The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | UK Family and Lifestyle Blog

how to stay happy and healthy during lockdown

I have always loved the idea of homeschooling but didn’t think I’d have the intelligence, patience or willpower to do so. After these two – almost three weeks – I can tell you that it’s bloody hard! I’ve always done so but now praise teachers even more for what they do with our children, it’s not an easy job with one let alone a class full of twenty plus.

We also must need to thank all of the key workers working hard to keep our country running. The shop workers, seriously – where would we be without them? It’s amazing that we can all stand together as one and as a community, helping each other out. In Greenwich there is a mutual aid group made up of locals volunteering to help out those in need who are struggling with their daily lives.

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Homeschooling is not as easy as it seems!

They have a Facebook page so if you can volunteer or know someone that may need/would like the help, get in touch. Please note that it is a private group so you will need to have a FB account to access it: https://m.facebook.com/groups/greenwichcovid19mutualaid

Life in lockdown

So we have been self-isolating since the school closures were announced on Friday 20th March. We have only gone out when necessary for essential shopping which we try to limit to no more than 2-3 a week. We didn’t stockpile but made sure we had a few extras of our normal shop to keep us going for a few weeks. We haven’t been sick or had symptoms *touch wood* and have stayed away from our friends and family.

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Credit: Thought Catalog / Unsplash

Of course, we practice social distancing and we try to only nominate one of us to do the essential shop. I get Daddy P to do it as the last time I tried to go to the shops it was a little awkward and I felt very anxious. Social distancing wasn’t entirely possible in our local supermarket and other people noticed it too. One even commented “well we’re all gonna die anyway“… okay(!)

I wanted to say something so badly but we’re all entitled to our own opinion and in these uncertain times, who knows anymore. I wrote an earlier post about the racial tension I experienced which still looms in the air. Even an NHS worker in London was recently racially targeted because she was of Asian-looking heritage. There’s only two words that people need to think of in this situation and it’s “BE KIND”. Be kind to everyone but especially those who are working flat out to keep us safe.

The outbreak is affecting us all mentally, emotionally and physically. The kids are managing well and to be honest, haven’t been asking too many questions about it. They’ve just taken it on board and got along with things. I am so grateful that they are able to have this mindset especially as they’re not allowed outside more than once a week.


How to stay happy & healthy during lockdown…

1. Stick to a routine

Keeping to a routine will not only save your sanity, it will also give the family a sense of structure to your day. Most days, try to wake up at a reasonable time like (before 10am) and get that morning routine going. Especially as most of us are now at home it’s so easy to fall into a slump and put your body clock out of sync with the world.

If you are homeschooling you might want to wake up like you would do on a ‘normal’ school day and start your studies at 9am. For us, we’re a bunch of lazy bones and will wake up around 9-10am and start homeschooling an hour after. Our morning routine includes washing face/brushing teeth, eat breakfast, set up the desk and get into homeschool-mode. So much easier that we don’t have to faff around with school uniform!

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Homeschooling Tip: have a routine and dedicate time for study and play

Everyone’s routine will be a little different – the same goes with the homeschooling. Before I started, I had big plans for Little Man and a good day’s schedule all planned out. After the first day, we realised it wouldn’t work and so have adapted it to suit us since then. Now we limit school work to 2 hours a day and usually try to do it before their lunch at 1pm. However, we are also flexible so if we’ve had a lazy morning, we’d carry on with relaxing and playing then do the homeschooling after lunch or during the second half of the day.

2. Eat well

Don’t curb on all the processed food as now you’ll actually have the time to cook. If you’re not great at it or stuck for ideas, just head online and you’ll find that the internet world is really your (virtual) oyster. If the kitchen is not really your forte, subscription companies like Gousto, Mindful Chef and Hello Fresh can actually be very helpful however they will be very busy due to demand. Have a look for food boxes from your local grocery, they might even deliver for free. You can even check out their boxes recipes online too, here’s a link to Mindful Chef’s latest recipes to whet your appetite.

Handy Tip: get the kids involved with the cooking! It’ll count towards their ‘life skills’ and makes great bonding sessions.

