For some people, spending an extended period of time in your home sounds like a dream, but for others it will be a nightmare- especially if you have children to entertain or you’re worried about running out of supplies or thinking about elderly relatives elsewhere.
There’s so much doom & gloom and uncertainty swirling around right now. Your home is your haven, your safe space, your sanctuary more than ever. But you also need to curb the cabin fever and keep your mindset as positive as you can.
I thought I’d produce a blog about how you can make the most of your time at home, keep your spirits up and how you can look after yourself and others.
FACT V FICTION.
These are unprecedented times, and we’re ALL in the same boat. Try and avoid the scaremongering news and media stories as it will only make you feel worse, and instead look for the facts- as they’re constantly evolving.
KEEP POSITIVE & PRODUCTIVE.
Whilst pubs, clubs, cafes, restaurants and gyms have called time, as of today shops are still open (albeit there appears to be depleted stocks in some supermarkets) and Online retailers are busy updating previous customers (check your spam inbox) so there is still a semblance of normality- so you still have time to plan.
With Spring on the doorstep, now is a good time to plan and organise your home and garden- especially if you now have extra time on your hands.
You may not feel like doing much at the moment, but if you make a to-do list now, structure your day and slowly work your way through it then you’ll notice the positive changes- and feel a sense of accomplishment.
And by keeping busy during the day you’re more likely to sleep better at night and keep any low mood at bay.
NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT OR PLAN.
We will all have a list of things that need done around the house, things we normally put off every day. We’re normally too tired to execute them or we just put them off. Things we think we’ll do tomorrow and then when we look back, we’ve been saying that for months or even years!
Tasks such as cleaning the oven, painting the woodwork, putting pictures up, reviving the grout, resealing the bath or kitchen sink, painting radiators or the garden shed, etc. Maybe you’ve been thinking about redecorating for a while.
Now is the perfect time to ACT if you’re well enough to do so and have a firm idea of what you want, or use this time to research or PLAN for the future. Read, consume and be inspired. Make moodboards from magazines lying around the house.
With the mass of cleaning gurus available out there I’m not going to dwell on this point too much. And it happens to be the time of year when we would be contemplating doing this anyway.
With potential extra time on your hands, pull the sofa, furniture and beds out and do it properly. Get the duster out to brush those winter cobwebs away- especially around the ceiling.
An air purifier or an aromatherapy diffuser will help your health and the air quality inside your home. Using aromatherapy oils in mop buckets will also be beneficial and make your home smell nice at the same time.
Again, I’m not going to go into all the properties of all the oils on the market. The benefits of essential oils are well documented too.
I have chosen the ones below that I believe are best for the current climate, are easy to access (especially online) and not too expensive. You can also mix them together too- I use Orange & Lime together for a citrusy pick-me-up.
Antiviral: Tea Tree, Lavender, Lime.
Fever: Orange, Peppermint.
Good for Mental Health: Lavender, Geranium.
A TIDY HOUSE = A TIDY MIND.
De-cluttering is a great exercise. I guess it’s also exercise too?!
Clutter in our homes makes us anxious, and we really need to limit anxiety as much as possible. Start room by room. But there’s no need to do it all in one day, so take your time.
Have a look at what’s in there. If anything is broken then can it be fixed? Do you actually want to fix it? If not, bin or recycle it and move on.
A great idea is to remove all ornaments, accessories and general clutter and put them in a box in the middle of the room. You now have a blank canvas. Now sort them into piles of what you need, what you actually like, and what is just cluttering up your room. Be brutal.
You may decide with a fresh pair of eyes that something would look better in another room, which will keep your scheme fresh? You might even wonder why you have kept something for all these years!
As William Morris said: “HAVE NOTHING IN YOUR HOUSE THAT YOU DO NOT KNOW TO BE USEFUL OR BELIEVE TO BE BEAUTIFUL.”
ONE PERSON’S TRASH IS ANOTHER PERSON’S TREASURE.
When de-cluttering, keep all items that you no longer want or have use for and set them aside. When all this blows over, and it will, you could sell these items online or at car boot sales.
Think positive- you could potentially earn some decent pocket money to treat yourself with or put towards bills. This may be the motivation you need to complete the task.
SORT OUT THE “DRAWER OF DOOM!”
You KNOW which one I’m talking about. Everyone has one. It’s where batteries (who knows which are used or unused?!) rubber bands, leaflets, old keys and lots more go to hang out. You probably struggle to even shut it properly?
Give it a good clean out, bin what’s unnecessary and recycle what you can. Do this for all applicable drawers, cupboards, boxes in this category.
I know you don’t want to tackle this task- but you’re going to feel so much better afterwards. Don’t stop until you’ve finished it, and reward yourself with a treat when it’s finished!
LOOK AFTER YOURSELF.
Whether you’re adversely affected by this virus or not, please take care of yourself. You may have children, relatives or neighbours who need looking after but you can’t do this if your own well is dry!
Keep busy and productive, but make time for yourself and relax. There’s lots of yoga and exercise channels on the internet that you can complete at home or in the garden, take a nice bath if you can make the time, read the books you’ve been meaning to get around to, take time to cook nice and nutritious meals or bake yummy goods. You’ll know what suits you best.
Maybe this is a good time to take up a new hobby you’ve been interested in, or get creative with what you already have- painting, drawing or upcycling furniture for example. The internet and resources are out there so make use of them.
Try and keep positive and maintain social distancing from the comfort of your home- but this doesn’t mean that you need to socially cut yourself off. Use technology and this time to catch up with and stay in contact with friends and family. I know groups of friends who are conducting “virtual pubs” over SKYPE or LOOM!
Reaching out to others will potentially brighten both your days. Do what you can for others, after you’ve taken care of yourself. This can be a positive time to reconnect, spend quality time with your family, play board games, or just talk.
Be mindful of minimising the amount of time you spend on technology though as the blue light emitted will elevate your Cortisol levels, and this is your stress hormone.
If you’re lucky enough to have a garden and the weather holds up, then get outside when you can. The fresh air will help you sleep better and improve your mood, and it’s a perfect time for weeding and clearing ahead of planting and rejuvenating for Spring.
I know this won’t appeal to or suit everyone as it’s very generic, but it’s ideas and tips I felt passionate about sharing and I hope you got at least something out of it.
Let me know in the comments below what you’re doing to cope, if you have any other ideas to share with the community and please share this article with anyone you think might benefit from it. Situations like we find ourselves in can bring out the worst in people- but they can also bring out the best. We will get through this and ride the storm together.
I’m here to chat to anyone who needs it, whether it’s about your home or anything else so please reach out. You’re not alone, even if you technically have to be right now.