate the qualities that our lads have shown this World Cup. We may have gone out, but if there’s one thing that is true is that England fans never stop dreaming and believing in their team. Always have that faith.

Xo

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