Friday, March 31, 2023

Stressed? Kids Going Nuts? Can’t Concentrate? What You’ve Got in the Cupboards and What You Can Still Buy That Will Help, Right Now!

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The books we're reading, the vibrators we're using, the rants we're having and more in our weekly EDM.

Oh yes, this again. As we sink back into the familiarity of level 4 lockdown some things have been easy to slot right back into (is it time to put on another loaf of banana bread yet?). But in other ways, it feels all new again, or I’ve somehow forgotten what worked last time. Even some of the rules are confusing right now – so… we can still buy some stuff online?!? What stuff is still okay?!?

If you feel like something is overwhelming you right now, chances are we’ve been right there with you – and there are some ways out. The answers are in your own cupboards – others are just a click away, or can be solved by adding to your supermarket list next time you’re doing a big shop.

So, stress no further! We have the answers…

Help! I’m feeling stressed out

Feeling overwhelmed? Too much going on? Having a scare in your bubble? Dealing with some heavy personal stuff and NOW THIS? Lockdown can be an incredibly stressful time, but if you can carve out even 10 minutes for your mental (and physical!) well-being right now, it can make a big difference.

I need help now:
Download the Headspace app – there’s plenty of free sessions to start meditating with, or you can subscribe (or get a free trial!) for more targeted practices like sleep or for anxiety. Andy’s voice will have you feeling namaste in no time!

I’m due for a supermarket shop:
When you’re at the supermarket picking up the essentials, add some extras to your trolley and bring the spa to your own home!

Slather on a hair mask – I recommend A’kin Miracle Shine Conditioning Hair Mask (200ml, RRP$26.99, available from supermarkets and pharmacies), it’s vegan, natural and a true treat. Pop on a sheet mask – perhaps Glow Lab Hydrating Facial Mask ($3.50, available from supermarkets). Light a candle – the Essano range is available from supermarkets, try the Coconut Escape (300g, $25). Extra points if you pick up a cucumber to slice up and pop over your blissed out eyes, and add a chamomile tea to sip on!

Help! The kids are driving me nuts!

Having kids at home to look after really takes the whole experience of lockdown up a notch – especially if you still have to work!

I need help now:
Get thee to the kitchen! There are loads of easy science experiments you can set up with the kids to keep them occupied. If you haven’t tried it already, demonstrate why washing our hands is so important by sprinkling pepper (aka, fake germs) in a bowl of water. Dip your fingers in and see how the pepper floating on the surface sticks to your hand. Then, wash your hands and dip a finger in the water – and voila – watch as the pepper runs away from your fingers. They’ll never forget this lesson in hand washing!

Open up your cupboards – if you have a bag of cornstarch, you have HOURS OF ENTERTAINMENT. A bag of cornstarch with a touch of water (play round with the consistency!) makes the most incredible, bizarre slime (just make sure you wear gloves if you add food colouring to it to make it more fun!).

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a longer-term project, last year I watched American cookbook author Danielle Walker keep her kids occupied during a loooong lockdown by declaring each week a holiday week – Valentine’s Day, then Halloween, then Thankgiving, then Christmas. Each week they did craft projects, decorated the house and cooked meals according to the theme and it looked like a super fun way to pass the time (plus she perfected some recipes along the way!). Personally, I’m always looking for a reason to get the Christmas Tree out early – xmas in August? Why bloody not!!

I can wait for a courier:
One of the smartest things I did this lockdown was put an order into Toyworld straight away and was shocked when the delivery arrived less than 24 hours later. Under Level 4 rules, toy stores are restricted to sales of essential items only, which means educational toys only. This could be a little confusing – but Toyco’s website is excellent right now, with items clearly marked as essential and I’ve made a second purchase from them! Amongst my best picks are the 4M range, including the Crystal Mining Kit (it takes a good couple of hours to get through), the Kitchen Science Kit (just make sure you have in your cupboards some vinegar, baking soda, a lemon, red food colouring and sugar!), and the Kaleidoscope Making Kit – all $24.99 each.

Help! Turns out, my house is positively arctic…

Uh oh, in a new place and haven’t spent that much solid time in it until now and have realised that it’s actually really, really cold? It might be time to bring in the big guns…

I’m due for a supermarket shop:
Many supermarkets sell fairly decent heaters – you can pick up this ceramic tower heater on special at Countdown right now for $55 (normally $70). Fluffy socks, blankets and hot water bottles are all also available at most major supermarkets, making for a one-stop shop to warm up your home!

Help! I can’t concentrate!

House too noisy? Just can’t get into the swing of things?

I’m due for a supermarket shop:
Made in NZ, Arepa drinks (300ml, $5.99) can give your brain cells a boost and help you think clearly! The nootropic formula contains L-theanine, Enzogenol® New Zealand Pine Bark Extract and Neuroberry®, a unique New Zealand variety of blackcurrant. Charged with Anthocyanins and Vitamin C, Ārepa helps support neurological function and reduce fatigue and when you are under stress and need to perform. 

I can wait for a courier:
Could caffeine be the answer? The good folks at Nespresso are offering free delivery (for any purchase of 50 or more capsules) during our time in need. You can stock up on capsules or buy machines online right now if you’re having withdrawals from your daily flat white fix.

Alternatively, maybe things are just too loud at your place to concentrate? Maybe the kids’ iPads are blaring, or your partners work calls are distracting? Try investing in a pair of quality noise cancelling headphones, like these ones from Sony.

Help! I am booooored

Not working from home? Not much going on? Feel like you’re endlessly scrolling through Netflix? We’re here to help!

I need help now:
Got a kindle? In a few clicks you could be downloading your new favourite book! If we could start with a few suggestions, they’d be our Book Club picks – The Duke and I, Wintering, Legacy and False Witness.

Need something new to watch? Here are our best picks for what to watch on the telly (that will take you DAYS if not weeks to get through).

How about having some quality time in the kitchen? Here are some fab recipes to give a go:
+ 20 minute vegan dinners
+ Whip up a Mexican fiesta
+ The Caker’s Raspberry & White Chocolate cake with Sumac Sprinkle

Help! Ouch, my back! And my neck!

All this working from home making you feel bent out of shape? Got into the habit of working from the couch or bed and suffering the consequences?

I need help now:
It’s never been more important that when you’re working from home – perhaps in a situation that’s not quite as well set up as your normal office – to take micro breaks and pauses. PLUS, pushing play for 30 mins each day will really help your back (and your busy mind!). My go-to is Yoga with Adriene – you can find her on Youtube, but there are loads of other free workouts you can try! Head here for suggestions.

I can wait for a courier:
If you don’t have a proper set up at home, now may be the time to invest in a few pieces of equipment (if your workplace hasn’t already issued you with some!).

PBTech is open for deliveries and stock the ergonomically engineered Logitech pieces, ERO K860 Wireless Split Keyboard ($279.90) and the MX Vertical Ergonomic Wireless Mouse ($199.90 – I have this one and it’s a lifesaver!)

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