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Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods you can include in your meals

Breakfast: make sure you have a good breakfast to start your day. Our favourite is oat porridge with a small dollop of jam or a slice of toast with cheesy scrambled egg. For myself if I’m being lazy, I have a slice of toast with tea and then coffee!

Lunch: we keep it simple for lunch as the kids usually get involved. Recently we’ve been making easy egg-less fluffy pancakes (the recipe’s here!). There’s also a recipe for ‘protein pancakes’ on this blog if you fancy something different.

Dinner: Daddy P and I take it in turns but I would say 80% of the time, I’ll cook and he’ll clean because he’s the best at cleaning! 🙂 Our recent meals include salmon and dill quiche with salad, seafood and fish pie, easy macaroni cheese, veggie lasagne, and even fish stew! As Daddy P is pescetarian we don’t cook meat anymore – saying that I did make sticky soy and garlic glazed chicken wings the other day which was so tasty.

Handy Tip: If meal planning or coming up with new meals is really difficult, try to have at least one nutritiously dense meal a day. Papier have come up with some planning tips that might help: https://www.papier.com/thefold/articles/menu-planning-tips

3. Dedicate some time together

We try to get in our daily “together time”. This is any fun activity that we can do all together as a family. There’s also a weekly Sunday family rave courtesy of Big Fish Little Fish events at 2pm on Facebook Live so don’t miss that one! It’s pretty amazing. They put on an amazing show, we’ve been to a few family raves in person so it’s really nostalgic to watch them on Sundays. Also an excuse for us to make noise and go crazy with dance.

When I want to workout alone, I put on Zumba Workouts (Youtube) and work up a good sweat, my favourite workouts are from a lady called Ysel Gonzalez – she has such a vibrant energy it’s amazing. Sometimes the kids join in which is nice too. I’ve also bought a rebounder to use at home and the kids are having a good workout on there too! I’ve not had a go yet but will try it out this weekend. 

If you’re stuck on ideas, here are some ‘together time’ activities you can fit into your routine:

  • Yoga (especially family yoga!)
  • Reading/storytelling
  • Games – board games, console games, team player games, made-up games
  • Messy play or imaginative (role play, dressing up)
  • Arts and crafts-making
  • Cooking/baking
  • Dancing
  • Watching a film together
  • Gardening (if you have a garden) or planting (indoors or outdoors)
  • Learning a new language
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Little Man finishing off the toppings

4. Do more yoga!

We’ve been doing family yoga stories together once a week, sometimes more if they’re up to it. There’s also a lot of yoga teachers offering online classes (free, pay-what-you-can and donation-based) so have a look out for them. There’s literally a class for everyone – from adults only to family yoga and mum & baby yoga. Look out for gentle yoga ‘flows’ (classes/sessions) that are specifically for beginners if you have none or very little yoga experience. These sessions are the best at easing you into simple poses and will have more options for modification. Restorative yoga flows are also great for beginners and they focus on releasing tight areas and are friendly enough for those who suffer from mobility issues or injuries. It’s also great for those who just want a much slower and relaxing pace.

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Benefits of a yoga practice

Yoga really is for everybody. Don’t think that you need to be flexible to start yoga – remember, flexibility is a by-product of a yoga practice.

5. Be flexible and realistic with your expectations

It’s so easy to try and cram as much in as possible, especially when we’re provided with so much choice and now have a lot more time on our hands. Take each day as it comes and as much as having a routine and structure is important, so is the ability to be flexible and realistic with your expectations.

If the children seem like they have too much energy, have some time out and maybe even skip the schoolwork for the day. Enjoy the time you have with each other. It’s hard for the children to not be able to release their wild energy normally like they would do running about in the playground and so they can become restless, mine certainly do! Be more understanding towards them and give them a little lee-way.

6. Try practicing mindfulness

Learn to be in the moment. Become present. Learning to become mindful is something I am trying to teach myself (not succeeding yet!). I can get quite riled up from the children that sometimes I lose my sh*t and go on a shouting rampage. What good does that do? Nothing really. How does it make me feel afterwards? Like a crappy parent. So why continue to do it?

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Be present. Observe what’s around you without judgement.

