How I’ve discovered a new me during lockdown

Lockdown is a difficult period for us all, whether you’ve been impacted directly by Covid-19 or not.

Staying healthy and happy is, of course, the main priority, and whilst lockdown presents many challenges, it also provides an opportunity to get back to basics and rediscover what you love about life. Here I reveal what life during lockdown means for me…

Reasons to love lockdown

This time last year, things couldn’t have been more different! I was on my way to set up a pop-up shop somewhere in the county and busily planning our other work trips overseas. With the current lockdown situation, there have been no such activities. Instead, I’ve been stuck indoors, getting used to my own company – which I can’t lie, I LOVE!

The truth is I’ve never been able to while away the day doing what I want. There’s always a to-do list to tick my way through or a mountain of work to complete in the So Cosy office. With work having to take a back seat at the minute and travelling off the menu for the foreseeable future, I’ve had to rethink my priorities and ultimately rediscover myself.

Surprisingly lockdown life has been a breath of fresh air to my routine. I’ve been able to delve deeper into my love of art, handcrafting, cooking, gardening, walking, cycling, nature… and I’ve had the extra time to discover a NEW me in the process!

Why I’m in sprout heaven

I uncovered a way to combine my new love and appreciation for cooking and gardening. Growing sprouts is a newfound passion of mine, and I’d encourage everyone to give it a go at home. There are so many benefits to growing and eating sprouts.

Health-wise, eating sprouts has been linked to improved digestion, boosted metabolism, better weight management, enhanced heart health, cold sore relief, and reduced allergies. It’s even thought to prevent neural tube defects during pregnancy and anaemia.

Nutritionally, sprouts exceed expectations on so many levels. Here Organic Facts details more:

“All of the nutritional and medicinal benefits of sprouts are derived from their impressive vitamin, mineral, and organic compounds content. They contain a significant amount of protein and dietary fiber, as well as vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, niacin, thiamin, vitamin C, vitamin A, and riboflavin. In terms of minerals, they contain zinc, magnesium, iron, and calcium. Many of these component nutrients increase dramatically as the sprout continues to develop. Along with all of these components, sprouts are also a rich source of enzymes that are essential for health.”

It’s so easy to grow your own sprouts at home. Simply drill holes into the lid of a glass jar, put the seeds in the bottom of the jar and cover with water. I buy my organic sprout seeds from SkySprouts. Soak at room temperature for 12 hours.

Rinse after 12 hours using room temperature water and drain to leave the seeds damp. Repeat this rinsing process every 12 hours for two to four days, and there you have your sprouts!

Eat your sprouts right away or store for several days in the fridge. These sprouts are great on avocado on toast or on top of a salad!

Getting arty at home

During lockdown, I’ve been feeling especially creative. To satisfy these creative urges, I joined online art group Menoja and have enjoyed every minute. In just two days, I created a drawing of a flower using black tea and ink to finish. Getting in touch with your creative side can unlock a number of great benefits for your mind, body and soul, particularly if you’re stuck at home and currently have no other outlet for this creativity. Being creative, whatever your chosen activity, relieves stress, keeps your brain thoroughly engaged, improves mood and has even been linked to chronic pain relief – yes, really! Check out this study on the healing power of art.

My creative journey didn’t end there. The thought of bringing forgotten fabrics back to life has always fascinated me. One day I decided to spring clean my cupboards, which has never made it to the top of my list of priorities before lockdown. During my clear out I came across some old handwoven linen fabric my mum gave me, complete with lots of unfinished ends. I made it my mission to finally finish it! Using hand crocheting techniques, I finished the ends with matching linen yarn.

I also explored macramé, a different yet just as creative technique that uses knotting instead of weaving or knitting. Macramé has a long history and is thought to have originated from the Arab world before making its way to Europe and the UK in the 17th century. It gained popularity again in the 1970s with enthusiasts using macramé to handcraft home décor pieces and boho-inspired accessories – we all remember those tassel bags and tops! I used macramé robe from Rope Source and learned all the different knotting techniques I needed to create my own masterpieces on YouTube. Using my newfound skills, I created some fabulous macramé hangers for plants so I could bring the outside in, even during the lockdown.

There are tons of creative techniques to explore and finding the right activities for you is what making the most of lockdown is all about. The joy of lockdown is that we don’t have to give up on something we enjoy doing just because we can’t find the time. And with the resources available online (painting classes, yoga, knitting/crocheting tutorials, virtual music lessons etc. can all be found on the net), the possibilities are endless!

I’d love to hear more about the discoveries you’ve made when at home during the lockdown. Share your story with us via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.