Learning from lockdown


Learning from lockdown

By Jane Clarke

November 15, 2020

As we enter another week of this second national lockdown, we’ve been thinking about lessons learnt the first time round and what we plan to do differently now. Here’s what the Nourish team is doing…

‘I only listen to the news at lunchtime and certainly not in the evening because it so badly affects my sleep. I much prefer to start my day doing a calm affirmation, then I run or take my puppy Kumi for a long walk before I hear or see anything tech-wise.

Before I go to bed, I choose a herbal tea that was a gift from a dear friend and drink it from a mug my daughter Maya gave me. I like to end the day with a simple routine that reminds me of the precious people around me.

I’m a huge Strictly Come Dancing fan. I try to watch 15 minutes at a time, which spreads the joy throughout the week.


Jane Clarke and puppy Kumi

‘I try to go outside for a walk, or I spend some time in the garden and greenhouse pottering each day. We also got a puppy five weeks ago, called Tilly.

I write a list of three little things I want to achieve each day and tick them off when completed – very satisfying when done! I love to try a new recipe each week.

And I like to experiment with my wardrobe and try on different combinations which I haven't worn before. I always feel so much better if I make an effort in the morning with what I am wearing, my hair and make-up; it sets me up for a positive day.’



‘I try to have a 30-minute run three times a week; it clears my head and gives me time to think about the day ahead. I make the first coffee of the day a special one – frothy hot milk drunk out of one of my lovely cups; never a mug!

Getting out my cross stitching is a good distraction, as I have to concentrate a bit on that! Before supper I like to have a hot bath, using some Aromatherapy Associates deep relax bath oil and listening to the radio.

And I have twice weekly video calls with two of my best friends – that has been a life saver over the past few months!’



My tip is to start and end your working day by doing something positive and investing in some time for yourself. For me, it is a nice outdoor run in the morning so I can gather my thoughts for the day ahead, as well as getting some vital vitamin D and fresh air. I like to end my working day with a pilates or yoga session and practice some mindfulness to clear my head before I spend time with my family. 

Focus your energy on giving back to others during these difficult times. It could simply be picking up the phone and calling someone who is missing day to day human interaction or batch cooking a meal and giving a portion to someone unable to get to the shops. Often, just letting your family and friends know you are there for them is a great source of comfort.

Make sure you stay in touch with your friends and family, by arranging a virtual Zoom meet-ups. Human contact (even via a screen) and laughter can be a great help during this unusual period, especially in the run up to the festive season where we would normally be out and about.


I find having a dedicated workspace with natural light does wonders for my working day and mood. It allows me to separate my work from my home life and stay focused.

With time saved on commuting to and from the office, I like to do something I wouldn’t previously have had the opportunity to do, such as fit in a jog in my lunch break; which frees up time in the evening to spend with my children.

This time around I am going to be kinder to myself and not compare myself to things and people I see on social media and just be happy I’m doing the best I can.


I’ve stopped checking emails or reading the news as soon as I wake up and instead I listen to a short mindfulness podcast and do 10 minutes of Tai Chi.

It’s easy for days to blur together and the traditional boundaries of the 9-5 or weekends to get lost when you’re working from home, so I’m making sure I close my office door at night and trying to keep Saturday and Sunday as properly relaxing days to spend with my family.


Self-care is important. Take a moment whenever possible to do something you enjoy, from reading to a relaxing bath. I love music and have a playlist of uplifting songs that I listen to every day to counteract the lunchtime slump – and I hit the volume up! I cook new recipes to keep things interesting and I'm experimenting with alcohol-free cocktails a few evenings a week.'

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