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Life Indoors: A Virtual Art & Culture Experience

By May 1, 2020 EVENTS, INSPIRATION
1st MAY A Virtual Art & Culture Experience 1

Missing a bit of Art & Culture during the coronavirus lockdown? A stroll through an art gallery on the weekend or an evening concert can seem like something of a bygone age at the moment. But fear not, an online movement has come to the rescue as theatres, musicians and museums. Leaning into the Covid-19 crisis, individuals and public institutions alike have come up with innovative ways to continue to entertain us! Here’s a list of some of our favourite sites offering you the chance to get your dose of world class entertainment without ever leaving your home!

 

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Opera

The Metropolitan Opera in New York has virtually flung open their doors to the public and are broadcasting a daily opera from their archive for your viewing and listening pleasure. Listen to some of the world’s most beloved operas from the comfort of your living room. Operas are only available for 24 hours, so be sure to take a look at their Online Schedule so you don’t miss a performance.

 

camden voices choir

Virtual Choirs

This is just the thing if you are missing that link to your community in your daily life. The Sofa Singers offer people around the world to join together to sing in a virtual choir. Places open 48 hours before the session so be to register so you know when a choir session is happening. If you rather be a aural spectator to a choir rather than joining in then you can listen to the Camden Voices choir putting on performances with each member joining from their homes.

 

guggenheim

Art Museums

Museums and galleries have across the board really tried to connect with their audiences, with many creating virtual tours of their museums during the coronavirus pandemic. Some of our favourites include, the Rembrandt exhibit at the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam, which is displayed in the imposing and impressive Gallery of Honour room. You can navigate a virtual tour of Rembrant’s works, Vermeer’s The Milkmaid and many others with audio guides and text descriptions that you explore at your own pace. Visit here.

You can also enjoy a virtual visit to the Guggenheim museum in New York, and wind your way through the spiraling walls of artwork, admiring the  art but also taking in the stunning architecture of the building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and now designated a World Heritage site.

To see more options for virtual museum and gallery tours, go to Google’s Art and Culture site here. Using Street View technology, Google has partnered with over 500 museums and galleries from around the world to let you explore places that you may not get to even once you are out of quarantine!

Altisimo-Live-Logo-1

Music Concerts

Social media is a hot space right now for getting up close and personal with music artists who are posting Jam sessions and even unreleased music from their private accounts. This is a great time to be exploring new music or revisiting old favourites. Some of artists creating what feels like an intimate gathering space in their living rooms, include,  OhWonder, who have live streamed a new song from their album every day or Chris Martin from Coldplay who has performed his music live on YouTube.

If you are after the thrill of a festival, then here are some options for you! The yearly Shaky Knees Festival has had to postpone their festival dates to October 2020 however that hasn’t stopped them from commemorating their festival with a Virtual TV event on their website with past performances aired from May 1st to May 3rd from 8pm EST here.

This year’s Altisimo Live! concert will stream live on May 5th at 1pm ET with a host of Latin performers including Emilio and Gloria Estefan, Juanes and Luis Fonsi. Catch it on various social media platforms including, YouTube, Facebook Live, Twitch and Twitter and find the full line up here.

Phantom-of-the-Opera

Theatre

The National Theatre in London is sharing one past performance every Friday at 7pm BST on YouTube channel, The Show Must Go On. Available for viewing for 48 hours some of the legendary musicals that have aired include, The Phantom of the Opera and Jesus Christ Superstar. Keep checking back on the channel to find out what”s on next!  

Explore European theatre with a viewing of popular theatre company Schaubühne in Berlin known for their award winning plays across a range of genres from traditional to more avant garde productions. New performances are aired every Thursday and you can watch with French or English subtitles.

