As we approach the end of the 7th week of the Lockdown,  the Berry & Oak team have done a fantastic job in helping Andrew & myself maintain the high level of service we deliver to our clients and keep the business running smoothly.  From the clients that I have been speaking to, I have definitely noticed a shift in the way people are feeling. In March and early April it was about getting our heads around; social distancing, isolation, new ways of working remotely and then in the last few weeks it has felt more about; adapting, looking to the future and what opportunities there are for us to learn and change our lifestyles from this experience.

The Berry & Oak team have approached this difficult and challenging time with a positive outlook and a smile on their faces. We’ve had some fun and games on our virtual team meetings with Diane being crowned the current team quiz champion.

So, I’ve asked them for some suggestions when it comes to what they’ve been doing at home with their families that they’ve enjoyed. Hopefully, you might see some ideas here to try with your family…

Meditation and Mindfulness

It’s a really important time to be aware of what’s going on inside and outside our bodies. According to Professor Mark Williams, former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, mindfulness is living in the moment and being aware of our thoughts and feelings as they happen. “When we do that, it can positively change the way we see ourselves and our lives.”

A few of the apps that the team use successfully for meditation are ‘Headspace’ and ‘Aura’. I’m currently using ‘Calm’. One great feature is the ‘Sleep Stories’ – bedtime stories for adults ‘guaranteed to lull you to sleep’, they’ve certainly been helping me to clear my mind these last few weeks.

Arts and Crafts

Pressing flowers – Collect flower heads on your daily exercise, put them between a piece of paper or kitchen roll and then between books.  It will take about a week. You can then use them to make bookmarks, or postcards that you could post someone you haven’t seen in a while and let them know you’re missing them.

Rock painting – use felt tips or paints to decorate your washed stone with patterns, pictures or messages.  If you have any, varnish them when they are dry.  Avoid the temptation to stick accessories like googly eyes because this isn’t good for wildlife. Place them around your local area for other people to find.   Before hiding, you could check Facebook to see if there is a local ‘Rocks’ page (i.e Painted Rocks Wetherby) and then you can track your stone’s journey and see how far it travels when lockdown is lifted.

Crochet – If you wish to learn a new skill, crochet yields much quicker results than knitting.  There are lots of YouTube instructional videos so find the one that suits your style of learning.  You could then do small projects to support charities – hospitals often need tiny hats for neonatal babies and hearts are currently being handed to Coronavirus patients and their families while they are in hospital.

Design a new handbag – Not quite as good as the real thing but the designers at Mulberry have created a template for you to make and colour your own 3D bag https://www.mulberry.com/gb/mulberry-makers

Baking

Flour is like gold dust at the minute.  There is actually no short supply of flour, just a delay with packaging it into the small bags that we purchase from the supermarket.  Your local bakery may be able to help, because they will purchase in large sacks and may have the facility to weigh it out into smaller portions.  Alternatively, try replacing flour with oats.  Just whizz up your oats into a fine grain.  You may need to add baking powder to encourage raising.

Here’s a link to a recipe highly recommended by Melanie. https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/user/896076/recipe/chocolate-cheesecake

Exercise

 If Joe Wicks is not for you, check out ‘Iveridge at Home’ on Facebook or YouTube.  A health club based in Rothwell is now offering free classes on-line to keep you motivated and fit during lockdown.  There’s something for everyone from a gentle morning stretch to cardio combat and HIIT.

The Great Run have produced a great challenge to keep you active on your daily walk. You can download the challenge here. https://grimages.blob.core.windows.net/blobgrimages1/documents/2020-04-28-dailywalkchallenge.pdf


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