Life’s a bit harder for most of us at the moment – at this exact time, I have clothes in the washing machine that have been there for four days and been washed twice, and I still haven’t hung them up because, euch. But there are little things you can do to that are quick, easy and are guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Treat yourself, girl.
Take five minutes to make a cup of tea, but really make a cup of tea. Instead of chucking a tea bag into a chipped cup between feeding the cat, replying to that email and trying to figure out of the chicken you cooked three days ago will stretch to today’s lunch, set aside a few minutes to focus on your cuppa. Use your favourite tea and favourite cup, and let it brew just the way you like it. Then, enjoy. A Gingernut or two wouldn’t hurt either.
Go outside, even if it’s just for a second. Look up at the sky, take a few deep breaths, and get going.
Light a candle. Humans finding comfort in fire goes back as far as humans themselves do, so it makes sense we’re drawn to a naked flame. They’re comforting, they’re focussing, they’re intuitive and pretty. They invoke memories, or hope, or home.
Go through your Instagram page and unfollow anyone whose posts don’t make you feel good. Not today, Satan.
Go for a walk, but take a different route than you normally would.
Pick a little area of your home, like a drawer, shelf, cupboard or handbag, and organise it. It’s easy to do but it’ll give you a sense of achievement that’ll allow yourself to feel absolutely no shame about a glass of wine later. Not that you should feel any guilt about wine ever. Actually…
…Just pour yourself a wine.
Put on that guilty pleasure song. You know, the one that never fails to make you happy, but is definitely not the one you’d put on a playlist for that classy wine and cheese night you’re hosting next week. Broadway and Disney are great places to start – Colours of the Wind, anybody?
Whatever you’re planning to cook tonight, think of a way to add two more vegetables to it for your inner smugness.
Start planning your next overseas trip. It might be a wee way away, but this too shall pass. And when it does, those massive poolside cocktails with the big squiggly straws aren’t going to drink themselves.
Send your best friend a little bunch of flowers and know you’ve made her day.
Go find that pot of Neutrogena you bought because you saw a meme on Facebook that said if you’re old enough to remember Encarta CD roms, it’s time for eye cream, and actually use it. Can’t hurt.
Make your bed. It’s easier said than done – especially if your bed’s up against a wall and you have to spend a minute tucking covers in, then smoothing the duvet out, then doing it again. The thought of it is painful enough – but it is worth it when you get home from work, you kick off your heels and flop into a beautifully-made bed.
Stretch. Do a few arm windmills or some calf raises, get on the floor and stretch out the hamstrings, or just simply reach up and salute the sun or whatever it’s called. Just spend a few moments in synch with your body.
Use something you’ve been saving for a special occasion for forever, and said special occasion has just never popped up. Who gives a damn if it’s a Tuesday? Put that special bottle in your fridge, use up the fancy soap, bring out the crystal glasses and light the expensive candle that’s gathering dust on the shelf. Make an ordinary night extraordinary.
Organise a games night for the second we can pop our bubbles. Gather your most competitive mates, put away anything that’s breakable and try to one up each other.
Shape and paint your nails. Every time you look down at your hands you’ll see a perfect, polished set of nails that reminds you that you indulged in a little me time. Or if you’re one of those people who can’t hold a brush steady – no shame, those things are stupidly tiny – just clean them a bit and get all the crap out of them.
Do something you’re really good it. Humility be damned – if you need a bit of a confidence boost, pick your best skill or hobby and spend a bit of time being fabulous and wonderful.
Treat yourself to some supermarket flowers. They don’t have to be fancy or expensive, but even a few stems of baby’s breath can brighten up your space – especially if you’ve been stuck in it for the entirety of lockdown.
Turn off your phone for an hour. Everyone always tells you it’s amazing to unplug – and everyone’s not wrong. Spend the time with a book, in a bath, doing some crafts or outside with your family.
Just make the bed. It’ll be worth it later.