 


 

This post is part of a Les 100 Ciels blog series titled, Life Indoors. Each week we will be posting on a range of topics to inspire you as you carry on your life from indoors. With the Covid-19 virus spreading around the world, the vast majority of us will be living vastly quieter lives and it is clear that now more than ever before, the importance of focusing on our shared humanity and community is integral. We are committed to continue to engage and support our community. If there is any topic you’d like us to write about, do get in touch and we’ll include it on our blog if we can. With love, The Les 100 Ciels Team

 

 

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Life Indoors: 5 Ingredients 5 Meals

By April 23, 2020 Editor's Picks, INSPIRATION
21st APR 5 Ingredients 5 Meals19 (1)

Are you loving or loathing cooking these days? Many will be truly enjoying the extra time to focus on cooking new creations in the kitchen while others may find their patience running thin and wishing they could go to a restaurant. Whether you fall into the love or loathe category, everyone could use some help in the recipe department. On days when you’re looking for something simple and delicious but lack inspiration, here are 5 recipes that are quick and easy and only require 5 ingredients!  Let us know how you go!

 

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1. Salmon and Spinach Gratin with Creamy Potatoes 

600 gms Irish Potatoes
800gm of Spinach
5 Smoked salmon fillets
300ml of Double Cream
15g Unsalted Butter

Peel and chop your potatoes into 1 inch chunks. Bring a pot of water to the boil, add salt and potatoes into the water and cook for 15 minutes. Strain the potatoes and set aside. Add a tablespoon of butter to a frying pan at medium heat, then add the spinach, a pinch of salt and pepper and turn lightly until the spinach is wilted. Ensure that the the spinach does not get too wet.  Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celsius. Add the spinach, potatoes and salmon to a large baking dish, arranging them so that potatoes and spinach are on the base of the dish and the salmon is sitting on top. Heat the double cream in a saucepan adding salt and pepper. Stir well and then pour the all the contents over the salmon and potatoes. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes and the cream has got a golden hue to it. Serve and enjoy.

 

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2. Black Bean Broccoli and Chicken Stir fry

240 grams of chicken breast
3 tbsp black bean sauce
Half cup broccoli (You could also replace this with sweet peppers or chopped kale)
3 tbsp peanuts (roughly chopped)
200 grams egg noodles

Chop up the chicken breast into half an inch chunks. Do the same with your broccoli or other vegetable of choice. Boil a pot of water and when it comes to the boil, add the egg noodles to the pot for 2 minutes then drain and set aside. Add some oil to your wok or frying pan and lightly fry the chicken until cooked through, then set aside. Then lightly stir-fry the broccoli (or preferred vegetable) for 2 minutes before adding the chicken, noodles and 80% of the peanuts back into the wok. Pour in the black bean sauce and ensure you toss the noodles well so that they are well coated and the ingredients are evenly distributed. Serve the noodles with a sprinkling of peanuts on top as a garnish.

 

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 3. Squash and Coconut Curry

500gm Squash
1 tin Coconut Milk
3 tbsp Curry Paste of your choice
1 tin of chickpeas
Small bunch of Coriander stalks

Chop the squash into half an inch chunks. Heat a frying pan with a 2 teaspoons of oil and then add your curry paste. Then add the squash and chickpeas to the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Pour in the tin of coconut milk and once the milk is bubbling, cover the frying pan, turn down to low heat and cook for 20-25 minutes until the squash is thoroughly cooked and the coconut milk has thickened. Roughly chop the coriander and sprinkle on top then, serve on its own or with rice. Easy and delicious!

Sweet Potatoes on a Cutting Board

4. Sweet Potato & Beans Chilli

3 Sweet Potatoes (peeled and cut into half inch chunks)
1 tin of Kidney beans or black beans
1 large white onion
1 Tbsp Chilli Powder
Vegetable Stock cube

Finely chop the onion and then saute in a frying pan until soft. Mix vegetable stock cube with 3/4 of a cup of hot water and add the chilli powder. Add more or less chilli depending on how hot you like it. Add the sweet potatoes to the frying pan and then pour the vegetable stock over the dish. Cover and cook until the potatoes have softened, then add the tin of black beans. Let the ingredients summer and reduce down. Optional extras include a squeeze of lime and roughly chopped coriander to amp up the flavour. Either way, this is a tasty and filling dish that can be served on its own or with rice or tortilla chips.

 

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5. Hummus
Tin of Chickpeas
3 tbsp Olive oil
3 tbsp Tahini (if unavailable you can also use 4 tbsp sesame oil or 3 tbsp natural smooth peanut butter)
3 Garlic cloves
Salt and Pepper to taste

Making hummus is very simple. Chop the garlic finely or mince it in a garlic crusher. Add all the ingredients into a blender and whiz them all together until you have your desired consistency. Some people prefer their hummus very smooth while others want a bit more texture.  Serve as a side to your main meal or eat as a healthy snack alongside sliced raw vegetables or crackers.

