How I’ve Been Spending My Time At Home
I’m a massive home bird. I love spending my time at home. But considering that I now live alone, and I ‘ve only recently been allowed to leave my home for non-essential reasons, it’s been easy for cabin fever to set in. My living space is now also my work space; my flat is a reasonable size, but I still feel confined at times. Everyone is getting through the current state of affairs in the best way for them; and I thought I’d share how I’m spending my time at home, in case it helps someone else out! Lockdown is far from over, so although we’re now able to slowly increase socially distanced interaction, it’s safe to say we’ll be cooped up for the foreseeable. However, I genuinely don’t see this as a bad thing.
Keeping the work/life balance
Working from home can be both a blessing and a curse. We’ve all sat in our pyjamas till lunch, wondering what the bigwigs would say if they could see us at that precise moment. And not commuting frees up both time and money! But many of us have also grabbed a quick snack from the fridge and carried on instead of taking a proper lunch break. Or logged on an hour early because “I’m up anyway”.
And while the odd hour or two extra can be productive depending on your job, it’s important to keep the balance in check. I make a point of shutting off my laptop during my lunch hour, so that I can’t just check my emails while eating my sandwich. I also make sure I have music playing whilst I work – my flat is far too quiet otherwise, and I struggle to concentrate!
Remote working has had mixed reviews in my socially distanced circles. Some miss the buzz of their office; the water cooler catch ups with colleagues. Others are enjoying a bit of peace and quiet! If you’re working from home, which camp are you in?
Nostalgia always makes me feel better when I’m feeling a bit crappy. I find great comfort in things which remind me of my childhood or other happier times. When I moved into my flat, I was worried about spending too much time at home alone; I’m so used to having someone else around. So I made sure that I have plenty of distractions – nostalgia style.
While I wouldnt call myself a gamer, I love my PlayStation 2 and my Wii – and have them both set up in my living room. I love spending hours playing games. Final Fantasy X has a special place in my heart! I also recently picked up Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland and The Urbz from The Sims games. I played them years ago on my sister’s Xbox, so it’s been a great trip down memory lane! American Wasteland has been harder than I remember, though…
Sorting my makeup room
I was SO excited to have my own makeup room when I bought my flat. It’s my creative space; most of my content will be shot in there. As you can imagine, I had quite a lot of beauty products to shift over, and I was left with boxes EVERYWHERE. You only realise how much stuff you have when you move!
This room has been my baby since I got the keys. It was my first DIY project, changing the walls from grey to pink. There are still some things to do (I want a new light fitting, plus a sofabed for guests and chilling) but I’m getting there! I’m finding organising my beauty products very therapeutic. I’ve taken inspo from Jamie Genevieve (I would have loved the full wall of PAX wardrobes, but I don’t have THAT much stuff!) One of my best (and cheapest purchases is my acrylic storage from Amazon – only £2.99 a tray, and they fit in Alex drawers. I love how it’s turning out. I might do a little tour once it’s all finished. That being said, I’ll need to keep it tidy first!
I never thought I’d be writing that. My friends who work in social media and digital marketing swore by the app, but I wrote it off as a fad for kids. After all, all I see on Twitter is people complaining about kids recording themselves doing dance routines in the middle of public places. Not exactly my style!
Well, in all honesty, I had a really rough Monday the other week. Lockdown day, actually. Really, really rough. I needed a distraction. So many people claimed to have downloaded it for a laugh and got hooked. So I dipped my toe in the water. Let’s just say I can never heard Blinding Lights without doing the dance ever again…
After watching for a day, I learned how to make my own, and ventured into my first video content in months. I love that it’s so different to Instagram and YouTube – the notion of perfection just isn’t there. It’s just people having fun. And I think that’s something I’ve been missing – the fun element. Back in my early YouTube days, I did a few videos involving sketches and things – they were fun to make, but I never saw myself as being particularly funny. or creative. But the tide is shifting – I’m probably still not funny, but I’m having a ball!
Catching up on TV
On my first night in the flat, the first thing I did was create a Netflix account. I’ve never had Netflix; my argument has always been “I don’t have time to watch TV”. But I’ve been conscious that I need to give myself some down time. As much as I’d like, I can’t be productive ALL the time. And when down time automatically equals spending my time at home, what better chance is there to catch up on the TV I’ve missed?
When I do watch TV, I watch to be entertained. To be cheered up. Distracted. I don’t watch films or programmes which require a lot of thought – usually by that point in the day, my brain is pretty tired out. So far, I’ve watched Love Is Blind, Too Hot To Handle, Celebs Go Dating, Baby Ballroom and Dancing Queen. That pretty much sums up my taste in TV! My watch list consists of reality shows, dance films, reality shows about dance… the perfect way to unwind after work. I hope it’s going to encourage me to get back to dance classes once the C word is under control!
I’ve also installed Disney+ on my TV. I’ve since discovered that Frozen 2 won’t be available until July, which is a tad disappointing. But there are plenty of Disney films that I’m yet to see. Tangled is top of my list! Not to mention the entire Marvel back catalogue. I’m also rewatching my old childhood favourites. I bawled my eyes out at Beauty and the Beast the other week. I also realised just how many jokes go over your head as a kid. Cogsworth is a witty wee clock. On a similar note, has anyone else been binge watching Recess?! I forgot how hilarious that programme was when I was growing up!
The odd bit of exercise
I think everyone’s doing this one, right? Or at least, they say they are! Someone (I forget who, sorry!) said on Twitter that they’re emerging from this crisis with a better bum than they started with. I laughed, but it’s a valid point. So I’ve been setting some time aside each day to do some squats and some flexibility stretches. I’ve looked up the guidance for both, because I’m definitely not a gym bunny. Part of me did briefly consider taking up running, but I think that was the cabin fever taking over.
Exercise is meant to be great for the ol’ MH – and let’s face it, we need all the help we can get right now. And if it means I can stretch better when I FINALLY get back to ballet properly, even better! I’m loving being able to take online classes in the meantime – 20DV from the Diversity team is definitely keeping my brain busy. And if you fancy giving it a go, they offer a free trial before you commit to a subscription – definitely worth checking out.
But now that things are easing…
I’m wondering whether things will go back to “normal”. I don’t really have a “normal” yet. I think that a lot of attitudes and perceptions have changed over the past few months. Many organisations are realising that it is possible to work remotely and flexibly – and that in some cases, it suits both the employee and the business if balanced well. Hopefully that flexibility will continue once we start to recover from this pandemic; a concept that seems a million miles away right now.
Some people have taken up new interests and hobbies during lockdown – I’ve been learning Japanese, for example. I’ve also seen a thousand completed jigsaw puzzles and banana bread loaves on my socials. I hope that people find the time to continue these activities once normal service resumes; we’re clearly enjoying these things, and I hope we don’t lose sight of that.
I also hope that we become more selfish and honest once the C word passes. Spending my time at home has made me think about my schedule, and my social interactions. About how many nights out I didn’t feel up to attending, but went anyway so as not to appear boring, or even flaky. But dealing with a pandemic puts things into perspective, and I’ve seen more people be honest about how they’re feeling. Putting themselves first. Admitting that they’re not in the mood for yet another catch up because they’re having a bad day or two. And those around them have been perfectly understanding. I really, really hope that this continues post-Corona. We’re all human and dealing with things as we see fit – and sometimes we need to take a little time for ourselves.
How have you been spending your time at home? Have you picked up any new hobbies? xx