Having lived in our shrunken worlds for quite some months now, it’s hard to remember a life which included any spontaneity beyond whether to wear wellies or trainers when you take the dog out. The novelty of Zoom calls and anything ‘virtual' wore off months ago, and I’m desperate to wear actual work clothes, sit in an actual office and have an actual, face to face conversation with someone who isn’t in my bubble (no offence, bubble members).
BUT despite that, I’m also feeling a bit overwhelmed by the head to toe makeover, 14 stone weight loss and series of intense shamanic energy replenishment sessions that I feel stand between lockdown me and ‘normal’ me.
So where do I start?
Feeling content while out walking this week, I started thinking about the little things that give me a real lift but take barely any effort, and I wanted to share them with you. So if you’re feeling like me, don’t despair; we can start small! Here are my five failsafe can’t be arsed mood boosters:
- Get outside: It’s amazing how just being in nature helps me feel calm and grateful, and I don’t need to go far to do it. Anywhere with trees and water is my heaven but I just get outside - somewhere quiet - and focus on each of my senses one by one. This doesn't include what I can see on my phone.
- Birds: This can be as simple as putting out a bird feeder and watching to see who comes to visit. For me it's always beautiful robins and blackbirds and I could watch them all day. You could also go full on bird nerd like my sister, who having received a lovely camera for her birthday, now spends many happy moments wondering around like David Attenborough and constantly taking photos. This is ridiculously relaxing and has the added benefit of requiring silence and concentration, so you can totally zone out.
- I paint my toenails: I really feel like I have my shit together when my nails aren’t shit. When you really can’t be arsed, you might argue that painting your toenails is far too much hassle, but for me, there’s a particular level of self-loathing that comes with looking down and seeing manky, chipped monstrosities. As a minimum, remove old, chipped polish, file and save the new colour for another day. You could even do away with polish altogether and just focus on having your nails clean and shaped. That’s what I did with my fingernails because there’s no polish on this planet that lasts more than two days on mine without chipping, even Shellac! If someone knows otherwise, please share.
- I make my bed: I once saw a motivational speech by a heroic ex-serviceman with lifechanging injuries. When asked to share his key tip for staying upbeat, it was to make your bed first thing. I found the simplicity of this really refreshing because it’s something absolutely anyone can do. Making your bed does something mentally to say you’re ready for the day and can tackle any scenario, but don’t make it look too inviting because I reckon spending too much time in it or on it does something mentally to you too, and not in a good way. Before moving house I spent a week working from my bed because my desk and my dining table had both been collected by the recycling company. It was bloody awful and between working on it and sleeping in it, all that was missing was a bucket in the corner and bars on the window.
- I light a candle: One of the problems I’ve found about working exclusively from home is the lack of demarcation between work and my own time. Having a ritual – however small – can signal to your brain that it’s time to chill. And it makes your house smell gorgeous so it’s win win. Just remember to blow it out, especially if it’s posh.
So give these a try, and if you feel ready to do something more fundamental to create a stronger mindset, I’ll write about that next. We may be starting small, but before we know it, we’ll be emerging into freedom like butterflies from a chrysalis!
What’s your favourite ‘can’t be arsed’ top tip? Share it here!