#StayHome #GoLater is not as bad as you think!
With the May weekend approaching, many of us would have been packing bags to get away for a few days…Not this year though! It’s surprising how fast we got accustomed to the new (temporary) reality of staying put: working from home, homeschooling, binge watching Netflix (that was the easiest to get used to!) and completely losing track of time (is that 37th of April today?). Let’s not forget that not all get to stay home; there are not enough words to say THANK YOU to all the doctors, nurses and all key workers at the front line out there!
So many of us were forced to postpone a holiday that was being planned for months (or years in many cases); it is certainly the good and sensible thing to do just now but that doesn't mean you're not disappointed to cancel a much-anticipated vacation! However, we all know that looking forward to travel, building up the excitement to discover a new destination has great mood benefits and works the same way as eating a bar of chocolate! It simply makes you happy! Here is a list of how to improve your mood by NOT TRAVELLING just now!
READ A BOOK
…but not just any fiction novel. Choose one that is happening in the city you were supposed to be in if your holiday would take place. There are so many inspiring books with settings in Russia for you to enjoy. Your Moscow trip was cancelled? Read Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles and immerse yourself in the opulence of the dreamlike 5* Metropol hotel. Are you secretly crying into a pillow over a postponed Trans-Siberian adventure? We’d recommend Through Siberia by Accident by Dervla Murphy. There is no better mood enhancer than a good book.
MAKE YOURSELF A RESTAURANT DINNER
Take an online cooking class or find a great recipe from the cuisine of a the country you were meant to see. It’s just another way to travel from the safety of your own home. This allows you to explore different food ingredients, stimulate all five of your senses, and imagine being physically there… If you were meant to be in Russia, search for a borscht recipe! And add a side of a shot of vodka for even more authenticity! There are many mouthwatering Russian dishes out there to try: from almost exotic shchi to the classic potato based dishes.
WATCH A TRAVEL SHOW
By now you can probably operate the tv remote with your eyes closed! But, instead of watching reruns of Friends, try a documentary. Visualization is a powerful tool for relaxation and creativity. A simple TV series can build a great buzz…let’s just wait for the lockdown to be lifted to start our own Race Across The World! So what’s out there to watch?
• Joanna Lumley's Trans-Siberian Adventure: the 5,000-mile journey from Hong Kong to Moscow: available on Amazon Video.
• Russia - A Journey With Jonathan Dimbleby; grab a Complete BBC Series DVD on Amazon
• Russia with Simon Reeve – a fascinating documentary that explores some of Russia's most remote locations from Kamchatka in the far east of the country to Siberia and ending in St Petersburg.
If you are looking for programs to lighten the mood, make sure to check out Travel Man: 48 Hours in... where Richard Ayoade takes a ruthless approach to getting the maximum from a city break.
TAKE A VIRTUAL TOUR
What’s best at fighting feelings of disappointment and sadness over cancelled events, than virtual visits to museums or tours! There is an abundance of online events and visits out there: stroll through Hermitage, visit Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow or attend a Mariinsky Theatre or Bolshoi Ballet performance…in your pyjamas. Virtual Travel will never replace the real thing but it will help to cope with the forced staycation and help you plan for the future.
MAKE A POST COVID-19 TRAVEL PLAN
The more time you spend at home, the more you wish to get out… The words Bucket List are slowly starting to take a very real shape. What we are experiencing just now shows we cannot take traveling and discovering the World for granted. It’s time to make some serious planning to make the Bucket List a reality!
Get at kick of motivational power of dopamine while you plan your trip in detail, research the places to see and things to do, and create your travel plan.
•Are you wondering where to try a traditional Russian Banya?
•Or you try to get away from the busy cities and see the real naturel wonders of Russia?
Make the plan: when the time comes to book your holiday, you will be ready!
KEEP A BULLET JOURNAL
If your dark thoughts are slowly taking over, your productivity is taking a serious hit and procrastination might as well be your middle name…keep a journal! Journaling of any sort has been shown to reduce stress and help organize chaotic thoughts. However, not everyone is good at writing things down. We suggest the next best thing: a Bullet Journal. In the new reality of a short attention span, write down your random thoughts, what you had for dinner, the one word to describe how you are feeling, a cool quote from a book you are reading… dig out pencils and stickers and add some colours to otherwise dull pages. Having a bullet journal is a soothing way to sort out your feelings and keep track of days that feel monotonous.
DONATE MONEY TO A WORTHY CAUSE
Are all good deeds inherently selfish? While social isolation keeps as safe, it certainly cuts us off from helping others in person. You can recreate the feel-good vibes by donating money on various online challenges. Whether you run 5k and donate £5 to NHS or deliver shopping to your elderly neighbour, it’s guaranteed to boost your morale. After all, you are making a difference!
MEDITATE AND TAKE A BREAK
We can all agree, whoever said that working from home is easy, never really worked from home. Sure, you no longer need to commute in a crowded train, queue for a sandwich in Marks&Spencer or even get dressed (we all did a pyjama-work day…) But is that really easier? The sudden loneliness and lack of human contact is slowly taking its toll. On top of that, you might actually be working more now! Since your home became your work place, there is no clear cut off between home time and work time anymore. If you feel like you should take on more projects, maybe you should do the opposite. The whole world has literally come to a stop and there are very few moments that this is possible. If you have been alone for a while now, practice being comfortable with yourself and your thoughts. If you do not have an outdoor space to find some tranquillity, you can try mindful meditation. Headspace is offering free mindfulness trials for your everyday life: https://www.headspace.com/