So here we are again, in the midst of another full National Lockdown as we head out of 2020 and into 2021. With restrictions expected to last until at least the middle of February, for most of us this will mean much more time away from those we usually connect with and spending more time indoors. While lockdown was previously carried out throughout spring, this time it will be during winter. It seems important then, that we try to find some positives to help us through those dark evenings. So, let’s explore some things that might help to light up the dark as we bolt down the hatches for another period at home:
Nature / Seals
We may be spending more time indoors, but we can still leave the house for our daily exercise, and what better food for our souls than being out in nature? If you live somewhere by the coast, like Cornwall, that could mean a walk on the local beach. Where if you are lucky you may get to see some of those gorgeous little creatures of the sea - The Atlantic Grey Seals that live there throughout the year.
At this time of year The Cornish Seal Sanctuary, do some amazing work by rescuing pups, who get into all sorts of trouble during the winter storms. Through becoming caught up in discarded fishing nets, or from ingesting plastics that have been dumped in the ocean.
The sanctuary works hard to get the pups back to full health before they can be released back into the wild. On average it costs £2,000 to rehabilitate each pup, before that can happen. Unfortunately, during the last lockdown, although the sanctuary is outside, it sadly had to close. This is also the case this time. Without visitors it becomes increasingly difficult for the sanctuary to generate an income.
If you want to help the sanctuary to continue their fantastic work, you can donate here
Or if you don’t live by the sea, and seals aren’t your thing, you can still take time to go for a walk in your local greenspace, woodland or park. There are lots of National Trust gardens, parks and countryside that still remain open to local people. Find your nearest outdoor space here.
Even our pets can give us a real connection to nature too. Studies have found that some of the health benefits of having a pet include, improved fitness due to walking our dog, or even from playing with our cat or dog indoors. Research has even found that just petting our pet can help to reduce the likelihood of heart problems or strokes by lowering our blood pressure. You can find more information on owning a pet at The Blue Cross Website here.
As Jane Austen once said, ‘Without music life would be a blank to me.’ For many of us music will always have been a salvation, from the first time you remember hearing a song that you love. To laying on your bed listening to an entire album as a teenager, immersing yourself in the lyric book as you listen. Music can always find a way to capture our mood, our feelings, or lift our spirits. So, why not make a playlist of your favourite songs to get you through lockdown? Or revisit those albums that defined your life at the time. To immerse yourself in happier memories, of pre-lockdown days.
Some recommendations include, the new Black Eyed Peas album Translation that has a really uplifting, feel good vibe, along with collabs with a lot of Latin American artists, such as J Balvin and Shakira on. Girl Like Me and RITMO are perfect for shaking your bootie to. Although the less commercially successful, 2018 Masters Of The Sun, with songs such as Back 2 Hip Hop, featuring Nas, and the political genius of Ring The Alarm are hard to beat. It’s their best album yet, and if you want to hear BEP going back to their hip hop roots, this is the one for you.
If you fancy more of a folky feel, go for one of Taylor Swift’s surprise albums of 2020, Folklore or Evermore. Tracks like Cardigan and The One are perfect for a mellow, winter vibe.
If Jazz is more your thing, nothing beats listening to Gregory Porter’s latest album, All Rise, while sipping a glass of Merlot and cooking dinner.
Lastly if you prefer some old school, 90’s, RnB feels, check out Mariah Carey’s latest album Rarities, featuring rare, previously, pretty much un-heard of demo tracks and ‘rarities’. Favourites include the perfect, I’m-so-over-that-soft-boy track, Cool On You, or the 2020 track featuring the fabulous Lauryn Hill, Save The Day. Which although written a few years back, lyrically, sounds as though it was written just for today.
Whatever your favourite bangers are, link up your Bluetooth speaker and get to listening.
Favourite TV Shows
We have plenty of time on these dark winter nights for tv watching, so why not indulge by watching back-to-back episode’s of some classic tv shows such as Sex and The City, the now politically incorrect, but still funniest show ever, Friends, or the fabulous Gossip Girl. Or if you missed it the first time around, check out the brilliant Desmond’s. A classic sitcom set in a barber shop in Peckham. It’s now available on All 4.
Alternatively, Netflix and chill with the sparkly-tastic, feel good AJ & The Queen, featuring Ru Paul, a host of Drag Artists, and a story about an unlikely, funny, yet seriously sweet friendship that forms between Ru’s character AJ and a struggling kid in his apartment block.
If Mills & Boon romance is more your kind of thing, check out Virgin River, or Chesapeake Shores, for classic love stories and stunning scenery.
If you prefer a crime drama then check out teen crime thriller, Tiny Pretty Things about a ballet school in Chicago, that opens with the murder of a student.
If you like Super heroes, then the three series of Black Lightening might be more your thing. Think corrupt governments, civil rights and a family with super powers.
Other recommendations are, Girlfriends, Sister Sister and Moesha. Or if you like period drama’s, how about racy new period drama Bridgerton.
