The past year has been a totally new experience for almost everyone around the world and something that everyone has been forced to adapt to. I don’t know about you but for me this made it a challenge to keep motivated and positive.
Below are 5 small things that I have found incredibly useful over the past year. However simple they may sound, they have given me the energy to keep going and not overthink everything going on.
1. Trying new recipes
I have found experimenting with new ingredients and new ways of cooking has been a great way to spice up my evening. Don’t get me wrong, some of the meals have been inedible, but it’s been enjoyable to try things that I haven’t ever done before. I have also been doing a friends online cooking courses which have been a great evening filler and a brilliant way to see friends (virtually of course) and cook together.
Picture taken from https://www.apchef.co.uk/
I am usually a lover of team sports which of course hasn’t been an option for the last year and at the beginning of lockdown I was forcing myself to go on runs (hating every second) and then not really moving for the rest of the day. However, over the past few months I have taken a different approach and have started waking up early, going for a nice walk or doing some yoga/pilates before starting my working day. This has been a total game changer – I feel so much more energised and sometimes even have the energy and desire to go for a run later in the day. I think just moving my body throughout the day has been so key to my mental health (with the physical side being an extra benefit). Before lockdown I would never have thought that walking for an hour a day could make such a difference!
Before lockdown started I wasn’t really into reading. I always found I was too busy (or just used this as an excuse) and if I did have some free time, I would prefer to watch TV. However, having more free time has made me take up reading as a hobby and I have LOVED it. Given how much time I am spending staring at a screen, it has been a refreshing way of spending the last hour of my day and once I get into a book, I cannot seem to put it down! If anyone hasn’t read ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ by Delia Owens, read it now!
4. Wedding Planning
I am getting married in September and having free evenings has been a real treat when it comes to wedding planning. I am not sure my partner is quite as happy about this but we try and make it fun. We now have ‘Wedding Wednesdays’ where we share a bottle of wine and chat logistics. I am sure if there was anywhere else my partner could be, he would, but that’s lockdown!
5. Not being hard on myself
This is a weird one to have, however I have found it so vital to not get too frustrated if there are days when I don’t have much energy and can’t be bothered to do anything. This current climate is totally beyond what was the ‘norm’ and it is totally natural to have days when you feel a bit rubbish. Binge that reality TV show if that is what you feel like on one of these days, tomorrow is a new day!