What to do in Lockdown…

I’ve been summoned by an intense feeling of Deja ve since Thursday. My eyes have veered towards the glass window as the quietness again looms across our city. Seeking the tweets of distant birds now fluttering on tropic lands, we Brits have bowed down to a shadowed and chilly version of what shook us in March. So how do we shine a light on another treacherous lonely enclosure? My article will discuss looking at the next month with a view of opportunities, rather than seeking dread and trepidation.

IT’S BOOK CLUB TIME

There’s something incredibly humbling about expanding your knowledge. Why is it our generation turns to this therapeutic activity when there’s nothing else on offer? Not only does reading connect you deeply with a writer's emotion, but it provides you with facts once never explored. It’s one of the oldest forms of fulfillment through the ages, but we gave it up once better alternatives tickled our fancy.

Not only that, but the choice is endless; and all within a budget. Whether you read 10 pages when you wake up to motivate you out of bed, reminding you of a fantasy world outside your four walls. Or whether you switch off at lunch to distract yourself from an intruding client at work who constantly demands your attention. Dive back into the enjoyment of losing yourself within the pages of a cover. Here are 5 recommendations for the next four weeks.

  1. Queenie — Candice Carty Williams
  2. The Good News — Ruby Wax
  3. Women Don’t Owe you Pretty — Florence Given
  4. This is not a Drill — Extension Rebellion
  5. Can’t Even — Anne Helen Petersen

USE YOUR MORNINGS

Lockdown has created animosity for mornings. For the millions working from home, this journey started with people smirking from their bedsides only having to walk downstairs for 9am. It’s now transformed into hatred as we cover our toes from entering the cold. As the Harvard Business Review previously reported, biologist Christoph Randler discovered that “people whose performance peaks in the morning are better positioned for career success, because they’re more proactive than people who are at their best in the evening.”

Let me ask you. When you wake up on holiday to the waves crashing, submerged in your foamed mattress, as the sun crawls into your eyelids, do you curl up repulsed under your sheet? Or do you jump onto the balcony like a baby monkey to feel the warmth on your skin? Seek the morning like any other. Walk around the block for 30 minutes and listen to some 90’s classic’s. Yes, it’s bloody freezing in November but grab your hat and gloves and demand the steps. Who knows, you may have an attractive companion striding along to ‘Black Eyed Peas’ nearby. You have no idea what surprises might be following you until the evening draws in.

PLAN FOR SOMETHING GREAT

Planning is something us Londoners cling to like Snoop Dogg and his marijuana. We jam our diaries with coffee meetings and wine socials so that we only have fifteen minutes of free time to dwell over the week. It’s a rough time for us millennials, not seeing the notifications on the horizon for your next meetups, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do some damn good research why you’re waiting.

Your friend likes chocolate you say? Find the best pancake house serving chocolate toppings for December in the city? Haven’t taken your boyfriend to a brewery yet? Look into the best-rated ones across town so that once the doors spring open, he’s high fiving you whilst dribbling ale from his beard. We may not be able to book, but we sure can filter out the best from the best.

COOK SOMETHING YOU’VE NEVER TRIED BEFORE

With restaurants sadly turning their closure signs around, it’s time to make best friends with your fridge. The winter evenings mean darker times ahead, so there’s no excuse for that two-hour dish you wanted to attempt last year but never quite had the time. Remember when the recipe said ‘you could make the pastry from scratch’ and you laughed and brought it from Tesco. Well this time you can finally say, yes Ottolenghi I will.

Make sauces you never knew you could like mayo or sweet chilli, try some sweet bread for your mornings, or whip up a batch of fresh soup for the week. This is the one time in your life you have an opportunity to experiment with your ingredients. Try a diet you always wanted to tackle but couldn’t stick to because of holidays or eating out. Educate yourself with spices, most British people don’t, on what you can bring out in dishes! Be that chef for a month… just remember to have your smoke alarm on incase!

DECLUTTER

Is there anything better than getting your shit together? Have you ever walked into a well-organised room and instantly felt your anxiety lift at the openness of the space? It truly helps your brain function. It’s been proven cleaning your spaces help you focus more, as Mikael Cho notes on Lifehacker.com, “Whether it be your closet or office desk, excess things in your surroundings can have a negative impact on your ability to focus and process information.”

Get to work in that bedroom! Take a Saturday with your favourite podcast, and a double packet of digestives, and donate that denim mini-skirt you wore once in 2009. Running your hands through a decluttered wardrobe is incredibly satisfactory. So is erasing old photos on your mobile of screenshots from Asos last year. Make room for the new and thrilling memories ahead when these homebound weeks are over!

If you need some assistance watch Marie Kondo on Netflix, she practically sorts your life out for you.

SIGN UP TO A WEBINAR

I’m not saying you need to commit to a two-hour heated debate about the recent American election, we all know when to shut off when it’s needed, but there are hundreds of live events across platforms engaging people. It’s a chance to feel part of a community, listening to people's views whilst adding your own insight. It’s worrying to think our society fears communication after we reopen our doors. Londoners' could take a while to boost their confidence to what it once was after months of bedroom living, but webinars are helping to grow across the city again with these events.

Listen to a Q & A with your favourite director, watch what’s happening with the environment agreement across the world, or do some live drawing with friends. Our internet is our underlying hero through this segregated period of our lives.

Some great webinars can be found here:

Film Critic, Film Writer, Film Journalist. HI. www.itsnotthatboring.com