6 ways to make the most out of self isolation
- Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
In this uncertain time, we’ve rounded up a selection of ways to keep you calm and entertained while remaining safe
A recipe to try out at home
FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE
Baking is something that all the family can enjoy and anything that includes chocolate is perfect. The below recipe is supplied by Booths (booths.co.uk),
100g dark chocolate, chopped
300g golden caster sugar
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75g cocoa powder
125g ground almonds
cocoa powder to dust
1) Pre-heat the oven to 160°C (fan)/350°F/gas mark 4. Line the base and sides of a 23cm loose-bottomed cake tin with baking paper.
2) Place the butter and chocolate into a glass bowl and set over a pan of simmering water to melt. Stir to form a glossy mixture.
3) Place the sugar and eggs into a bowl. Using an electric mixer whisk for 5 minutes until thick and creamy.
4) Fold the melted butter and chocolate mix into the egg mixture.
5) Sift the cocoa powder into the mixture. Add the ground almonds and fold to combine.
6) Pour the mix into the lined tin and bake in a pre-heated oven for 45-55 minutes. The cake should have a slight wobble in the centre when baked. Allow to cool completely in the tin before removing. Place on a cake stand and dust with cocoa powder before serving.
Enjoy some fresh air
Taking yourself out for a long walk does wonders for your mental and physical health. Sadly, the National Trust has announced that it has closed its parks and gardens to the public as part of the effort to stop the spread of Covid-19. However, being out in nature can truly benefit people’s mental and physical wellbeing. New guidelines have stated that we are allowed to leave our homes for outside exercise once each day, and only with members of our own households. Local parks have remained open, although playgrounds are closed. Take the opportunity of the serious reduction of cars on the roads to polish up your cycling skills, if you still have a bike tucked away at the back of the garage!
Do you listen to podcasts? If so, you’ll know that they are hugely popular and cover almost every single subject matter, meaning that there is one perfect for you. Some are funny, some are educational and some will introduce you to topics you never knew existed - and now is the perfect time to discover new voices. Our favourites include the Happy Place with Fearne Cotton, where she talks to a range of incredible people about life, love and what it means to be happy. Another favourite is On the Outskirts, hosted by Manchester-based bloggers Sophia Rosemary and Alice Catherine, on what it’s like living and working on the outside of London’s blogging bubble. We also think you’ll like You’re Dead To Me, hosted by Greg Jenner of Horrible Histories, who talks to historians and comedians about past heroes and villains.
Many of us are having to stay at home in light of the current situation, so it’s handy that Altrincham-based Clinic Equilibrium are offering online Pilates mat-work video sessions for clients to follow at home. This is to help keep both your body and mind active whilst limiting your social interaction. It’s known that moderate exercise helps boost the immune system, which is exactly what we all need. The Pilates videos will give you a full body workout including strength building, flexibility and mobility through low impact exercise routines. All you need is some space to lie down and a mat to lie on. From £10 a month, you will receive five videos monthly and will be emailed a link to a new video each week, so you can still get your workout in!
The sound of music
All concerts and festivals have been cancelled, but the joy of music can still be helpful in this time. A little dance and song can really do wonders for the mood. Superstars John Legend and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin have been putting on Instagram Live self-isolation concerts to keep the spirits up. Live-music bar Jimmy’s, based in Liverpool, has also arranged for a range self-isolation gigs to take place, with a line-up of indie bands set to perform. Keep an eye out on the social media app and you’ll get a front row seat to your own concert.
Take care of one another
This is a situation we’re all dealing with and it’s important not to lose sight of that – in the words of High School Musical, ‘we’re all in this together’. A new word has been created that sums up something we should all be considering: ‘caremongering’. The term — coined by Canadians on social media — describes the practice of offering help or care to those that need it most. And it isn’t limited to delivering supplies or food; caremongering can mean running errands, or setting up online exercise classes, or cooking for others. Supermarkets are implementing a time of the day where elderly and vulnerable people can shop, whilst restaurants are offering NHS workers free food and drink in this hectic time. What this shows is how well we can come together and support each other and that’s something we should never lose sight of.