To try and distract myself from how crap everything is right now, I made a list of things I enjoy, that brighten my day and that treat me to a much needed moment of distraction. I’m sharing my list because I know some of you will enjoy these things too and who am I to deny you all a glimmer of joy? Even better, write your own list.
- 60 minute lunch walks. Every day I take 60 minutes away from the screen and walk around a local park. My days vary meetings-wise so sometimes I go before lunch, other days I log off at 4pm and I’ve got my runners and sports bra on by 4.15pm. I know not everyone has the flexibility I have, but this chunk of regular exercise and brief interlude away from staring at a screen has made the biggest positive impact on my life during this wild time.
- My Story – Marilyn Monroe. A Christmas present bought on eBay from me to me, I devoured this book in about 2 days. Written by Monroe herself, My Story describes Norma Jean’s childhood and Marilyn’s early years in Hollywood. A bit Mulholland Dr. in places, I loved reading how Marilyn felt “third rate”, how (literally) hungry she was to succeed, her early encounters in Hollywood, in her own words.
- ELF Holy Hydration moisturiser. Cruelty-free and suitable for annoyingly sensitive skin like mine, this bargain price moisturiser feels undeniably luxe. Pumped full of goodies like hyaluronic acid, you can slap it on as a night cream and wake up with 8-glasses-of-water-a-day glowy skin.
- My Foster Kittens on Instagram. One of my favourite IG accounts to follow, @myfosterkittens is about – how did you guess?! – the joy of fostering kittens. As well as falling in love with all kinds of cute kitties and mama cats, I’ve learnt so much about our feline friends from Nikki and now I’m a bit evangelical about the importance of getting your cats spayed and neutered. Nikki, you’re my hero!
- Egyptian musk oil. Why did I bother with designer fragrance for years? I am hooked on this subtle-but-sexy scent and there’s no going back.
- Old episodes of Armchair Expert. Late to the party, I know, but I’m bingeing enough to make up for it. I’m a sucker for celebrity interviews, especially on podcasts where I still think people are a bit more open, but only if they’re done right. WTF with Marc Maron has, of course, set the bar high but Armchair Expert comes a cool close second.
- Lena Dunham’s Instagram captions. I know she’s a divisive figure but Lena Dunham can WRITE. During the past year of rolling lockdowns, I’ve particularly enjoyed her Instagram captions of wise words and things she’s learnt along the way. I don’t want to get into the details but I was going through something in my personal life recently and had a lightbulb moment when I read Lena’s caption that said “you can’t do the work for other people.” Yep.
- Goodfella’s spicy salsa vegan pizza. I’ve never had a good experience with vegan cheese (or should I say “cheese”? Until now. Topped with black beans, onions, peppers and a mild kick of salsa, this is easily the best vegan pizza, and definitely the best frozen pizza, I’ve tasted.
- Thriftify. If you miss browsing charity shops as much as I do, check out Thriftify, a one-stop-shop for Irish charity shop bargains. I recently nabbed a next-to-new Nike zip up top for €9 and was really impressed by the service and eco-friendly packaging. Two thumbs up, Thriftify!
- Spring flowers. Even though we think we’ve been standing still for a year now, the arrival of spring flowers reminds me that the world just keeps turning.
- Motion Sickness on repeat. Still.
- Tulip season. A €2.99 bunch from Lidl will cheer you up and make your WFH “office” a tiny bit less depressing.
- Eyeballing cheap property in the middle of nowhere and fantasising about setting up an animal sanctuary.
- The ecstasy of a cancelled meeting.
- When Bob Ross says “God bless” and does the little wave. BTW, I recently bought this Bob Ross colouring book as a gift and it could be the best gift I’ve ever given. In Bob we trust.
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