What I’ve Learnt Whilst Being In Lockdown.

What I’ve Learnt Whilst Being In Lockdown.

Hello my lovelies! I hope you’re having a great weekend so far and that it’s not pouring down too much! (That being said, I kind of love thunderstorms..) So, this week shops have begun opening again and lockdown measures are beginning to lessen, which is great news; and if you’re off out to them, please be safe and wear a mask! It’s amazing hearing that lockdown is sort of at its end now, and with shops opening it certainly feels a lot more like how it used to be; but at the same time it feels so strange because I’d gotten so used to everything being shut and no one going out!

Being in lockdown has allowed me to do a range of things I’d either forgotten about, didn’t feel like I had time for and has given me some time with myself and my thoughts. And with everything that’s happened (and still happening), if I didn’t take care of my mental wellbeing, my mind would end up a bit like this:

Naturally, having my mind acting like that is not ideal, so I’ve been taking care of myself by doing all sorts to manage my wellbeing; and I’ve learnt quite a few things about what makes me feel good and sets me up to have a good day.

So, what have I learnt? Well…

  • Something as small as a good cup of tea can work wonders when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

I’ve been trying all sorts of teas during lockdown and have finally landed on one that I absolutely adore, redbush tea. It’s naturally sweet and smells great. Plus it’s naturally caffeine free, and as someone who has anxiety, decaf is all I drink. I also used to have a heavy sugar and then sweetener addiction, and during lockdown I’ve managed to curb that to the point of only needing one sweetner in my tea since redbush is so naturally sweet. Anytime I feel like I need five minutes completely to myself, I go and get myself a lovely cup of tea and chill out for a few minutes.

  • Audiobooks are a great escape from the news.

The news has gotten so overwhelming and is the same thing repeated over and over again, so I’ve been limiting how much time I spend listening and watching it and have been listening to audiobooks instead. I found they’re a great way to escape the never ending covid news and just tune out and chill out for a bit.

  • Plants are an incredible way to brighten up any space and simply put, bring me joy and peace.

I have fallen madly in love with house plants over lockdown. Maybe it’s not being able to go outside much or something else, but I’ve gone from having three fake plants to over 10 alive ones during my time at home. I’ve found they’re a great distraction from everything going on, and they’re something you can focus your energy on even when you don’t feel like looking after yourself. And on top of that you’ll breathe easier with more plants in your space!

  • Redecorating is a great way to feel refreshed and give you that new start feeling.

I had been in the same space for several years, and it was a pretty dark room due to there being slanted ceilings and only one window. My brother had had the smallest room in the house for years and long story short he kept asking me when I was moving out (gotta love saving for your own place..) so he could have my room. So, I thought about it and decided it’s about time he got a big room. And so, over the course of a weekend we painted, moved furniture and reorganised each others room; now I’m in the smallest room in the house. You might think having a tiny room with only enough space for a clothes rail, bed, desk and bedside table would feel cluttered and give you anxiety; but it’s actually been incredibly refreshing and has encouraged me to completely declutter all of my belongings to what I actually need. My room feels fresh and bright and is the new beginning that I needed.

  • No one is looking at my scars when I’m out without makeup on. My skin looks fine with and without makeup.

Since we’ve all been inside for a long time, a lot of us who would normally wear makeup regularly have reduced our days wearing makeup to virtually zero. And as nice as I feel when I’m wearing a full face, not being able to touch my face for fear of my makeup coming off everywhere just isn’t worth it anymore for me. So now I only wear a full face when I’m doing a photoshoot. And even then it’s a much paired down makeup routine to my previous one. When I do go outside I wear a tiny bit of clear brow gel, clear mascara and lipgloss; and even then that’s a rare occurrence. At first I was concerned that my acne, rosacea and psoriasis scars would make people stare at me, but to be honest, no one really cares at all. And now I don’t even wear foundation in most of my photoshoots!

Light Projector
  • A light projector is a great way to rid you of night worries.

I picked up a light projector from amazon after switching rooms with my brother because I had individually stuck 800 glow in the dark stars to my old ceiling and my new room felt weird without them, so this was a great replacement. The light can change colours, project water and stars around the entire room. Plus this projector light is also a speaker and has a timer setting so you can leave it on when you go to bed without fear of it staying on all night and overheating. I like to put on a mix of red and blue light with the stars whilst I listen to meditations or read before bed. It’s super relaxing, and I’d recommend it to anyone who struggles to get rid of worries before bed.

  • Yoga is a form of meditation for me.

Before lockdown I would practice yoga on and off every now and again, but about halfway through lockdown I started practicing yoga for 30 minutes each day to chill out and reset. I’ve been watching Yoga with Adriene on YouTube and am about 3/4’s of the way through her 30 day yoga practice/challenge. These have helped me unwind after a day at my desk and spend some time acknowledging my thoughts and feelings and let them be what they are. Yoga is something I don’t go a day without now because it allows me to release and explore anything I need to without pushing my feelings down until they inevitably explode out of nowhere.

