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lockdown mental health

Well Covid has been a real treat, hasn’t it? Lots of uncertainty, anxiety and stress for everyone, with the added bonus of a killer virus! Which won’t go away! Hooray!

Quite understandably, I’m losing it, and — even with a few months of reduced restrictions under Britain’s belt — everyone else I’ve spoken to is, too.

Still, we’re all trying our best, and with lockdown two on the horizon, I think this might be a better time than ever to share a little lived-and-learned survival guide for the next few weeks (dare I say months?) of uncertainty.

Don’t worry; I’m not here to tell you to start exercising and eating healthy food. You don’t need any more of that. This Lockdown 2 Survival Guide won’t be as bad as the others.

  1. Validate your feelings

    Before doing anything else, take a deep breath and tell yourself it’s okay to feel the way you do. Because it is. Feeling anxious or worried is inevitable in moments filled with anxiety and worry. Give yourself a break.

  2. Don’t listen to the fashion advice

    Most people got their first taste of working from home in Lockdown One and, in turn, were told it was essential to protect their mental health by getting dressed for work every day. It isn’t. But you know what is? Wearing the things that bring you joy. It could be cosy PJs one day, a leather dress the next, and a sweatshirt and leggings the next. You can hide a lot on Zoom with the right angle, so follow your impulses.

  3. Keep a record of the good things

    Write down every single thing that makes you happy each day — and I mean everything. A song? A voice note from a friend? A good workout? An oatmeal and raisin cookie? Put it all down. When it all gets a bit too much later on, these lists will not only put a smile on your face but make this period feel a little less bleak.

  4. Watch absolutely terrible TV

    I know we’re all supposed to be watching documentaries and reading important novels, but honestly? They can wait. If you want to watch (or, dear God, rewatch) something like Emily In Paris, do you. There’s plenty of time to do it all.

  5. Buy yourself something practical

    While becoming a runner helped me stay active and get some fresh air, I only run every other day, so I’ve spent more than few ‘rest days’ walking in rough weather — and ruining my Chelsea boots in the process. Swapping the ruined pair out for a an upgrade (the faux fur-lined Dr Martens’ Leonore boots, seen above) was, in my opinion, a long-term investment in good vibes.

  6. Buy yourself something impractical

    In April, I bought myself a ridiculously sparkly party dress that there was quite literally no reason or space for — but I love it. Every time I look at it, I look forward to the world beyond all this madness. Impractical things have that effect.

  7. Look after your black friends, neighbours and colleagues

    Allyship is more than black squares and hashtagged History Months. Go ask your black peers what you can do to support them, then do it. There is no better time than right now to start.

  8. Download an app blocker

    Though we’re all aware of the negative effects of social media, it’s easy to lose hours on apps when there’s little else to distract us. A good app blocker, many of which are available for free on iOS and Android, will limit the time you can spend on apps like Instagram and Facebook (and save your sanity in the process).

  9. Pimp up your environment

    Upgrading your living space doesn’t require you to paint walls or buy new furniture. Move your bed around. Have a clear out. Light those expensive candles you’ve been saving ‘for the right moment’. When spending a lot of time in one or two rooms, the environment in those rooms can make us feel positive or negative. Choose positive.

  10. Follow the bloody rules

    I know they’re no fun and I know government flip-flopping is making them even harder to follow; just remember, doing so is a pretty small sacrifice to save lives. They’ll be a distant memory soon enough and, when they are, the things we’re missing out on will feel more enjoyable than ever before.

pink suit
Just another demure look from y’ girl today.

When I pulled this pink power suit out of its box, both my partner and I genuinely squealed. Him, potentially to guard his eyes. But I bloody love it.

The company who sent it, Opposuits, specialise in slim fit pencil skirt suits in designs you just don’t find anywhere else. For the bold, you can wear everything from an American flag to a flock of flamingoes. Less daring? You have a considerable number of colour blocks to choose from.

My eyes are on Pac-Man, in particular.

What I Wore:
Ms Pink from Opposuits
Rose gold MacBook of dreams
Pink heart sunglasses
Thigh high black boots

pink suit
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leopard coat

I’ve been having a bit of a ponder about New Year’s Resolutions; their importance (or lack thereof), their success rate (or lack thereof) and their true intentions (yep, same again). It is the latter, specifically, which sent my brain a-spiralling.

