Survival in these unprecedented times means different things to different people. But whatever your situation, it’s the little things like fresh flowers, wine o’clock, and daily walks that can help us “survive” #stayhome during the coronavirus lockdown.
I wanted to write a lighthearted post just to share some of the little things I’m doing at home in my day-to-day, hopefully to give you some ideas and inspiration. But it’s hard to keep the tone light when so many real battles for survival are taking place.
#Stayhome has its challenges, but it’s also a privilege compared to the valiant hospital staff who are literally on the front lines of this pandemic, and all those risking their lives to keep our supply chains and support services going.
So before I jump into my #Stayhome tips, I’d like to take a moment to share something I read the other day that is so true. It’s about how we are in the same storm, but not in the same boat.
We are not in the same boat
I keep hearing that everyone is in the same boat. But it’s really not like that. We are in the same storm yes, but we are not in the same boat.
Your ship can be shipwrecked and mine cannot. Or vice versa.
For some, quarantine is optimal and full of moments of reflection, of reconnection and peace. Life is easy in flip flops, with a glass of Coke or or a cup of tea in hand. For others it is facing real loneliness.
For some, it means peace, rest time and a bit of a holiday.
For others, this is a desperate crisis, as they wonder how they are going to pay their bills?
Some were in their “home office” doing all they can to protect the company they work for and still do an honest days work from home.
Others are looking through rubbish bins to survive.
Some want to go back to work because they are running out of money..
Others want to kill those who break the quarantine.
Some need to break the quarantine to stand in a queue at the supermarket. Others just really want to escape.
So, friends, we are not in the same boat.
We are going through a time when our perceptions and needs are completely different.
And each one will emerge, in his/her own way, from that storm.
Some with a tan from their pool. Others with scars on the soul.
Do not underestimate the pain of others if you do not feel it.
Do not judge the good life of others, do not condemn the bad life of others. Just don’t be a judge. Let us not judge the one who lacks, as well as the one who exceeds him.
We are on different ships and all looking to survive. Let everyone navigate their route with respect, empathy and responsibility. Stop the judgement and be kind.
– Author unknown
The truth is, we all have our own crosses to bear and blessings to count. So what use is it to criticise, compare and compete, when at the heart of it we are all just trying to survive the same storm? Things are often not how they look from the outside. Even the strongest of ships can sink, while the flimsiest of boats can make it back to shore.
8 #Stayhome Survival Tips!
1. Goodbye Supermarket, HelloFresh
As part of #stayhome, the fewer trips to the supermarket, the better, which is why I am so thankful for food delivery services such as HelloFresh! HelloFresh saved my life once, and now they’re doing it again as they continue their amazing service through these difficult times. Click here for £20 off your first box.
While #stayhome can be a way to save money from all the coffees, brunches and dinners you would otherwise be having, our custom is needed now more than ever. Many local restaurants and cafes are delivering, while their suppliers are also selling direct to customers at wholesale prices. Focusing on the positives, the quality and variety of food delivery services has never been better!
2. Bringing the Outdoors In
Now that I’m in the house all day, one small change I’ve made that’s making all the difference to my mental health is having a vase of flowers next to me while I work. Although I already maxed out on plants from Patch long ago, I used to only buy flowers for special occasions since they can be expensive. But they don’t have to be.
I recently discovered Freddie’s Flowers, which deliver fresh flowers each week on subscription for just £25. I say just, because you have to see the flowers! Each month I get 4 free boxes to give away, so if you’re quick, try using my code LaraO41. Another flower delivery service I love is Bloom & Wild, which have both one-off and subscription services.
The flower industry has also taken a major hit due to mass cancellations of weddings and a freeze in hospitality. Even as we miss out on so many birthdays and events, we can help support the industry by sending flowers. Flowers are a great gift even if just to remind someone that you are thinking of them.
3. Workouts on Zoom
There are no excuses! Yes, our gyms and fitness classes have closed their doors. But they have all since moved online, inviting you to join them in live or recorded classes. Especially if you’re doing wine o’clock (see below), you should really make exercise a priority…
I’m still doing my Stretch and Tone postnatal classes on Zoom with the amazing Maya from Fit Bumps and Babies. She is one of the few properly trained in what is safe and best for pre and postnatal bodies and I can’t recommend her enough. In addition to exercising at home, it’s also important to go out for walks, runs or bike rides if safe for you to do so. We all need some fresh air.
4. Wine o’clock, bitches
Flowers and yoga should be your Plan A, but when/if that fails, consider wine your Plan B. After 7 weeks of staying at home with my husband and baby, let’s just say things got a little tense… While these are 100% first world problems, not having a cleaner, nanny, family or friends to help out and offer a break is the kind of exhausting that can feel a little like a Chinese water torture.
Hear me out! Water itself isn’t torture. In fact, I love water more than anything. But a slow, never-ending drip of water on the top of my skull is. And that’s how endless days at home can feel like torture for some people. Do not fear, Captain Wine is here! Whatever it is for you that helps take the edge off, a glass of wine, a bottle of beer, a tumbler of whiskey… Cheers to that. You’ve earned it.
5. Productivity-boosting Apps
About a month ago, I started a new job in corona times. And it feels weird, you know, not meeting your colleagues in person, but so far so good. I’ve been doing this blogging thing for a while now, so it’s been a few years since I had any colleagues. And wow, a lot has changed!
First of all, if you’re working from home and not using productivity apps, you’re not doing 2020 right. At my company we use Slack, a work communication tool that is intended to reduce email clutter and… it’s fucking awesome. Watch their video if you don’t already know what they do. There are hundreds of great apps out there. Zoom, Dropbox, Zapier, GoToMeeting, Evernote, Fantastical, take your pick!
6. Adapting to the Slow Lifestyle
When there is less to go round, it’s super important to think extra carefully about how we spend our money. And it doesn’t matter whether your spending power is big or small, what we choose to spend our money on has a wider impact than we often realise.
When I think about the delivery men and women who are continuing their services through this time and the businesses who are the most affected by #Stayhome, it seems obvious that we need to think before we buy. But for many years already, that kind of careful consumption has been a big part of what the slow lifestyle movement is all about.
From how and what you eat to where, what and from who you buy, it’s about increasing our awareness of the impact our consumer and lifestyle choices have on both our own health and the environment. So please, don’t buy crap online because you’re bored when you could be making a bigger difference in people’s lives.
7. Pay It Forward
I’ve always loved the concept of pay it forward, ever since I saw the movie, do you remember it? A little kindness goes a long way, especially in times like these. From helping an elderly neighbour with groceries to making donations to charity, there are many ways we can pay it forward.
How and where we donate is a deeply personal matter. But if we have a relationship with someone who we usually pay and cannot work right now, like your cleaner, for example, please keep paying like you would if at all possible.
In the photo above, I’m wearing the Dazed Dress by Georgia Hardinge, where 50% of the profits goes to Age UK, the UK’s leading charity dedicated to helping older people, who are some of the most affected by the coronavirus.
8. Thinking of Time
Whatever boat you’re in, one symptom we all have is time. It’s the one thing we all have in common, only it’s up to us how we use it. Time with our families, time alone, time to do better at keeping in touch, time to work harder on a project, time to learn something new, time to relax, time to do nothing, time to do everything, time to cherish, time to waste, and time we will never get back again. Life goes on, #stayhome, the world will reopen, and we will meet again.