 


 

This post is part of a Les 100 Ciels blog series titled, Life Indoors. Each week we will be posting on a range of topics to inspire you as you carry on your life from indoors. With the Covid-19 virus spreading around the world, the vast majority of us will be living vastly quieter lives and it is clear that now more than ever before, the importance of focusing on our shared humanity and community is integral. We are committed to continue to engage and support our community. If there is any topic you’d like us to write about, do get in touch and we’ll include it on our blog if we can. With love, The Les 100 Ciels Team

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Life Indoors: How to take care of your plants

By April 10, 2020 INSPIRATION
9th APR How to take care of your plants 2

This week at the end of a team catch up meeting on Zoom, the conversation turned to how to bring the outdoors into our homes. Quite a few of us at Les 100 Ciels live in apartments with no garden or private outdoor space. Lots of ideas got tossed around but there was a consensus that house plants were a great way to bring calming nature into the home. So on today’s blog, we share with you tips from our staff on caring for your plants to create your very own indoor garden, (if you can’t go out to the plants, bring them in!). Read on to learn some top tips to keeping your indoor plants looking lush and beautiful.

 

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Megan’s Tips

Do research on each of your house plants and make sure you understand the needs of the particular plant as each is different. Some plants need lots of light, while others need indirect sun but lots of water. You may also want research your plants if you have pets or small children as some species can be toxic if touched or ingested. Armed with this knowledge you will be best equipped for caring for what each plant require and you can place less kid or pet friendly plants well out of reach. Finally, although tempting while spending so much time at home, resist the urge to overwater your plants!

 

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Alicia’s Tips

I believe as you take care of your plants, they also take care of you. For me a big part of how much joy I get out of my plants is how they are displayed. Every plant has its own unique foliage pattern that can be displayed to show its best qualities. I’ve placed my ivy on a bookshelf where its trailing lengths make a beautiful cascade down the side.  I also think its nice to create clusters of plants, this creates a peaceful, relaxing mini oasis in the house. You could build a plant shelf  or choose one area where you display a number of plants together at different heights. Be creative with your plant pots- lots of items around the house can make attractive plant pots such as mugs, bowls and even old plastic bottles and containers. There is nothing that a little DIY won’t fix!

 

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Lexy’s Tips

I have followed a care routine for my plants for years and all my plants have continued to flourish in this time. My routine is etched into my home life much the same as doing laundry and taking out the garbage. To me this is key to having indoor plants. Every week, water all your plants, prune away any dead leaves or flowers (I do this quickly by hand) and turn the pot once to ensure that all parts of the plant get exposed to the sun. Once a month, add a tiny bit of fertiliser to the watering can so the plants get a top up of any nutrients they need. That’s it!

 

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Harriet’s Tips

My number one tip is dont be afraid to repot and propagate plants! It is such a simple way to make your indoor plants stretch even further. Plants will eventually outgrow their pots and if you want them to keep growing bigger and bushier, then you need to repot them. A telltale sign that it is time to repot a plant is if the roots are sticking out the bottom or the leaves are yellowing. Aim to gently move your plant into a pot that is 2 inches larger than the previous one.  Propagating plants is basically about making new plants from an existing one. The process to propagate varies depending on the plant. For example, basil can grow ‘new roots if a stem is snipped and placed in water while other plants will need you to remove a section of root and replant this. Don’t be afraid to give it a try and you can fill your house with plants!

 

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Bryn’s Tips

I only had 1 small plant in my house when we went into lockdown, so my tip is less about taking care of plants and more about how to get plants to take care of! I recommend buying succulents if you are a little unsure of your plant caring skills. They are strong, require little watering and come in many varieties. I had a look online for sites that were selling plants. Th were lots of options on crocus.co.uk and I ended up buying an asparagus fern and an aloe vera plant from Hortology.co.uk . They arrived green and healthy and have been a welcome addition to my home ever since. I’m a proud plant mama now and caring for my plants and just admiring them, brings a lovely calming moment into my life, especially at this time when there is so much uncertainty and worry with the coronavirus.

