Self Care For When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed With The Current Pandemic

Hi, loves. I hope you’re all well and enjoying your weekend despite the current world problems! I thought it was really important to change up my blogging schedule a little and write today’s post, and hopefully spread a little positivity which is so needed right now. There’s a lot of uncertainty in the world at the moment with the pandemic happening; coronavirus is something completely new to all of us and we’re all trying to navigate it the best way we can, so looking after ourselves is more important than ever.

People all over the world are experiencing a lot of stress, heartache and worry which unfortunately there isn’t much we can do to change right now. I am obviously not a healthcare professional but I would advise following all instructions given (which, in the UK is don’t be in large crowds, practice social distancing and wash/sanitize your hands more often than usual). We’re all praying for a miracle guys! Any regular readers will know I’m a pretty anxious person normally, however in the midst of a worldwide pandemic I’m actually not in the big panic I expected I would be. I do find some comfort in the fact we’re being told the virus seems to be similar to the common cold or maybe an extremely mild flu for most people. It does however make me worried for the people who will not experience it to be ‘like a cold’, but you have to take the positives where you can, right?

I am feeling a little anxious which I think is only normal, but I’m also feeling hopeful and I’m praying for everyone to stay safe and healthy. For me personally I’m most concerned about mine or Matt’s grandparents falling ill (as the elderly are more susceptible to COVID19 and potential further issues), Matt’s upcoming trip to Budapest which looks like it will be cancelled and kinda selfishly that I’m starting my new job in one week. Not the best timing in light of what’s going on so I have everything crossed I start next Monday and things go well with that. Obviously I’m generally worried about any of my family/friends – or really, anyone I know – getting the virus, but I cannot physically carry all of the worries on my shoulders so I’m just trying to take it one day at a time like everyone else. That is very hard for someone as Type A as me, but we’re all in this together. It’s funny because writing down my worries somehow makes me feel a little bit more at ease. How are you holding up? What are your worries specifically centred around the pandemic?

As I’m writing this schools are not closed here and for the most part England is very much ‘business as usual’, but large gatherings are going to be banned in the next week. There’s a lot of tension and uncertainty lingering because nobody knows what will happen, and many people feel like their lives are a little bit on hold. To be honest, personally I think if that has to happen for a few weeks to stop the spread of the virus we should all be adhering to it! I know the reality and the preventative measures taking place are different for every country and we’re all suffering in some way. In England, shelves of supermarkets nationwide are bare, people are working from home where possible and almost all of our sports have been postponed/cancelled – which has very much upset my sport-loving boyfriend! However in the midst of the panic communities are coming together, people are being kinder and we’re learning as we go. The scaremongering is NOT helping anyone and it’s more important than ever to look after ourselves and each other, and I hope this post brings you a little self care inspiration over the coming weeks. Looking after yourself is the best form of self care!

Spend quality time with your loved ones and enjoying being home
There is a slight possibility we’re all going to be actually stuck indoors for a little while with government imposed bans, but even if that doesn’t happen we’re more than likely going to be spending more time indoors than usual. Disney+ can’t arrive in the UK soon enough. Take this extra time to enjoy family movie nights, do puzzles, get cosy in your most comfortable clothes, bake and/or cook new foods, play board games, take long baths, read books, catch up on your favourite shows and just enjoy being around your partner and/or your family! Matt and I are prepared with all the extra snacks (I may have stocked up on Doritos and Haribo… just incase) and I’m excited for an excuse to watch all the movies! It’s also a fun time to be creative; Matt will be working a little more on his venture NUFC Vintage and I’m going to be spending more time creating blog content. Our hobbies are really important to us so I’m definitely feeling grateful for those right now!

Drink lots of water
It’s something we’re told to do for one hundred and one reasons, but there really is so many benefits to drinking water! As a self-confessed Diet Coke addict, I really need to up my daily intake of water ASAP. Water is good for your skin, your joints (I have arthritis so this alone should be enough of a reason for me to drink more!), helps you feel less bloated, regulates body temperature, delivers oxygen to your body and can prevent headaches, and there’s tons more benefits on top of that. I love my Chilly’s bottle so much, having a cute water bottle is a really good way to encourage drinking more water and remember to take it with you on the go!

