Lockdown Life Update: How Have I Been Coping & Keeping Myself Motivated

As I’ve now been working form home for 6 weeks and we’ve all been in lockdown for 4 and a half weeks, I thought it was about time for a life update. Just to catch you up on how I’m finding lockdown, what I’ve been doing and how I’m trying to keep myself motivated everyday. It’s such crazy times at the minute and I can’t honestly ever remember a time when I’ve spent so much time inside, with not one single plan to look forward to. I like to have those weekend’s away, holidays, time spent with family and a meal with friends to keep me motivated through the week. I’m such a social person and thrive from being around my loved ones, so I can’t wait to give them a big hug and just spend a night catching up and chatting.  

I usually love busy weekends and hate the thought of a weekend with no idea of what I’m going to do. So these lockdown weekends have been a real challenge for me, more than through the week. I’m still working from home and so I have a really good routine that helps me to stay motivated and have time to relax and wind down. Working out is a great way for me to just finish my work day and switch my mind off. Some of my favourite workouts are from Carly Rowena, she has so many amazing workouts and she’s posting new ones every day during lockdown. I’ve also been loving doing Body Balance, Les Mills Barre and just going for long walks to clear my head, and enjoy the amazing weather we’ve been having recently. However, at the weekends it’s so hard to enjoy them. I try to spend time on self care, pampering myself, as well as catching up on tv and with my friends and family. But it’s not the same as going out, being busy and making plans to discover new places. How are you all finding the weekends, what have you been up to? 

I’ve also been finding it super hard to be motivated at the minute. Of course I’m still working so I’m in that routine but it’s still hard when most of my friends and family aren’t working. I just want to be able to spend time with them, but of course we can’t. I’m finding that if I really make sure I have wind down time, away from a screen it really helps. A good book, cleaning or just pottering around and tidying helps me have that little break and also massively helps me to stop getting square eyes. Music is also a great way for me to get into work mode. I’ve been loving listening to throw back playlists, musicals and anything else that makes me feel happy, whilst I’m working. It helps the day go quicker, and I also love having a good sing along to keep my spirits up. 

I thought I would share just a few of the little things I’ve been doing to keep me happy, motivated and just distracted from lockdown. Hopefully you can pop some of these into your routine’s or have already been doing them. I would love to know what you’ve been doing and if there’s anything new I could try…

My Quarantine Bucket List

It seems crazy to refer to this post as a bucket list, because I would never choose to be in isolation and away from all my family and friends. However, I read a quote today that really stuck with me about this whole situation. It basically suggested that you can take this time now as a second life. Treat yourself better, look after your body and mind, do the things you’ve always wanted to do and enjoy yourself. Although you can’t go out and do everyday things, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy having time for yourself. Take the chance to learn a new hobby or catch up with old friends. So, I really want to try and embrace the time I have in isolation and do some of these things, and I thought I would put them together and share them with you. Maybe just to give you a bit of inspiration or just so you know what I’ll be doing with my spare time, away from working. 

This one is not at all inspiring but just realistic. As much as I would love to say I’m trying out loads of new things, I’m actually spending a LOT of time watching tv and catching up on all my current series. Oh and also starting some amazing new ones. They are a great escape and also really help to pass the time. I love to do something creative whilst I’m watching, just to keep me relaxed and away from my phone. 

A few recommendations: Instant Hotel, Liar, Dynasty, Good Girls & Styling Hollywood. 

These are an amazing way to keep a physical copy of all your favourite memories and moments. I have a few and I’ve been loving spending time just updating them all. I got lots of photos printed out, look online for the places with discount codes as theres so many at the minute. Then already had lots of different scrapbooking papers and just enjoy making them look really creative and fun. They’re something that takes a lot of time and concentration and now is the perfect opportunity for me to get them all done. 

I’ve spoken about this so much, so I’m sure you all know, but I’m just really loving interior design at the moment. As I’ve got more time on my hands, I’ve been such a Pinterest addict and loving creating mood boards on ideas for decorating my house. I’m actually so into it that I really want to do an online interior design course. Nothing big or fancy, but just to find out some of the basics, as I find it so interesting. 

This is a goal I’ve had for 2020 and so far I feel like I’m doing okay. Overall I just really want to make more conscious effort to read more and try and read  a book every one to two months. I love reading and it’s such a nice way to escape and bring quarantine I want to try and force myself to get away from screens and enjoy some time with a good book. 

A few of my favourite authors: Ruth Jones, Caroline Roberts & Jenny Colgan. I especially love the last two for an easy read which are a true escape from the rest of the world. 

