A little blog post today to check in on everyone, whether you’ve come here from my Instagram page (@byemmacampbell) or you’ve stumbled across my blog while browsing online. Whether you’ve never read my blog before or you’ve been following for some time, we’re all in the same situation, no matter where in the world we are: we’re all experiencing life in a pandemic.
Now if you’re from the UK, which most of my followers are, I think we’re officially on week 5 of lockdown, although I’m personally on week 6 of isolation myself.
How am I doing? In all honesty, life used to run at 10000 mph for me, and being forced to slow down has been a blessing, although I’m aware there are no positives or blessings to the current situation, just to clarify. It’s truly awful, and the sad news and figures I read and watch everyday just hits home everyday.
However, being ‘forced’ (because it’s a rule, not a choice) to stay indoors has allowed me to take a step back, stop travelling, stop attending meetings and events that aren’t always necessary. I’m no longer built up with FOMO (fear of missing out) seeing other content creators who do the same job as me attending so many exciting events that I’m not part of. The fact that the whole country is forced to stay indoors has allowed me to thrive alone, staying at home working on all my online content. In one aspect, the time to reflect, not travel, and work on plans, has been much needed.
It’s just horrendous that it took a global pandemic to allow me the opportunity.
So, I feel like I’ve kinda set the scene there. Don’t get me wrong, I’m eager to get out of this. I miss my family terribly. I miss my Mum, Dad and Sister the most, and I know each one will be missing me too. My heart goes out to everyone who had weddings and big occasions planned this year, and faces uncertainty. And those with jobs at risk, or have already lost their jobs. It’s incredibly awful and I really am praying for things to get better when it is safe.
But as I approach week 6 of lockdown, I suddenly felt this mad panic that I haven’t ‘achieved’ anything with my down time. I’ve suddenly gained hours from no travelling, but what have I achieved?
Social media is making us constantly keep feeling like we’re insignificant if we’re not starting a new hobby or under going a home renovation. Maddness, right? We shouldn’t feel like we have to do anything. We’re adjusting our lives and our minds to a new normal. A scary and uncertain time, and some days, just eating through a pack of digestives washed down with black coffee is survival!
In my case, it’s my box of 6 wines from Reserve Wines in Didsbury, Manchester, that is keeping me sane, and I’m not ashamed to say it! The Romanian red wine kept a smile of my face throughout my week 5 of isolation, and this week it will be a SpanishWhite!
Anyway, getting back to what I have been doing, because I feel like for my mental sanity I read to type it out, save it and publish on the blog so I have some clarification for myself:
1. Trying yoga and work out classes at home
If you’re like me, you may need a schedule and routine to ‘force’ you into working out. I don’t live and breathe working out. At point I used to love the gym, and nowadays I only really go because I work from home so often and exercise not so much when I’m sat down all day.
The fact I had gym classes and a routine kept me going, so when this all got taken away, I found myself rooted to the sofa and letting movement slip by me. I knew I had to get myself into the online workout classes and start taking part – its a luxury we can do this and take it up, so to not even try was just silly for me.
I can confirm I only tried Joe Wicks once. 9am is usually my time for going through emails with my cup of tea and weetabix, going through morning SEO work and re-writing my to do lists. So sadly, I haven’t gotten into this (although heard the work outs are great and I know you can do them any time afterwards because the vids stay on his channel, I just haven’t!). I did sign up to MADE at Moddershall Oaks though, which is a health and wellness center in Staffordshire.
They offer online live zoom workout classes, in which you have to book onto like you would ‘in real life’. You get a zoom link 30 minutes before the class, and you can then join the 40 minute classes from the comfort of you own home.
Now this has worked for me. Many times over the past two weeks I’ve been lay on my sofa and a reminder for HIIT has come up, and I’ve been like oh god I would have totally forgotten that if I hadn’t just received a reminder. The fear of ‘being that person’ that has a membership and books onto a class and never shows up is too humiliating for me, so I drag my rigid body up from the sofa and attend the HIIT class. After the 40 minutes, I feel fabulous.
The best classes I’ve found from MADE at Moddershall Oaks are the Yoga and Meditation classes though, hands down. I’m a funny one with yoga, we’ve always had a love/hate relationship. I’m not flexible and I don’t switch off. I’m super nosey and I don’t sit still, so you can picture how annoying I am in a yoga class. But something about having the luxury of doing it at home with my video camera and microphone turned off, sat in my loungewear, going at my own pace without people watching me has been pure bliss.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the classes at home, and honestly thing if it wasn’t for the classes at MADE, my joints would be creaking right now!
2. Finding a new style within comfortable clothes
Since lockdown started, I’m embraced the comfiest, slouchy and roomiest of clothes. Normally, I’d see my WFH days as minority days in my ‘normal life’ so you’d be lucky if I got changed out of my dressing gown or pjs. But this time around, I know it’s a typical working day.
I’ve been enjoying building up a new capsule wardrobe of loungewear and comfy jumper dresses, which you can spy some of them in this post. The first set above is from the loungewear range at Femme Luxe Refinery and I just love the beige/neutral colour. It’s a basic set with a slight crop jumper that lets me move around my at-home yoga matt freely. It’s not too tight, yet not too loose either, so I’ve worn that outfit for a few of my other work out sessions too (like arm weights – it’s a little too warm for doing HIIT in!).
For the days I stay in my at-home office, I love wearing baggy style jumper dresses, sweater and joggers, and mainly in neutral, fresh colours as I’ve never been a fan of bold brights or wild patterns.
This v neck and low back ribbed dress you can see below is from the dresses range at Femme Luxe Refinery, and is perfectly slouchy and roomy for sitting at my desk all day and also for taking myself on a little walk some days!
3. Setting up my Power Rooms Studio
I’ve been creating empowering prints for a couple of months now, gifting them to my friends when they had life events happen, such as having twins, baby loss, or exam passes. Then in March, I decided to build up my designs on an Etsy shop, offering customisation and the option to give personalisation.
I also designed a sweet little Zodiac range of prints, which have gone down really well! Each print that I design is a poem written by myself with a hand sketched illustration. You can buy them as a print alone or as a framed print, and they make thoughtful, unique keepsake gifts.
For lockdown, my ‘She is Strong’ print has been selling like hot cakes, being gifted to those key workers or those going through illness or breakups. My ‘Miss you, girl’ and ‘love you, Mum’ prints are going in the same direction, and it’s so nice to be able to offer something meaningful for people.
I struggled to find the time to set the shop up before lockdown, whereas now I’ve had the time to design new prints, new designs, and get a nice shiny Etsy shop going! Now I just need to re-create this on my own website so that I have two shop outlets, and can start to run this as a nice new business.
4. Creating a new home office
I’ve also used our front bedroom as a place to store all of my stuff, but it was never a sassy looking home office. It had a desk in, but just never felt that inspiring. Now, however, I’ve managed to gut out the room, give it a full painting job, doors and skirting boards included, and design it as a beautiful home office.
I’ll share some photos soon, but it’s been a much needed space to set up the Power Rooms Studio and make me feel inspired everyday.
So, what else do I plan to get working on while in lockdown?
Well, ideally I want to keep creating content that I enjoy, and that isn’t driven by ‘work’; which did become the case a little bit last year. I want to grow the shop to become it’s own studio shop that can offer gifts for people through these awful times and onwards. I want to be inspired for future plans, save money, bake more, get creative with cooking, relax, get into meditation and yoga more…
Let’s see what happens but overall, lets give safe!