As writers of a travel magazine, we at OT take pride in curating our ‘24 Hours’ series with little hidden nuggets from our travels in India, and around the world. But so far, 2020 has been quite the letdown when it comes to satiating the wander-bugs like us, and we didn’t have a choice but to get creative. Don’t get me wrong, the struggle is real. A week into the lockdown, I found myself operating on Eastern Standard Time. Why? Well, let me know when you find out. But here’s where our itinerary-making superpower comes into play. We present to you, how to spend 24 hours in a lockdown.
I’d say anywhere between 8 am and 9 am is a respectable time to wake up. And since you get to skip the time spent commuting to work, you can still sneak in a little me-time before the 10 am conference call. If you’re a religious coffee drinker (shudder), now’s a good time to brew yourself a strong one. You could even fix a cup of the leftover Dalgona whip you made at 2 am last night because, who are we kidding, we all did it. Find yourself a little nook by a window, or out in the balcony, for the caffeine to do its thing. Starting your day off with a healthy dose of vitamin D is known to regulate mood swings, and we know how many of those we have in an hour.
Crisp up some toast, sizzle out some eggs. It’s going to be tomato season soon, so throw a couple of those in the skillet too, skins and all. A big breakfast is the way to go for all the energy you’ll need to lie around the house! I like to add some freshly squeezed OJ to the roster with a pinch of black salt, but feel free to substitute it with whatever your preferred beverage is. And yes, it’s too early for wine.
A routine helps in keeping the sanity in check when most other things are out of your control, so take a shower, get dressed, and hell, put some perfume and make up on, because why not. Watered and fed, you’re ready to take on the day.
Separate your working spaces from your leisure spaces. It took three times of falling asleep with the laptop on my chest for me to get that hammered in. But then again, don’t forget to reap the benefits of your “office” being a few feet away either.
Take a break at noon to fix yourself some lunch. I usually go for leftovers since I’d rather finish them now and save myself an extra trip to the grocery store. But if you’re one of the functioning kinds of people who cook just enough food (you can’t see it, but I’m bowing down), then something not-too-heavy is usually a good idea. A salad with a side of protein, perhaps? Use your lunchbreak to catch up on some reading online. The New Yorker usually hits the spot for me but might I suggest Outlook Traveller’s e-edition (click down to download your free copy)?
It’s 5 o’clock somewhere
If you’re done working for the day, pack up your office and don’t look back. It’s time for the fun stuff now. I’ve seen that getting even half an hour of exercise a day greatly helps elevate my mood. If you have the luxury of an in-house gym, a running track, or a backyard, now would be the time to strap on those sneakers. If not, there are hundreds of home workout videos available on the good ol’ internet for you to follow along.
I’ve tried yoga, dance workouts, and even some form of shadow boxing. But a personal favourite is Emi Wong’s YouTube channel. Seriously, check her out.
Is it wine time, yet?
Now that you’ve done all the responsible things, it’s my favourite part of the day: cooking dinner. I know, shocking; but hear me out. Pour yourself a glass of something, I toggle between some wine or a cold lemon spritzer (tons of recipes online), put on your favourite playlist and get to work. If you’re anything like me and enjoy some company while cooking, hit up a friend on video chat and you’ll be done before you know it.
Dinner is usually a fancy affair. Nothing too heavy but still something that would make you feel like you’ve earned it. I go for curries or grills, maybe some pasta with a side of greens. Switch it up and light a candle, FaceTime a special someone and share the meal together. It’s all about finding the little joys.
It’s 9 o’clock and probably not a Saturday. Follow your regular skin care regimen, or lack of (routine, remember?), crawl under the sheets and pull up Netflix party. Or Amazon, or Hotstar, pick your poison. I’ll usually watch it with someone, on video call or chat, to remind myself that there’s still a world out there. Or maybe you can grab that book you’ve been dying to read or that art project that’s been hanging off your shelf unfinished.
Whatever it is, use this time to do something just for you. Last night, I pulled out my ukulele and tried to learn a mashup of old Coldplay songs. Whatever floats your boat. The idea is to end the day on a happy note—pun intended!