 

We really hope these tips will be useful in your own plant care journey! Do send us your own tips if you have any, we’d love to read them! 


 

This post is part of a Les 100 Ciels blog series titled, Life Indoors. Each week we will be posting on a range of topics to inspire you as you carry on your life from indoors. With the Covid-19 virus spreading around the world, the vast majority of us will be living vastly quieter lives and it is clear that now more than ever before, the importance of focusing on our shared humanity and community is integral. We are committed to continue to engage and support our community. If there is any topic you’d like us to write about, do get in touch and we’ll include it on our blog if we can. With love, The Les 100 Ciels Team

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Life Indoors: Our favourite Audible books and podcasts

By April 3, 2020 Editor's Picks, IN THE MEDIA, INSPIRATION
2nd APR Blog Grid 2

Now is the perfect time to catch up on new literature or expand the mind learning something new. Here is a selection of  our favourite Audible books and podcasts we’ve been listening to recently. Some are very new and others are goody oldies- hopefully, there will be something of interest for everyone!

Audible Books:

 

Salt path

The Salt Path, by Raynor Winn, Read by Anne Reid

On the occasion that you are feeling a little sorry for yourself, which we are all guilty of doing especially these days, we recommend listening to The Salt Path. A middle aged couple become homeless and decide to walk 630 miles of the South West coastal path. Their story is one of courage and resilience in a time of utter despair. It is an uplifting and positive inspiration to us all at this time and shows the true healing power of nature. The landscape feels like a character in itself and the depictions of nature will leave you planning your own walks along this coastline once we are all able to go out again.

Listen to it here

 

Tina Fey

Bossy Pants, Tina Fey, Read by Tina Fey

A hilarious telling of comedian Tina Fey’s life to date. With unrelenting wit and self deprecating humour, Fey tells all in a series of essays that jump from her awkwardly funny early years, to weird and wonderful anecdotes from her career on Saturday Night live to her experiences in love and marriage. Read this when you need cheering up and are looking for laugh out loud genius!

 Listen to it here

 

Long petal

A Long Petal of the Sea, Isabelle Allende. Read by Edoardo Ballerini

A love letter to her native Chile, this historical fiction, tells a story spanning decades as a group flees the Spanish Civil war for Chile on a boat chartered by the poet, Pablo Neruda. We follow along with the characters as they experience the trials of a forced departure from their homes to a life in a new land, where old and new cultures clash. The proof of Allende’s skill is in her masterful depiction of our humanity- describing moments of tenderness, love and connection against such a stark and desperate backdrop.

 Listen to it here

 

Daring

Daring Greatly, Brene Brown. Read by Brene Brown

With worldwide renown, Brene Brown’s books on embracing vulnerability and imperfection are a beam of light for our times. With all the uncertainty in the world at the moment, listening to her explain the need to be courageous is so apt for this difficult period we are going through. It can be easy to hide from our emotions, or feel shame when feeling anxiety and worry, especially when others may seem much worse off. However, listening to this book, Brene Brown tells us in her reassuring Texan drawl, that nothing is more human than to be ‘all up in your feelings’ and by daring to communicate where we are at, we become more open to an infinite power to feel empathy for others and to be gentle with ourselves.

 Listen to it here

 

Sherlock

Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle. Read by Stephen Fry

When a great classic of literature like Sherlock Holmes is paired with the excellent Stephen Fry’s rich and mellow narration you have a truly exquisite pairing. Fry brings Holmes and Watson to life in all their essence and we highly recommend this book to both the devout Sherlock Holmes fans and also to those dabbling for the first time into the books. Either way it is a treat to follow along this classic British detective story.

 Listen to it here

 

Podcasts

 

This american life

This American Life

If you are new to the world of podcasts, then we recommend podcast Hall of Fame, This American Life. Each week the podcast brings a range of stories around a certain theme from politics, history, comedy to our favourite, the everyday human experience. It is in this last area that the podcast really shines when a very normal and seemingly not that interesting topic can take up a life of its own and pull you under its spell. It is the very normal element of the storyline that often has the biggest draw, making it so relatable and fun to listen to.  This is an easy podcast to become addicted to!

