Well, this is all a bit crap, isn't it? Far from the three months of traveling around South East Asia I had planned this year (YES, I am still not quite over my loss and if you listen hard enough, you'll hear a quartet of tiny violins playing for me somewhere...)
No, but seriously, this quarantine life is far from easy. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say it's more challenging than I thought it would be. I know we've all said to ourselves that we wish something would come up so that we didn't have to physically drag ourselves into work, but a global pandemic is a bit bloody dramatic.
It's hard to see many positives at the moment with nearly every news outlet ramming more bad news down our throats every time we open an app or turn on the TV, so I'm finding my own ways of injecting a little positivity into my life during this unprecedented lock down.
1. Getting stuck into a hobby I haven't had time for One thing most of us have a hell of a lot of at the moment is time. SO MUCH SPARE TIME. So now, I have no real reason to not get the picture of the Kray Twins done for my sister. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE drawing but I'm not a quick doodle here and there kinda gal. If I'm drawing, I'm in it for a couple of hours at least. Now I have more than a couple of hours to spare, I have blown the dust off the sketch pad, sharpened the ol' pencil and got back to it. I have to say, I'm very pleased to be putting pencil to paper again, even if I wish the circumstances were different!
2. Decluttering (finally!)
We may not like to admit it, but we've all got somewhere in the house that needs a little bit of organising, a bit like Monica's secret storage cupboard in Friends. For me, it's under my bed and the top of my wardrobe. So, I'm going to take this time to re-organise these two areas, throwing out or donating anything I no longer need and re-establishing some sort of system. I'm not quite on Monica's level of organised, but it does make me feel better to know everything has a place. Tidy house, tidy mind and all that.
3. Online course (...ing?)
Some people say they couldn't wait to leave school. I was the opposite. Well, I couldn't wait to leave maths behind because I couldn't be arsed to learn about Pi anymore, but generally speaking, I didn't want to leave. I love a bit of learning, especially when I'm passionate about the subject.
So, with this in mind, it's unsurprising that I made what I feel is a WONDERFUL discovery recently. Open University are offering over 1,000 FREE online courses on a wide range of subjects from Forensic Psychology to Global Warming. Whilst everyone is looking to get a summer bod whilst in lockdown, I'll be build that brain muscle. SEXY (no, but seriously, intelligence is genuinely sexy, for the record).
I do love me a good book but I don't always have the time to get properly stuck into one. It's usually a 'before bed' job. Well, no more excuses with lock down now in full swing. My current read is 'Adults' by Emma Janes Unsworth, but here are the others books I have in line for those that need a little book inspo...
5. Goal setting
Goal setting is really important for me. Feeling challenged and having a goal to work towards helps keep me feel hella good. I'm like a pig in shit, as they say. I don't always get time to really sit down and take stock of what I've achieved and what I want to achieve next but now feels like a good time to do just that.
Everyone has their own way of goal setting but, personally, I like to focus on the year in quarters. I'll note what I want to achieve in the next 3 months, what I want to achieve in the 6 months and so on and so forth. Goes without saying that I make sure I'm being realistic. For example, I wouldn't put 'have a bod like J Lo' down for the next 3 months because, well, Gin and chocolate and cheese.
Now volunteering without face to face contact sounds like a difficult task to fulfill. It is, in fact, not. I know this because I am one of the 500,000 people that signed up to be an NHS volunteer. I'll be calling people who are in isolation because they're high risk, hoping to brighten up their day with a bit of conversation. I don't want to put words into your mouth but yes, it is okay to compare me to Mother Theresa. I think that's a very accurate comparison.
I'm not sure if the NHS volunteer scheme is still open, but there are plenty of other ways you can help. A quick google search pulled up plenty of results for how you can volunteer to support vulnerable people in your area, like this opportunity from Manchester Community Central.
7. Home decorating
As the arty farty type, it's hardly surprising I like getting crafty. As you can tell from the photo below, I also love a bit of white chalk paint. So, having said for months on end that I would paint the coffee table white, I've finally done it! Picture below...(although please excuse the green algae on the decking, that's also on my list of things to deal with).
Next, I'll be tackling my work/desk area to make it FAR more exciting than it currently is. After all, that's where the magic happens (it CERTAINLY ain't the bedroom with coronavirus destroying the dating scene since March 2020).
Given we are all being confined to these incredibly familiar four walls, might as well spruce them up a little, mightn't we?
So, I have to admit I don't have a garden. It's more of, well, a balcony. In fact, it is a balcony. That doesn't mean it can't be a little outdoor haven though, does it? I'll admit it hasn't had the attention it has perhaps deserved to date, but I've decided that given we are being asked to spend more time at home, it's about time the balcony got the TLC it's needed. Think flower pots, new furniture, a clean deck and maybe even a hanging basket or too. FANCY STUFF.
So, as you can see, I'll be keeping myself nice and busy whilst we are in self-isolation. Plenty of things we can be cracking on with during this time so there is no excuse for being a selfish twat and ignoring government guidelines. STAY AT HOME, got it?