Stick to your exercise routine (or create one!)
Exercise is so important for us to look and feel our best. Personally I couldn’t think of anything worse than spending an hour at the gym, but I love easy at home workouts and there are so many great free options. Yoga is my favourite and I can’t recommend Yoga with Adrienne or Alo Yoga videos enough if you’re looking for somewhere to start! If you’re looking for a HIIT workout or something a little more strenuous I love The Body Coach and Blogilates. For most of these workouts you don’t need any props or even weights, and they’re all super easy to do from the comfort of your lounge! Also there’s no bans on being outside and we should all be going for walks as much as possible, fresh air is SO GOOD for us. Matt and I bloody love a beach walk, and we’ll for sure be making the most of those like always!

Clean, declutter and re-organise
I am happiest when our bedroom is clean, tidy and organised. I really love decluttering and I find an excuse to do it pretty often, just because it helps me to a) not have too much stuff, b) use what I have and c) sell things I no longer need or use. Annoyingly, I just fully cleared out and re-organised my wardrobe this past weekend, or I would have for sure been doing that this weekend when I’ve spent pretty much the whole time at home. Clear out your beauty products, find things to donate, clean out your car (I do this every week or so anyway and it feels SO good to drive a clean car!), list a few items you’ve been meaning to on eBay, wash your makeup brushes and maybe even re-organise your space. Could the couch be placed differently? Should you put your bed under the window for a change? Can you switch up your shelves or vanity table? Also, if you’ve avoided all Marie Kondo hype until now… this could be the best time to get invested in her Netflix show and book!

Carry out your full skincare routine morning and night
It wouldn’t be self care tips from me without a little mention of skincare now, would it? Seriously though, during times that we’re a little more stressed out than usual it’s extra important to be consistent with your skincare! My skin reacts very quickly to changes with my diet or a lack of routine, so I’m for sure going to be keeping on top of that. Remember to clean your hands thoroughly prior to removing your makeup, and for the love of God stop touching your face. Has anyone noticed over the past few weeks just how much you touch your face?! ME TOO. That’s a huge way the virus can be transmitted so please be cautious of this! Encourage your partner and family to stick to their skincare routine too, and hey getting everyone involved in a little multi-masking party sounds like a fun way to pass the time!

Meal plan and eat lots of fruits and veggies
I’m so grateful Matt and I meal plan because it takes away all of the ‘what are we having for dinner?’ conversations and also saves us a heck of a lot of time! We grocery shop once per week – usually on a Sunday – then we may pop into one or two stores during the week to grab a few extras, usually more fresh fruit or veggies. As panic buying is going a little crazy right now I’d really encourage to write down your meal plan; literally each day what are you having for breakfast, lunch and dinner? What do you currently have in your cupboards/fridge/freezer and what else do you need to buy? Then make your shopping list from there and keep your fingers crossed you can grab everything you need! The government are telling us there are plenty of plans in place to keep supermarkets stocked no matter what happens over the next few weeks so just don’t go too crazy and please leave things for others. Opt for a few more frozen and tinned items than you usually would and try to buy products with long use by dates. Also be prepared to switch up your shopping list/meal plan whilst you’re actually in the supermarket! You can read all about how we meal plan (in normal circumstances) for some extra tips.

Be mindful of how others are feeling
People are feeling very mixed emotions right now; some are not at all fussed by what is happening, and some are beside themselves with worry. There’s no right or wrong way to feel, and honestly I think we just have to let everything run it’s course (which is the only thing we can do) and try to stay calm for ourselves and each other. Check in on elderly relatives or neighbours who may not be able or willing to go shopping, avoid overexposure to news, don’t buy into the scaremongering and try to live your life as normal, whilst still adhering to government advice!

Listen to podcasts/music instead of the radio whilst driving
I started doing this a long long long time ago and I can’t recommend it enough. There’s something to be said for being in your own little world whilst driving, especially as most of us are in the car for a long time each day! Whether I’m singing my heart out to Disney songs or having a giggle at my fave duo (Rosie and Chris Ramsey, obviously) I can’t tell you how much happier I feel not listening to the radio. The songs are repeated hundreds of times and the news bulletins every five minutes are filled with doom and gloom, especially at the moment. You’re mostly in control of what you consume, so open up Spotify and choose something that makes you happy! In addition I’d really recommend not watching or reading the news 24/7, and instead point you in the direction of this Reddit thread for all the happy feels.

Ensure you’re getting at least eight hours of sleep per night
It is SO very important for our health that we sleep as we well as we can. I’m going to be posting in a few weeks about things I’m doing to enjoy Matt and I’s evening routine more and sleep better! I really do love pillow sprays because they help me to relax and feel calm – Matt loves them too! – and I’m a huge fan of a cosy bubble bath before bed. Try to turn Netflix off a little earlier the next few weeks, keep bedding clean by washing your sheets regularly, and make your bedroom as comfortable as possible. Sleep is also great if you’re feeling under the weather or run down – which is extremely common this time of year without the ongoing world issues – as your body fights infection even harder when you’re sleeping and rested.