Listen to it here

 

Alarmist

The Alarmist

As we live through our own crisis, some among us may wish to fulfill a dark, morbid desire to learn more about catastrophes through the centuries (as evident by the huge rise in viewings of disaster related shows on Netflix) Enter, The Alarmist. A podcast that looks at disasters and catastrophes through a lighthearted, comedic lens, as they happened through the years and tries to pinpoint the cause and who might be to blame. Told with lashes of humour, this is the perfect listening when things are all getting a bit overwhelming and too serious.

Listen to it here 

 

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Australian Birth Stories

This one may be a surprise choice, but there is so much of interest on this podcast that is relevant far beyond mums to be. Hosted by the gentle and soothing voice of Sophie Walker, each week she invites a guest to speak about her experience of pregnancy and birth.  Far from the typical scenes of birth in movies, the episodes delve into the very different journeys that women have in bringing life into the world.   Part educational (you will leave armed with a suitcase of birth related trivia),  but also part inspirational.  Aside from the obvious physical aspect of birth, the podcast explores the mental fortitude that women display as they venture into birth and the relationships that they depend on to get through this life altering event. It is fascinating and empowering listen but also a testament to human will and spirit.

 Listen to it here

 

desert

Desert Island Discs

This one is a British treasure with episodes going back on Radio 4 since, 1942.  The premise is simple, each week guests are castaway to a Desert island and they must choose 8 songs, a book and a luxury item to take with them. Since the show became a podcast, we have the opportunity to dive into the archive, listening as guests from a variety of backgrounds from politics to theatre, science and philosophy, discuss their lives and the music which has shaped them. Despite lots of episodes to listen, the true magic of the show is its ability to continue to remain fresh and engaging every time!

Listen to it here 

 

pet

Teacher’s Pet

If you love a true crime story, then this is the one for you! The series follows the disappearance of a woman in Australia in 1982, whose husband seems more and more suspicious as time passes (his young lover for instance moves into the family home right after the disappearance!). The storytelling unfolds in an enthralling way, as episode by episode new information pertaining to the case is appearing in real time (from the audience no less) that brings more twists and turns to the case. A captivating one to listen to!

 Listen to it here


 

This post is part of a Les 100 Ciels blog series titled, Life Indoors. Each week we will be posting on a range of topics to inspire you as you carry on your life from indoors. With the Covid-19 virus spreading around the world, the vast majority of us will be living vastly quieter lives and it is clear that now more than ever before, the importance of focusing on our shared humanity and community is integral. We are committed to continue to engage and support our community. If there is any topic you’d like us to write about, do get in touch and we’ll include it on our blog if we can. With love, The Les 100 Ciels Team

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Life Indoors: Self Care

By March 27, 2020 INSPIRATION
25th MAR Self Care 2

Have you ever heard the advice on an aeroplane to put on your own oxygen mask first before helping others? This advice is a good example of the fundamentals of Self Care. A far cry from self indulgence and narcissism, self care is in fact a sure fire way to ensure you are well enough in yourself to freely give others the time and energy that they deserve. It is also less about something you have to do and more about a way of life. The days ahead of self quarantine, welcome a unique opportunity to put self care into practice. What self care looks like is a personal expression of what you need in your daily life to thrive. It is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your loved ones and a combination of practices which involve the mind, body and soul. Here are some suggestions for ways to self care that you may be missing in your life.

sleep 1

Get your zzzzs

Sleep is one of the most important ways to take care of the body. It is easy to fall into unhealthy sleep patterns when spending days and nights indoors. Staying up very late and getting little sleep, or sleeping for a number of hours during the day can have a negative impact on the body, such as sleep deprivation, insomnia and a host of illnesses linked to a lack of sleep. In bestselling book, Why we sleep, Matthew Walker explains how our circadian rhythm (our internal body clock, following the 24 hour cycle of night and day) differs from person to person and the importance of working with your body to get the rest you need. With many people shuttered indoors for the next few weeks, there is a unique opportunity to tap into your own rhythm and understand how your body works. With a better understanding of your body’s needs for rest and activity, you can have a lasting positive impact on your physical and mental health.

