This lockdown I’m encouraging everyone to really embrace the idea of hibernating.  I know you’re tired and worried and probably quite frustrated this time around but while we have a duty to our communities to stay at home & keep people safe; we also have a duty to ourselves of self-care.

Whether you’re working from home, home-schooling, furloughed or at leisure, your free time is certain to spent differently to usual and even from the lockdown last spring. This time around the weather is not ideal for long stints outdoors.  My most emphatic piece of advice is that taking your daily exercise should not be skipped (time in nature is vital for wellbeing) BUT once you’re back home really sink into making yourself as cosy as possible.  There really is nothing better.

The Danish word ‘hygge’ really epitomises what I’m talking about.  Hygge is the concept of staying warm, cosy & finding joy in the little things that can improve our environment & how we spend time there.  My point being that if we have to stay at home we can make our living spaces as welcoming and conducive to wellbeing as possible.  By approaching this lockdown with a positive mindset & indulging in some good old-fashioned comforts, it will pass much more enjoyably.

Blankets

Whether you’re reading, watching TV, listening to music or cuddling the cat blankets make all chair-based activities infinitely better.  We always have several to choose from, but every home should have at least one. There’s nothing cosier than cocooning yourself in a fluffy blanket and enjoying the warmth & safety of home.

Warmth

Put on extra jumpers, socks or maybe even gloves if you’re a Raynauds sufferer like me. Light the fire, put on the heating; whatever it takes to make your home an oasis of warmth – you’ll appreciate it so much coming back inside from your daily exercise.

Lighting

Lighting is crucial to making your home feel inviting and cosy.  Instead of using the main ceiling light, why not switch to a few lamps with warm-toned bulbs.  If you’re not doing anything that requires bright light or visual concentration, soft lighting is wonderfully calming. Candles are also a welcome addition to any room, the flickering light can make you feel warmer & scented ones are great for creating a relaxing environment.

Entertainment

More than ever in the last year we’ve been learning that productivity is not the yardstick to measure ourselves against. So I don’t think the focus during these weeks in lockdown should be even remotely on ‘keeping busy’ but more on keeping entertained.  Think of things that bring you joy, make you feel absorbed and plan those things into your day. These activities don’t have to be anything ‘useful,’ in fact I advocate that at least some of them shouldn’t be, just something that makes you smile. Do something crafty, cook something delicious or curl up with a book.  We have a free library outside the pub with books, DVDs & sometimes puzzles for people to stay entertained.  BBC iplayer has some amazing programmes to access, including a shed-load of Attenborough.  We are living in unprecedented times, which we (hopefully) won’t ever see again so use your time for joy, not worrying about how productive you can be.

Food and drink

Punctuate your day with nutritious meals and cups of tea – it’s a great way to get your body into the rhythms of the day and making sure you take good care of yourself.  Make sure to treat yourself with the odd indulgence too: Lots of places are doing amazing menus of takeaway food & we’re offering drinks deliveries to anyone in a 5 miles radius so you can still treat yourself to a draught ale in the evening.

Tribernation

However you choose to spend the next few weeks make sure to stay in touch with friends & family – they’re crucial to boosting our wellbeing & avoiding feelings of loneliness.  I’m hereby coining a new word: ‘tribernation.’  It’s the knowledge that whilst we might be all hunkering down in our separate houses; we are all in this together. We’re staying home for the good of the whole community, and also; we have universal understanding of what life is like for our friends, neighbours, colleagues etc right now. Make sure to check in with people you care about and think of those in your community living alone.  And please please feel free to get in touch with us here if you need anything – we have a collection of helpful people on hand who can bring you some shopping or just phone for a friendly chat.