Good morning my lovely followers!
Well what a week it’s been – if you don’t already know I’m UK based, so it’s been an incredibly interesting week since England gone into a 4 week lockdown and won’t come out of it until the 2nd December (or at least I hope it only lasts that long, but who knows).
Travel is most definitely being put on hold, and personally, I won’t be going further then my local shops if I need to.
It also means that I won’t be seeing my boyfriend since we do not live together (*yet) and cannot form a support bubble. I know they said we can travel to exercise, which is great, but I don’t see how travelling 25+ miles to go for a walk with my boyfriend would be classed as essential travel (even though yes we are allowed to travel for exercise, but common sense/government guidelines tells us not to leave our local area if we can avoid it) – so looks like that’s another month where I won’t see him. Oh well – it’s fine! Just means we’re one day closer to this all being over!
I’m fairly positive about the whole thing, a lot of people ask but how can you cope without seeing each other, and I’m just like it sucks but we manage. But the good news is that all this extra “free time” has given me a lot more time to think about things. So I’ve been planning some amazing holidays that I want to go to in the future (and yes the majority of those will involve castles in them).
But since we cannot travel now, and I strongly suggest that even though there are some National Trust Gardens that are open, that you stay as local as you can during this time – you might not think it helps but it makes a difference. So since I am basically stuck at home for the next month (or next lockdown that could potentially happen after Christmas after people go and visit all their friends and family), I just thought now was the perfect time to plan a staycation in the comfort of my own home.
So here’s how you can enjoy a holiday right in the comfort of your own home this winter!
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Okay, so unlike the summer lockdown when you could sunbathe outside in your garden all day (that’s basically a holiday right), these colder months makes things a little bit harder, which is why preparation is key! If you plan on having a cosy night in, then make sure that you have plenty of blankets at the ready. Get your favourite movies picked, or pick out your favourite books and have them sat ready next to you (make sure you’ve got your glasses if you need them as well)!
If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace, then stock up on as much wood as you could possibly need! Get your house nice and toasty, and whilst you’re at it, purchase some marshmallows and hot chocolate – who said you can’t roast marshmallows in the comfort of your own home?
Even without a fireplace you can still have fun and make some sweet treats in the oven to enjoy, so make sure that your cupboards are fully stocked (without going too overboard, we don’t want the shopping shelves to be empty like the last lockdown), and just enjoy yourself!
What about getting a few extra candles stored up, I remember one winter, we had a power cut that lasted three days! Luckily we had all our camping gear, so we basically lit some candles at night (we did have torches as well), cooked on the camping stove, and basically had a great 3 days camping experience inside our living room! That was actually a really fun adventure that me and my family did – and it happened because we were prepared.
Deck the Halls
Okay, so yes I know it’s November, and yes I know that people aren’t as crazy about Christmas as I am – but come on decorating your house for Christmas time now is the perfect way to add a bit of holiday cheer into your home (and yes I am writing this whilst listening to Christmas music – sorry)!
You have to admit that by having those twinkling lights strung up on your tree can really help make a cosy night in! Or if you aren’t quite ready to decorate for Christmas (or perhaps have another holiday to celebrate first), then just decorate your home with what you want. I love hanging fairy lights up whilst I’m watching a movie because it just makes the whole room just feel that much more magical!
Since the nights are getting longer, and I feel like the days are a lot darker nowadays, then hanging up a few lights (or candles), can really help brighten up your home! I love lights, I love making the house bright and it can really help boost my mood, so maybe this is something that you can look to doing!
Throw a (Virtual) Get Together
Of course, seeing all your friends and family would make this whole lockdown thing a lot easier. Trust me, everyone is in the same boat and would love to see all their friends and family without restrictions. It sucks for everyone! But there’s a way around this, and that it to host a virtual get together!
This can be done on Zoom, FaceTime, whatever works for you. Just make sure that everyone knows how to use it. I remember the first lockdown we had, my sister and I spent like half an hour teaching my grandparents how to facetime! Luckily for Christmas my grandad had treated himself to a smart phone (my grandma still loves her Nokia – you know the phone that is basically a brick and won’t break) – so it was a lot of facetiming involving just their ear. But they now know how to not only answer a call and show their face! But also how to start a FaceTime call 😀
All it takes is a little bit of effort, and yes it’s not quite the same but it still makes for a brilliant evening. You can do a pub quiz together, or if it’s just the two of you, you can watch a film at the same time. That’s what me and Luke seem to do a lot of the time – virtual movie nights are basically what my dating life has become haha!
Even if you only do this once a week though, you’d be surprised by how nice seeing a friendly face or a loved one can help boost your mood! So make sure you plan a virtual get together when you can.
Eat and Be Merry
Food is life right? Well it’s certainly something which I know I look forward to. I do have to admit the one thing I miss is going to the pub and just socialising with people. I haven’t been in a pub since January (how quickly has that time gone), but it’s not really the food or drinks I miss – it’s sitting around a wonky table on an uncomfortable stool and just talking to my friends. When I can finally do that again without worrying about social distancing or wearing a mask, I’ll be happy.
