Dried flowers

5 wellness practices that got me through lockdown (I don’t mean walking)

I will be eternally grateful to all the wellness professionals who moved their services online during the first national lockdown in the UK. I’d even go a step further and say they saved me from burn out during the crisis. The hours were long, the uncertainty palpable, the adrenalin constant. While those on furlough were enjoying one of the best summers we ever had, I (like many others) was chained to my desk on constant video calls. My only respite were the many wellness classes I discovered on Instagram. 

I’d dabbled in some wellness practices before – a bit of yoga here, a meditation there – but hadn’t been convinced enough to try them again. But, when you’re renovating your house and you can’t sit in your garden because it’s full of building materials, you’ll try anything.

1. sound baths

I looked forward to the sound baths, a chance to rest my eyes from the screen and breathe. If you’ve never tried them before, I really recommend it if you feel anxious and your mind is whirring. Jasmine Hemsley gently caressing glass bowls or some ‘breathwork, sounds and reiki’ from Jasmin Harsono feel like someone has said “It’s ok, you can close your eyes without fear. Rest.”

2. facial yoga

Facial yoga, which I could easily do at my desk between calls, became a bit of a ritual. It’s relaxing and fun and you feel great afterwards. Aurelia from @herecomesdelsol gives Instagram lessons in French or English and she really explains the science behind the exercises. The team @luminousfaceyoga regularly post short tutorials on their account too. Does it make you look younger? Maybe if you do it daily. But for me it’s less about that and more about that time carved out for some self-care. There’s something comforting about the soothing touch of my own hands on my face, my neck, my scalp. 

3. sophrology

Another practice I discovered is sophrology, through @besophrolondon led by Swiss woman Dominique. Relatively new to the UK, sophrology is about consciousness of the body, visualisation and essentially unblocking your chakras although they call them ‘zones’. Standing, sitting or lying down, you’re guided through a scan of your body to think about where energy is blocked. It’s very gentle and you feel incredibly relaxed afterwards.

4. tarot

One I’ll mention which maybe stretches the wellness category, is tarot! I’ve been joining into She’s Lost Control’s Tarot Tuesdays on and off for a year now and it’s really helped me reflect on challenges and opportunities coming my way. I’ve always loved horoscopes so this has been a different way of tuning in.

5. Flower Arranging

I technically didn’t discover this wellness practice through lockdown. But flower arranging definitely helped my mental health when we were stuck indoors and our garden was covered in rubble. Even just looking at flowers makes me happy and instagram is awash with amazing creators. @floretflowers has a whole flower farm in the U.S.A. and runs a course on how to grow cut-flowers in your own garden. @rowanblossom creates gorgeous tablescapes full of seasonal blooms and @thepineapplechef ‘s richly textured photos of flowers that jump off the screen.

 I’d love to hear about your lockdown wellness practices.

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