 

Yoga with car

Move

Exercise goes hand in hand with sleep and can improve the mood and ensure the body works optimally. While everyone’s exercise needs differ based on their lifestyle and body, taking some form of activity everyday is a good idea for all of us. If you are new to exercising at home, it can be overwhelming when faced with the decision of what exercise to do.  There are so many options online, how do you choose? Cardio or strength training, yoga or aerobics? This can work as a mental block to exercising. We recommend trying out a different form of exercise for just 10 minutes everyday. Once you have a feel for a few forms of exercise, you can hone in on one that you like and tailor a weekly exercise plan to suit you. It also helps a lot to workout with someone in your household or take advantage of technology and virtually meet with a friend. If you’re not sure where to look, here are some suggestions for social media channels to try. Some of them are hosting live public sessions that you can join, if you miss going to group activity sessions.  

Yoga: Youtube channel, Yoga with Adriene

Dance aerobics: Instagram, @Forward_Space

 Strength Training/Cardio: Instagram, @basecampfitness

 Mindful

Stay Present

There is a lot of worrying happening in the world right now.  It is so easy for thoughts to spin off into the past or project anxieties into the future.  Mindfulness meditation is a simple way to ground yourself in the present. Many find the prospect of meditating daunting, but you can try the simple act of sitting quietly and concentrating on your breathing. Follow your breath in and out to draw your mind to what is happening in the moment. Another way to be more present, is to try to tune in 100% to the task at hand. For example, taking a shower or preparing a meal. Instead of multi-tasking or spending the entire time thinking about what else you have to do, focus on the activity at hand. Take in the sights, sounds, sensations, and smells of the moment. This is a wonderful practice to slow your thoughts right down, relieve stress and bring a sense of stillness.

Suggested sites for more inspiration:

Instagram: @inscape

Apps: Headspace

Eggs

Eat Well

By consciously watching what you eat you are caring for yourself from the inside out, ensuring you stay healthy and ward off illness. Aim to consume a variety of nutritious foods from different food groups in your day. Don’t stress if present circumstances mean that you can’t shop for your optimum ingredients. There are tons of recipes available online to try out so take this opportunity to be creative and try out some new meal ideas. If you are looking for recipes, here are a few accounts that we follow:

Instagram: The Minimalist Baker @minimalbaker

Jamie Oliver’s Youtube channel is dedicated to eating well during the coronavirus pandemic

Selfcare

Pamper Yourself

Pampering yourself does not strictly mean a manicure or giving yourself an at home spa session (although we love those things and do recommend them!). Pampering yourself in a broader sense, simply means doing more of what makes you happy. If this is curling up and reading a book, watching a rerun of your favourite TV show, taking a bath or even re-organising your wardrobe – do it. Reserve a slot of time when you can take some time for yourself, even if its just for five minutes.

Here are some of our favourite pampering ideas:
1. At home Face Scrubs
2.Take on a DIY project. There are lots of ideas for projects on instagram profile @ABeautifulMess 

3. Watch some stand up comedy. We love Amy Schumer’s Netflix special
4. Keep a Journal. Here is some lovely stationery from Nappa Dori
5. Share your love of books and join an online Book Club like Page Turners

Line in the sand

Set boundaries

If you struggle to say no or are you are concerned you are overstretching yourself, then you need to set better boundaries for yourself. This could be about any area of your life from work, friends, family and even exercise and food. Good boundaries are there to ensure we keep ourselves ticking over in a steady and secure way.  If you are wondering how to go about setting boundaries, you’re not alone and we could write a whole blogpost on this topic (let us know in the comments section if you are interested in this).
A good place to start is to become more self aware and trust your instincts. If it feels wrong, don’t do it. It’s that simple. Once you establish what your boundaries are, it will take some practice for you to master being clear about them with those around you and even with yourself. It can be difficult to say no, but ultimately those who care about you will respect your needs if calmly and respectfully explained. Lastly, accept that you won’t always get it right, but every attempt at living within your boundaries takes you a step closer to a more balanced and positive life. 

We hope you find these ideas useful. What are your acts of self care?  Comment below or on our social media channels to let us know what you do to take care of yourself or what you thought of the ideas above. We’re all in this together and it is through sharing more with our community that we will find new ways of coping and coming out on the other side of this unprecedented time in a better space. Be well! 