  • Just because I’m not going anywhere doesn’t mean I can’t look cute.
Shaved head

Something I used to do before lockdown was wear simple outfits during the work week with a hint of my unique style, and then go all out at the weekend. But since we’ve been inside an awful lot, I have taken pleasure in dressing completely unapologetically in my unique style, going all out with my outfits every day. Gone are the days where I would save outfits for an occasion; because after all, you don’t buy clothes to have them stay on the hanger only to be worn once in a blue moon.

  • Shaving my hair off is the most freeing and liberating thing I could have ever done.

As you probably know, at the beginning of lockdown I shaved my head. It was something I’d always wanted to do, and lockdown gave me the perfect opportunity to do it. Shaving my head was scary yes, but oh so worth it and I would do it again in a heartbeat because I’ve never felt more like myself. It’s helped me reassess what about my appearance I relied on as a comfort blanket and how I feel about how I look. I feel beautiful with and without hair and let me tell you, not having to do your hair in the morning is an incredible feeling.

  • Time really does heal.

So, at the end of February my ex and I broke up. We’d been together for over 8 years, since we were 15 years old. He was my first love and to be honest I think we weren’t sure what we wanted anymore. To tell you the truth one of the good things about going into quarantine is that its allowed me to process my feelings and work through what I needed to work through, and now, four months on I feel amazing. Time really is a healer and quarantine is the enforced time I needed for myself.

  • Days doing nothing are necessary.

Looking online I saw so many people talking about how they were working on their next project or finding a side hustle during their time at home, and it made me feel like having a day to do nothing was a waste of all of this new found spare time. But, as someone who hasn’t actually been furloughed and worked the entire way through lockdown whilst simultaneously running her own business, my spare time actually felt shorter than ever before and I began feeling guilty for wanting to spend the day in front of the telly. However, if you don’t take time to look after yourself and recharge, you’re going to burn out. So, I ended up taking a few days holiday during lockdown to literally do nothing. And they were just what I needed to recharge and refresh myself ready to get going again. You haven’t always got to be doing something!

  • Photoshoots are a great way to boost your mood.

Something I’ve been doing is having photoshoots with no real goal or purpose in mind other than to turn up some music and vibe; and let me tell you, it is such a great way to give you a mood boost. Plus, you get some super cute photos out of it too! I like using this as a tool for testing out new outfit ideas I’ve had as well, and the second I’m vibing in the outfit, it instantly brings a smile to my face making everything even cuter.

  • Family quiz nights are perfect for catching up with family without the awkward ‘how’s your love life?’ questions.

Most of us have been talking to family and friends even more than before over the last few months, and for my lot, we’ve been having two different game/quiz nights, one board game night on a friday with one side of my family and a quiz on the saturday night with the other side of my family. I love a quiz so these have been so much fun, and since we’re all focused on the game/quiz, all awkward questions you don’t want to answer hardly ever get asked.

  • Skincare routines are a small way to show yourself some selfcare.

I’ve taken this time at home to fully delve into my skincare routine and find things that truly work for my skin. In the morning I use my Carbon Theory soap bar, followed by a serum or complete care cream (I alternate these daily) and then in the evening I use an aloe vera cleansing foam followed by an aloe vera moisturising gel and then my adapalene retinol cream. I’ve stuck to this routine for about 3 months and my skin has never felt better. Yes, I still have my adult acne, but the texture of my skin has changed and I think my skin tone has evened out a bit. 5 minutes in the morning and evening to look after yourself can really work wonders.

Tarot Cards
  • Tarot card readings help me feel centered.

This one isn’t for everyone, but I personally love doing tarot readings. I like to burn some incense sticks, put on some relaxing music and then give myself a tarot reading, focusing on whatever question or worry I’ve had going through my mind. The cards don’t give you direct answers of course, but they can give you a gentle nudge into a direction you could take. And I personally find a little bit of calm in allowing other forces (believe what you want to believe.. if you don’t believe in that sort of thing that’s your choice and you do you) to give me a bit of guidance on what I can do.

  • Routines are necessary to keep me productive on weekdays.

As nice at it was to work in my pyjamas every single day, it stops the day from being broken up and you can lose a sense of what day it is. So, I’ve created a routine which I stick to every weekday to help my days stop blending into one. I wake up at 6.30am, go get breakfast by 7am, have a cup of tea and then wash my face and brush my teeth; then I watch some youtube or tv and then start work at 8am. I then work until 4pm with a lunch break in the middle and then at 4.30pm I start cooking my tea. By 6pm I workout and shower, then play some animal crossing, watch some tv and then get ready to go to bed and then go to sleep by 10pm. Having structure has helped keep me productive and make sure I’ve scheduled in some time for selfcare.