But I do have to admit that eating proper food (food that you haven’t been cooking all day) is a dream. That’s why I’m glad we can still order takeaways, just got to say goodbye to the diet though! Now where I live, I can only get a curry delivered to my home, which is the problems of living in the middle of nowhere but it’s still pretty good.
I also know that I can go out and buy whatever food and drinks I want from my local shop. I’m not going too crazy on the food I eat, but I do know that when I’m watching The Greatest British Bake Off a nice cookie or piece of cake makes me incredibly happy.
So set a night in mind and think about what you want. Do you miss going to the pub, then get in that pub meal that you fancy and buy in your favourite drinks. Miss going out for cocktails with your friends, then treat yourself to a cocktail maker and try and make some of your favourite drinks (I suck at making cocktails, but it’s all fun whilst you try).
Do what makes you happy, what will you look forward to when the days get darker and you are sitting at home wondering what to do? If you’re furloughed, then take the extra time you have to cook a fancy meal – you’ve got the time now, so why not spend an extra hour in the kitchen and pretending that you are the new Gordan Ramsey?
Movie Marathon Anyone?
I am a huge movie buff – and if this was summer, you can guarantee that I would be planning an outdoor movie set up in my garden, but it’s cold and I don’t fancy freezing for the couple of hours that the movie is on. But what I am willing to do, is put the fire on, get a cozy blanket and chill in the lounge with one of my favourite films.
Anyone up for a Harry Potter Marathon? Or what about The Lord of the Rings? Whatever you want, go and watch it. Binge watch your favourite TV Show (currently mine is Schitt’s Creek – and holy wow that show is amazing)!
You don’t have to do it alone though either, FaceTime your friends whilst you’re watching a movie, get some popcorn and pretend that you are in a cinema enjoying the latest release! Why not pretend that your movie critics and really get involved in the film. Just have some fun with it.
You might have to stay indoors because it’s too cold to go outside, but you can still enjoy yourself. Order in the food that you want, set up some fairy lights around your room and make it as cosy as you can! If you have little ones, then why not consider setting up a blanket fort in the middle of the room, get as many cushions and blankets as you can and make it an experience that they’ll never forget!
Turn That Bathroom Into a Spa!
This might not be for everyone, and I know my dad would just laugh if I suggested something like this to him. But sometimes creating an at-home spa treatment can do you a power of good. I love spending my Sunday nights with a good face mask, relaxing in a bubble bath! Sometimes this is just the best way that you can relax and prepare yourself for the coming week.
Get those candles lit, and some relaxing music planning in the background. Remember you want this to be a relaxing experience, so get rid of any clutter out your bathroom whilst you can.
When you fill your bath tub up, then a pro tip is to keep the door closed as you do so, as this will help keep the steam in the room. Also, make sure you have plenty of bubbles in that bath – no they are not just for fun – they actually help keep your bath hotter for you. Normally a bath will be hot for about 20 minutes, so if you can make it a little bit hotter then you would normally like (without burning yourself) for the ultimate relaxing bathroom spa experience!
Explore Your Local Area!
Lastly, you don’t need to stay indoors the whole time that you are holidaying at home, just like any holiday you can go out and explore BUT only in your local area. Personally, I don’t think it’s a good idea to travel as far as you can as that doesn’t help (even though yes I would love to travel to faraway places, but just not at the minute).
People always make the mistake of thinking that they need to travel far in order to find something great but they couldn’t be more wrong. Since the summer lockdown I have found some incredible places around my home – all of which are within walking distances.
I’ve got two moats nearby, a medieval ridge and furrow field, a stunning stream and a magical wooded area. Things which despite living here for 20+ years I didn’t realise. It’s crazy that it took lockdown for me to realise how stunning my local area is.
Go out when you have daylight, wrap up warm, yes we would all prefer it to be sunny, but we have to make do with what we’ve got. If you’ve got little ones then take them out for a walk in a place where they can run through the leaves that have fallen on the ground and if you get really lucky and it starts to snow when you are out – then enjoy that magical moment!
Don’t get too cold though, so make sure you come prepared with a flask of hot tea if you can.
I know it’s tough, and I know the winter months don’t make staying at home easy. We would all much prefer to go out and enjoy our time with our loved ones doing what we want. But the good news is that we are just one day closer to this all being over.
Stay safe everyone, and remember to check in with your friends, family, and neighbours. If you know someone who is living alone then ask how they are doing, make sure they are okay. The darker days don’t really help, so now it is really important to be there for people. Just remember to social distance of course!
Let me know in the comments how you are coping? Have you got any plans or suggestions for people to try whilst they are stuck inside? Any suggestion would be really useful, as I know I haven’t covered everything.
Thanks everyone 😀