After marking the Pandemiversary not too long ago, we’re finally allowed to celebrate with a drink outdoors. The nation’s high streets feel like they’re in full bloom, with shops, restaurants, and pubs beginning to re-open (you can even get a haircut if you manage to nab an appointment). But if your diary is filling up faster than an unattended bath and you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed about life returning to its pre-pandemic pace, well, you’re not alone. If there’s one thing we’ve learnt from the year that’s been, it’s the importance of slowing down. So with that in mind, if things do get a bit much, here are Daisy’s top 10 ways to revitalise and restore yourself from home.
1. A wind-down evening yoga practice
There are few things in life that yoga can't fix or at the very least help you feel better about. Though yogis have been reaping the rewards for thousands of years, yoga's wellness credentials are now backed by science. Improved sleep quality, reduced stress and anxiety are just a few of the health benefits of jumping on your mat. If you're having a particularly stressful day, why not exhale it away with a relaxing evening yin practice. We love this gentle session from the number one Youtube Yogi, 'Yoga with Adriene'.
2. If you can't go to the spa, bring it home to you
Plan ahead and order some of your favourite products. Whatever it is: facial, pedicure, or hair treatment, stock up on the treatments or utensils you require and book yourself in for an at-home spa appointment. Alternatively, just earmark the bathroom for the evening, light some of your favourite candles, and read a book or watch your favourite movie in bubbles, guilt-free.
3. Sweat it out
There's nothing like a gruelling work out class to get those positive endorphins kicking. Barry's Bootcamp has been keeping us trim with their bodyweight workouts. Oh, and they don't let you hide with your camera off, so there's no cheating!
Whilst just five minutes a day is said to help reduce stress and anxiety, a deep meditation practice will also do you a world of wonders. Why not try something different, like Trataka meditation? An ancient Ayurvedic technique, sit cross-legged, with your eyes slightly open and your focus on a candle flame. You can set a timer if you like, or just meditate for as long as you can or until you begin to feel uncomfortable. Best done in the evening, in a dimly lit room, Trataka is unbelievably relaxing and will almost guarantee a good night's sleep.
5. Put pen to paper
Whether it's journaling, free or creative writing, there's something about putting pen to paper that helps us to mentally download. Why not try this super easy free-writing exercise to begin.
Step 1: Choose your title. It could be anything like 'My childhood friend', 'The thing about grown-ups', or 'Summer holidays': something that gets in touch with your inner-child side.
Step 2: Set the timer for between 5-10 minutes, depending on how long you want to write for.
Step 3: Get writing! Whatever you do, don't stop. Don't think about what you're writing. Just get it down onto paper.
Step 4: Pens down. Once the timer's gone off (go on, finish your sentence), it's time to wrap up. Re-read what you've written – you might be surprised with what you've come up with! Now, if you want to tweak it, you can. Et voila! You've created a piece of creative writing.
6. Go on an online retreat
Zoom has proved you can do almost anything online and retreat providers have been so ingenious about tailoring their experiences for an online audience. Wellness warriors like Queen of Retreats have a great list of online experiences, from writing to yoga retreats, that you can join in on from the comfort of your home.
7. Get creative
Pencil, paintbrush, pastels or pottery, whatever your medium, get creating. There is something so meditative about becoming engrossed in an art project. What's more, you have something to show off at the end of it! If you're a total novice or would like some guidance, London Art College has offered classes throughout lockdown. But really, it's about the process, not the finished product.
8. Try a digital detox
On the flip side, you could try going off-grid. How long, you decide just your nearest and dearest know so they don't think you're ignoring them! It's incredible how much time you free up when you're not scrolling through your phone or binge-watching Netflix.
9. If in doubt, dance it out
We're craving a boogie more than ever but if you can't get to the dancefloor, recreate it in your living room. We love this playlist by 5 Rhythms legend Benjamin Crystal. If you've never tried (or heard of) 5 Rhythms before, their website describes it as "a dynamic movement practice". Taking you through different stages of high intensity and relaxation, more than anything, it's a great way to let off steam.
10. If nothing else, get some sleep
You know when you were younger and your Mum would tell you to have a nap? Well, she had a point. Of all the at-home healing techniques we’ve mentioned, sleep is the most powerful. Nature's little battery charger, it’s completely free and accessible to everyone. So if you’re really going through it, Dr Daisy prescribes 40 winks or a very early night.
We hope these help. Things are looking up and the world as we knew it is so close we can almost taste it. But it’s still so important to look after ourselves and those around us. Until then we’re staying positive and looking forward to more good news and good weather.