Stop the cycle by observing and not judging whether it’s a good or bad situation, just accept it as it is. Only then can we move forward to a more positive outcome. I bought a mindfulness book which helps me to challenge my thoughts and behaviours – almost like a CBT book that helps me to keep calm and become more mindful of everything around. There’s also brilliant mindfulness apps for adults and children. For adults, I love the CALM app and for kids, we use the Moshi Twilight stories app. It really helps the children to relax and usually sends them off to sleep. Other mindfulness activities can include mandala colouring (great for kids too!), guided meditation and yoga nidra.

7. Boost your immunity

I’m sure you’ve heard this everywhere. Keep your immunity levels high to keep your health in good condition. You don’t have to purchase the world of tablets but multivitamins with omega 3 or vitamin D, and vitamin C tablets can go a long way. A good way of getting in vitamin C is through eating fruits like oranges. Try not to juice them as this extracts mainly the sugars that’s contained in the fruit. You’ll get more benefit from eating oranges whole and eat fruits with the skin on like apples as the fibre is in the skin.

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Turmeric latte / Photo by Osha Key (Unsplash)

When I’m not feeling too well, I like drinking my honey and ginger tea. Just hot water, a teaspoon of honey and a thumb-size knob of ginger (crushed) is the best thing ever. Ginger and honey are also natural ingredients that help fight off infections and inflammation.

Turmeric is also another fantastic ingredient that is an immune-booster, it’s anti-inflammatory and said to help with healing. My mother used to buy fresh turmeric root and rub it over her acne spots to help it heal faster. Unfortunately the root can be hard to find but they would be available in most Asian food stores but turmeric powder can be found in most supermarkets.

8. Get out and get some fresh air

Whether you have a garden or an apartment balcony, there’s always a way to get in some fresh air. We are still currently allowed to go outside for an hour of exercise so you could use a few minutes of this time to go on a gentle walk. If you’re up early enough, take the kids with you so they can get some fresh air too – by going earlier you’ll avoid unnecessary crowds of people. Of course, continue to practice social distancing and stay safe when outside.

Another option is to get yourself some plants. There are a range of air-purifying plants that can help you to breathe better at home – especially if you have enough of them around. An air purifier (and humidifier if you suffer from dry air or low humidity issues) might also be things on your shopping list. A dusty room or low humidity room can cause you to cough and may cause respiratory irritations.

9. Don’t forget about yourself in the midst of it all

When you have a family, looking after number one *yourself* can sometimes become the last priority but during this lockdown, your own mental/physical/emotionally self must be taken care of first. Think about SELF CARE. It’s the time to be selfish because you don’t look after yourself, who will? I’m not advising splash out and go crazy (unless you can really afford to or want to) but my point is, do something nice for yourself at least once a week or month. Whether that’s allowing yourself to binge on Netflix or eating that whole batch of chocolate brownies, just do it!

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SELF CARE. Take care of yourself by treating yourself to an at-home facial

I re-joined Birchbox last month and I’m looking forward to this little treat. Other beauty subscription boxes include Look Fantastic (check out their pretty April box here), Glossybox and Beauty Pie. If you prefer natural or vegan beauty products, I’d highly recommend trying out the LoveLula boxes. I need to start reviewing the boxes again but I stopped as it took a lot of time, though now I have a little more time… why not!

These beauty boxes are life right now and the best thing is that you can choose to pay in block to save money or pay on a monthly basis and cancel at anytime. If you change your mind, you can resubscribe at anytime too.

Above all… stay happy, stay healthy, stay safe!

Lots of love to everyone during these uncertain times. Take care of family and more importantly yourself, in both mind and body. x


*NB. this post contains affiliate links

From Barbells to Boardroom

I love working out at the gym. There’s nothing more refreshing that a morning weight training session before work! It works up a proper sweat but sometimes that can make going straight to work a bit of a bother, especially if you feel the need to freshen up.

Heritage businesswear company, T.M.Lewin came up with this super helpful infographic. It’s got some fab tips that can really help a guy out – for us gals, there’s also some good advice on there that we can benefit from too!