Since starting this blog 8 years ago, I’ve been on such a journey. I’ve gone from posting weekly, monthly and even daily, along the way. When I’m not blogging I feel like a little part of me is missing and honestly when I come back and start typing away again I instantly feel me again. So I want to dedicate more time to blogging and creating content. I think so far I’m doing okay, staying consistent and now also posting a mid-week post too. 

I want to use this time that we’re indoors to just have a general refresh. Restyle up my room and swap out all my winter clothes from my wardrobe. Spend more time on myself and working out regularly. Have a good tidy round and a declutter if I need to. Just get all the little jobs done that I’ve been meaning to do for ages. 

Since moving to London and joining the gym I’ve been loving working out and going to gym classes. It was an escape and just a time to unwind. Now I can’t go to the gym I’ve really been enjoying doing different online classes and keeping myself fit. I just feel like it really helps me to feel good in my body and mind. Some of my favourites at the minute are from Les Mills, and I love the Barre workouts. 

How To Make Working From Home Suit You

The last month has been a bit of a crazy journey for all of us. Whether you’re not working and completely out of your normal routine that keeps you motivated everyday or you’re now working from home and having to get used to a new way of structuring your working day. We’ve all been adjusting and finding a new normal. I’ve been doing exactly the same! This week marks my fourth week working from home and a month since I last went to the office. It’s been a massive learning curve of how to structure my day, how I work best, when I want to work and just deciding if I can work in my pyjamas everyday or need to get a bit more put together for the day. So I thought I would share some of the ways I like to work from home and have helped me to stay sane but still be productive over the last month.

 1. Get Dressed & Still Have A Morning Routine:

This is literally the best way I’ve found to get me ready for the day and to differentiate my work days and my chilled weekend days. Every day in the week I set my alarm for the same time and do my normal morning routine. I always have a shower and get dressed into a proper outfit, and not just throw on leggings and a jumper. Breakfast is always key for me but I have a more relaxed morning at the minute; spend time watching Youtube videos and having my morning coffee. 

2. Have Set Work Times & Rest Times: 

Even though I could technically work for as long as I want and at any time during the day. I’ve got set work times where I go and sit at my desk ready for work. I’m no way working a day as long as I usually would but my taking a few hours in the morning and a few in the afternoon it helps me to stay motivated. Oh and make sure you have a set lunch break where you eat, so you’re not constantly walking to the fridge and looking for snacks throughout the day. 

3. Have A Place To Work:

I would really struggle if I was always working from my bed or the sofa, so I’ve got a set work space set up. Luckily I have a desk so I have that all set up ready to work at everyday. However, if you don’t you can just use your kitchen or dining table. 

4. Have A Great Playlist:

Normally I work in an office and there’s always people chatting and things going on. So when I’m working form home I just like to have some background noise, as it really helps me to get into the mindset of working. So everyday o find a new playlist to listen to on Spotify, sometimes two and spend my day listening to that. I’m so much more productive than having a tv series on in the background, and I’m also so much more focused on work too. 

5. Do Exercise After Your Working Day:

What I’ve found really helps me is to do a workout, go for a walk or both after my working day. It makes me put my laptop away and helps me to relax. Almost like a way to tell my mind the working day is over and I can just relax. I love doing online workout videos when I need a bit of motivation to get mine done for the day. 

6. Keep In Contact With People:

We’re so lucky with technology now that it’s so easy to keep in touch with people. I have scheduled meetings to just have a catch up on video call with my team and this is a great way to just have a chat and see what they’ve been up to. We also have group chats which are a great way to say hello to everyone and share different things we’ve been doing to keep ourselves entertained during lockdown. 

7. Put Your Other Devices Away:

I need to listen to my own advice here, but I’m really trying to put my other devices away when I’m working. Just so that I can focus on work and not get distracted. It’s easy enough when you’re working from home anyway. It just helps me †o be a lot more productive and also switch off once my working day is done. 

There’s also a few ideas I’ve heard from other people that I would definitely do if I had the space or was working with my other half. One of them is so that you don’t blame each other for not washing up or their mess making lunch, you have a made up person to blame. It just stops arguments and the pressure of being together all the time. Also, working in different places in your house can also really help. If you have an office then one of you can work from there. It’s a dedicated space and when you go in there you know it’s time to work. There’s also no distractions and its easier to just step away at the end of the day. 

