Have you ever watched a programme or read an article about a feat of superhuman achievement and thought “That would be absolutely impossible for me”. Usually in my case it’s climbing mountains, swimming the channel, running a marathon or ironing while hanging upside down by a slender piece of rope from a rocky outcrop on a lethal climb. Extreme ironing, it’s a sport. Not on my list.
But the whole world faces a superhuman challenge now that I have been training for all my life.
Staying in for up to twelve weeks without losing your head.
Yes! My moment has come. Were it not for the need to actually make some money, I’d probably quite happily stay in most of the time. Keeping busy, or being bored, is a great gift of mine. I spent hours in my childhood practising in my bedroom, hours when the children were small trapped inside (or in the garden) with children and hours more recently dreaming of what I would do if anybody ever said to me “Drop the busy life, and go hang out for a while”.
I’m still currently working in the office, because moving all the computers etc home was just too logistically difficult. I work for my husband at Peter Kneale Solicitor, and there are only two of us, over two metres apart, and with plenty of online work to do at the moment. Whether we decide at a certain point to move literally in house, we don’t know. I suspect it would require the Government to absolutely ban travel (which won’t happen) or either of us to actually fall ill, in which case we would lockdown in the house with the rest of the family and sweat it out.
But… I am fully prepared for the days ahead. I have my preppers lists ready and my equipment collected. Not a rope and an ironing board (although I do have ironing down as a possibility if all else fails) but some practical suggestions and some really frivolous ideas for how to spend my time since all evening activities have been curtailed.
I’ll be doing posts on my suggestions for books, films, physical ideas etc over the next few weeks. For today, I’m actually going to share my Preppers Lists. I have these pages in my planner and add to them as more suggestions or ideas come to me.
- A List of books I always wanted to read but never got around to. These are the classics like War and Peace, or the controversial like Satanic Verses. I don’t actually have these books, but they look good on the list, and if I get desperate may well be purchased and opened.
- A list of books I’m actually going to read. These are the light and fluffy romances or the self-care books I have been collecting since forever. I have a whole pile of mindful, yoga or self-care books to work my way through. A three month hiatus in life may well be the ideal moment to realign life and work completely.
- A list of films that I know make me happy. Boosting your mood is easy now, in the first weeks of lockdown, but come six weeks in or if symptoms actually prevent any time away from the house, I will need the movies that since childhood have always given me the warm fuzzies.
- A Procrastination List. This is literally all the things around the house that I’ve had in mind for years and never done: that dripping tap, the documents that need shredding, and the boxes that have been in the garage since we moved in and I think have a tea set in, but I don’t know for certain. Time to grow up and do it.
- An exercise list. Whether a walk in the woods is available or not, there are ways to keep active even when trapped in the house. Having a list (complete with calories burned) of activities that are available can act as a prompt when my mood needs boosting and exercise might work better than another packet of crisps.
- A Healthy Eating list. What have we got in the house that is available and good to eat? I haven’t written this one yet, but I think it will probably list recipes from different books that will boost moods without boosting weight.
- A skills list. An hour a day (at least) daily for three months is 90 hours. In that time it could be perfectly possible to learn a language, finally conquer that ukulele that has been sat silent since the Christmas before last or knit a scarf. I’ve got a list of a few skills, learning sites and lectures that I have been meaning to look up, practise or learn. This is that moment.
- A Contact list. These are the friends, relatives or acquaintances that I know who would benefit from regular contact. A weekly phone call, a letter out of the blue, an email. If I’m not chasing my tail trying to eat fast and get out to an evening activity, I must surely be able to invest an hour in writing to friends and family.
There we are. That should be enough lists to be going on with. These are, of course, the lists of a middle aged woman who doesn’t necessarily need to consider the needs of her grown up children, and definitely doesn’t have to plan to fill days of children off school. I have done that in my time, and I’ll write a post with my advice on that soon.
Take some time now, even if you’ve not been sent home from work or grabbed the children from school, to plan the lists that you think you might need. A few moments now will give you breathing space later.
If you’d like to support me….
My new book, Cosy Happy Hygge is available as an ebook or a paperback on Amazon now. As you know, I do the whole kit and caboodle myself, from writing to proofreading to designing and I’m very proud of this one. It’s about using rhythm and ritual to make your life a gentler, kinder place. Writing it has been an important part of my mental health recovery.
I don’t monetise my blog. I don’t run adverts, take sponsorship for writing posts or use affiliate links. I want everything I do on this blog and in my hygge life outside to be truthful. If I promote a book it’s because I’ve read it and like it, if I point out an item it’s because it’s impressed me on its own merits and not because the publicist has talked me into it. It does mean I don’t run giveaways and I’m not chasing followers, but the drawback is that I need to find a way to support myself.
That’s why I write books. My thoughts are that if I ask you to buy a book not only does it support me, and let me keep writing as an independent writer, but you get something back for your bucks. I’ve written several books, some on hygge, some on Christmas. If you like what you read here, or in the Hygge Nook, and you’d like to support a struggling writer, would you please consider buying a book? Ebooks give you the best value, since for 2 or 3 pounds you get the whole content of the book without paying the extra for paper production, but I’d be a pretty poor writer if I didn’t appreciate the beauty of a real book in the hand. If you buy just one book, it all adds up in the end to support me, and I’d be so grateful.
If you already have my books, or just want to support me as an independent writer, you can always just send me the price of a cup of coffee as a friend, to paypal.me/HyggeJem . I tend to use a lot of my spare cash on books that I review for the website, so every penny donated goes towards building my happy hygge life.
My first three books are hygge related, 50 Ways to Hygge the British Way was my first book, and is available in Paperback and Kindle version. It’s a simple look at ways to feel more hyggely in life and at home even though we’re not Danish and don’t have it in our DNA.
Happier is my fourth book. It’s about how I boost my own happiness levels. It’s full of hints, tips and ideas for you to use and adapt to suit your own situation. It is available in ebook and paperback version from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.
I have three Christmas books,
Have Yourself a Happy Hygge Christmas was released in September 2017 and is available again in paperback and ebook version. It looks at keeping the Christmas season warm and cosy, with ideas for activities and routines to keep Christmas happy.
A (Hygge) Christmas Carol is my look at Dickens’ immortal classic and the many lessons we still learn from it today. It contains the full text of the book as well as hyggely thoughts on the story.
Enjoying a Self Care Christmas is only available in ebook version. It’s about keeping Christmas simple enough and healthy enough to keep you sane in the process.
If you buy any of the books or some of the items through the links on this page, I get a couple of extra pence per copy, as an Amazon Affiliate, in Amazon vouchers which go towards buying more books to review for the blog. I’d really love it if you’d support me monetarily, but I quite understand that cash is tight for many people, and I just love having your support via reading and commenting as well.
Truthfully, I’ll probably never make a living as a writer, but I do make a little extra income that gets ploughed back into books and magazines. One obsession feeds the other…