With this year completely turning the world upside down, day-to-day living hasn’t quite felt the same has it?
It feels like we have been constantly adapting to new restrictions and changing our plans over and over again. It’s not been easy and for me when I look back at March when everything was getting very serious I still feel I haven’t completely got the hang of things!
What I’ve learnt is to take each day as it comes and not plan too far ahead (lets face it those plans will most likely be quashed anyway!). Although my routine has completely changed I do make sure I include certain things in my day to keep me sane, calm and settled amongst all the scary news. Activities like exercising in the morning and allowing little treats here and there have been important to me as well as keeping in touch with loved ones. Although every day can feel different from the next I have made sure to do the following three things every day to keep me going...
This one seems like a bit of an obvious one since the saying says ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’ but apparently only two thirds of adults in the UK have breakfast regularly. To me, I can’t go without it. Breakfast allows me to ease into the day and, especially during these Covid times, it has allowed me to take a moment before feeling like I have to get on with my day. It helps me reflect on my goals for the day and most importantly wake myself up fully. Not to mention I love eating breakfast food. I like mixing up my breakfast as having the same thing every morning is not something I would enjoy, so I make sure to have something different pretty much everyday. It might be porridge, cereal, toast or a treat at the weekend, including pastries, pancakes or a fry up – yum!
I may not be starving for some food early in the morning but I know it will give me the nutrients and energy I need for whatever lies ahead.
I absolutely love a podcast. I can’t understand a time when we didn’t have podcasts and yet it wasn’t that long ago. A podcast is an audio programme that can be on any subject depending on what you listen to. Like breakfast, I like to mix up my genres from interesting interviews, feminism or past radio programmes (I’m loving Sounds of the 90s on BBC Sounds atm, bringing that nineties nostalgia ringing through my ears).
I usually listen to podcasts when I’m doing something that doesn’t require much thought – like walking or cleaning. It keeps me informed, like the pod 'Americast' which is all about the build up to the American Election, and I relate to a lot of what I listen to, keeping me engaged and uplifted.
Some of my favourite Pods:
How To Fail With Elizabeth Day – I discovered this podcast about a year ago thanks to the recommendation from my sister. These episodes are so good for the soul. The premise is about the guest, a vast choice of well known names across various industries, choosing three failures from their life and talking through them with the author and journalist Elizabeth. It's about how your failures can actually shape your life for the better, eventually leading to success. The failures chosen have varied from career decisions, love, loss or past actions. I get excited each time an episode pops up on my feed and relish each valuable insight that is said.
David Tennant Does A Podcast With... - Exactly what it says on the tin. David Tennant interviews a guest and chats about their life. It’s a simple concept but what I love is the variety of guests that he has. Series 1 included chats with Whoopi Goldberg and Michael Sheen and in the current series I have enjoyed hearing about the intriguing lives of George Takei, Tim Minchin and Brian Cox (have you watched Succession yet? - it's SO good). His informal interview style and friendly approach always leads to a heart-warming and insightful listen.
I also love:
- The Guilty Feminist, Deborah Frances-White
- Happy Place, Fearne Cotton
- I Weigh, Jameela Jamil
My final must have activity during my day is to read something and no, scrolling an endless twitter thread doesn’t count, although I am guilty of that. Being able to find time to do some reading helps me calm the mind and open up into a different world. I read a variety of things from articles, books/plays, The Stage Newspaper and autobiographies. Books are a gift and I don’t know what I would do without them. Like podcasts, I feel I can be swept up into a different space where my brain only has to focus on that one thing rather than all the overwhelming thoughts that may be going through my mind. It’s definitely my happy place to find a cosy seat, book in hand and a cuppa nearby.
Of course there are many other things that I do every day that are good and maybe not so good for me or some things that I should do each day but currently don’t. I’ve tried to keep creative consistently to keep those expressive muscles going but I’ve also been on social media a lot which can be time wasting and not so good for the mind. I also wish that I went out more to get some fresh air but with a pandemic on there is usually a reason not to, especially with winter on its way. I listen to music a lot which keeps me focused and feeling good but I also find my mind worrying over things big or small. Some things we can’t help and that’s okay.
It’s important to be kind to yourself through these difficult times, find those regular activities that keep your body and mind happy and not feel so bad about the things you know you shouldn’t be doing – If it gets you through another day during a pandemic, you’re doing great.