More people seem to berate those making resolutions than make ones for themselves these days and I’ve decided to avoid becoming that person. Instead, to get on board with the resolution makers. To support each desire spurred by the simplicity of a spinning planet. If there’s one thing we don’t need at the moment, it’s a world where people feel belittled for attempting to better things themselves and, increasingly more so, others.

I don’t need a real public declaration of the things I hope to achieve or people I hope to help in 2019 (not my jam), but I do promise to increase the frequency of your oft-request outfit posts. And I genuinely wish you the best with everything you’re setting up to achieve.

What I Wore:
Karolina embellished heels from Ruby Shoo
Leopard coat from ASOS (similar here)
Premium tights from New Look (best bargain everyday pair I’ve found!)

leopard coat
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reusable notebook
Timeless. Innovative. Groundbreaking. They aren’t words I would ever imagine using to describe an A5 notebook.

Nonetheless, they fit my GreenStory notebook to tee. So much so I’ve decided to dedicate an entire blog to the humble stationary.

(Before you call the asylum, it’s absolutely worth your time to hear a sister out)…

I came across GreenStory a few weeks ago and immediately wanted to kick myself for not thinking it up first. Their concept is so simple, ethical and powerful it could drive a million earth-loving entrepreneurs mad.

Essentially, GreenStory sell reusable whiteboard notebooks. Notebooks that serve every conceivable schedule. Notebooks with endless add-ons and planners. Notebooks that are built to last through every idea, day, list, and project you need them for.

If you can’t tell already, I’m bloody obsessed with mine. I ordered the A5 all-in-one GreenBook, a luxe vegan leather notebook cover (in Sand), a handful of pens, and hit the ground running.

When everything arrived, my oft-troubled OCD went wild. Everything is customisable. The brand offer a huge range of erasable, ‘clickable’ pages and add-ons that allow you to fill your notebook with your exact needs. You can quite literally plan, list, and create to your heart’s content without ever having to throw something away.

You can simply erase small errors or completed tasks with the felt eraser on the back of your Magic Pen or erase full pages using the microfibre wipe and a few drops of water (their spray can also be used when your pages haven’t been erased in a while!).

Beyond the obvious eco benefits, you can also scan pages using the iOS ‘Notities’ or the Camscanner app for direct-to-digital backups (which I do, often!). It is also crazy light, crazy green, and crazy handy. The cover alone not only feels like velvet in the hand but is filled with pockets for everything (it has become my business card and receipt holders of choice).

It’s funny really, I used to be such a little notebook collector. Since my adolescent introduction to Harriet The Spy and her very important lined sidekick, I have kept an erratic slew of thoughts and lists in many forms. When I was in high school I opted for the sparkliest pads around and would doodle a whole lot of nothing in fruit-scented ink before airplaning pages to my friends. When I was going through a tough time as young adult I kept a white, pocket-sized notebook and used it as a tool to process hurt feelings, letting go as I recycled each day’s page. When I was getting my NCTJ, it was a veritable stream of illegible shorthand notebooks shoved into every bag I owned.

I lost the habit when I started carrying laptops, phones and cameras where my thoughts used to be.

It wasn’t until I was listening to an interview with one of my favourite chefs, Samin Nosrat, that I realised how much I missed the company of a notebook. She used her own as a manifestation journal, recording her goals and ideas so she could process them and remain accountable. It was a practice I had unknowingly adopted over many years and one I now believe made me stronger and smarter.

They don’t call it taking note for nothing, eh? The GreenBook is, undeniably, time and money well spent (and they offer a 10% student discount for those of you who need a helping hand like I did!).

reusable notebook
reusable notebook
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modern vintage style
I wear jeans about once a year. It’s not that I have an issue with them (quite the contrary, I think they’re a classic component of any chic closet), I am simply too sleepy to put anything more than a dress together in the morning.

When I started to pack for a beautiful wedding in the Cotswolds, it seemed a great time to throw a pair on in an ode to smart packing (1 extra shirt and dress means nada to carry!) and kick it old school. As a cherry on top, I got a beautiful blow dry from Rush Kentish Town before hopping on the train and my stylish created two mini victory rolls as a vintage nod that would hold more bounce for the following day’s celebrations.

Max prep. Max chill. Max annual denim.

What I Wore:
Black crop top
Vintage tie-front off the shoulder top (similar here)
Turned up Levis 501s
Floral platform heels

modern vintage style
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