Read, read and read some more
Oh you mean we may have to stay in the house for an unknown amount of time? You’ll find me snuggled under a blanket, drinking a cup of tea and reading my Kindle for the foreseeable! #suchagrandma Matt has never understood how I can love reading so much but I swear since he bought me my Kindle Paperwhite my love has got even deeper. I downloaded a few new books this weekend; including two I’m very excited about; The Two Lives Of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver and In Five Years by Rebecca Serle; and I’m so excited to get stuck in! If you don’t have a Kindle or Amazon Prime, you get free delivery on any orders over £10, or you could pick up some books when you’re next grocery shopping! There are great deals in places like Asda and Tesco for books, sometimes even cheaper than Amazon. Be sure to shop your stash too, I bet you’ve got a few books stashed away for a rainy day… today is that rainy day! Reading is good for the soul, and I’d personally recommend fiction books for an escape.

Stay healthy, spend more time indoors, eat good foods, look after yourself and your family/friends/neighbours, don’t panic and hopefully the pandemic will blow over as quickly as it arrived! This post will be my one and only post regarding the COVID 19 outbreak as I really want to post happy and positive content going forward. I already mentioned this on Twitter, but I’m only going to be posting once per week over the next few weeks/months as life is super busy right now (nothing to do with the outbreak, more with preparing to start a new job!)

-G x

Christmas Gift Guide: For Him

Photo contains gifted items – please read my disclaimer here

Hi, loves! Today I’m sharing with you the second part in my gifting series, the first post was specifically for all the gals in your life and you can catch up here if you missed it! Today I’ve appealed for the help of my lovely boyfriend Matthew (who has a pretty starring role on this blog, haha) to pick his three favourite gifts from each category, similar to what I did in my Gift Guide: For Her. I hope you enjoy and this is helpful to tick a few people off the list this year! Happy shopping!

Disclaimer: There are a few higher priced items in this gift guide but I promise you it’s because they’re great value for money and really amazing gifts! I really wanted to keep my gift guides affordable and practical, and also very realistic for the average gift giver like myself. Remember Black Friday is coming up and always check for discount codes before purchasing online – you can almost always save at least 10%. I hope you find it so helpful!

THE HOMEBODY

Matthew’s favourite thing in the world (apart from me, of course) are his Ugg slippers. He literally wears them all day, every day when we’re at home! He may also be recieving some spanking new ones this year as his are a little too loved. He wears his M&S dressing gown every day too; it’s a must-have for any homebody, especially at this time of year! Matt loves sweatpants, and you just can’t beat how soft and cosy Abercrombie’s feel.

1. M&S Dressing Gown | 2. Ugg Slippers | 3. Checkerboard Pyjama Set | 4. Amazon Echo Dot | 5. Amazon Fire TV Stick With Alexa Voice Remote | 6. Abercrombie & Fitch Lounge Trousers | 7. Zara Hoodie | 8. Popcorn Machine | 9. Kindle Paperwhite | 10. PJ Pants Set | 11. Home City Wall Art | 12. Next Grey Borg Zip Hoodie| 13. Barbour Lambswool Scarf | 14. Cork Collection Box | 15. Royal Doulton White/Grey Mug

THE LUXURY LOVER

Fun fact: I bought Matt Chanel de Bleu aftershave our first Christmas together and it quickly became his most prized aftershave. He keeps it for special ocassions but he just loves it! He has a mini collection of coats and he thinks this Barber coat would be the best present you’d give someone this year. It’s a pretty bold statement but I believe him. If a man in your life has a love for watches, instead of stretching your budget to buy him a new one why not buy him a Dulwich Designs display case so he can admire his collection?

1. Moet Champagne | 2. Mont Blanc Pen | 3. Ted Baker Tie | 4. Chanel de Bleu Aftershave | 5. Gucci Card Holder | 6. Black Nespresso Machine | 7. Grey Paul Smith Jumper | 8. Acne Studios Grey Beanie | 9. Jigsaw Cashmere Jumper | 10. Dulwich Designs Watch Display Box | 11. Barbour Stevenson Coat | 12. Tom Ford Black Orchid Aftershave | 13. Black Mulberry Wallet | 14. Paul Smith Long Sleeve Polo Shirt | 15. Daniel Wellington Bristol Watch

THE GROOMED GENT

Like many men, Matt loves his pampering products. An electric toothbrush is a must for him and he recommends buying one for any man that doesn’t have one. He’s so interested to try some new skincare products to change up his routine and we both agree the bath oil would be a great present for anyone that enjoys a nice soak in the tub after a long day. Like Matt… who spends a good hour in the bath pretty much every evening!

