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This really isn't a post I thought I'd be writing when we started 2020, but in the space of just a couple of months, the world has changed drastically. I want to first say that I really feel for anyone who is self-employed, works in the airline industry or who is otherwise unable to work from home during this confusing time. Please stay on top of the latest government advice in your country and if you are suffering from anxiety and feel unable to cope, reach out to a professional, but today I wanted to share a few ways to stay motivated. Whether you're lucky enough to have a profession that allows you to easily do your job from home, you're self-isolated or just doing your bit by choosing to stay inside; hopefully this post helps you find some ways to feel a little better about things. I definitely can't promise everything will be ok, but if we can try to enter this in the best frame of mind, we're in the best position possible to help ourselves and others.

Still carry out your morning routine

You really don't need to be doing a full face of makeup every day whilst sat at home (unless you want to - in which case, go for it!) but if it makes you feel more polished and better in yourself (for those of you feeling unwell) then do a bit of makeup or your hair. One thing I'm definitely doing is sticking to a good skincare routine because it really is a form of self-care for me.

Get dressed and sit up at a table (of some sort!)

Not everyone has the perfect office set up, myself included, given I live in a one-bedroom flat with my boyfriend! If it's possible, find somewhere to sit that isn't your bed or sofa, just so you feel productive and away from distractions. Even if it's a dressing table or a corner of a dining table, it really will help you feel more productive. Likewise, as I've been working from home for a week now, I've realised that getting dressed properly helps me feel less like my life is just slobbing around in my flat now. I feel more productive and I feel like I'm working when I'm up and dressed, even if just in jeans and a t-shirt.

Get creative in the kitchen

Oh boy, this is a big topic! As most of you are aware; the supermarkets are rammed and delivery slots are few and far-between. This has led to many stockpiling long-life items, as their ability to get fresh ingredients is limited. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know I'm a total foodie and under normal circumstances, if I'm feeling down then spending an hour cooking up a tasty meal is something that gets me excited and distracts me from my problems. However there are definitely ways to create tasty and varied meals with minimal fresh ingredients - all you need is a good spice rack. You can even pick up powdered onion and garlic and, as far as I've seen, herbs and spices are still largely in stock. For example; all you really need to create a tasty chilli is: canned tomatoes, a tin of kidney beans, some rice and maybe some mince or veggie mince from the freezer with lots of spices to add flavour. Likewise, if you want to do a bolognese sauce; grab some chopped tomatoes, dried pasta (if you can find any!), dried herbs, vegetable stock and a carrot, if you have one knocking around. A lentil daal is something you can also easily make if you have dried or tinned lentils, some spices, coconut milk or cream in a can and a butternut squash. Try not to panic because there's usually something you can rustle up with what you have to hand and please be considerate when shopping. Also, if you can afford to then don't feel too guilty about treating yourself to a takeaway if you're in dire straits - it's a tough time and you deserve it!

Recreate what you enjoy in the home

Under normal circumstances, myself and my boyfriend go out to eat at restaurants and drink at bars at least a couple of times a week, so it definitely feels a bit depressing when we can't do that. However, you can do things that recreate that feeling at home. For example, raiding your alcohol stores and trying to make your own cocktails, treating yourself to a nice bottle of wine, grabbing some microwave popcorn and renting a new release film from Amazon Prime or Deliveroo-ing from your favourite local restaurant. Myself and my friends are even planning a 'wine and Skype' night!

Help where you can

If you can safely do something to help a vulnerable person in your life then please do. Maybe that's helping an elderly relative find a grocery delivery slot or getting someone with an underlying medical condition their prescription. It's much better than sitting at home twiddling your thumbs. If you have a car, you could help by delivering supplies to people who can't get out, so long as you can do so safely without exposing them. Even from your living room, there are creative ways you can help others. It's only a small thing but, for example, we've got a family WhatsApp group where we share information like which supermarkets have delivery slots, where on earth you can now find toilet roll and food ideas with limited supplies.

Get active

If you're able to drive to an isolated area, you could go for a run or a walk without risking exposing others. Or, if you have space, there are lots of great yoga videos on YouTube you can do from your living room. Whilst it still isn't going to feel the same as going out, socialising or attending sport clubs; it's better than nothing. Try to avoid staying in the every day of the week if you aren't in self-isolation, but at the same time obviously avoid public places too.

Give more time to your personal projects

Even if you're working from home; with no commute and lunchtime in your own space (assuming you don't have kids!) it frees up extra time in your day to do things that are important to you, even more so if you're in self-isolation or social distancing outside of work too. All that time spent in the cinema, at the pub and events could be put towards reading a book you always wanted to or learning a new skill.

Be grateful

I know comparing your problems to those of others can feel unhelpful at times, but if you're biggest issue is boredom or unkempt eyebrows or a lack of after work drinks during this time: feel grateful. There are people losing their lives, loved ones and businesses right now, so if you're not in that position, try to be thankful for what you do have.

Do you have any tips for trying to keep your spirits up and avoid cabin fever during the coronavirus outbreak? Please share them. I hope everyone reading this and their loved ones are safe and well and that this blog can continue to provide a few minutes of escape and fun during your day!

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