10 positive life-long habits to adopt while in lockdown

"Не относитесь к жизни слишком серьезно. Живым вам из нее все равно не выбраться." О. Уайлд ZMEY
Время на прочтение: 7 минут(ы)

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In every situation there are silver linings. While many of us may not be using our time indoors to write the next great novel or master an instrument, there are gentler ways of finding potential in the pandemic. With a slower pace comes an opportunity for discovery and the realisation that, often, we don’t have to go very far at all to feel the enrichment of the world around us. By connecting with it, we naturally fall in love with it, which invigorates the conservation and sustainability movements, too. Here are the 10 things we’re learning in lockdown – positive habits to start now and not give up.

  • 10 positive life-long habits to adopt while in lockdown

    1. Notice the small things

    There’s a lot to love on the doorstep if we just allow ourselves the time to pay attention and develop a fresh perspective. Noticing the small things that we pass on daily, hour-long sojourns can be a huge source of comfort and fascination – watching the journey from bud to bloom on that one tree, spotting how the same plants behave differently in different gardens and observing the wildlife beneath our feet is the ultimate in mindfulness and comes with all of the associated benefits. If you feel the need to make it more obviously constructive, take inspiration from London Forest School teacher Rachel Summers and chalk down tree names on the pavement as you go (the Woodland Trust has an app to help you identify ones you don’t recognise), creating uplifting and educational graffiti for those who follow in your footsteps.

    It’s now possible to travel the world from your living room

    It’s now possible to travel the world from your living room

  • 10 positive life-long habits to adopt while in lockdown

    2. Grow your own produce

    Growing food at home brings a whole new meaning to the term field to fork – we’re renaming it garden-to-gob. It’s amazing how many Good Life fantasies are flourishing in the coronavirus era, and whether it’s growing herbs on a windowsill (take a listen to the On The Ledge podcast for guidance and ideas) or setting up raised beds in the garden, we’re discovering it’s easier than we realised to create organic, ultra-local ingredients that nourish our bodies as well as our souls. The easiest starter herbs and vegetables are rosemary (it’s more forgiving of neglect than basil and can be easily propagated from an existing sprig) and potatoes (which you can grow from the last leftover potato in the bag, preferably one that’s already sprouting). Humans Who Grow Food on Instagram should get you dreaming big about what’s possible, and kitchen-garden beginners should start spring onions in water.

  • 10 positive life-long habits to adopt while in lockdown

    3. Bring the tropics to the Northern hemisphere

    Once you’ve mastered the basics (above), or for those who want to go straight for glory, it’s pretty easy(ish) to bring some tropical vibes into the kitchen. Happily, most attempts at channeling warm-weather climes help reduce food waste, too. Take the head of the pineapple that would normally go in the bin, simply strip the leaves, plant the stalk and wait for the sprout, which should take a couple of weeks. Likewise avocado stones (which work best when wrapped in a damp tea towel first). There are multiple how-to videos on YouTube for both fruits, along with guidance for growing lemons, chillies and pomegranates. Even though the fruit may take a couple of years to appear (if ever), you still get to enjoy a lovely new houseplant in the process.

    Indoor gardening: how not to kill your houseplants

    Indoor gardening: how not to kill your houseplants

  • 10 positive life-long habits to adopt while in lockdown

    4. Appreciate the world from afar

    Thanks to a reduction in airborne pollution, many of the world’s most famous destinations are visible for the first time in years – residents in northern India report being able to see the Himalayas more clearly than they have for three decades, and the pictures beaming around the world are beautiful – perhaps more so as we appreciate the majesty of a world we can’t visit in person. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy it. Visiting the world’s natural wonders online and without the crowds can be a true delight, especially as it keeps our carbon footprints down. In one day you could take a thrilling virtual tour of Yosemite, get the perfect, tourist-free insight into Pompei, or see the Northern Lights with no fears about the weather not playing ball.

    The best cultural and nature livestreams to watch now

    The best cultural and nature livestreams to watch right now

  • 10 positive life-long habits to adopt while in lockdown

    5. Get your adrenalin fix at home

    If you’ve always wanted to learn to salsa, climb Everest or be able to straddle like an Olympic gymnast, now’s your chance. There’s a lesson from every kind of expert online and suggestions for the best ways to do things at home. We’ve especially enjoyed the innovation behind carpet surfing and living-room parkour.

  • 10 positive life-long habits to adopt while in lockdown

    6. Reduce your food waste

    More and more of us are embracing the kind of waste-free cooking that has made Silo restaurant in London such a talking point. In these days of supermarket queues, it makes sense to use up what we have and to try to make a dent in the 1.3 billion tonnes of food that is wasted globally each year. Italian chef Massimo Bottura (often credited as the best in the world) has launched a Kitchen Quarantine series to show us how to use up the things we have at home (making passatelli from breadcrumbs is a life skill you never knew you needed). His enthusiasm and practicality are infectious and his videos show just the kind of delights you can whip up out of that old bottle of coconut rum hiding in the back of the cupboard.

    The best online cooking classes to do now

    The best online cooking classes to do now

  • 10 positive life-long habits to adopt while in lockdown

    7. Embrace nature

    Wildlife watching from a window can be every bit as thrilling as catching the big five. RSPB reports that bird numbers in the UK are increasing thanks to warm weather and reduced traffic, which means it’s easier than ever to birdwatch, even if you live in a city and have no outdoor space. Watching starlings feed their chicks in a drainpipe nest or pigeons mating on rooftops can be every bit as mesmerising as what’s going on in South Africa’s Kruger national park (though if you’re looking for blockbuster action you can still take a ‘sofari’). Being able to hear the hum of birds and bees helps connect us to them and make us want to protect them, for a positive legacy that will last beyond lockdown.

  • 10 positive life-long habits to adopt while in lockdown

    8. Make the most of your armchair

    This month, the armchair (or sofa) has become a vessel of escapism, and a joyful way to minimise our emissions while maximising our inspirations. You could take a serene tour of a National Trust property or catch a missed play from the National Theatre. Sales of books are increasing steadily, with a specific focus on history and longer titles we might not otherwise have the time or inclination to start. If culture is the root of humanity, how wonderful to be able to get so much of it without leaving the living room.

  • 10 positive life-long habits to adopt while in lockdown

    9. Shop like a local

    Many of us only ‘shop like the locals’ when we’re abroad, but now there’s a shift to shopping more locally when we’re at home too. The way we have rediscovered local delis and provision providers (restaurants selling vegetables from local farms for example) and then sharing or delivering among the community must be one of the loveliest silver linings of the coronavirus pandemic. Shopping like this is a great way to remind ourselves of the sources of our food and gives an insight into seasonal eating. Plus local shops are friendlier, help support local food supplies and will hopefully remain as community hubs long after lockdown finishes.

  • 10 positive life-long habits to adopt while in lockdown

    10. Clean up your cleaning routine

    Not being able to get our hands on our usual cleaning products is a huge opportunity – to detoxify our homes and avoid sending a vast array of toxins into the water supply, while feeling the achievement of learning how to make our own tinctures and mixes. Vinegar, water and elbow grease are brilliant for windows. Castile soap (try Dr Bronner’s) is a wonder product that can be used to wash, clean and decongest – you can add essential oils for therapeutic fragrances – and it’s a very singular joy to see (and hear) the effects of baking soda and vinegar on scaly taps. An added advantage is that this whole process can be a useful science lesson for any homes with children in them too.

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