Like everyone else around the world, I’ve spent the past several months bunkering down in my house with my family and falling head first into the world of Netflix. However, when I haven’t been endlessly absorbed into my not-so-secret desire of reality television, I’ve been pondering heavily about when and if we will ever return to normality.
Sadly, normality won’t be on the horizon for a while and nothing post Covid will ever be the same again. It is apparent though with new restrictions being applied in some Australian states and cabin fever rearing its ugly head once again, we all have this yearning of wanting to feel like ourselves again. With this, we are seeking ways on how to not only feel like ourselves but, we can do enjoy the leisures of life without having to break the budget and any restriction guidelines. Today, I wanted to write a post listing some affordable ways we can achieve this during quarantine.
ESTABLISH A MORNING ROUTINE
Many of my readers probably have already done this and I’m slightly behind on the eight ball, but I’ve discovered establishing a morning routine is an achievable step to normality. Whether you start your morning off by waking up and jumping straight into the shower or slowly working your way through some yoga and meditation, it’s really about creating a morning routine that makes you feel as if life is perfectly normal.
I like to start my morning off by two ways and it really depends on if my baby is awake. For mornings where he’s already awake and singing the praise song of ‘yo woman!’, I start my mornings off with a quick blast of cold water to my face for that ever refreshing slap to the face. Only after questioning the philosophy behind people only requiring 4 hours of sleep, I greet my son and spend a duration of time getting him ready for the day and educating him on different days of the week and what the weather is like outside. Afterwards, I let him wonder around the house as I quickly get dressed into something that is comfortable, free flowing and can work with a running toddler, whose just stuck his hands in Seven’s water bowl.
In times of rare mornings of when I wake up before Blake, I like to linger in bed for a few more luxurious minutes before getting up and doing some neck and back stretches. I not only find this helps with any neck and lower back pain, particularly when the weather is about to change or I’ve had a really busy week at work, but it allows me to dedicate a few minutes to ‘me’ time. After doing the standard miscellaneous things like brushing/flossing my teeth, getting dressed and washing my face, Blake is normally awake by then and I get him ready for the day. While Blake potters around in the lounge room with his toys, I head to the kitchen to make the most important thing of the day and it’s my second point.
I used to laugh when listening to my Mum, Lois, and her girlfriends talk about how difficult it is raising a tribe of children and having a hot cup of coffee. Since becoming a mum and discovering my taste buds will never acclimatise to stale tasting cold coffee in the morning and I am a bit of a coffee snob, I’ve started experimenting with different coffee brands. While the sound of buying my beans and grinding them up is as fun sounding as getting a bikini wax, I like the additional comfort of having (brace yourself!) instant coffee.
I find that adding a hint of vanilla syrup (for times where I need a sugar hit) to my coffee, it makes me feel like I’m being pampered from the inside out and I’m more likely to drink my coffee quickly. However, for days where I don’t have the patience to boil the kettle and I need a little pick me up, I’ll pack the tribe up and we’ll head down to our favourite little coffee shop and kick back with a delicious coffee in hand.
USING A PLANNER
OR BULLET JOURNAL
Before quarantine became the norm and with Lois’ diagnosis of breast cancer, my little family and I decided to go into isolation like it was the new fashion trend and all before it became mandatory here in Australia. As a means of keeping insane (yes, you read correctly!) and the sanity at bay, I started planning and organising my bullet journal into order for the new upcoming semester of university. By using my bullet journal and a running to-do list, I was able to plan ahead as I was able to find key dates of university changes and put them into my planner. While a majority of my Dearest Readers aren’t at university and are in isolation like yours truly, another form of planning can be writing down what you’re going to do when restrictions for isolation are slowly lowered. The items on my list consists of getting my eyebrows waxed, going for a long walk on the beach and getting a pedicure. What are some of the things you are wanting to tick off and celebrate?
My greatest fantasy when at work and struggling with my scrub top and my bottomless pockets is the idea of lounging around the house and wearing pyjamas all day. While it is tempting to keep my pyjamas on, particularly since its winter here in Australia and I’m slightly struggling with the cold this year, my go to outfit of choice is a pair of high waisted black jeans (I brought several pairs because they are ah-mazing!), some kind of top that is comfortable as it’s a must for me and either a pair of converse ballet flats or a pair of heeled booties.
For those who are wanting to branch out of the lounge joggers and baggy senior jumper, I’d recommend wearing a pair of leggings with a comfortable and casually structured button-up shirt or a pair of linen pants with cashmere jumper. Or, if you’re like me and love the idea of a comfortable dress that has a bold colour and delicate print to it, I tend to pick dresses that can be dressed down with a pair of flats and cute accessories and can be dressed up with a pair of sling-back heels and a small clutch, for those romantic dinners at home. By wearing every day fashion with pops of colour and texture, these clothes can and will make you feel as if getting ready for the day is completely and utterly normal and you’re already set to conquer.
WALKING (OR DRIVING)
TO A FAVOURITE PLACE
Just one of the most luxurious things I have done since restrictions were slowly relaxed here in Queensland was leaving Blake at home with my sister and Mr. Darcy and going for a drive. The feeling of not having to restrict my travel time between work and home, I was able to travel a short distance to a favourite spot of mine and this moment, it was something within its self. Although it were a mere four minute drive from my home, I parked my vehicle in a spot that overlooked the beach below and I sat there in sheer silence.
While I had no intention of getting out of my car because restrictions and the overwhelming fear of becoming sick, I watched the waves roll in towards the shoreline and analysed my internal fears, concerns and anxiety towards Covid. I allowed my mind to wonder as I began working through my internal emotions towards my Mum’s cancer diagnosis, the overwhelming fear of Lois starting chemo in a pandemic and my concern of becoming sick and not surviving because of someone else’s recklessness. By spending those few minutes, simply allowing myself to breathe in and releasing everything I had been feeling; I felt refreshed, replenished and for a split second, like I was living a normal life again.
AT HOME DIY’s
Thanks to social media and the endless online world of YouTube scrolling at midnight, a few things I’ve been wanting to secretly learn for the past few years have been successfully ticked off. One of these goals was learning how to somewhat perfect a professional blow out and having figured it would take close to an hour with my length of hair and thickness, I come across an amazing styling tool and while I’m still perfecting the art of it, I’ve been planning a future blog post about it and everything I’ve been experimenting with… it’s safe to say, I have been loving quarantine life because it’s an excuse to experiment, play around with whatever you want and if you make a mistake, no one will ever know!
Since becoming a mum in quarantine, a majority of my every waking moment at home is spent contemplating the benefits of adult napping and structuring my life around sleep patterns. Being a shift worker who works odd hours in the healthcare sector and sometimes struggling with falling asleep because my mind is going over things I’ve either forgotten to document or I could’ve done better; I’ve found a few ways that help with this.
By limiting the amount of screen time and caffeine intake after a certain time of the day and increasing the time I spent nourishing my body and mind has been beneficial. Not only have I noticed the affect it has on my mental clarity, emotional and mental health and wellbeing; I’ve also read in a science journal that by getting adequate sleep, it allows the body to physical repair its self while you’re in a REM sleep. All in all, without proper and sufficient sleep, all the good things you are implementing into your life won’t feel as good as they should!
Hopefully this post has gotten those post-Covid juices flowing and the ideas springing to your head. As always, I’m curious about what you plan on doing when restrictions have lifted and you should let me know by leaving a comment down below.
Please stay safe and remember to continue wearing a mask when out in public and practice social distancing!