Updated: Jun 9, 2021
Like most parents across the country, we are juggling the never-ending tasks of homeschooling, work and family life. This third lockdown has been tough on all of us (especially our NHS & care staff; no words can truly express our gratitude). Whilst the first lockdown seemed full of people taking up new hobbies and trying new things to keep busy, this lockdown has made me feel the need to take time to relax and slow down. Here are our favourite low waste, self care tips to do during lockdown.
1. Greenery & nature. Whether you take a walk in the park, or stare at the garden from the comfort of your home, looking at greenery can have a positive effect on your mental well being. I find tending to my indoor plants gives me a boost. I planted crocus bulbs in a pot last September and with hardly any care at all, they are starting to bloom, bringing me so much joy. If you want to start off your own indoor nirvana, ask around- your local facebook group, neighbours and friends will be happy to offload a cutting or plantlet for you to care for. Seeds are also an inexpensive way to start growing indoors- have you tried sprouting an avocado seed?
2. Mindful crafting. When it’s cold, dark and wet outside and you need a bit of me time, crafting is a great way to focus your mind and actively relax. Maud has been making a dent in her mending pile and I have taken up knitting again- not only do I enjoy the rhythmic movement of knitting, I love being able to wear something I’ve made myself, even if it turns out to be an uneven scarf! Baking is another craft activity I enjoy and sharing the treats with family is a great mental health boost. Here’s a link to our favourite No Knead bread recipe.
3. Gratitude journal or jar. As a family, we’ve started a gratitude sharing time during dinner. You could also start a gratitude journal- write 3-5 things a day that you are grateful for, it can be as simple or extensive as you like. It’s lovely to go through it when you need a perk-me-up. Another idea is to add little notes to a jar when you think of them throughout the day. You could combine this with family time- everyone can pick out notes and read them to each other.
My list today:
That my son slept soundly last night (meant that I got my sleep too!)
Spring starting to appear- I have a little fig tree that has a single leaf starting to unfurl.
Extra time to relax, as it’s my partner’s turn to cook dinner.
For technology that enables me to catch up with my Mum on videocall, even though she lives on the other side of the world.
4. Pampering. We don’t have a bath in our house and I miss being able to have a long relaxing soak! I am making do by enjoying a warm foot bath every now and then, especially great after a cold winter’s walk (Bonus- more eco-friendly as it uses up less water). To make it a bit more luxurious, I add a handful of oats and a couple of drops of lavender essential oil. The oats are great to soothe and moisturise the skin and the oil helps me to relax. Other pampering ideas include making a simple DIY face mask- try mashing a banana with a tablespoon of honey, apply on face. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes and rinse off well. Your skin will glow!
5. A cup of herbal tea. The kettle always seems to be boiling at our house, we can’t have enough tea! Although I drink black tea in the morning, I try to reduce my caffeine intake in the afternoons, by enjoying a cup of herbal tea. I grow mint on my windowsill and take a few sprigs, add a piece of dried orange peel, and let it steep for a few minutes. Sage, lemon balm, verbena and rosemary all make lovely teas. To really enjoy the tea, I ensure I have time to sit, smell the wonderful fragrance, feel the lovely warmth of the cup in my hand and take a careful first sip. It’s a moment of pure comfort, something that we all need right now.
Stay safe and take care. x Linda