Author: Millie Spencer
Image by Taylor Miller.
Harsher new social distancing laws throughout Australia means the extrovert in me has copped a blow.
It’s easier to list the negatives this virus has caused: no Uni, no Haddon’s coffees, no swims at the gym pool, no cheap Wednesday Lido tickets, no SSU sausage sizzles or TikTok thriving because The Hawka and Hammer & Swine are shut – so where else would people get their groove on?
But the world isn’t over, so what if we tried to find the positives in COVID-19 and became totally fabulous at quarantining, by unleashing what Johnathan Van Ness would call our inner ‘QuaranQueens’?
I caught up with Swinburne student and lifestyle/fashion Blogger Belle, who runs the blog Daisy Chain Daydreams, for some advice on how we can stay fabulous during this tricky time.
Believe it or not, we can all be QuaranQweens with a little bit of practice!
Dress for Success
One thing I’ve missed has been the opportunity to get up each day and put on a killer outfit. So, I asked Belle how we can feel fabulous whilst working and studying from home. Have a read of her thoughts!
I’ve always enjoyed the art of dressing up. Getting dressed each morning before starting uni or work is fun – it also makes me feel ready to face the day ahead, and gets me out of my chill mode. When I’m wearing my dressing gown and slippers it’s more likely to put me in the mood to procrastinate and watch Netflix instead of working my way through my to-do list.
Wear a nice outfit.
Your outfit doesn’t have to be overly dressy or uncomfortable either. A soft warm jumper with jeans and your favourite sneakers, a fun shirt or blouse with culottes and boots, a patterned skirt or pants with a turtleneck and cute glasses or a fresh hoodie with black jeans and your comfy shoes. Uggs are more than okay when WFH!
I also find accessorising my outfits fun too – maybe add a cute pearl hair clip, funky earrings, colourful lip-gloss, eyeshadow or add a silky hair scarf to your ponytail. I know these are only little things, but they brighten my mood.
Put on some makeup – if you like!
You might also find it a fun self-care activity to pop on some of your favourite ‘feel good’ makeup essentials a couple of times a week. I find a wash of subtle shimmery eyeshadow on my eyelids, a touch of blush on the apples of my cheeks and lip gloss brighten my mood first thing in the morning.
With all the fam home, I’ve had to ditch singing ‘Party in the USA’ at the top of my lungs in the shower. So, what else can we do to keep ourselves entertained?
Engage with family.
Open up your games cupboard and rediscover your inner child – play some board games with siblings and family. I’m particularly enjoying good old-fashioned marbles and battleships at the moment!
Create a mood board.
Find some creative inspiration on Pinterest or Instagram and create a cute mood board of activities and your favourite emotions and feelings, and then search for activities that will help you achieve this mindset 🙂
Find a new hobby.
Start something you’ve been dreaming about starting, but never feel like you never had the time for – until now! Experiment with watercolour painting, drawing, or learning some simple phrases in a language you find interesting – this is easily done through free learning tools like DuoLingo. Other creative ideas include teaching yourself a new instrument through YouTube tutorials, or starting an uplifting podcast with a friend using Zoom or Skype.
Banana bread quarantine memes aside, baking is a soothing self-care activity you might enjoy whilst spending this extra time at home. I find baking in the afternoons whilst listening to the pitter-patter of raindrops outside after a morning of studying rather therapeutic. If you’re looking for some simple but delicious recipe ideas, I personally love muffins, zucchini slice and banana bread, but you can also filter your search through Pinterest, where a world of recipe ideas awaits!
No quarantine list is complete without it! Now’s the perfect time to find a new TV series to watch in the evenings. Stock up on popcorn and tea, and you’re sorted.
Who doesn’t admire the biggest self-care Queen of all, Jonathan Van Ness – especially when he absolutely masters morning yoga with his cat? As such, I asked Belle how we can all practice self-care in our own, yet equally beneficial ways.
Do a digital detox.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the news and always being ‘on,’ a digital detox might be what you’re looking for. Whether it’s an afternoon, a day or a weekend offline, you’ll feel refreshed and have a clearer mind afterwards. You might even find that you’re not in a hurry to check your phone by the end of it either.
Mediation is a wonderful way to switch off from the world for a short while and simply ‘be’. It’s about honouring your emotions and giving yourself some time to be present in the moment and unwind. I recently started using a wellbeing app called Clementine which has a lovely library of meditations on a range of topics including relaxation, confidence, sleep, mantras and body positivity. There are varying time frames too – some require five minutes of your time, whilst others are between ten to twenty minutes.
Working out at homeis a great way to destress and improve your mood. Working up a bit of a sweat and your heart rate releases endorphins that make us feel good. If you’re not usually one to workout (me!) or don’t really enjoy exercise, there are lots of short and fun routines available online for free you might enjoy. Some places to start browsing include YouTube, IGTV, Insta Stories and free apps. Brands like MUJI are posting yoga ‘flow’ soothing stretch activities to help loosen up any tension in places like your shoulders. These take less than five minutes and require no equipment, but feel so good afterwards.
Having a bath is perhaps the most stereotyped activity associated with self-care, but it’s still a fun activity and can help soothe your muscles and put your mind at ease. If bubble baths are your jam, The Body Shop has a beautiful range, and if you’re after a delightful (and fun!) bath bomb, LUSH have you sorted – some of my faves include Twillight and Rose Jam. Bath salts are another lovely option, and ideal for soothing your muscles after a home workout. Some natural brands are Salt By Hendrix, Herbivore Botanicals and there’s also cute giant tea-bag-style bath salts you can find online!
Remember that we’re all in this together.
Whatever emotions you’re feeling are valid and okay. Everyone is learning to adapt and cope with this unprecedented new ‘normal.’ It’s totally okay if you don’t try one of these new hobbies and spend this time relaxing in your own way. It’s important to relax even if you feel like you should be doing something. This timeout will nourish your soul and ensure you feel refreshed to start your next task when you’re ready.
Hopefully you’re now equipped with some tools to get going on your QuaranQween adventure, and are ready to slay #socialisolation. If you’re looking for some more wholesome content feel free to follow Belle’s blog on Instagram @daisy_chain_daydreams.