In light of the unsettling events happening around the world, it’s important that we find small ways of getting through the scary moments and grounding ourselves in the communities around us. For us, our community of followers and fellow bookworms are here to share tips, offer friendship and reassurance while self-isolating and social distancing.
Firstly, we’d like to send each and every one of you positive energy during this precarious time. Whether you’re working from home, caring for yourself and loved ones or still braving the outside world in helping to combat COVID-19; we are here and we support you!
Things seem very uncertain and it can be difficult to focus on anything that involves the future… and that’s OK. We have some tips that might help you feel more present, to get you back in touch with yourself and your community.
Make sure the space you are living in isn’t making isolation worse. If it is, have a spring clean or change the furniture around to help clear your head and the room of negative energy. Tend to any houseplants you have or your garden (if you have one) to enjoy some natural space and the calming presence of the natural world.
This one is obvious: READ! Reading is the perfect escape for our minds, a respite from anxious thoughts and intrusive news bulletins. Most people have a bucket list (and probably a bucket shelf) of books they want to read but have never had time to. This is the time to indulge in something you really want to read; that might be Mary Shelley’s classic Frankenstein, it might be Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus. Whatever books you’ve bought in a Waterstones shopping spree and had on your shelf for a while, you could use this time to start reading them.
You might be the type of person who has a handful of books on the go at any given time. From experience, one of those books usually gets forgotten about long enough for you to have to reread the chapter that you’d just stopped at. Maybe this is the time to give that book some TLC and pick up where you left off.
A pro tip from our founder Molly Masters is to follow the #Bookstagram where fellow book lovers share their current reads and get inspiration. At any given time this will fill your feed with interesting content, but right now it’s a great way to use the bookworm community to find new books and chat about books in common.
Food might be an obstacle at the moment, but cooking is an excellent pastime that will (mostly) leave you with something tasty to eat at the end of it. Batch cooking things using up your fresh produce is a great way to make that food last longer and your life easier when you’re feeling less inclined to get the frying pan out. If you have any, try reading some recipe books for inspiration and adapting bits that you might not be able to access right now. Or you could consult some food websites and bloggers who will have great recipes to try.
For a budget and to use up store cupboard items the fabulous Jack Monroe (Twitter: @BootstrapCook) is a great person to follow. She’s currently doing #JackMonroesLockdownLarder every evening at 5pm to answer any food related questions and give you some tasty recipes to try during self-isolation. It might be a nice idea to share your own recipes on social media as this is another way to tap into your communities and inspire others to find comfort during a time of turmoil.
It’s also important to say you don’t have to do anything other than what you’re currently doing. You are already enough! We want you all to find some grounding in things you enjoy, so tap into your hobbies and interests to keep some sunshine shining throughout the day. Stay safe fellow bookworms and big love from the Books That Matter team.
Written by Ellie Stebbing