Beautiful woman opening curtains and looking through the window

Looking after yourself during lockdown

We’re facing another ‘new normal’ as countries begin to lift lockdown and ease COVID-19 restrictions but let’s face it- lockdown hasn’t been the kindest to most people.

Self-care is often the first thing that gets sacrificed when life is stressful, and people often think that taking time for themselves seems indulgent. But looking after your own wellbeing will help you get through this challenging time, and will help you to better care for others.

During these challenging times you may notice some of the following:

  • Increased anxiety
  • Feeling stressed
  • Finding yourself excessively checking for symptoms, in yourself, or others
  • Becoming irritable more easily
  • Feeling insecure or unsettled
  • Fearing that normal aches and pains might be the virus
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Feeling helpless or a lack of control
  • Having irrational thoughts

Keeping a realistic perspective of the situation based on facts is important and looking after our mental and physical health is crucial.

Stay in touch

Maintain as much connection with family and friends as possible. Sharing your experiences is going to help you make sense of what you’re going through and ensure you feel supported and connected.

Keep busy

Try to keep your brain occupied and challenged and set aside time in your routine for this. You could read books, magazines and articles. Or you could listen to podcasts, watch films or do puzzles. 

Get active

Physical exercise is a great stress buster. Take time once a day outside or in your home. There are plenty of online classes and if you have mobility issues there are sitting stretches or wheelchair exercises you can do. Be imaginative about keeping active, even if it’s just in small ways and try not to sit for periods of longer than an hour.

Look after yourself

In the same way that we want to be looking after our mental wellbeing, we also want to be nourishing our body during this time. Stuck indoors, it’s all too easy to drift into a state of lethargy and idleness. Exercising from home is going to help you keep active and engaged, and there are all kinds of different videos online to suit your mood and fitness level.

Eating habits are also really important. Planning ahead and cooking meals during the day can help provide you with structure whilst ensuring you’re eating healthily.

Create a daily schedule

It’s easy to feel unmotivated without any clear structure which is why it’s important that you create some kind of routine during lockdown.

Creating your own daily (or weekly) schedule is going to help you keep active and busy, and find better balance during your days.

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Meet the Maker

Hey, my name is Karla and I’m the full-time maker behind Paper by Karla. I’m 30 years old, originally from Brazil but I’ve been living in Ireland for five years now.

My academic background is in Marketing however, I’ve worked my entire life as an event producer and had the pleasure to been involved in events such as Brazil World Cup, Sales Convention in Cancun, Coldplay: Live in Sao Paulo, Tomorrowland Brazil, Volvo Ocean Race to mention a few. Yeah I know, exciting but also very stressful.

I was very succesful in my carreer but I wanted more, I wanted to travel the world. So I decided to move to Ireland to improve my English and start my adventure by traveling around Europe back in 2016, but little I knew back than. I could never had guessed that I would also find the love of my life during this process.

He supported me from the very beginning and he allowed me to be where I am today.

It was only after designing all the details of my wedding, I noticed that I had just discovered a passion for crafting and it made me realize that I wanted to share my love of all the things that make gifts special and unique to the world.

I found my love for paper in 2019 but since than I needed to adapt my business to the many changes COVID brought to the world.

I than decided to open up my own little Etsy shop to share with the things I simply couldn’t find elsewhere and decided to design and make myself.

I started by offering wedding stationery, but my shop after COVID has since evolved to also include giftware, home decoration, and business solutions and became much more than just paper, Paper by Karla now is a place where you can buy emotions.

I love being part of your special day, whether it’s your wedding, baby shower, bridal shower, or baby’s first birthday.

”When you support a Small Business you are also supporting a DREAM!”

One thing I learned from all of it is to enjoy your time and to make the most of what we have.

I won’t lie, being a small business has many challenges and having to compete with big enterprises like Amazon and Aliexpress can be a struggle but the advantages far surpass the stress.

Just keep working and believe in yourself and it will get you somewhere even if you don’t know where you are going yet.

What is a typical day like for you?

I get up at 6AM most days (I’m a morning person) and tidy my office back into order from the mess I leave it in every night. I always have the urge to organise my work environment before I start messing it all again.

There is a huge amount of prep work that goes on behind the scenes. My day can involve sketching designs, creating work, organizing deliveries, replying to emails and It can be very physical work like sanding products.

Where do you take your inspiration from?

Inspiration strikes me at any time. I generally get distracted by anything cute and quirky, especially colourful eye-catching things. My inspiration comes from the everyday things I see, Inspiration is everywhere — from the words of your favorite writer to the blooms and leaves on your morning walk. You just need to open your eyes, and breathe it in. 

What are you most proud of in your business?

I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved since starting my business and how my business has grown throughout this pandemic. 

Young woman cultivating plants at home

5 benefits of indoor plants

Humans have a strong connection to nature and bringing plants into your immediate surroundings is not only aesthetically pleasing but can also offer strong health benefits. It can have a big impact on your productivity, stress levels, and creativity. Makes you more content, and more focused.

Wondering just how exactly a houseplant can change your life so much? Here are seven reasons why you should invest in some plants for your own desk, or your wider workplace:

Improving your mood

One of the best benefits of plants in the office is humidity control. Dehydration leads to discomfort, fatigue, and poor concentration. Indoor plants work to keep humidity at optimal levels, improving employee hydration and helping everyone to be more comfortable.

Lowering stress and anxiety

Research has shown plants in the home can reduce tension in people by almost 40 per cent, because they remind us of the outdoors, nature, and a slower pace of life, which is instantly calming.

Improving office performance and focus

Studies have found that the presence of plants in the workplace increases overall productivity. Tasks are completed faster, fewer mistakes are made, and focus and concentration levels are boosted. This is especially true in the case of computer workers who experienced a 10-15% boost in their productivity due to the presence of plants in research studies.

Boosting healing and pain tolerance

Researchers at Kansas State University found that patients with plants in their rooms required less pain medication, had a lower blood pressure and heart rate, and felt less anxiety and fatigue when recovering from surgery than patients without greenery in their rooms. Some plants even provide physical healing benefits.

Minimizing the occurrence of headaches by improving air quality

The air-purifying property of plants can also counter headaches. Researchers discovered that plants can help remove benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde from the air. Formaldehyde, a common cause of headaches, is a gas that is used in the production of leather and some carpets and can be present in any indoor environment.

So which plants do best in an office environment?

Not all plants will love to live in your workplace – you need to consider restrictions such as the availability of daylight, and how often they can and will be watered. Those that will thrive in workplaces include succulents (which include aloe and cacti), rubber plants and peace lilies.