A lot of you may be unsure on what to do with your time during the Coronavirus Lockdown. A lot of people have lost their jobs or have more free time due to the fact that they are working from home (On average a London commute is 3 hours of your day that you no longer have to do!). It’s also a time where we are physically disconnected from our work colleagues, friends and even some family members. All of this is a mental toll on us all and can bring about a lot of alone time.
Alone time shouldn’t be something that we are afraid of. If anything we should see this time as a time for much needed quality ‘Me Time’. A time for self-reflection, self-love, to discover our passions, our drives and our inner selves.
_DateNight_ is here to help you with this. Here are our top ‘Me Time’ ideas to help enhance your time in lockdown for a positive outcome.
1.) Spa Day:
This is one of the most obvious ‘me time’ ideas but don’t dismiss this as actually spending time on one’s body, pampering yourself is therapeutic for the body and the mind. It’s a way to slow down, relax and put yourself first. Mentally this is a very important thing to do. We often juggle between work, friends, family life, chores and other commitments. The modern work has taught us to do things that keep us so busy that most people don’t know how to switch off and relax, to the point where getting ‘burn out’ is a much more common thing than it should be!
Put yourself first for once and give yourself a well deserved pamper. This can be in many forms but the most obvious is to carry out some beauty treatments such as face masks, home manicure kits, hair oils and foot spas. Now this is not just for women, there are numerous products out there for men too!
I recommend the following beauty products for your pamper session:
This is a good exercise to really understand your inner self. We need to understand ourselves in order to understand what we need and what we can offer to others in terms of love, care and physical acts also.
A good way of self-reflecting is to work on a journal. Even if its just for a week or a month or so, it’s a way of jotting down your mood, your desires and goals, and ultimately your mindset.
3.) Learn something new:
‘Me Time’ is also a time that you can dedicate on your self-development. You can always learn a new skill or enhance an existing skill further. This can come in many forms. Perhaps you wanted to learn the next level in scripting in the IT industry or you wanted to get to Advanced level in a particular language. Use your quality ‘me time’ to gain and enhance new skills.
There is an enormous variety of courses that you can take online and an enormous amount of resources. I have added links to the ones that _DateNight_ thinks are the best for the most common areas of self-development.
- Languages: https://www.duolingo.com/courses – offering free language courses and they have a mobile app version
- Udemy – offering 30 days free on all of their online courses across a number of subject areas.
- FutureLearn – offering a variety of courses as well as management and wellbeing courses: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/collections/management
- OpenLearn – offering free courses online, good for learning the basics or beginner level of subjects and for the younger generation: https://www.open.edu/openlearn/free-courses
We often never have time to focus on our hobbies with the hectic lifestyles that we lead. For those of you with more time due to the lockdown, now is the time to really focus on your hobbies and schedule a ‘me time date night’ to enjoy them!
Again there is an enormous array of hobbies to choose from but the most common are Art, Music, Cooking, DIY and keeping fit.
When you think about your hobby, think about how you can do things differently and work with what you have. For example, when most people think of Art they think of paintings and drawings. Explore what Art is for you, it’s not the same for everyone! Art could be photographic – if you have a polaroid camera, play around with it and see if you can capture different types of exposure. Art could be working with the things you have at home such as utensils and food. Art could be body art. Art could be painting but a muriel on the back of the house in your garden.
With music, maybe you already have instruments at home and you have never had the time to play them or learn a new level. There are so many youtube videos on how to teach yourself a variety of instruments. If you do not have any instruments at home, this could be a great opportunity to be creative in another way and make an instrument out of wood or metal or even household items, such as plastic containers filled with different things to make a variety of tones (DIY drum kit).
Cooking is a big one at the moment with the lockdown but why not use it to inspire your creative side. Experiment with new cuisines that you have never tried before but also set yourself challenges. You could look at creating a meal for the whole household in a certain budget or create something new with only larder ingredients or teach yourself how to make fresh bread or even learn how to bake a cake for those ISO-birthdays in April & May.
DIY is a great hobby to have whilst we are stuck in our homes. All those little jobs that need to be done and have been pushed out for months and months. Get onto it now! Give your home a revamp by re-painting some of the rooms. Have a spring clean and then up-cycle some of your clothes into upholstery for your newly painted rooms. Create a new mirror by adding items to the frame or re-varnishing it. There is so much you can do, the list is endless.
Keeping fit is not only more important in lockdown but you may find that you actually enjoy it and it becomes a hobby as a result of the current situation. It is very important for our health and really a separate way of taking care of ourselves. However as a hobby I do think it’s important that it’s something that you enjoy also. Exercise doesn’t have to be strict workout regimes or weight lifting at home. It can be so many things also. You may have a family and want to create a family sports day in the garden in these warmer days or you may want to and enjoy circuit training. You can create your own obstacle courses in the garden to carry out both of these. You may also have a passion for dancing and there are several YouTube channels dedicated to fitness and dance that you can follow. Another option can be to explore yoga and Pilates as a way to centre yourself as well as build on your core strength and stretches.
I recommend the following links to help explore any of the above hobbies further:
5.) Mindfulness, Meditation and Prayer:
It’s important to give ourselves time to think. Practising mindfulness, meditation and prayer are all ways that you can do this. If you are religious now is a good time to practise what your religion teaches you and pray. Remembering God no matter how religious you are is a good thing. We should take stock of what we have and be grateful for it. We should remember how precious life is and how lucky we are that we still have it amongst the dangers that we face today.
If you are not religious you can still practice mindfulness. Mindfulness involves being aware of your present state whether it is your thoughts, your surroundings, your bodily sensations or your feelings. It takes a bit of practice but it’s a good way to train your mind to focus on the here and now rather than racing into the past or the future. It’s a good way to stop yourself from over-thinking about something that is upsetting or negative and to stop anxiety and worry about the future.
Meditation is also a good exercise during lockdown to help you to focus, to stop yourself from over-thinking or stop anxiety and to help improve your concentration.
I recommend the following courses, websites and videos to help with mindfulness and meditation:
- Self-love exercise: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4tc9hnXVk8&t=3s
- https://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Meditate-meditation-discovered-successful/dp/1729380786 (available on Kindle as well as paperback on Amazon)
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