How To Stay Happy & Live In The Moment

Living in such a fast paced city, it’s made me realise just how hard it can be to live in the moment and feel present. A lot of my personal anxieties come from worrying about things in the future and what could happen, and I’m sure it’s the same for a lot of you too. When I’m on my commute to work everyone is looking down, on their phones and has no idea what else is going on around them. I’ve got to say that I am just as guilty as all of them but over the last few months I’ve decided I don’t want to be one of those people anymore. I still like to put my ear phones in and drain out the house of screaming children on the bus every morning, but I try to listen something and be present still. Looking up, around and out of the window. I don’t want to be so busy not appreciating what’s around me that before I know it I’m not living in London anymore and I’ve moved back to the midlands. Time goes so quickly and I know this could so easily happen. 

Since being I quarantine, I feel like it’s forced us to be present and think about what’s going on right here, right now. How quickly everything has changed, and four weeks ago we were more or less living our normal lives. Now we’re in lockdown and everyone’s routines have completely changed. Because we don’t next know when we’re going to be able to go out properly or see our families, we can’t look that far into the future; and you know what sometimes that’s good for us. One thing that I like to do now is just take a walk and look around. Take in my surroundings and breathe in fresh air. Realise how lucky you are too have an amazing life and the beautiful friends and family in it. It helps me just to become more present, not worry about the future and try and enjoy the times we have at home. To get jobs done, spend quality time with the people you live with and on yourself too. 

This is a real key for staying happy. There’s so many ways we can make ourselves unhappy; such as comparing our lives to other people’s on social media, not appreciating the small things that we have or the things we have done and can look forward to down the line. But now is a really good time to get back to the core of what truly makes you happy. For me doing a job I love, writing this blog and spending time on my self make me happy. But also spending time with my boyfriend, family and friends gives me the most happiness in my life. I can’t see my family or my boyfriend at the moment, so FaceTiming and calling will have to do, but I can focus on the other things on that list. I’d recommend you have a think about your own list and try to get them back in your life during quarantine. Whether that’s making time to pamper yourself, catch up with an old friend, create that blog you’ve always wanted or just spend time with the people you love. Although quarantine has taken away us being able to go out, we can still enjoy, have fun, love and care for ourselves and each other. 

50+ TV Shows & Films To Binge During Quarantine.

During these crazy times of being quarantine, I’ve been finding that delving into a new series or film is a really good escape. It’s a time that you can zone out into a storyline for a while and just settle your anxiety. Switch off all your other devices, grab a blanket and of course a biscuit, and spend your afternoon binging something new. So, to give you all some inspiration of what to watch over the next few weeks, I thought I would share over 50 of my favourite’s, that I know you will love just as much as I do. 

TV Series:

Digging into a gripping new series, whether it’s a drama, documentary or reality show is one of my favourite ways to relax. I love the feeling of not being able to wait for the next episode and searching everywhere to find it, or spending hours binging the whole series. If you have Sky then you can explore some of their amazing original series such as Cobra, a grabbing drama about the government and the decisions they have to make about the country, or Stella, written by Ruth Jones and is just a light hearted comedy about living in Wales. I love her work and of course Gavin and Stacey also had to be on there too, as I could never get bored of re-watching the series again! 

Or if Netflix is more you thing, then there’s so many series I’ve loved to watch. A great one for all the dancers and cheerleaders out there is Cheer. Everyone was raving about it and honestly it’s a great watch. Shows the high’s and lows of cheer training as well as the athlete’s stories along the way. I also love Next In Fashion, if you’re looking for the a new Project Runway kind of series to binge, and Instant hotel is great for all you interior design lovers out there. 

Films:

When it comes to films there’s so many different types that I love to watch depending on what I fancy. Usually I don’t get much time to sit and focus on watching a film for a few hours, however now is the perfect time to tick some off my to-watch list. So, if you’re looking for a girly romantic comedy, to cheer you up, then Girls Trip is a perfect choice for you. It was actually on channel 4 last night, so I’m sure you could find it on catch up and watch it straight away. Or if you’re looking for a film for all the family, then you can’t beat a Disney film such as the new Aladin or Lion King. I know are doing a special discount for their new subscription service at the minute, so that would be perfect if you want to re-watch all your favourite’s. 

There’s also some amazing film series that I love that will keep you gripped for the whole day or even weekend. The Kingsman series is a great one for anyone in the family, with its spy and action storyline and with three films to keep you watching for hours. Or, if you’re looking for something more girly, then the Bridget Jones Diary series is incredible. It follows Bridget, a single girl on her quest to find a man, and all the hilarious and embarrassing things that happen along the way. If all of these don’t sound like you’re thing then you must love a good musical and so the two Mama Mia movies would be perfect. Even though the first one is a classic, I actually love the second one so much. The storyline is so perfect and the songs stay in your head for weeks. They’re a real feel good series to watch and I would really recommend.