Thanks, TM Lewin! 🙂

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | TM Lewin Barbells to Boardroom infographic
How to go from barbells to the boardroom / Source: TM Lewin

Please feel free to share this infographic with anyone who you think would benefit from it. Whether that be a friend, boyfriend, a work colleague, your brother, father… anyone! 🙂

The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | Family Lifestyle Blog

5 Brilliant Ways Mums Can Sneak In Exercise At Home

A new study has found that 75% of women in the UK want to exercise more. But having a busy schedule, taking care of the family’s needs, or fear of being judged at the gym are holding women back from accomplishing their fitness goals. Fortunately, there are ways to workout while staying at home and you can squeeze exercise into your day in more ways than one. To stay healthy, adults aged 19 to 64 should aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week and strength exercises at least two days a week. For you to meet the recommended amount of physical activity per week, here are 5 brilliant ways to sneak in exercise while at home.

The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | 5 Brilliant Ways Mums Can Sneak In Exercise At Home
Time to tune into your domestic goddess vibes

1. Clean your home

Cleaning your home not only gives you a healthier environment to live in but it also allows you to fit in exercise into your day. Mopping, dusting, sweeping, and vacuuming, or cleaning the bathroom can give you a good upper body workout, and it’s even better if you do a couple of lunges or squats while doing any of these activities. However, make sure to avoid using allergy-causing cleaning products as you can end up getting rashes or serious burns and undo all the good that you did to take care of your body. Opt to use natural cleansers whenever you clean your home and move vigorously to make your cleaning workout more intense.

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Photo: Igor Ovsyannykov / Unsplash

2. Hand wash a load of dirty clothes

Instead of using the washing machine, try hand washing a load of dirty clothes to exercise your arms and shoulders. Hand washing your clothes correctly has so many advantages, you get to workout while doing your chores, save on water and electricity costs, and prolong the life of your clothing.

The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | 5 Brilliant Ways Mums Can Sneak In Exercise At Home
Photo: Christopher Campbell / Unsplash

3. Start every morning with a few exercise moves

After you wake up and make the bed, start your day right by doing some gentle stretching, a few crunches, and as many push-ups as you can. Set aside at least 10 minutes every morning to do these exercises which can strengthen your muscles and core. Doing exercises the moment you get out of bed also helps to make you more awake and ready to face the day.

The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | 5 Brilliant Ways Mums Can Sneak In Exercise At Home
Photo: Bruno Nascimento / Unsplash

4. If you’re heading outdoors, speed walk or jog to wherever you’re goin

Instead of walking at a leisurely pace, speed walk or jog to the grocery, the bank, or any other place where you need to go. Doing so counts as your moderate aerobic activity for the day. To motivate you to do this, wear running shoes before heading outdoors and bring a small bottle of water with you to stay hydrated.

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Photo: Pete Bellis / Unsplash

5. Walk the dog a little longer

If you usually do just one circuit of your neighbourhood while walking your dog, try doing another circuit to fit in some extra cardio into your day. You can also take the dog to the park and play with your pet so you get to spend more time being outdoors, which is essential to good health.

There are many ways to fit exercise into your daily routine, all you have to do is to turn daily activities into proper workouts. Follow these tips to sneak in exercise while you’re at home for your health and well-being. 🙂


A contribution post by freelance writer, Jane Sandwood. If you enjoyed reading this post, don’t forget to share it with others below.

It’s okay to not be OK…

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I came across a post on Sunday which resonated deeply within me.

A post that could’ve been written more or less by myself. So much so that my original post (which I’d deleted)  has now been re-written with a dedication to Aleena from Mummy Mama Mum for encouraging me to publish this. Thank you! 

For me, if it’s not admitting it then it’s accepting it that’s the problem…
Telling myself that sometimes I’m not OK is a struggle. Like a never-ending battle.

If you haven’t read her post yet…  I’m Not OK by Mummy Mama Mum

Continue reading “It’s okay to not be OK…”

How To Do Spa Facials At Home

*Warning: Lengthy post*

For #WellnessWednesday, I thought it would be nice to do an in-depth “How-To” blog post. Coming from a spa industry background, I know how important it is to look after yourself from the inside out. One of the best things about spas is that it is a sanctuary not just for your body, but also for your mind and spirit – it’s the place of recuperation and improving your well-being.