And those are what I’ve learnt from being in lockdown!

I feel like I’ve grown a lot during lockdown, at the start of lockdown it had been about 3 weeks since my ex and I had split, I was in a completely different space mentally and physically, I was surrounded physical clutter too and I was stressed about all sorts. But now, I’m single and happy, I’ve moved into a new space, I’ve thrown away and donated the majority of my belongings by going minimalist, I’m finally on top of my savings and can manage my finances with (some level of) confidence and I’m now adult enough to keep plants alive and I give even less of a care about how others view my appearance!

Looking back at who I was at the beginning of lockdown is truly like looking at a different person. My family and friends have said I seem more like myself and happier than ever and I can’t help but agree with them. Truth be told I think lockdown was the time out from the outside world that I didn’t know I really needed.

What have you learnt from being in lockdown? Let me know in the comments!

Have a great weekend my lovelies and happy pride!

Love,

Victoria Blog Signature
What I’ve Been Up To During Lockdown.

What I’ve Been Up To During Lockdown.

Happy Saturday and happy Easter my lovelies! Can you believe that we’re actually in April right now? Where is this year going?! But I won’t lie, if the next few months could be skipped, I wouldn’t be complaining! For a lot of you it’s probably going into week three of lockdown, but for me I’m well into week four, it could even be week five. I don’t even know anymore.

Because we’re all stuck inside, everyone has been coming up with new ways of doing things and passing the time. As for me, I’ve been busy doing all sorts.

I’m incredibly lucky that I am able to work from home, so monday to thursday every week I spend 8am to 4pm working at my desk for a non-profit called the SUN Network; where I do all things social media, marketing and website related. At the SUN Network we talk to people who have accessed, are accessing or are trying to access mental health and/or drug and alcohol services within Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and listen to their stories and what they would like to see improved to make the services better.

Then, after my work at the SUN Network I take a few hours each night and fridays to work on my freelance business Sociaglow. At Sociaglow I help small businesses and non-profit organisations get their website up and running and social media channels set-up and ready to go.

So the good thing for me is that I have been able to continue working and keep to some form of a routine throughout all of this madness.

And then comes my time when I’ve finished work. So, lucky for me, I have a million hobbies that I usually wouldn’t have much time for due to other commitments. Some of those hobbies include:

  • Painting and Drawing
  • Sculpting
  • Sewing
  • Playing Video Games
  • Designing
  • Creating and Completing Puzzles
  • Doing Photoshoots
  • Reading and Listening to Audiobooks
  • Watching Movies
  • Organising
  • Yoga

Week one: This week I decided to start painting as I had bought a huge canvas a few weeks prior (when we could still go outside and shop) which I had been hung on my wall completely blank because I was struggling to come up with an idea for what I should paint. Plus, I wasn’t sure how well my painting would look if I were to just go freehand when I wasn’t completely in the right mood for painting. After some time thinking it over, and in a creative spell, I decided to just slap some paint on the canvas and see what ideas that would spark. Lucky for me, inspiration hit and I was able to paint a pretty cool piece over the next few weekends! And lucky for you, I filmed my process!

Week number two: This week I struggled with having to stay home, for many reasons really, but mostly because I had made quite a few plans to meet up with friends who would’ve been at a high risk and we believe people in my house had the virus; so there was no chance of me leaving the house. With all my new found spare time I finished the painting above, shaved my head (I’d always wanted to, see my previous posts) and decided to make myself some dungarees out of an old duvet set! If you like these I’ll do my best to make a diy tutorial on how you can make them yourself! From start to finish these dungarees took about 4 hours to make, from the cutting to actually putting them on. Not bad for an old duvet cover!

Handmade dungarees

Next up comes week three: This weekend I watched Knives Out and played an escape room game we ordered online. I also managed to create a website for my sister and her husbands clothing brand, took some super cute photos in my favourite outfits and I finished an entire book on the Sunday. The book I read was called ‘Make or Break’ by Catherine Bennetto, and it’s the story of a woman who gets surprised with a holiday to Cape Town by her boyfriend of 6+ years but ends up coming back single, with lots of twists and turns in between. It was a very cathartic read for me, because I too recently came out of a long term relationship, (a story for another day maybe?) and I usually struggle to find books I can’t put down but this one was great and I loved every page. 10/10 would recommend!

That brings us to this weekend: Being inspired by the escape room game we ordered and the Knives Out film, I decided to create my own escape room game for my family. And so, after lots of looking online and thinking about how I could really make this an exciting game, I had a game plan. I wrote several letters, had boxes with hidden compartments, invisible inks and inks that would disappear with heat. It took my family about 45-50 minutes to complete it and I am happy to report that they absolutely loved it. In fact they loved it so much that we’ve decided it will become a tradition of ours for different occasions throughout the year, one for Easter, Halloween and Christmas! I can write up how I pulled all of this together so you can create your own if you’d like, let me know in the comments!

