Lockdown, I am grateful to say, has been a very beneficial time for my wellbeing. I have never felt fitter in my life, and I have found this time to be so giving, rather than depleting for me. Finally, I have come to accept that I really, really like being at home. I really, really like not saying yes to things I wish I’d said no to. I really, really like not having to see people I don't actually get on with. I really, really like life being more simple and slow-pacedm and feeling more grateful for it.
At the beginning I was concerned, terrified, actually, is rather the preferred term for how I felt. I experienced panic attacks and an everyday anxiety as lockdown locked us all inside our homes - inside our own minds. I remember clearly sitting myself down and making a pact with myself. ‘I must come out of this better than I went in’. In all aspects, I knew that this period could either ‘make or break’ a lot of things for me. And so, with that, looking after myself through finding a healthy balance became the core focus on helping myself through this chapter.
I’m a firm believer in the ‘no one size fits all’ theory, so I do hope my routine can serve for some loose inspiration, rather than a guide. I really believe that wellbeing is so important to ‘schedule’ into your everyday. This routine really helped me through it, and continues to do so. It is simple, slow, yet supportive enough to find that perfect balance. I love the words of Matt Haig, a favourite author of mine, ‘make a routine baggy enough to live in’. With that, I hope you enjoy my lockdown wellness routine.
My Lockdown Everyday Wellness Routine:
Wake to the sound of the birds chirping outside and my Lumie Alarm Clock. This clock has a built-in SAD lamp, which helps the body wake up like it would to the sun, a more natural, slow exposing to light and sound. I wouldn’t be without it. A 10 minute meditation by Calm App helped me enormously.
After downing 3x large glasses of water, I’d head outside for a walk or a gentle run. If walking, I’d use this time to call my grandmother. We are very lucky to have woodland walks nearby. I’d find a lot of peace within the trees…
Yoga or pilates, preferably outdoors in the garden. I loved more resistance and strength training. I’d challenge myself daily and weekly to try something new (a new pose, more reps etc) which really helped me look forward to something. This time really helped me release a lot of worries, fears, tensions and become more present. All while strengthening my body, which was a bonus!
Breakfast outside after a long overnight fast. Always porridge or muesli, berries, Manuka honey and flaxseed with a cup of Roobios tea after 10x deep breaths and a moment for gratitude. I take supplements too. I’d listen to a small chunk of news here, once per day, to have it not effect my mental health too much.
I’d then take a magnesium salt bath (3x per week) or a quick shower - always using more natural shower/bath products and using my dry brush all over my body to encourage lymphatic drainage.
11am - 1pm.
Work. And actually feeling all work was effective after exercising and having a slow start to the day. Having continuous cups of water to help hydrate and fuel my brain.
Lunch and downtime. Usually a slice of sourdough with eggs, avocado or hummus. Dog cuddles and reading a book or magazine. Taking the full hour without looking at my phone or laptop.
Work, with a 3pm break for a homemade turmeric latte and 2x slabs of dark chocolate and maybe a bowl of fruit, sipped after doing 5x deep breaths.
I’d use this time to balance a mixture of ‘work’ with creativity. Not being hard on myself if some days felt more challenging than others.
Time to get creative in the kitchen and play with the dog! Everything was cooked with my favourite Spotify playlists on and some more yoga practice while the food cooked. I’d try and pack as much veg and colour into every meal. My favourite lockdown meal was my hearty plant-based lentil Dahl, served with black rice, avocado, and lots of greens.
Sometimes I’d cook the old classic lockdown banana bread, or homemade oat and almond crumble which I enjoyed many times.
I’d sit with my family and watch something light-hearted on the TV. My favourites being ‘This Country’, ‘SAS Who Dares Wins’, ‘The Vicar of Dibley’, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ (BBC series), ‘The IT Crowd’ and re-runs of ‘Gavin and Stacey’. My favourite films of all time were played over and over, ‘The Duchess’, ‘The Imitation Game’, ‘The King’s Speech’ and of course, ‘Mamma Mia!’.
Use this opportunity to tackle a cupboard I’d been meaning to, do some cleaning or re-arrange my wardrobe. I’d often use this hour to FaceTime friends, too. Watching the sunset outside of my bedroom window.
Make a real ‘thing’ of my skincare routine, discovering every oil and cream ever received for Christmases and Birthdays of the past. Switching off my phone, placing it inside a drawer and doing a further mediation. Falling asleep by 10pm after reading a good book. Always with the curtains open, eye mask on and windows left to cool the room enough to sleep. I’d have essential oils by my bedside to sniff if I found it hard to sleep. Massage, on my feet, face or hands helped to ease the tension too. Getting a juicy 9 hours sleep in which really helped me in my ‘reset’.