People nowadays are far too stressed and so busy that they don’t fully take the time to relax – I know I am one of these people most of the times which is why I try to take some time out after LO goes to bed to rest my body and my mind. It’s nice to be able to have a facial at the spa – you can unwind and de-stress whilst the therapist gets to work on your skin, making it more radiant and youthful. However sometimes you just can’t get away or money is low and you are stuck for months without a good skin cleanse.

That is why this post is here to help! Below are 5 easy steps how you can achieve spa facial results in the comfort of your own home.

How To Do Spa Facials At Home

Step 1 – Cleanse

If you have makeup on, I recommend doing a “double-cleanse” to ensure that your face is thoroughly cleansed. To do this, use a makeup remover then use a cleanser to thoroughly cleanse the skin. After you have thoroughly cleansed your skin, rinse off with water and pat your skin dry, never rub.

Top Tip: Micellar water is a great alternative as it removes all your makeup (including waterproof mascara) and doesn’t need to be rinsed off – There really is no excuse to sleep in your makeup!

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Step 1: Cleanse

Step 2 – Exfoliate

When exfoliating, don’t be tempted to over-do it as over-exfoliating your skin as it can cause the skin to become sensitive, easily irritated and even break out. When rinsing off your exfoliator make sure you take time to do it thoroughly because you don’t want residue left on your skin when you do the next steps.

After exfoliating, steam your face with a facial steamer that you can buy online, or simply use a face flannel. Make sure it is hot but not boiling then place the flannel over the face for 30 seconds. Adding lavender or tea tree essential oil to a corner of the flannel will give you that spa-like pampering experience. Lavender and tea tree have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties so they can help with congestion or problematic skin.

Top Tip: Products with salicylic acid works best as it’s an active ingredient that helps remove dead skin cells. If you have congested skin, you are better off with a daily powder or enzyme-active product, avoid abrasive types as this can cause your spots to spread through bacteria if they burst.

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Step 2: Steam & Exfoliate

Step 3 – Massage

Massage, I believe is the reason why spa facials work and it’s the reason why you see results so quickly compared to doing just your skincare routine effectively. The reason being is that massage helps the muscles to relax and repair as well as help push the products deeper into the skin. A good facial massage at a spa takes around 15mins however at home, you are most probably short for time but even a quick facial massage is more beneficial than none. Click here to watch Lisa Elridge’s facial massage routine which I highly recommend. Those draining and lifting techniques will help to tone up the skin and flush away toxins.

Top Tip: You don’t need any fancy-shmancy facial oils. Simple oils such as coconut, grapeseed, rapeseed or olive oil are all excellent choices and all natural.

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Step 3: Massage

Step 4 – Mask

You can choose any type of face masks – it all depends on what you want out of it. If you have problematic/acne/congested or oily skin, use a purifying clay one or a peeling one. If you have no skin concerns or slightly dehydrated skin go for a hydrating face mask. If you have dry skin use a moisturising one to put back the moisture in to your skin. If you have easily irritated skin, use masks specially designed for sensitive skin types.

Top Tip: You only need a face mask twice a week at most, sometimes you can skip this step if you feel that your skin doesn’t need any extra help or if you have no real skin concerns and just want a quick-fix facial.

facial mask
Step 4: Mask

Step 5 – Tone & Moisturise

Toner is good for the skin as it helps to remove any remaining products on your skin, tightens the pores and provides additional hydration to the skin. Blot off any excess toner with a tissue or cotton pad.

Choose a moisturiser that is made for your skin type. If you have fair skin, it’s recommended that you use a moisturiser with built-in SP 30+ factor. You should also think about getting a day and night cream as night creams can help improve skin cell renewal.

Top Tip: If you prefer something more “natural”, swap the toner for rosewater which does the same job and is usually cheaper than good toners. Avoid any toner with Alcohol Denat especially if you have dry or sensitive as this can dry out the skin even more.

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Step 5: Moisturise

I hope you enjoyed reading this in-depth guide on how to do your own spa facials at home. If you do give it a try, let me know how it went!

Happy #WellnessWednesday

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