It’s always a good practice to recognise and appreciate the things that you are enjoying, but now more than ever it feels urgent and necessary to really take a moment to show gratitude and remind yourself of the many good things that surround you.
So, as the sun shines through my window and I soak in the warmth of the sun, I wanted to share 10 things that I am really enjoying whilst in lockdown.
I was going to name one particular book but, honestly, I have just really enjoyed making the time to sit and read – even more so than usual. Books have helped me to stay sane during this time. Reading helps me to switch off, focus on something else or just get lost in a different world.
In particular, I have loved reading Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams, My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite and I am quickly making my way through My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell, which is beautifully written.
I used to go on long, rambling walks when I lived at home with my parents, all the time. The luxury of living in a seaside town means you can walk in pretty much any direction and be greeted with a lovely view. I have walked less since moving away from there, but with the restrictions on where I can actually go now, I’ve started to enjoy walking around my new neighbourhood.
I’ve started to appreciate the mountains, the blossoms and the grassy areas surrounding my house. Walking outside has helped me to find moments to breathe and quieten my brain, something I look forward to every day.
This was such a random find. I don’t usually play games but with my new free time, I decided to give it a go. Overcooked 2 is a surprisingly fun, chaotic game in which you work as a team to create meals and get the orders out to customers in time.
It’s slightly stressful, but it’s fun to get sucked into this cute little world where all you have to worry about is whether you put the right topping on the pizza or whether your rice is ready to serve.
Online book clubs
After attending my first ever book club in March, I was eager to get more involved in the book community. Luckily, a lot of book events have now moved online and are free to access which is great to see!
This month, I have filled my diary with different events I want to join in with. So far, this has included a book chat with Women’s Writes about My Sister, The Serial Killer, “The Dark Pull of True Crime” from the Stay at Home Lit Fest, featuring a panel discussing the ethics and popularity of true crime in different media formats, and an interesting talk from Caroline Criado-Perez on the importance of sex-disaggregated data on Vintage Books’ Instagram.
As I, naturally, haven’t been having my weekend trips to different independent coffee spots near me, I have put that money into having some great coffee delivered to me at home instead!
I have loved the new morning ritual of making myself a great coffee from my Hard Lines delivery, choosing from the rich, dark flavour of their House Party blend or the light, juicy blend of Mubuga.
I have also just ordered from Girls Who Grind, so I am excited to add some new flavours to my cupboard.
Poe, my big, fluffy, black cat is something I am endlessly grateful for. He’s an absolute joy that lights up every day for me, and he has done so every day since we rescued him from the Cat’s Protection charity. He makes everything just a little bit better by being himself.
I sometimes have a bit of a love-hate relationship with working out, especially at the gym. I can never usually be bothered to do the workout, or make the time for it in my day, but as soon as I do, I feel so much better and feel that I have accomplished something positive.
However, since having more free time on my hands, I have really enjoyed getting my daily workout in. It helps me to focus my mind, achieve something in a relatively short amount of time, and feel like I am still taking care of my self and my body when I can’t be more generally active.
Like everyone else in lockdown, I have turned to baking, cooking and making things, especially on the weekend. It’s such a fun, calming activity and you get something useful at the end!
I stick on a podcast or audio book and get stuck into making some treats. Last weekend, I made my own cashew milk (great in coffee!), herby wholemeal bread, digestive biscuits, chocolate cake and some banana, tahini and peanut butter fudge (all vegan, too!). Good eatin’ for the rest of the week!
Crime Junkie podcast
It sounds slightly odd to say that I find a true crime podcast relaxing, but there’s something about Ashley Flowers’ voice and storytelling style that I just adore. I’ve listened to all of the episodes (more times than I care to remember) but I find them so easy to stick on and just keep me company throughout the day.
Post treats from friends
Although we may be distant, it’s been fun to send and receive cute gifts and mail via the post. I had a lovely parcel from my friend, Madi, which included some handmade earrings (the colours are beautiful!), a vintage postcard and some a DIY sunography pack. So sweet!
I sent Madi a cute poetry zine about life in your twenties by Leena Norms.
What have you been loving recently?
I’d love to hear what’s been making you happy over the past few days, weeks and months. Let me know in the comments!