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Arts + Lifestyle

Lockdown 2.0: How To Do It Properly

Lockdown is fatiguing. While in theory we should have stores of excess energy (due to restricted movement and copious amounts of banana bread) the word on the tip of our tongue when reflecting on lockdown OG is “exhausting”.

This time around, there’s some comfort in knowing what to expect and in our ability to modify our past behaviours accordingly.

Whether you’re resigned to just getting through the next four weeks, feeling anxious about the month ahead or experiencing a renewed thrill in the prospect of slower-paced living, we’ve a range of suggestions for how you might approach lockdown take two.

1. Reading list 2.0

First-time round we went into overdrive with reading lists, the purchasing of items on said reading lists, and talking (at length) about all our well-intentioned literary purchases. This time, we’re hoping to actually read some of our expanding library. Our new approach: carving out an hour of reading time before bed, with electronic devices turned off and tucked away. We’re big believers in bibliotherapy – the idea that reading can have a beneficial effect on mental health; worth a try, particularly if meditation isn’t your bag.

2. Make your bedroom a place of rest, not work

Kitchen tables the country over have been conquered by double screens while stacks of cookbooks continue to moonlight as laptop stands; still it’s better to cause chaos in the communal areas of the home than in your bedroom, right? We’re firm believers that sleep and serenity should take priority; it’s important not to associate your bedroom with stress and anxiety – which can be tricky to do if you’re working from your bed from AM to PM. This time round we’re pledging to keep our bedrooms tidy and free of clutter (bar our nightstand’s worth of wunderbar skincare, of course) and limiting our Netflix binging… maybe.

3. Get creative

Pinterest board overrun with inspiration after months of pinning? Why not give your pinning finger a well deserved rest and try converting one of your saved inspos into something made by you? Sure, we’ve all seen the disaster posts of rogue “replicas”, but arts and crafts should not be overlooked in this next phase of downtime when it comes to helping you unwind and reset. Needlework, pottery, flower arranging, painting, portraiture… the possibilities are endless, and you’d be surprised how therapeutic focusing on a creative task can be. For something equally creative (but with a little more structure) flick through Business of Fashion’s online courses – Lucinda Chambers’ Fashion Styling and Image Making curriculum is a real standout.

4. Learn to cook

If your culinary skills aren’t the sharpest in the utensil drawer, consider this your chance to improve. Start simple – with a hearty autumnal soup perhaps. Once you’ve built up your confidence and dabbled in a little improv, make use of the umpteen online cooking courses and get inspired. We’ve just discovered Dominique Ansel’s French Pastry Fundamentals online tutorial (costed at £85) – side note: is butter a carb? For those with less of a sweet tooth (and seeking something more comprehensive) commit to Michelin chef Gordon Ramsay’s 20-part cooking course available on Masterclass. Now that you’ve a little extra time to play with, it’s time to conquer the kitchen.

5. Get outside

With gyms closed, tapping into alternative forms of exercise has never been more important. If the first lockdown taught us anything, it’s that building up a consistent workout routine can have such a positive impact on our mood and overall health. Whether it’s a lap of the park tuning into your favourite podcast, a coffee and catch up with a friend as you take in some fresh air, or a welcomed change of scene, getting outdoors is paramount when it comes to our wellbeing and mental health. We have an awful lot to thank endorphins for; make sure you’re getting your fill.

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