Lifestyle,  Musings

Some of the things that kept me going through lockdown

The year is 2020, the skies are empty, work has ceased. Humanity is at home because a pandemic is sweeping the globe. South Africa has one of the strictest lockdowns globally and while it is working to flatten the curve, staying home indefinitely was never going to be a fun project. Yes I am typing this fully aware of the middle class privilege that allows me to work from home, order groceries online, post a thousand food pics on Instagram and stream entertainment daily. Here are some amusing things that have made me giggle and saved some of my sanity.

The Don’t Rush challenge

Insta #DontRushChallenge

This TikTok challenge invented by Toluwalase Asolo, a student at the University of Hull has gone viral globally. Featuring a catchy bop with the same name by UK rappers Young T and Bugsey the video features a group of friends passing a make up brush around as they transform from every day casual to full glam seemingly in the blink of an eye. As the challenge spread everyone has tried it. If you want to stay happy just focus on the ones featuring black women. Trust me on that. I say this as someone who watched a challenge featuring South African men. Between the beards that did not connect and t shirts as formal wear, there was A LOT  happening.

Phone conversations with family and friends

Image from people magazine

Between work and the various social media apps I’m connected to I virtually live on my phone. The one thing I dont do on it is a lot of talking preferring to chat via text. Now that we are all home I have rediscovered the joy of chatting with humans. Whether its via voice call or video chat it has been wonderful carving out time in my day to hear the voices of those I love. Hearing inflections in tone and laughter in real time has been so delightful. I think I will hang on to this habit for a while.

Practicing food plating 

My insta feed is normally filled with many many food pictures that nobody asked for. As restaurant dining is not currently an option I have been entertaining myself by trying to improve my plating game. I’m an amazing cook but before this I never bothered with presentation so this is definitely a learning curve. So far I’m looking at a lot of stuff online and getting inspiration there. I know an easy win would be Pinterest but I’m not yet ready to go back to scrolling past a thesis length explanation before I get to the recipe.

Watching TV differently

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I’ve been a TV watching fan before we were all staying home. I mostly watched series concurrently with my bestie. Occasionally I’d indulge in solo in something that caught my eye. My watchlist was a long and ever expanding thing filled with content I was planning to watch in that mythical concept called “when I have time”. Now that I’m home with less work to occupy me I’ve decided this is the time to stop playing myself by thinking I don’t have time to watch a movie then watching four episodes in a row. Now on rest days I make sure to watch made for TV romcoms as part of relaxation. Christmas themed ones are a current fave. Now the watchlist has some Korean dramas recommended by people I trust on Twitter and Spanish series because I’ve been threatening to learn the language for eternity.

Getting back into exercise

Image from

At some point in my past life I was an avid runner. Not super fast but consistent. I ran weekly with the club and collected medals every weekend with my running partner Bernard. Then life and travel and distractions happened. Fast forward to me weighing myself after two weeks of the lockdown and discovering that wine , snacks and being sedentary had added two kilograms to a body that wasn’t in great shape to start with. My super fit friend in London sent me a 30 day sit up and squat challenge. After procrastinating for a week I started it. It was a great way to keep in touch more regularly and she was a wonderful motivator and I lasted until day 18. She was also very kind when I flaked out and finished the challenge. Undaunted I started a skipping challenge which was very ambitious considering how unfit I was, not to mention my old lady knees protesting. I managed to complete all 30 days thanks to another supportive friend in Pretoria. At the same time I started running again (around my tennis court which is every bit as thrilling as it sounds;) The first week I thought the running app was trying to murder me but its week 4 now and I’m still here so happy days.

What has brought you joy during the lock down? Let me know in the comments below.


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