Words by Kate Sinclair
Still in the midst of the ongoing lockdown our world has been turned upside down. With many separated from beloved friends and family and others pushing through and working in unprecedented conditions, the stresses of our new everyday are undoubtedly taking their toll. During this difficult time, it is essential we take care of ourselves and those around us, maintaining our mind, body and soul, by whatever means possible. For some this means exercise and a healthy diet, for others keeping their mind occupied and calm. Here we share what is helping us to stay calm, positive and productive.
Whatever your method of survival, from all at Unpolished we send our love and wish you good health, peace and positivity.
Escape with a good book
If you’re in need of an escape, a good book is capable of whisking you away to an entirely different world in the turn of a page. Our favourites this month are Where The Crawdads Sing, a sensitive and intelligent coming of age story, and Tomorrow’s Woman, Greta Bellamacina’s latest collection of poems that reflect upon motherhood, female identity, ennui and love. We’ve also been taking tips from Happy Inside, Michelle Oghundehin’s guide to creating a home that supports your well-being.
The highly anticipated adaption of Sally Rooney’s much loved novel is finally here and we’re hooked. Become engrossed in the complicated love story of Connell and Marianne as they navigate their relationship from the confusing teenage years through to adulthood.
There are so many great podcasts out there, many of which offer great advice and insight on how to get through tricky times. Following on from the success of her book Happy, Fearne Cotton’s podcasts series Happy Place reflects uoon a shares advice on working through moments of feeling blue and finding joy in each and everyday. We also love BBC Radio 4’s classic Desert Island Discs, each episode escapes away to an imaginary island with a different celebrity or person of note who takes us through the pieces of music they would take and what they mean to them – it’s both a calming and uplifting listen.
Cooking can be very therapeutic and a great way to pass the time. If you’re in need of some culinary inspiration, why not download Staying In, a special e-book created to help us find solace in the kitchen during this time. This special e-book brings together 30 chefs and food writers who have donated over 35 recipes with accompanying images shot by Issy Croker whilst in isolation. Furthermore, all proceeds from the book go to the Hackney based charity Chefs In Schools emergency appeal that is helping provide vulnerable families with weekly lunch boxes for their little ones.
We also recommend supporting your local restaurants and green grocers as much as possible. As most restaurants have had to close, many are offering take away and home delivery or meals or fresh produce. Instead of waiting in the never ending queues at supermarkets, try seeing if there are smaller businesses nearby that you can do your weekly shop with. It’ll likely save time and stress and will help support the local community. BREAD&CANDLES in London are currently delivering freshly baked loaves and hand poured soy wax candles. Order over the phone or via their Facebook page.
Keep cosy in a cardigan
A cosy cardigan is the perfect piece for transitioning from spring to summer; throw over floaty dresses or a t-shirt and jeans on those cooler days. The knitted cardigan will quickly become your most reliable companion.
Upgrade your lounge wear and PJs for a relaxed summer dress – Just as comfy but will make you feel more put together and ready to make the most of the day ahead.
Write it down
With more time than usual to reflect on life, we’ve been recording our thoughts, feelings, dreams and ideas. It’s important to have a special place to write such things, notebook or journal that can be treasured and revisited time and time again. Stationary experts Papier create the most beautiful note books. We love this design in collaboration with fashion brand Mother of Pearl featuring tulips and daisies.
Wrap Up Warm
As we’ve been spending so much time at home, we’ve been making sure it is as comfortable and inviting as possible. Make your sofa an extra cosy haven by investing in one of Tekla’s super soft fine merino wool blankets. You won’t regret it.
Light a candle
The simple act of burning a candle can do for wonders for your wellbeing with it’s calming aroma and warming glow. Our favourite for soothing the soul are these scented candles from La Montaña and Diptyque. We enjoy burning them during the evening after a long day to help relieve stress and increase self-awareness, allowing us to recenter and recharge.
The burning of incense is associated with many rituals, such as meditation and yoga, due to its ability to stimulate a sense of calm. Incorporate this into your own daily rituals, be it whilst you’re getting ready in the morning or winding down in the evening with a cup of tea, to bring a sense of calm into your everyday. Nag Champa is a sacred fragrance that originates from India and is used for sanctifying and purifying spaces, ideal for creating a tranquil space for you and your loved ones.
Try some yoga
If you’re feeling stressed about the current situation or the future, yoga can be a great reliever of anxiety. Just a 20 minute session can help you relax and re-ground yourself. There are lots of good options out there that are easy to access for free or low cost. Many trainers are live streaming sessions over Instagram, Facebook and Zoom and there are lots of exercise apps you can download to your phone that include Yoga sections. For an easy go-to when you’re feeling off, try book marking a short calming session, such as the below, so that it’s quick to find and regain your zen.
During these troubling times, many brands have repurposed their factories and design studios to help with the shortage of vital personal protective equipment. Support independent designers such a Florence Bridge by purchasing one of her lovely facemarks. Not only will you be investing in a beautiful piece that could help protect yourself and others, a portion of the profits will go to Fuel Our Frontline, a charity delivering essential groceries to frontline workers around the UK. Another option are The Vampire’s Wife’s gorgeous masks, made from silk in this seasons floral prints. 100% of proceeds for every purchase will be donated to The World Health Organisation (WHO) COVID-Solidarity Response Fund.
Help Our NHS
It’s important we support our amazing NHS and key workers during this time and there are currently lots of ways to do so. Artist and Poet Robert Montgomery has created this beautiful piece in honour of the NHS and their heroic efforts during the current Pandemic. 100 special edition prints are available to purchase on his website with all profits going to the Intensive Care Society charity appeal.
Take a ride
What better way to stay healthy and get some fresh air than a bike ride in the sunshine. Opt for a classic style with a woven basket for doing errands along the way.
Take your vitamins
These little sachets are the perfect way to get your fix of vitamin C. Have on the go direct from the sachet or mix into drinks such a juices and smoothies or have with your breakfast or a healthy snack like yogurt, porridge or granola. Not only will it keep your immune system in check, but taking daily it will help improve your energy and skin.
Stay in touch
If you’ve had enough of Zoom and House-party but want to send something more special than a text, then why not try writing to your loved ones. Isla Simpson’s gorgeous illustrated note cards will make your letters even more treasurable. Share what you’re getting up to, reminisce of fond memories together and make plans for when you can meet again. You could even slip in photos or your favourite recipes for your pen pal to enjoy as well.
If you know of someone in need of a pick-me-up, a beautiful bunch of fresh flowers is a fail-safe option and is bound to raise their spirits. Bloom & Wild create bouquets and arrangements for all occasions using the freshest seasonal and specially selected stems. Select a ready made bouquet or send their signature letter box stems for them to arrange themselves. You can even add in a little additional presents such a chocolate, a candle or hand cream.