The Road to Leaving Lockdown

Like most non key-workers, these last three months have been a challenge and a holiday simultaneously. I’m not exactly fighting the global pandemic so I can’t complain too much. But, I’ve never been more anxious about the world, or more relaxed during the day. It’s a weird combination to get used to and, naturally, I’ve gotten a bit too used to it. So, now that we’re starting to ease off the lockdown restrictions I’m worried about what will happen when things fall back into our ‘normal’ state.

Picture this: a brisk walk in the cold air to the train station, being packed into the tube like sardines, sweet release as everyone steps off together, followed by the rush to get into the office. And then sat at a desk for 8 hours, laughing and joking with colleagues – perhaps even a tea round is thrown in the mix.

A woman standing at a station platform as a train rushes past

It seems like an illusion, doesn’t it? Or some distant dream. Instead, our new reality could be alternative shift patterns, company-wide zoom meetings and making individual teas. (The horror!)

And faced with this new world, I wonder: will I be too accustomed to the ‘work from home’ lifestyle and forget that my commute takes over an hour? Will I use that time to recoup my lost sleep or will I pick up reading again? Will I come to resent that commute? And what about my fitness routine? I’ve been so used to working out whenever I please that the idea of having to wake up in the small hours to fit in a gym session before work makes me physically sick.

READ MORE: What I accomplished in lockdown

And yes, I know these are small and petty things to be concerned about, but I am genuinely worried. Worried that after all this time at home, revelling in the freedom to do whatever I want, whenever I want (within the parameters of lockdown), I’m no longer fit to rejoin society. I’ve forgotten the expectations of the world. I don’t remember in-person social cues. And meal prepping has gone to hell.

How about you? Are you ready to rejoin the workforce? Or maybe you never left it? Let me know your thoughts – we’re all in this together after all!

5 things I’m Learning in Lockdown

If being alone with my phone and my thoughts has taught me anything these past few weeks, it’s that my thoughts are not very interesting.

So, rather than spending 8+ hours online, I’m trying to develop some new skills and hobbies so that I can leave lockdown a more well-rounded person. Or just rounder; I’ve been eating a lot…

So if you’re struggling for a new hobby have a look at my list and see what takes your fancy!


1. Self care is high on my list. It’s something I definitely didn’t do enough of before lockdown. Now that I’m feeling powerless and even more stressed than when I was working a full-time job, I, like many others, feel my skin taking the hit. So, I’m making use of the skincare gifts I got for my birthday (in quarantine) and am looking after my skin with different creams and serums.

READ MORE: My quarantine skincare tips

I’m also taking care of myself by keeping up with my regular exercise routine and healthy eating – although snacking is definitely still happening. I’m trying not to feel too bad every time I eat and entire bag of popcorn though – lockdown is a testing time…

2. I love cocktail hour, so is it any surprise that mixology is a skill I’m learning? I’ve managed to perfect my mojito and pina colada recipes, but the pornstar martini is definitely lacking… If you’ve got any fun drinks recipes, please do share! No more Quarantinis though!

3. Reading is high on my list, too. But only because my goal for 2020 was to read at least 2 books. So far, I’ve read Jini Reddy’s Wanderland which is a travel and nature piece that takes the reader all over the British countryside. I’m now part-way through The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni which is a retelling of an ancient Indian epic, The Mahabharata, but from the point of view of the female protagonist – I’m all about South Asian women’s voices being heard. I fully recommend both as excellent ways to escape the monotony of both lockdown and general life.

READ MORE: ‘Wanderland’ is a literary journey through nature

Plus, you could try joining or setting up an online book club so that you have a group of people to enjoy your new-found literature with.

4. Adventure is out there, but we’re stuck inside. So, I’ve put together a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, which we play remotely. Now, this is no fleeting hobby so be warned – it takes a lot of work, whether you’re creating the fantasy world or just a player within it. But it’s a great laugh and provides hours of boundless entertainment.

5. I plan on leaving lockdown with at least one new skill (and it’s not going to be baking…) so I’m focusing on the art of threading. Beauty parlours up and down the country are closed, so I’ve been learning how to thread my eyebrows. It’s slow going but I’m getting there, and definitely propelled by all the money I’ll eventually save on salons!


So these are some of the ways I’m keeping busy during quarantine, but do not underestimate the importance of sleep and Netflix.

I know a lot of people are insisting that we all come out of this with amazing new skills and a fully-fledged side hustle, but I’m perfectly content with passing the time doing things I enjoy, and catching up on my sleep.

I’m taking this time to relax and recharge, because once the daily grind comes back, it’ll be a whirlwind. How about you?

Skincare in Quarantine

My skincare routine is normally pretty varied – depending on how much makeup I’ve been wearing all week. Well, no more! Since March 23rd, I’ve stopped wearing makeup and am taking better care of my skin.

“How?” you ask. Well, water for a start. I’ve been drinking buttloads of water since well before March, but now I’m making an conscious effort to drink good old tap water and keep my skin hydrated. Dr Jina Yooh is sk:n clinics‘ leading dermatologist and she advises a daily intake of 6-8 glasses of water, regular ventilation and application of moisturiser to help improve the hydration in your skin. “Vegetables and fruits are also a good source of antioxidants which can help to boost your immune system,” she says.

READ MORE: Check out my last skincare regime

But I’ve also taken on board the lessons learned from London Fashion Week (remember, before the pandemic?). The Spring/Summer 2020 show saw Tommy Hilfiger, Victoria Beckham and Burberry, among others, sporting fresh and natural looks. So, naturally, the beauty world is taking note.

Fresh, moist air is key for allowing your skin to breathe

Dr Jina Yooh, sk:n clinics

So, here’s a rundown of my Lockdown Skincare Routine, for a natural glow, and to give my skin a break.

Morning: I start simply by washing my face in cold water. Then, I use Kiko Milano’s Green Me Facial Cleansing Bar to wake up my face and remove any dirt (and sweat) from the night before. I absolutely love the Green Me range – all products are made up of 98% natural, raw ingredients, cruelty free and suitable for vegans.

To protect my skin from London pollution (less necessary now) I use Sephora’s Super Radiance Serum, which hydrates and protects the skin. It is crucial that you get some fresh air and time outside though. Dr Yooh says, “Fresh, moist air is key for allowing your skin to breathe. Your skin creates a barrier against the environment. The climate created by central heating – a high temperature combined with low humidity – can make your skin drier.” So, I like to add another hydrating moisturiser on top. Namely, the B. Radiant day cream, available at Superdrug. It’s a lightweight formula that keeps my skin hydrated all day, even while I’m spending extra time indoors.

Evening: Before the lockdown, I’d remove makeup with a clay formula, but now I use it every night as a cleanser. I love using liquid or foam formulae over makeup wipes as they’re more environmentally sustainable, and often way better for your skin. The clay formula feels so fresh and hydrating and it honestly helps me sleep better, knowing that my skin is fresh for bed.

I’ve been loving self-care during this time, too, so I’ve been trying to add facemasks to my weekly routine. The most apt one of these was Catastrophe Cosmetic from Lush – honestly, just the name made my Sunday. And it left my skin feeling soft and supple.

READ MORE: SS19: The minimal makeup look

Crucially, though, less is more. Dr Yooh reminds us not to overdo it. “You could find that your pores start to clog up with too many products. Instead, I recommend that everyone starts off by making sure they are using the correct products for their skin type when it comes to cleansing and moisturising.”

What products are you loving this lockdown? Have you been taking any extra skincare steps? Let me know in the comments!