1. Kiehl’s Gift Set | 2. Mr Burberry Aftershave | 3. Phillips Electric Shaver | 4. Sukin Oil Balancing Mattifying Skincare Gift Set | 6. Mont Blanc Legend Aftershave | 7. Ted Baker Leather Wash Bag | 8. L’Oreal Men The Expert Energetic Washbag Gift Set | 9. Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Bath & Shower Oil | 10. Oral B 4000 Cross Action Electric Toothbrush | 11. L’Occitaine Shower Gel | 12. Kiehl’s Nourishing Beard Oil | 13. Molton Brown Tobacco Absolute Gift Set | 14. Tom Ford Noir Aftershave Balm | 15. Clinique For Men Skincare Set

THE FOODIE

Matt thinks the Lazy Man pan set is perfect for men everywhere, haha! He’s a whisky fan but not necessarily too specific on brands, so he agrees a set like this would be brilliant for someone to be able to try different options without potentially wasting a whole bottle. As for the spaghetti monster colander… let’s just say if we had this he’d be helping out in the kitchen a lot more 🙂

1. Hotel Chocolat Hamper | 2. Whisky Tasting Set | 3. Chilli Sauce Set | 4. Cadbury’s Chocolate Football | 5. Joseph Joseph Kitchen Acessories Set | 6. Edinburgh Gin Apple & Spice Gin | 7. Spaghetti Monster Colander | 8. Paddle Shaped Serving Board | 9. Oliver Bonas Glass Globe Wine Decanter | 10. Lazy Man Pan Set | 11. Brewdog IPA Hamper | 12. Whittard Coffees Of The World Gift Set | 13. Tasty Cookbook | 14. Cheese Dome & Chutney Gift Set | 15. Whisky Marmalade

THE TRAVELLER

Matt is obsessed with his laptop, and picked the Herschel MacBook sleeve as the best accessory to keep it looking great whilst travelling. I purchased a very similar Ted Baker holdall to the one linked below for Matt last Christmas and it’s become his go-to for every weekend away or small trip we take. It’s so handy for a man on the move and Matt thinks it would also be a great gift for anyone who travels for work. Matt has visited so many countries so he suggested a scratch map would be a wonderful idea for anyone else who likes to travel!

1. Sony Noise Cancelling Earphones | 2. Stojo Grey Collapsible Cup | 3. Ted Baker Webbing Holdall Bag | 4. Molton Brown Travel Size Toiletry Set | 5. Gaston Luga Praper Backpack | 6. Jack Black Lip Balm | 7. Anker Powercore Portable Charger | 8. Antler Packing Cubes | 9. Aspinal of London Passport Cover | 10. Scratch Map | 11. Travel Pillow | 12. Herschel Macbook Sleeve | 13. Personalised Luggage Tag | 14. Lonely Planet Ultimate Travel Book| 15. Nuxe Travel Set

THE GUY WHO HAS EVERYTHING

If anyone knows my boyfriend, they know he is SO OBSESSED with all things football. He recently started an Instagram account called NUFC Vintage on which he showcases his love for football shirts and Newcastle United; a classic football shirt is literally the perfect gift for him! Matt is an avid golfer and Titleist Pro V1 golf balls are always going to be a hole in one with him. Yes I wrote that. I’m so sorry. He has had the brown Tommy Hilfiger belt for years and it still looks brand new; it’s such great quality!

1. Nintendo Switch Lite | 2. Classic Football Shirt | 3. Patagonia P6 Responsibilitee Long Sleeve | 4. Go Pro Hero 7 | 5. Aspinal Of London Silver & Mother Of Pearl Cufflinks | 6. A Named Star | 7. Gentlemen’s Hardware Cheese & Wine Multi Tool | 8. Titleist Pro V1 Golf Balls | 9. Tommy Hilfiger Brown Belt | 10. ASOS Design Brown Faux Suede Chukka Boots | 11. Cedar Shoe Trees | 12. Alpha Designs Black XXL Bottle | 13. Bose SoundLink | 14. Nike Half Zip Sweater | 15. Abercrombie & Fitch Fierce Candle

“It’s not about the gifts under the tree, it’s about the people around it”

-G & M x