 

This post is part of a Les 100 Ciels blog series titled, Life Indoors. Each week we will be posting on a range of topics to inspire you as you carry on your life from indoors. With the Covid-19 virus spreading around the world, the vast majority of us will be living vastly quieter lives and it is clear that now more than ever before, the importance of focusing on our shared humanity and community is integral. We are committed to continue to engage and support our community. If there is any topic you’d like us to write about, do get in touch and we’ll include it on our blog if we can. With love, The Les 100 Ciels Team

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Life Indoors: How to survive working from home

By March 20, 2020 INSPIRATION
Blog 2

We are living through strange times at the moment. With the Covid-19 virus spreading around the world, the vast majority of us will be staying indoors for the next few weeks.  It is clear that now more than ever before, the importance of focusing on our shared humanity and community is integral and  at Les 100 Ciels, we are committed to continue to engage and support you, our community.

With this in mind, from today we will start a blog series titled Life Indoors. Each week we will be writing blogposts to inspire you as you carry on your life from indoors, with topics ranging from how to tackle boredom, to home study,  self care and ideas on meals with limited ingredients.

In today’s post, we’re looking at an issue which will affect a large proportion of us: how to work from home.

If you are feeling demotivated and anxious about how you can continue to work from home, we’ve got a range of tips on how you can tackle this. We hope these tools will help you maintain your  productivity and perhaps welcome new skills and creativity.

1.

If you have the space, set aside a designated area to work from home. This works two-fold to get you into the frame of mind to come into the space and tune your mind to work. It will also mean you have an area where you can spread out, take work calls with privacy and hopefully not have as many distractions from children.

2.

Schedule in video or phone calls with your colleagues to discuss work matters through tools such as Skype or Zoom. Although many topics are easy to be discussed by email, sometimes having a friendly call with your colleagues is just the thing to help feel really engaged and connected to your work life.  The interaction will also do wonders to boost morale and keep you motivated to complete work projects.

3.

Struggling to feel motivated? Why not try a Productivity tool such as the Pomodoro technique. This technique is based on setting a timer to do 25 minute stints of work called a Pomodoro followed by a 5 minute break. After completing four pomodoros, you take a longer break of 15-30 minutes. The idea is based on working for short stretches of time that are much easier to commit to especially in a home environment where you lose a lot of your normal structure to your day. We recommend the Flora app that follows the Pomodoro technique but rewards you with a virtual garden as you successfully complete blocks of concentration.

4.

Take regular breaks for exercise- it is very important for your physical and mental well being.  There are thousands of exercise routines to follow on YouTube ranging from relaxing yoga sessions to heart racing HITT activities. Whatever your preference, there is sure to be something for all tastes.

5.

Get some fresh air. Yes you may not be able to leave the house, but perhaps you can stroll around your garden or at the very least,  open a window, stick your head out and take  slow, deep breaths of fresh air. It really helps with resetting your mood and brain if you are feeling a bit sleepy or restless.

6.

Make use of that commute time. We’ve all wished at one point or another that we had a few extra hours in the day as we rush to get off to work. Re-purpose that commuting time for creating a relaxing ritual to mark the hours before and after your start work from home. Perhaps you could use it to write in a journal or meditate. It is an excellent way to separate periods of work from leisure and try to have more balance at home. You could also use the time for things you wish you had more time to do, for example a DIY project or reading.

7.

A note on working from home with kids. For many stuck indoors, the biggest challenge will be how to juggle childcare and home study with the demands of work.. There is enough to cover on this topic alone for an entire blog post, but here’s our top tips to making this work taking into consideration that all situations are a little different. First things first, give yourself a break. This is an adjustment for everyone and it won’t all fall into place from day one. Be ready to amend your plan and be flexible with yourself and your family until you find a rhythm that works for your particular family circumstances. Secondly, try to find a routine that suita your family. Children respond well to having structure, so organise your day into chunks of time where you can work while they have screen time or do a physical play activity when they are most full of energy. Lastly, be upfront with colleagues about the struggles you are facing at home with juggling the kids with work. Being real and honest, instead of trying to create an air of having it all under control will gain you more understanding and support and make life easier all around.

How are you handling working from home? Perhaps you love it and are thinking of making it a permanent change. Or maybe you can’t bear it. We’d love to hear how you are doing and what are some of your tips to working from home?

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