Escape Room

And that brings us to right now! I’m having great fun this weekend chilling out, having a bbq, watching disney + and playing animal crossing! Oh and I can’t forget, I’m also stuffing my face with chocolate right now. I love playing animal crossing right now because it’s such a nice way to escape from this house for a few hours! If I can work out how to let you all visit my island, I’ll post it up here or on my Insta and Twitter so you can come and visit me! Once I’m finished with animal crossing for the day, I’ll be finishing up another pair of dungarees that are 70% finished, because let’s be real, dungarees are one of the comfiest forms of clothes ever!

Every other day I’m also taking time to practice yoga and workout with the be.come project, as well as making sure I take a little bit of extra me-time through trying out skincare products that could help with my acne. Other than hobbies and work, I haven’t spent a huge amount of time just doing nothing, partly because when I’m doing nothing, that’s when all of those negative thoughts and reminders about what is going on in the world start to creep back in. So, something that I’m going to be spending some time doing each day is nothing. And you know what, that’s okay, and having some of those negative thoughts in a time like this is okay too.

How are you spending your time during lockdown? And how are you spending this Easter weekend? Let me know in the comments; as always you know I love to have a chat with you!

Have a great weekend everyone and stay safe!

Lots of love,

Victoria Blog Signature
I Shaved My Head.

I Shaved My Head.

Hello my lovelies!! I hope your week hasn’t been too bad with everything going on outside our homes. To fight the boredom of staying home non-stop for a few days a lot of us are coming up with creative ways to spend the time, creating games, making art, and video chatting more people than ever before. And some people are wanting to get their hair cut so bad that they are cutting it themselves!

I am one of those people.

And as you can tell from the title of today’s post, I shaved my head! It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but have been way too scared to actually do it.

But since we’re in quarantine until further notice.. I figured that if I hated it, I’ve got a few weeks to figure something out at least.

So, how did this all go down?

Well, on Monday I had decided that I wanted to get a pixie cut. And that afternoon the lockdown in the UK started.. so going to the hairdressers was no longer an option.

( I should note now that none of my family or myself are hairdressers in any form.. I just have experience with doing my own hair at home so I do the odd trim and colour here and there)

Undercut

So, me being the careless person when it comes to hair in the family, figured I’d get my mum to give cutting my hair a go. We decided to begin with cutting a reasonable amount off with scissors, and then we decided to do an undercut, so we could get closer to a pixie bob to begin with.

Then, about a day later I decided that we should increase the undercut and have it go from my temples, which essentially made it just shaved everywhere apart from the top layer of my hair.

Now, I will say now, that I was debating shaving my hair off whilst we kept cutting shorter and shorter, but the fear kept getting to me.

So, by this point I had what looked like a blunt bob because you couldn’t see my undercut/shaved head. I will say here that my hair was extremely damaged from going blonde (I don’t regret it, but I do wish my hair wasn’t damaged) so cutting off more and more made my hair feel a whole let better immediately!

Two days the went by, and I had then cut even more length off my hair, to the point where I now did have the pixie bob I was after, and I managed to style it and it did look kinda cute.

That night I was watching YouTube and a video popped up by the amazing Rifenstine!! And you can check out her video about her shaving her head below:

And I loved her hair so much and the fact that it was so healthy now!

Even after watching the video (and several others by this point) I was still super unsure and nervous about shaving my head. Then when I woke up the next day, something still niggled at me so around lunchtime I finally plucked up the courage and put the clippers to the rest of my hair.

And I am extremely happy to say that I love it so so much!!

It’s the most freeing experience when it comes to beauty that I have never experienced before, and I feel like I am truly myself! Which is weird and saying a lot coming from someone who has always made a big effort with my hair! And now I finally get it when people who have shaved their hair say that everyone should shave their head at some-point in their lives.

I can’t wait to discover what my fully healthy hair will be like (if I grow it out, but right now I’m loving it like this so we’ll see) and how I express myself probably even more through my clothes and makeup!

I’m also getting some hair paint delivered soon, because even though I want my hair to be the healthiest it’s ever been, I still want to be able to play with hair colours; and hair paint is the perfect way to play with colour without any damage or commitment!

Another thing that I love is that it takes me about 2 minutes to wash and dry my hair (without having to touch a hairdryer) and my hair is ready to go!

So, would I recommend shaving your hair off? Absolutely. Just be prepared for a big change, and don’t worry about how short it will actually be. Your hair will grow back, and you never know, your confidence might grow even more too.

Have a great weekend and stay safe everyone!

Lots of love,

Victoria Blog Signature
Shaved head