So, we're in this together people. Me, you and the entire World.
Unless you're one of our incredible key workers, you are more than likely working from home. As this is something that I've done for nearly a year I thought I'd share a few of my tips. Along with that, I've added a few of the lockdown tips that have helped keep me busy.
Wake up & makeup
I know it's incredibly tempting to work from your bed, wearing your Jim jams and not move until well, it's time to go to get another snack from the fridge. Firstly, your bed is for bed time. It should be your little haven that you enjoy curling up to at night. It shouldn't be the place where you get pissed off with Karen because she's set you another unrealistic deadline. Also, crumbs in the bed from your crisp sandwich are as hard to get rid of as glitter after a trip to Glastonbury. Get up and get ready. (I promise the pic above was for posing purposes only-ha)!
Do your skincare, chuck on a bit of makeup. You don't have to get the false lashes out. A light foundation, a bit of blush and a slick of mascara will do, (says the girl wearing green eyeshadow ready for a dog walk)! Makeup makes you feel better. It's a fact. As does perfume. Spritz your fave fragrance, even if you and your cat are going to be the only one's who smell it. It doesn't matter. Onto hair. The WFH top knot is absolutely fine. If you can be bothered to style your hair then you're a better person than me. I chuck mine up and hold it all together with some sort of diamantee hair clip. Instant Elizabeth Taylor vibes. When it come's to clothes, lounge wear is fine. As is sequins and socks. Anything goes when you're WFH. But whatever you do, get out of those PJ's people. They are not a vibe.
The Magic hour
This is honestly the best tip my competitive brain has ever come up with. When I say competitive, I mean with myself and Monopoly. So setting myself challengers is a no brainer. Basically, I set myself an alarm for 1 hour. No more, no less. I then challenge myself to get as much done as possible, before my alarm goes off. I do this 3 times a day, and I guarantee that I get more done in these 3 hours than I would in an alarm free, 8 hour day. Every person i've shared this with has said it's worked a treat for them too. So give it a go.
If you've tuned into any of my live #TutoriALL's you'll know that Theo & I love a tune. Particularly a 90's RnB classic. There's music on in our house 90% of the time. When we first got our mortgage, Lloyds bank gave us £500 as a 'Thank you", (they did that for everyone at the time). They recommended that it should be spent on bills and groceries. We bought 2 Sonos music systems and we don't regret it a bit, Ha! When working from home, it's very easy to be demotivated for hours at a time. So I created a WFH Spotify playlist which I put on shuffle when I feel I need a bit of energy. I get up, grab a spoon, and sing into it like I'm Mariah, whilst dancing around the kitchen in some sort of exceptional fashion. I might do this for 1 song, or 10. Either way, it gives me some much needed adrenaline, gets me up out of my chair, and brings joy to my heart. Music is Queen.
Friends and Doris
I feel so bloody lucky to have THE MOST incredible friends. Even though we have always communicated regularly via the power of pub gardens and What's app, one thing that I've loved about this time is the rise of video calling. I'm not talking about the 48 daily conference calls that Theo 'I have to shout because otherwise no-one will hear me through the glass of the computer screen' Coyne, is involved in. No, I'm talking about using these work app's to social (media) butterfly my way around my friendship groups. House party and Zoom have become the main winners in this lock down era. So much so that House party app recently became the victim of a smear campaign. Although according to the BBC and the £1 million reward they offered to find out who started it, it's perfectly safe to use. Who knows and TBH, who cares. No-one's taking away my high score on their drawing game.
My diary is now full of video chats, which I am more than happy with. If I can't hug my friends, then I can at least get drunk with them through a 6 inch screen. So keep partying from your sofa. Plan a daily chat, or even host a pub quiz. Theo and I have most definitely found our second calling as Quiz masters. Just keep talking. It's good for the soul.
Doris, my Nan, is one of my favourite people in the Universe. And, I think, she's many of yours too. She's 91 and lives alone in Derby and this shit is hard for her. She's used to her daily Bingo sessions, her coach trips to the seaside and her weekly trips to Maureen at the salon to have her hair set. She's bored of reading, doesn't want to watch the News because, who does? And she has absolutely no idea that her fave soap Corrie may run out of episodes soon. So a daily phone call means a great deal to her. Even if it's just for 5 minutes, a phone call can really make her day. Now don't worry, in her words, 'I have enough biscuits to last me 3 months, what else would i need'?! And I recently sent her a care package full of new pink lipsticks to add to her collection. So she's doing ok. But take this time to call an elderly family member or a friend that lives alone. Don't forget about your neighbours. Do a knock and run scenario and leave them a bunch of daffodils on the door step with a card. It's the small things that make a big difference. And I guarantee their happiness will also bring a smile to your face.
It turns out that we've all become athletes during lock down and guys, let's remember, the Olympic's have been postponed. There's hope for all of us!
Seriously though, how amazing have all the personal trainers and fitness studios been? They've taken our much loved classes online with great success. My yoga studio, Ember in Hampton, has been brilliant. Offering 2 classes a day, with some of them being free. Theo and I have also been doing a daily Hiit session via the Fiit app.
Exercise makes you feel great and, more than that, it makes you healthy. So if you're not doing any exercise classes, give them a go. They are everywhere at the moment, so take this time to find out what you enjoy. Just a 20 minute class will motivate you and make you feel so much better, trust me.
In the UK we are so lucky to be allowed an hours outdoor exercise a day. Take full advantage of this. We walk the dogs every morning and it's such a gorgeous start to the day. I've really noticed the difference in the seasons over the past few weeks. The blossom is out, the trees are turning green and the sound of birds is incredible. That's something else that has happened during this time. Our World is being given time to recover. Without the planes and the pollution, the planet is slowly showing us what it could be like if we actually looked after it. The lakes are clearer, the sky is bluer. I mean we even saw a bloody grass snake in Bushy park last week!! All the animals are out having a party by the looks of it. Can you blame them? We're not out there ruining their habitats for once.
Get shit done
If you're a Mum or Dad with 2 kids hanging off your legs at all time, then this may not be feasible. But if you have the time, get the stuff done that you always put off. The stuff you hide under the bed for months on end. We all have those secret stashes. So far I've Marie Kondo'd all my drawers, cleared out under the bed and done all the gardening. I don't want a medal, although I did ask Theo why he hadn't got me one after all my hard work. But I do feel good for using this time to do these things. Coz it would have been easy to stay in bed and watch Netflix all day.
So they are all the things I've been doing. As well as all the social media and lives obvs! Let me know what's been helping you get through these crazy times.
And remember, as our wonderful Queen said, 'We will meet again'
Love & lipstick,