Hi there, it's been a hard time for all of us during these lockdowns. But as weird as it is, am I the only one that hasn't been bored one second but also has the feeling of not having been very useful these past months? I'm going to give you guys some tips on what to do during these weird times, to not feel bored at all & even feel useful sometimes (even being bored sometimes is okay) :)
1. Support the local businesses
I think it's very important to support all the local businesses at the moment, rather than to buy from the big guys again. This time is really hard for all the independent entrepreneurs, so go buy some christmas gifts from them, or treat yourself with a delicious meal to feel like you're in a restaurant at home. You can even go over the top and dress for it, so wear a nice dress and some make-up instead of your pajamas/joggings that have been your go to outfit for months, don't lie, I know it's true :) I think it has been very cool to see all the creativity people have during hard times like this. All the concepts that have popped up like a DIY-dinner/lunch, cocktail workshop, how to make your own fresh pasta through a zoom call with an Italian chef, bake some cookies with the help from a recipe,... There are a lot of alternative ways to help and support the (local) shops. Go do it and treat yourself & others with some nice stuff!
2. Go outside
It's also very important to just go outside from sometimes and take some time for yourself. You can either go for a bike ride or my favorite: go for a walk with some friends. Belgium has a lot of pretty places to offer that we all don't know about. Discover them, have some real conversations with your friends and ask them how they really are. Enjoy the company you either have from a person, from a dog or from a podcast or some music that you listen to on your daily walk.
3. Have a zoom apero
It's been very hard to not see your friends face to face during all these past months. A good alternative is to have a zoom apero on a Friday to start the weekend in a good way. Have some drinks or even some dinner together, with only the screen between you guys. And yes it's okay to get a little tipsy :) You can also include a small quiz, which is a fun way to have some laughs together and pretend, even for a small time that everything is okay and that there's always something to cheer about, with a glass of wine (or two).
4. Watch Christmas movies/vlogs
It's that time of the year again, holiday season, what means watching Christmas movies every day, starting in October (or even September, that's all okay, the choice is up to you). And yes there are some crap movies out there, and they always come with an expected and corny good ending, but who are we to judge? Just give them a chance and have a nice evening with some popcorn, some wine & the most important: a brainless movie. Another way to spend some of your time: watch some vlogs on Youtube. My favorites are the ones from (of course) New York, but also the ones about fashion and traveling, so mainstream, I know :) (There will be another small blogpost about my favorite youtubers, so keep posted for that)
5. Clean your phone
We all have some more free time than normally these time, so make it worth it and do some useful things (that you otherwise don't have the time for). One thing I've done and still am busy doing is cleaning my phone. That goes from deleting all the useless printscreens I once took, to reconsider all my followings on Instagram and Youtube. And yes, I still have 35.731 pictures on my phone (checked on dec 15th), so I really have to get to that sometimes. Actually, I'm gonna do that later today, while watching some vlogs on Youtube :) Also go make some space on the memory of your phone, delete all the apps you haven't used in a long time, there's a reason for the fact that you didn't use them for so long.
6. Explore Spotify
As music is a big part of my life, and I guess that also goes for you, go discover the new music on Spotify. Add the cool songs to your list of favorites, share them with your friends and let them also feel the good vibes that come with the song. There also has been some alternatives for concerts, like for example the one from Billie Eilish or Dua Lipa. They have to be very creative these days, and do that in a very cool way. Also, shoutout to Spotify for giving me some overviews of all the (sad and depressing) songs I've listened to in 2020. Having them all together in one playlist really helped me to enjoy the memories I had listening to this music :)
7. Go listen to Podcasts
I've also been listening to some podcasts lately. I do that when I relax at home or when I go on a walk by my own. I have a lot of podcasts that I want to listen added to my list. At the moment, I really like these ones:
- VRT: Björn Soenens in New York. He's talking about everything that's going on at the moment, in the city. I also found this podcast very interesting and useful during the elections going on in the USA, also go read his book about everything that's going on in the USA, it's very learning and interesting.
- Bffs: if you're into Tik Tok and all the drama that goes with it, go listen to this podcast, held by a young tiktoker (Josh Richards) with another guest every week. They talk about all the drama going on the gossip and the social media landscape in general.
- Call her daddy: if you want to listen to some fun and open minded stories of some celebrities, tik tokkers and so on, as they are guests in this podcast, go listen to it. They have very open conversations here, and I think that's an important thing we miss in the world.
8. Bake, bake, bake
Go bring your inner chef-kok out and bake some sweets. I've already baked some chocolate chip cookies, some 'speculoos', a carrot cake, some banana bread and some cheese cake. Another one of my favorites is a smoothie, so easy to make & so tasteful, love it! What is better than to treat yourself (& your family, friends, who you give some of the sweets) during hard times like this?
9. Keep developing
I think it's very important to push your own boundaries and keep developing your knowledge. At the moment, I've been following the study 'basic business management' from home, studying by myself. It probably isn't a surprise to you that in the future, I really want to start my own business, so I've been studying the economic side to start a company one day. It goes from accounting til the marketing side and some mathematics is also included. In the first lockdown, I also followed some online fashion courses, organised by some real fashion management schools. In my opinion, it's very important to keep on learning every day, and it's also a nice way to feel useful during these times.
These past months, I've been reading a lot. Some of them are books but also my monthly fashion magazines. I love to read about the things I'm interested in. These past few weeks, I've already read 15 books. So that alone is an accomplishment :) I like to read some self-managing books but also some thrillers, fashion books, entrepreneur books and some (brainless) chick lits. Variety is important :)
11. Working out
It's very important to keep your body going. Do some yoga, some exercises on a yoga mat, go for a run or a walk and do all of that while listening to some dance music or a podcast. And most importantly do it for yourself. You'll feel better after.
Play some games, at my home we really like to play some Rummikub after dinner. It's a classic but it's a good one. You can also have some movie nights where you just relax, eat and drink something and put your phone away for some time. In the summer, I had a moviescreen in my garden for some time and we watched some Netflix on it while enjoying the warmth outside, that was pretty nice and really recommended.
13. Sell your old clothes
All of us have some clothes we haven't worn in a long time. In my opinion, you'll probably not wear them anytime soon, so you can make other people happy with it. Sell them on Vinted, it's a very easy app to sell some of your clothes, by only adding a picture and some information. I've already sold some of my old clothes (refering to my Abercrombie & Hollister fase) and made some money out of it, which is always nice. Another option is to give away your old clothes to people who need it. I'm sure you'll find a way to do that in your neighborhood, go to a thrift shop or put them in a clothing container.
14. Self treatment
And last but not least, maybe the most important one of all: some self treatment. Treat yourself with the things that make you happy. Eat that candy/chocolate you like now and then, have a big ass glass of wine or even go for a fancy shmancy cocktail (yes, even when you're stuck at home). Another is taking care of your body: go take a bath, do some skin & hair care (go check out the Gisou hair products: recommended), lighten some candles, read a book & put on some music: that's what we call pure happiness, and yes it's in the small things.
I hope you enjoyed this blogpost, give it a like & I hope you're excited for the next one :)