Celebrating Christmas…in lockdown!

I am not sure if I can put into words the feeling of anger, disappointment, frustration, sadness and depression I went through last night to hear the tragic news of a new lockdown starting from today (Dec 20th) until the 30th. I have been working flat out since March, using part of my holidays and weekends to finish off my PhD thesis. I literally had nothing to do outside work to decompress and I was counting the minutes before enjoying my Christmas holiday and the much-needed rest. I needed a mental break from this pandemic and space to breathe as I am sure everyone else did too. But the Grinch arrived last night, so here we are! All I feel right now is stress on top of more stress accumulated during this exhausting and exasperating year!

Probably many have readjusted to new routines already, spending their entire time at home and moving from kitchen to the sofa after work. But this situation of being locked in the house is new to me. I worked from work since March so I don’t know how to best approach this. I have made a few plans before Boris the Grinch arrived, my very original plan to visit my family in Italy got cancelled pretty much at the end of October, so I had to come up with different ideas, and Tier4 or not, I am committed to following through.

You are entitled to feel how you feel about the last-minute Christmas cancellation!

One of my plans is to cook a different recipe every day, mostly Italian food. With the relocation and the first lockdown, my time and energy levels were pretty low. So I relied on takeaways and eating out a lot. I quickly noticed that was pretty bad for my health and my pocket too. With the second lockdown, started in November and still ongoing, I decided to break that bad habit and spend more time in the kitchen. On my list of dishes, I want to cook: risotto, lasagne, fettuccine, tortellini and pies. Cooking more from scratch is also one of my NYR, but I will talk about that in a separate post.

If someone comments on you body weight during/after this Christmas break, eat them!

On top of the cooking challenge, which is not really a chore for me because I love cooking, I decide to make a conscious afford to leave the house every day. I am sure everyone knows by now that I live in a corner of paradise in front of the beach and 10 min away from the white cliffs of Dover. So, even in lockdown, I get the chance to stay in the countryside or enjoy the spectacular beach view. I usually feel better after spending a couple of hours outside and it’s also a chance for me to introduce low-impact and stress-free workout to my holiday.

Recently, I joined a new group called scientists who read and get used to this new way of “socialising”. I hated the zoom calls at first but I don’t have much of a choice about it at the moment. So, I tag alone for the time being and I promise I will delete all these apps from my phone/laptop when this charade is over. I met loads of wonderful people, we usually watch 2 movies a week, on Wed and Sunday and get to discuss it while watching it. We also had a Christmas quiz and we organised a secret Santa. It was kind of nice to feel normality for the most part of December.

Lastly, during this whole lockdown, I had the time to explore my creativity and get a lot of DIY done. I even repaired my own car and repainted it. For Christmas, I basically decorated my entire house without buying anything besides a Yankee candle. I have been getting loads of inspo from some of the waste-free Instagram accounts I follow and noticed that the dry citrus was a common feature to decorate the house or embellish parcels. After a first and unsuccessful attempt to bake oranges, I decided to chop them and just leave beside the heater for a couple of days. I love how they turned out (see featured pic), their incredible scent and my the waste-free, zero-afford crafting project.

Of course, this is by no means a to-do list for your Christmas holiday. This year has been dreadful, exasperating, demotivating, depressing and dramatic. Everyone deals with pain and traumatic events differently so whatever you decide to do or don’t, it’s your own decision and please remember that you are entitled to feel how you feel and being absolutely fed up with this lockdown.

Merry Christmas and see you soon for the NYR, Ciao

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