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Home sweet home

Home sweet home
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Weight gain, feelings of isolation, news-induced nightmares, job losses, toilet paper shortages, illness: The list of downsides of the coronavirus lockdown is long and painful. Yet as places start to reopen and lockdowns are lifted, we are recognising that staying at home wasn’t all bad. In fact, there were a lot of really awesome things about lockdown—things we’re actually going to miss when we go back to “normal” life. Here’s an idea of when that’ll be, and what it could look like.

The perfect excuse to say no

The perfect excuse to say no
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If you’ve suffered from FOMO (the fear of missing out), lockdown helped us discover JOMO, or the joy of missing out. While it was sad to miss parties and work trips, it was also kind of a relief to have no obligations. And you didn’t have to worry about coming up with a believable reason not to do things! “Sorry, government/health orders” is an airtight excuse.

Au naturel hair

Au naturel hair
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Lockdown gave us permission to let it all go – from curling irons to makeup to bras, we found freedom in letting our bodies revert back to their natural states. One perk: Many of us discovered our hair was much healthier and shinier when not subjected to daily washings, heat tools and hair dye. Sure, the grey roots showed, but it was fine because the pit hair had finally grown long enough to be soft. Going back to blow dryers and razors again is tough.

Finding new ways to save money

Finding new ways to save money
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There’s no doubt that the pandemic has caused a considerable amount of financial stress for many people. But it also offered a unique opportunity to save money by creating a kind of forced frugality. With restaurants, movie theatres, shopping centres and other entertainment venues closed, we weren’t tempted to splurge on a night out. With only going to the supermarket once every week or two, we did less impulse buying. With no one to see us, we didn’t feel the need to buy makeup or clothing. And petrol money? Who needs petrol when you’re not driving anywhere? Lockdown really helped us separate our needs from our wants.

Here are 11 things to stop buying that’ll save you tons of cash.

A ten-second commute

A ten-second commute
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Walking from your bed to your desk in the next room is a far cry from battling traffic to drop the kids at school and then get into the office. While working from home does have its downsides, the ten-second commute was definitely a bonus.

Soaking in the sound of silence

Soaking in the sound of silence
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While the empty roads can feel a little weirdly apocalyptic at first, it’s easy to appreciate the reduced pollution and noise. For many, lockdown was the first time they’d experienced the sounds of nature around their home without interruption. Who knew there were so many types of birds in your area? Or how deeply you sleep when it’s truly quiet?

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Indulging your inner sleeping beauty

Indulging your inner sleeping beauty
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Working from home, plus a reduced (okay, cancelled) social life, left us with a lot of extra time on our hands, which many of us used to catch up on our years-long sleep debt. When was the last time you got to completely turn off your alarm and wake up naturally, go to bed as early as you like, or take a little midday nap in the sunshine? It felt good!

Follow these top tips for a better night’s sleep.

Playing “Old Town Road” on the flute you hand-crafted out of wood scraps

Playing “Old Town Road” on the flute you hand-crafted out of wood scraps
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Hip-hop dancing. Baking. Painting. Speaking French. Embroidering sarcastic sayings. People embraced a wide variety of new (or long-forgotten) hobbies and skills in lockdown and, while we may want to keep them going once life returns to “normal,” we all know it’s going to be tricky. Busy schedules have a way of taking over, and when you’re not home all the time, it’s a lot harder to monitor your sourdough every few hours or water your tomatoes three times a day.

These childhood hobbies double as incredible kilojoule-burning workouts.

Cosy family dinners

Cosy family dinners
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During lockdown, dinnertime was no longer just a nice moment of the day; it became the defining event of the day, the thing everyone looked forward to. Not only did we have time to cook healthier, tastier meals, but most of the time we could count on everyone being home to eat together. Okay, this didn’t stop your kids from fighting or your spouse from zoning out on their phone, but at least you were all doing it at the same table, together.

Bonding with your next-door neighbour

Bonding with your next-door neighbour
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Nothing brings people together like a shared crisis, and due to the nature of the pandemic, the people we ended up closest to were the ones we live closest to. There are so many beautiful lockdown stories of people delivering groceries for elderly neighbours, checking in on nearby single parents, filling driveways with positive chalk messages and performing lots of other little kindnesses to people we would usually just wave to before closing the garage. The sense of community was real and it was beautiful.

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