By Erin Knowles of My Island Retreats

Our homes are now our places of work, rest and play. Keep the vibration high. Have a junk clear out and a Spring clean. I’ve been leaving the windows open as often as possible to give the house a good cleanse. Mend what’s broken, throw away what you don’t need and make a list of what you do need. Burn delicious smelling oils, play your favourite music, light the candles, pick flowers. Set yourself a chill space where you can hide from the other members of your household when needed. If you are working from home then set up a dedicated workspace (separate to your chill space.) If you need to move things around a bit then do. My husband has created a workspace in our son’s bedroom with a lovely view out of the window. Delegate chores to all members of the family including children.

I have definitely been guilty recently of spending too much time in trackies but on the days when I make a bit more of an effort (and it can be as simple as brushing my hair and putting on a nice shirt) my productivity levels soar. I also have a nightly bathing ritual with Himalayan salts followed by a coconut oil massage and it’s vastly improved my sleep.

Get out for a walk, a run or a bike ride. Dance around your living room with your kids (we’re loving Uptown Funk and anything by Black Eyed Peas). There are some great music video tutorials on You Tube. Chris Connors is offering 5rhythms Dance sessions (Monday evenings with Sound Bath, Saturday evenings with Breathwork) @christopherconnors. Ryan Huffington’s morning dance sessions are seriously good fun and silly @ryan.heffington. Morning Qi Gong sessions with Burgs on You Tube are also amazing way of shaking any negative charge out of your body and mind, grounding your energy for the day ahead.

Tune into some of the amazing World class Yoga offerings from teachers via Instagram Live. With 25 years of Yogic wisdom under her belt Suzanne Faith is the teacher who Yoga teachers study with. She offers sessions Fridays at 10am @suzannefaithyoga. My other favourites are Lauren Lee @, Leanna Plant @ leannaplantyoga & Abby Dixon @abbypoem (she sings you a gorgeous mantra at the end.)

There has never been a better time to begin Meditating if you haven’t already. It is key to cultivate the ability to stay present during a time that could take us deep into fear. Meditation also boosts immunity. Burgs has set up Love vs Virus – subscribe to his YouTube channel (Love vs Virus) where he appears live daily at 10:30am & 7:30pm GMT. This live feed offers support, encouragement & advice on how to build a positive response to the unfolding situation we are facing. There are twice daily meditations after an intro by Burgs. If you don’t do anything else on this list, do this.

Many of my friends and family are telling me that they are spending more time cooking and really enjoying it. I love that as I’m home all day I can put something on the stove or in the oven and nurture it throughout the day. This feels like how it should be. My son loves to have his own board and chop veggies for me (I give him a serrated cooking knife.) I think it’s the knife he loves more than helping me. I’m minimising trips to the shops by being as resourceful as possible which means getting creative with all of those things that are lurking at the back of the pantry – lentils, beans, quinoa, noodles. I use the Deliciously Ella app daily @deliciouslyella – the recipes are delicious, easy and as we are mainly plant based in our house we tend of have most of the things on the ingredients list. The desserts are insane. This week I’ll be starting work on a vegetable garden. I lived in London for 18 years with no garden and have NO IDEA what I’m doing so this could be interesting. I’m also using the amazing Ibiza Delivers @ibizadelivers for home delivery of all our household essentials and treats.

Week one I created a list that read like this 1) Learn guitar 2) Learn better Spanish 3) Write new business plan 4) Re-design website 5) Write letters. Now I’m realising that although my life feels less stressful being at home it is definitely fuller than it was because I am fulfilling more roles. So I got rid of my to-do list and it feels good. I’ll get round to these things when I can. Today I video-called a close (childless) friend to who lives in London. He was in his living room with sun steaming through the windows painting on a large canvas. He didn’t paint before but has decided that now is the time. This made me very happy. This is the kind of scene that people with kids fantasise about.

This period of being at home will be very confronting for some of us. Lack of external distractions, financial insecurities, full-time exposure to kids and partners, loneliness… The parts of ourselves that we are ready to shift will no doubt be magnified. This time can be about expansion if you want it to be. You can decide how you want things to be when this period ends. It can be a new beginning. Breathe into the sticky bits my friends and know that this will not go on forever. For those needing support TNM Coaching @tnmcoaching are offering ‘Free Coaching through the unknown’ with a group class this Wednesday. Register here:

Stay well. Stay grateful. Love Erin x

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