Just because back-to-back episode binges are always acceptable on rainy, lockdown days.
What better way to pass a couple of hours than to watch a movie. We all need a laugh right now right, so why not check out comedy classics like, Will Ferrell’s Step Brother’s, Mark Wahlberg’s Ted 1 & 2, or Bridesmaids with Melissa McCarthy and Maya Rudolph. Additionally, try out some 2020 comedies, such as Eurovision with Rachel McAdams as a hopeful Eurovision star, Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne’s female led comedy Like a Boss. Or see Will Smith and Martin Lawrence reunite for another classic, in Bad Boys For Life.
There’s something about the Radio during lockdown that is so comforting. It somehow feels like a real-time window into the outside world, like being connected to someone outside of those four walls. The familiarity of your favourite DJ’s can feel good in such a time of uncertainty. So why not tune in to your favourite morning or evening show. For example, on Cornwall’s Pirate FM, they have even just started a three hour, wind down session from 10pm every evening. Perfect for those nights when it can be difficult to relax or get to sleep.
If not, what about a podcast? Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place is a great listen. Fearne chats with some amazing guests, including thought leaders such as Deepak Chopra and Gabrielle Bernstein about the best ways to find joy and inner happiness.
Another recommendation is One Wear Freedom’s model, and radio presenter Aisha Nabi’s very own podcast, Aisha presents over on Spotify. Aisha, says she hopes to help us to ‘slow things down, take a pause, and listen and learn from different people with diverse experiences’. Or follow her on Instagram @aishauk .
Alternatively, you may want to check out the fantastic curated playlists and musical discussions of the fantastic @thefanclub.ldn on Insta and over on Spotify.
What is better than the possibility of being able to escape to another world right now, and what better way to be able to do that when planes are landed and travel halted, than to dip your head into a book?
If you’re finding it hard to concentrate at the moment, try a prose poetry book, from the amazing Nikita Gill. Her book The Girl and The Goddess, describes the journey of females into womanhood and the universal struggles and issues we all face.
Rupi Kaur’s, Home Body, is another great book of poetry. It explores her experience through and to the other side of depression. While The Sun and Her Flowers, describes the journey through heartache to healing again.
Or perhaps you feel in need of some inspiration, in which case, how about Oprah Winfrey’s, The Path Made Clear which can help us to discover our life’s purpose. While in What I Know For Sure, where Oprah talks about the most important and universal life lessons that she has learnt along the way.
If you fancy a series of books to last you through lockdown, Malorie Blackman’s YA fiction, Noughts and Crosses could be the one for you. It’s a modern day, inter-racial Romeo and Juliet story of Sephy a ‘Cross’ and Callum a ‘Nought’. It’s a real page turner which lasts for a massive five books. With spin-off’s from other characters finishing the series.
Or maybe autobiography is more your thing, so how about Michelle Obama’s Becoming. The book explores the former first lady’s battle to find her voice. It also discusses the political side of her life, during her time in the White House, along with motherhood.
If you fancy a classic, try Sam Selvon’s 1956 classic, The Lonely Londoner’s, which tells the fictional story of Moses Aleotta, who arrives in London to work on London Transport, as part of the 1950’s Windrush generation.
Or if you really want to challenge your reading chops, how about Othello. In which Shakespeare explores the feelings of alienation that the protagonist faces as a black general in the Venetian army, in 16th/17th century Venice.
If politics and current affairs are more your thing, you might want to explore Race and Class in Ruins of Empire, by Akala. Where the rapper, journalist and activist explores the way to seek liberation for humanity from oppression and exploitation.
Or Roxanne Gay’s exploration of feminism, in her 2014 book of essays Bad Feminist. A humorous look at the things she loves, but that seem to be at odds with her support of the feminist movement.
Keep supporting your local independent bookstores during lockdown and find your nearest indie store at the Booksellers Association
Create, Create, Create…
Creativity in a time like this can be such an escape for our worried minds, and the benefits of tapping into our creative impulses should never be underestimated. For many, the act of participating in our favourite art or craft can take us into a mindful state, where our heart rate slows and our mind clears. So whether you love to cook, draw, paint, write, knit, or get out and do a little bit of gardening (you even get a free pack of wildflower seeds with every single rental from OWF to get you started}. Why not indulge yourself this lockdown and get creating.
This fabulous website, Fave Crafts, may help to get you started
Lastly what is more exciting at a time like this than a new outfit to lounge in or stroll around the park in? Nothing, nothing at all. So I will leave you with three of our favourite loungey attires from the One Wear Freedom collection. For you to walk, watch tv and movies, listen to music, podcasts and the radio, read books, cook, write, paint, garden or knit in;Like this jumpsuit
Browse our entire Lockdown Lounging section here for even more inspiration and choice.
Stay Comfy. Stay Safe. Stay in your light.
Peace, Love n Lipgloss,