by Luise Honey - AYCH ambassador
The UK officially went into lockdown in March and for the last three months I have been spending my time catching up with personal projects, making PPE for those in need and continuing to work in my role as a digital content creator and ecommerce copywriter from home. I am very fortunate to have a garden and to live with my family so I haven’t felt too isolated, but I have found the need to have a schedule very important as one day can easily blend into the next!
After seeing that my friend Ali Goodman (owner of a Cornwall based crafted accessories company called Francli) was helping to make laundry bags and scrubs for NHS workers in partnership with Cornwall Scrubs I offered my skills and was kindly given sewing instructions and complimentary fabrics donated by Finisterre, a local surf company I used to work for that specialises in sustainable outdoor goods. In addition to this, I have been making face masks for friends and family to ensure we are all as protected as possible from the virus and are helping to prevent further spread when we leave our homes. Following this, I was asked to put together a video for The Guardian which highlighted the collective effort of those living in Plymouth and the South West who were all lending their skills towards helping others during the pandemic. You can see what I have been up to in the video above, or read the full article here.
[image courtesy of Francli Craftwear / James Bannister Photography]
Additionally, myself and two friends have been managing bi-weekly digital creative residencies that we have set up through a collective called Plaay Studios, which is operated between London, Bristol and Devon. We encourage play and creativity through making and have had wonderful feedback so far from people who have completed our projects and expressed how it has given them a much needed boost during a difficult time. We’re currently taking submissions for Project 2 and everyone is welcome to join! Find us at @plaay_studio.
[images courtesy of @plaay_studio]
Whilst this has been an unexpected challenge of a lifetime for many, I think Covid-19 has presented us with a great opportunity to reshape how we operate within society and how we communicate with one another, as well as ourselves. I feel the pandemic has pulled us together in a way that may not have happened naturally and has forced us to rethink what we truly need in day to day life, what brings joy and if we have had a lot of free time – an opportunity to slow down and see where our mind goes.
My tips for lockdown:
- Music: Take some time to put together some personal playlists that can help to uplift or calm you, sometimes having a good shake out or hearing a song you love can do a lot of good.
- Online Tutorials & Resources: A really good thing to come out of the world going into lockdown is the abundance of online resources that have been made available, often for free. Whether you want to learn how to dance, sew, browse a museum in another country,read a new book…there are so many available right now.
- Spend Time In Nature: As lockdown rules are slowly beginning to ease, if you haven’t been able to already take some time to walk in nature, being mindful of the smells, sounds and textures you see to create a walking meditation experience which can help to ground you from any overwhelming thoughts. Of course respect social distancing rules whilst doing so!
- Movement: Whilst Netflix and movie binges are good fun, your body could be in need of a good stretch which will also help to boost your mood if you’re feeling flat. Youtube has endless workouts available all free and sometimes just twenty minutes is all you need.
- Speak To Friends & Family: The pandemic is affecting everybody and now is an important time to ensure we are checking up each other to ensure we are all doing ok. Thankfully the internet allows us to do this easily and throughout the day, but a nice switch up from a screen could be to start a letter exchange or instead of texting having a phone call with a relative or a friend, hearing someone else’s voice is a great change from reading messages on a screen too.
- Join the AYCH community: Every two weeks, we are now having online meet-ups with ambassadors and partners of the project from all over Europe to keep in touch, collaborate and help each other.