April and the Bear Blog

Whiling away the hours – Lockdown Style

What a strange time this is.

At the beginning of this social isolation stint, I found that I was constantly searching for chunky activities and things to do to fill my time UP. To ensure that this time at home wasn’t a wasted opportunity, it needed to be fulfilling + rewarding and I found that if I wasn’t ‘doing something’ my side kick (internal lapsed Catholic, Irish woman/ mother) guilt was sky rocketing.

Into week two, I was exhausted so I started putting less focus on ‘getting things done’ and just being in the moment, doing things that I enjoy in a slower way because why not, we have the time now. Like cooking. I’ll tell you right now, I’m NO GOOD. My Dad is a chef, best in the land if you ask me and this Bear chap I married, he’s pretty fantastic at the cooking too, which has meant that I’ve never really had to be any good at it and let me tell you I’ve embraced this fact. I used to always think that my Dad was mental when I was growing up because basically from the moment he woke up in the morning he was thinking about what he was going to cook for dinner. He’d be talking about dinner at BREAKFAST. Mad man. But these days, I’m finding that I’m doing the same – having a wee poke in the cupboards in the morning and then spending the day thinking about what I’ll cook later. I’m thinking about what foods I might combine, what ingredients I’ll need to substitute for something I don’t have and it has been comforting and more importantly distracting.

Anyway, here are a few things that I’ve found to be a great comfort and distraction in these anxious times –

  • MARTY IN THE MORNING on Lyric FM. Anyone who knows me, knows that Mr Whelan has a very special place in my heart, in fact he actually made an appearance at my wedding…via video link (thank you Fiona, I’ll never quite get over this). Anyway Marty is a treasure and his morning show on Lyric is a TONIC, especially at the moment. You can find it here – every weekday morning 7 to 10am.
  • PAINTING – just get the paints out, any paints you might have in the house. I uncovered tins of sample pots and let me tell you, sploshing them about on a bit of paper was super chill and therapeutic – the bear cub was super into it too.
  • CARRY ON COOKING WITH JAMIE OLIVER . I love Jamie, he’s such a relatable guy and I love that he tries to make cooking less scary for folks like me that are not too comfortable with a non-stick, cast iron pan. His new show is shot in real time practically, he’s at home with Jools on her phone shooting close ups of his cooking and his kids are running around in the background – it’s raw and ready but lovely and real. It’s on every weeknight at 5.30pm on Channel 4.
  • PE WITH JOE – I’m not a gym bunny and I never really ‘got’ the HIIT phenomena but I thought I’d give his morning PE class a go. It was great craic, the little bear cub was entertained for a few minutes (win) and I was a sweaty mess almost immediately but it was nice to move and jump and exert some energy. Joe is charismatic and it’s really nice to feel that you’re working out with thousands of other people who are in the same situation as you – would recommend a class but maybe not every day…you’ll find it on YOUTUBE every week morning at 9am.
  • MOONS YOGA – the glorious Sinead of Moons Yoga Loft has brought her super special slow flow ONLINE! She runs her class a couple of times a week and there is a suggested 8 euro donation but if you are a frontline worker it’s free. It’s such a lovely way to focus on you for a wee while and takes you out of your head which is so welcome at the moment. Another fave of mine is Yoga With Adriene – she has oodles of yoga videos on YOUTUBE and her positivity and sense of humour is totally infectious.
  • THE CREEP DIVE – this is my favourite podcast, it features a trio of gas gals with the best GROSS stories of murder, mystery and a fair dose of indecent animal activity. The hosts are hilarious (especially my GURL JEN) and it really feels like you’re hanging with your mates whilst hearing some wicked tales. Also at the moment, the gals are running a CREEP LIVE ONLINE on Thursdays , where they hang out with their listeners on Zoom (for Patreons only mind you).

So this is what’s been getting me through the lockdown – what about you? Have you been embracing banana bread? Keep safe and know we’re all in this together

S x

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