No matter what sort of home you are living in, the chances are that it’s not set up for being cooped up inside 24/7. Whether you live alone or with children and a couple of pets, setting boundaries within the home may be the key to coping with a life of lockdown.
According to the experts, creating a space where we can ‘go to work’ and the kids can ‘go to school’ and then ‘come home’ again will help create a sense of routine. Adapting our space so we can do everything within the same walls and then do it all again on repeat, will help with our emotional and physical wellbeing.
Bathrooms into spas
Lockdown baths are trending on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook right now and if you’ve been drawn in by their beauty, the good news is that they are easy to recreate. It might be a bit of a social media trend, but baths can really help through this current pandemic. If you are struggling psychologically, are concerned about loved ones, are exhausted from home schooling and working or just need a moment of peace, a bath can provide the perfect downtime. Before jumping in, inform the rest of your house that you are not to be disturbed for at least 30 minutes, put your phone on charge and on silent so you are not tempted to jump out at the first sound, pour yourself a drink (alcoholic, smoothie, virgin cocktail or herbal tea) and tune into an audio book or podcast or just enjoy the silence. Add in your favourite products and go heavy on the moisturizers, with all this additional washing, many people are feeling the effects with dry, flaky skin.
Create a work space
If you’ve worked from your bed for the last few weeks, chances are you are now desperate for a dedicated work space. You don’t need a spare room to create a home office, you just need to carve out some space that works for you. Many people have opted to work from the kitchen table but how practical is it if you are sharing the space and need to be on lots of Zoom calls. If you are juggling the kids being at home too, it might be an idea to find a space away from the main living area to create a makeshift office. Get creative about where you can work, can a dressing table be turned into a desk, is there a side table that you can requisition and use on a landing? If possible, try to work near a window and away from the TV to avoid distractions.
Working out at home has never been easier with the abundance of free online exercise classes. Most videos are aimed at people exercising at home with limited space so it is more about finding a space where you can feel motivated to move. If possible, buy a yoga mat to care for your spine and have a small table where you can balance your laptop or tablet so you can follow along with the video. If you practice yoga, try and create a small space of calm where you can light a candle and clear the clutter. Try and exercise at the same time and in the same space everyday so you establish a routine.
Bring the outside in
We may not be able to get outside as much as we would like, so bring the outside in with house plants. There are lots of plant delivery companies and your local garden centre may be delivering too. Soften the edges of a room with plants of different heights and if you have the space, put one on your work desk to provide a calming distraction.
Whether you have a home full of kids or are living on your own, crafting during the lockdown is a great way of relieving stress and stepping away from the temptation to constantly scroll through your phone. Keep a bag of craft materials in one place that is easily accessible to children including cardboard boxes, pieces of string and anything that can be used for modelling. Colouring books and pens may even get the teens off their tech for a bit and a half completed puzzle that is left out will get all the family involved. Both the young and old may like to try their hand at knitting, studies have shown that it improves people’s happiness, even for those with depression. There are plenty of craft activities and online tutorials on the Craft Council’s website, which is a good place to start. Set up a small craft corner to encourage everyone to spend part of the day being creative.
Many homes today are designed for open-plan living, which is great for regular life but not so good during a lockdown when we all need a little more alone time. Try moving your existing furniture to create zones that everyone can use. A quiet reading space under the kitchen table with cushions and a basket of books will be good for young children, a quiet study zone in the hallway may encourage teens to focus, move a sofa away from the wall so older children can play with Lego without being interrupted by siblings and a corner chair in the bedroom can be used as a place to wind down and listen to podcasts.
Kitchen clear ups
Producing three meals a day, every day, is showing up every little flaw in our kitchens. Now we are encouraged to only shop when needed, it is also really important that we use up all of our staples and make the most out of what we have lurking in the back of the cupboards. One good way to do this is to use clear containers to keep dry foods and cereals in. As well as it being aesthetically pleasing, this is a good way of being organised and store ingredients such as flour, sugar and pasta will keep fresh for longer. Also think about upcycling where you can. Clean, empty jam jars can be used as mini vases for wild flowers or tea light holders and if you’re trying to stay healthy at home, chop carrots and celery into batons and pop them in a jar and keep them in the fridge for snacking on. If you do have extra time on your hands, now is a great opportunity to experiment in the kitchen. There are lots of online cookery classes to inspire you and you may want to jump on the Instagram bandwagon and have a go at making your own bread or iced coffee.
Zone your home
- Declutter and tidy.
- Put away children’s toys on a rota system.
- Use a lamp to create a cosy corner.
- Drinks trollies add a touch of glamour and can create a sophisticated evening ambience.
- Stylish baskets can be used to keep all dog toys, lead and paraphernalia together.
- Bring family games to the main living area to encourage everyone to play.
- Use candles to create a warm atmosphere and put away laptops to signify the end of the working day.