Right now, the current situation looks different for many people, with some people completely self-isolating (like myself due to being pregnant), some people working from home but having more time in the evenings and others still going to work and minimising risk where they can. Whatever our personal circumstances, it’s clear that many of us have more time indoors and potentially a slightly reduced to-do list. Personally, I’m trying to create some structure in my life where it otherwise could be quite isolating and boundary-less. This means starting the day with a meditation, trying to fit in an online yoga class and setting up Google Hangouts calls with family. I’m also trying to use my extra time to create opportunities for self-reflection, learning and journalling. With this in mind, here are some of my favourite resources, reads, podcast episodes and other (mostly free) suggestions for occupying your mind during an anxious time:
Learning, growth and self-reflection
1. The Highest Self podcast has an episode with a meditation to discover your dharma, or true purpose.
2. It’s not too late to decide your ‘word for 2020’ – Susannah Conway has a fab five-day course that you can sign up to here.
3. The Healing Justice podcast has a 2020 visioning guide episode with a free downloadable PDF to complete whilst listening.
4. Centre of Excellence have made all of their courses available for £29 using the code LEARNATHOME – this is for the remainder of the month. I have done several of their courses and I like them – lots of them have accredited qualifications attached to them. I am currently studying for a Diploma in Hypnobirthing and it’s a great distraction working through the course materials.
5. Udemy have also reduced lots of their online courses to as little as £11.99 – if you’re looking for tips to create a passive income I massively recommend Louise’s course on how to create your own Udemy content, she is an absolute mastermind (and her course is a bargain at £14.99).
6. Sara at Me and Orla has a free e-book to help you grow your instagram when you sign up to her newsletter (scroll to the bottom of the page for the Subscribe box). She also has lots of video tutorials on her YouTube channel.
7. Danielle LaPorte has a fab library of free resources like gratitude worksheets, daily rituals and meditations.
8. If you’re a fan of journalling, here are 365 journal prompts to help ‘look inward’ – one for every day of the year!
9. Commune have made several yoga, meditation and breathwork videos and courses available for free – this link should work, you might have to join the group and then access them via ‘Topics’.
10. The National Trust are hoping to open many of their gardens and parks for free so that people can enjoy them – their cafes and properties will be closed.
11. The Calm app have made several of their meditations and soundscapes available for free.
12. Deepak Chopra has an article on a guided Spring meditation.
13. Ekhart Yoga are offering 12 free yoga and meditation classes.
14. You probably know that I love making balms and salves with essential oils and herbs – I find it so mindful and rewarding. If that sounds like something you want to get started with then this basic guide from Handmade Apothecary sets out a starter recipe. You can buy essential oils and dried herbs from lots of places online – consider an independent retailer if you can.
15. If anxiety around the current situation is causing you trouble sleeping, my favourite app is Pzizz – it has the most relaxing soundscapes and dreamscapes with audio accompaniments. It’s free to download and their Classic dreamscape is free to use.
16. I really like Gala Darling’s ‘Tapping’ videos – she has a new guided EFT tapping technique centred around releasing fears around Coronavirus. (If you’re not sure what tapping is, watch her introductory video).
Reading and slowing down
17. One of my favourite newsletters is Alice Vincent’s noughticulture – she is a writer, journalist and enthusiastic balcony gardener and her reflections are poetic, calming and lovely.
18. The Borrow Box app lets you borrow e-books for free from your local library. Our local library also has audiobooks you can download for free, and you can join online. (I’ve downloaded The Mars Room which has been on my Kindle wishlist for ages!)
19. Luke Leighfield’s ‘ten things’ newsletter is where I find so many interesting articles, books and new music.
20. I also love The Girls’ Night In Club newsletter – they also now have a monthly book club that you can follow along with using their hashtag.
21. Kindle have their Daily Deal as well as often e-books reduced to 99p or £1. I just read The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker and it was in their 99p deal and really gripping and moving.
22. It wouldn’t be a self-isolation guidance list without mentioning Netflix, and I’m sure so many of us are turning to it to pass by another lonely evening, but did you know there’s a plugin for Google Chrome that lets you create Netflix Parties? It synchronises playback and has a group chat so you can all be watching and commenting at the same time. I recommend watching Long Shot, The Dawn Wall, Fyre, Flint Town and Bikram.
What are your tips, resources and tools for having feeling calm, grounded and productive during this chaotic time? Please share your favourites and I can add them to the list…