Since Tuesday 17 March at midday we have been put into confinement here in France and although we have been told it will be for 15 days, a lot of us realise that in reality, it could be much longer. Of course, the idea of being stuck inside for an unknown amount of time is pretty terrifying, but we all know why we are staying indoors. And as hard as it is, we know it’s for the best if we want to beat this worldwide pandemic.
So, in honour of these very strange times, I wanted to give you my ten ways I plan on staying sane. In the hope that this will also help you to get through these tough times.
With our hectic lives we rarely get the time to sit and devour a good book. Use this time to detach from your screen, especially if you’re working from home, and have a well-deserved break from technology (something we often forget to do).
My top reads right now are (with their amazon links if you’d like to purchase one):
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
Eat, Nourish, Glow by Amelia Freer
2) Exercise at Home
It’s never easy to get motivated when you’re stuck inside but working out does wonders for your mental health! As we all know, exercise releases endorphins, which we are going to need more than ever during the confinement. All you need to be able to do these great exercises, is a yoga mat. If you have weights that’s great too but not necessary for the exercise videos below. If you don’t have a mat, don’t worry! Amazon is still delivering during the confinement so you can order one online and it will arrive in just a few days.
My favourite channels for at home workouts are:
Emi Wong – her fifteen minute HIIT workout for beginners
HASfit – 10 minute abdominal workout
Pamela Reif – 20 min full body workout
I feel like our pantry is often full, but sometimes I find myself wondering what to cook. I’ve set myself a challenge while we are stuck indoors, to try to use all of our food in new, different ways. I’ve been reading a lot of cookbooks and trying out new recipes. It’s definitely time to get creative and most importantly, waste as little food as possible. This week I’ll be trying out a vegan chilli from The Ginger Wanderlust and Amelia Freer’s roasted vegetable soup. Why not make something you’ve never made before? We have time! Or follow along with one of Molly Wilkinson‘s surprise bake alongs and get your pastry chef hat on? Molly is even doing an online pastry workshop starting Saturday 28th. You can find more details here. Molly is sure to put a smile on your face with her positive energy!
4) Sign up to some Online Classes
Last year I did a course with UDEMY and absolutely loved it. I signed up to two more courses yesterday, both related to creative writing. They offer a lot of different courses for very reasonable prices (I paid 10 euros each for my courses on special offer). You even get a certificate at the end when you have completed the entire course.
There is also The Great Courses Plus where you can sign up for a free trial as long as you use their app! No more excuses for not working on that project you never find time for.
5) Make a Photobook of your Travels
We have been to New York together twice in the last two years and I have been meaning to make a photobook for months. With all this extra time on my hands, making a photobook is going to be a good form of therapy! It makes me so happy to look over our travel photos and also makes me think about the future, and all the places we want to go next.
Here are a few sites you can use to make your photobook:
Although it’s definitely more difficult to socialise now, it is far from impossible. Applications such as Zoom and Houseparty (my personal favourite) are making it easier than ever to keep in touch with our friends and family. Plan apéro evenings, pub quizzes and game nights to keep yourselves busy. All of these things will help us to stay sane and help us feel connected to the outside world.
7) Watch TV, but not too much of it
Being able to binge watch your favourite series is most people’s idea of heaven. However, when you know it could last for months, it suddenly becomes less appealing. Pace yourself and mix watching the TV with other activities so you don’t sink into a weird kind of confinement induced depression. TV can be great, in moderation.
If you’re looking for some good uplifting series and films to watch on Netflix try:
- To All the Boys I’ve ever Loved
- Sex Education
- Grace & Frankie
8) Let Fresh air into your Apartment!
This might sound strange but as we can’t go outside, opening up your windows and airing out your flat as much as possible will help you feel better. Especially on sunny days. If you don’t have a balcony, try to put pillows on the floor by the window or on the window ledge (if it’s safe to do so) and have a read or just relax in the sunlight. A bit of fresh air will do you and your mind so much good!
9) Plan Your Next Trip
I know this might be hard to do but I think it’s really important to focus on the future, even in these uncertain times. We were supposed to go to Japan for three weeks in April and although I am obviously really disappointed that we can’t go, I know it’s best to focus on trying to plan for a later date. I am already looking forward to re-planning our trip so that it’s even more spectacular next time. If you have had a trip cancelled or postponed, try to think of some of the positive things that could come out of it.
Personally I am happy to have more time to save spending money, more time to plan, more time to learn some Japanese vocabulary and more time to read all the guide books we have (as I was nowhere near finished with them)!
10) Stay Positive
Easier said than done sometimes, we all know that, but a positive attitude is the key to surviving this situation. This will end eventually and we will be more grateful than ever before for everything in our lives. We will be so grateful when we visit places, when we taste new dishes and hear new languages. And we will love stronger, hug harder and be more grateful than ever before for our freedom, friends and families. We took even the smallest of things for granted and we should remember that after this is all over.
Stay strong, stay positive and we will get through this together!