Things keeping me sane in lockdown 3.0

After 12 months of lockdowns, restrictions and uncertainty, the one thing I am sure of is my vices to keep sane during lockdown 3.0 are really all I am hanging onto at this point. From cooking to hot chocolates, walking to reading and all of the series I have binged watched for days at a time, I have now finally (2 lockdowns later) have come up with a repertoire or toolkit of things that I can turn to in times of boredom or stress, to get me through.

MAKING TO-DO LISTS

Last time around I tried to not put pressure on myself to not be productive if I didn’t want to, but it turns out I thrive off structure and need some sort of small goal or aim for the day, otherwise I’ll just go into a big pit of madness. I have found making small achievable to-do lists of things I need to do that day (like booking in my car service & MOT), mixed in with things I want to do (like read 100 pages of my book or go on a walk), has helped me feel productive (even though most of the things on the list are things I would do anyway). It also gives me a bit of purpose for that day, especially whilst I’m still furloughed.

Nescafé Dolce Gusto Chococino PODS

I kid you not these hot chocolate pods are the best things since sliced bread. Since moving back to my parent’s house, one of the many bonuses about being here is them having a Dolce Gusto machine, but specifically the hot choc pods. They taste just like the Costa Coffee hot chocolates (but for a fraction of the price) and takes me back to the days when we could go to a coffee shop (don’t mind me as I silently weep). An absolute game changer has been drizzling in some of the caramel syrup that my sister bought me for christmas, it just takes them to a whole new level of greatness.

WATCHING ALL THE TV & MOVIES

We all know I love binge watching a series or putting on a film and getting cosy, it was something I loved even before the pandemic (if we can even remember such a time) and now is no different. Whilst I am furloughed, I have set a rule for myself, that this time around, I won’t watch any TV or movies in the weekday (basically during working hours). Previously, I kept binge watching something and before I knew it, it was 7 o’clock and I felt like I had just wasted the day away. But since implementing that rule, I’m now looking forward to sitting down in front of the telly in the evenings and specifically to catch up on the Channel 4 series, Married at First Sight Australia (season 6). It’s not only juicy and exciting, but it gives me a bit of structure to my evenings and something to look forward to, as it’s on every evening in the week.

Similarly, my recent obsession and binge-watching series of choice is Parks & Rec, which after watching and loving The Office US, it was recommended to me and it most definitely hasn’t disappointed. Likewise, I have been loving watching some old childhood movies on Disney+, like Doctor DoLittle and Freaky Friday, which have been giving me all the nostalgic feels.

GOING ON WALKS/ MOVING MY BODY

This is something I definitely didn’t do enough of in the last lockdown, because it was too dark and cold. But since getting my Fitbit and trying to stick to the 5 workouts a week goal, I have really been getting into going on long walks and listening to whatever audiobook I have on the go. Likewise, I’ve been doing a 20 to 30 minute hiit workout or a quick skipping session (I can only manage 7/8 mins consistently, so it really is quick – but I’m working on it). It just helps release some energy and as an extra bonus is helping me sleep better I think! If you are looking for a good hiit workout video, I’ve been enjoying Heather Robertson’s on YouTube, her choice of music is top notch!

PAINTING MY NAILS

A pretty self-explanatory one, but something I have rediscovered lately. I’ve been finding it quite therapeutic and it’s nice for something on me to look normal and nice, since my eyebrows and hair are now getting out of control again, no amount of plucking or shoving my hair up in a bun can save it now.

READING & MORE READING

Another love of mine is reading and again it’s something I did before the pandemic. It not only passes hours away, whilst doing something productive but I can also learn something new or escape into another fictional world for a while and let’s be honest we all need a bit of that these days. I’m currently reading Percy Jackson and the Lighting Thief, which so far has been a good read and also listening to the audio book How Do We Know We Are Doing It Right by Pandora Sykes, which is a bit of a hit and miss for me, but I’ll explain more in my February books round-up post.

COOKING

If anything is going to get me through the day, it’s knowing a good dinner is on the cards. I’ve never been one that been great at cooking or even loved doing it, but during this lockdown I have found myself wanting to cook new meals and experiment a bit more. Purely out of boredom really I have been learning some new recipes off my mum and also some good old BBC Good Food recipes. Some firm favourites of mine lately have been chicken and mushroom pie which I made from scratch last week, vegan banana pancakes and a roast chicken tikka with roast potatoes and cauliflower, which I’m making again this week. None of this is ground-breaking, but it’s keeping me busy and providing me with some delicious food so I hope this thing sticks.

SUPER MARIO 64 DS

Now I can’t quite believe I’m owning up to playing this as a 24-year-old woman, but a gal has to entertain herself in these unprecedented times. Recently I purchased the Super Mario 64 game for my Nintendo DS, because I remembered loving it when I was younger and by god has it brought back some memories for me. I don’t really have much to say about this one, other than I may or may not be spending hours playing it (just call me a gamer now lol), and it’s slowly becoming what some would say an unhealthy obsession. If you’ve got an old Nintendo DS lying about, get yourself on eBay and buy this game, so you, like me can enjoy hours of fun.

Let me know in the comments any of your vices during this lockdown, I am always in need of some new ideas!

Alisha xoxo

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