Lockdown diaries: My life then versus now

Food & Drink, Health

They are used to jetting around the world, taking enviable photos for their Instagram feeds. Now the world has come to a standstill, how are they coping? We catch up with two influencers, Selin Tufanoglu and Alice Rickard, to discuss the impact that the lockdown is having on their lives…

Describe your life pre lockdown verses now…

Alice: My life has changed a lot recently as I have six month old boy and girl twins and my routine is pretty much dictated by them. I get up at 6:30am and live a cycle of feed, play, nap repeat. I try to workout during their morning nap so I have the longer lunchtime nap to focus on projects and have some down time.

It is pretty sad to say, but I probably speak for quite a few new mothers, but my life and routine hasn’t really changed that much since the lockdown. I really miss my Friday night date night. On the plus side, I now run all the time, because of the sense of freedom it brings and I am using my lunchtime nap time more efficiently as I watch everyone else on social media be so productive. So far I’ve learnt to make brownies, have joined Deepak Chopra’s 21 Days of Abundance, and have consumed a fair amount of rose.

Selin: Before lockdown, life was so fast for me as a mother and a full time content creator. I was so busy with my baby boy as much as with photoshoots, brand collaborations and all housework that I sometimes forgot to even drink water. Nowadays it’s quite different than before. Now I have time to listen to my needs since everything has slowed down. I have time to eat healthier which feels really good. I also do lots of travel planning. It might sound unnecessary but I’ll be going back to travelling some day and I’ll have the most detailed travel guides and itineraries planned out in advance.

You’re used to travelling the world, are there any positive aspects about being forced to stay in one place?

Alice: I have thought about this a lot! Just before I fell pregnant, I was travelling to 1-2 countries a month and I thrive when I travel. It is my favourite hobby, if you can call it that. I don’t think there is anything greater than exploring the world. I am a BIG believer in seeing a positive in every situation and I have found two fat positives in our current travel ban. The most obvious is the benefit this is having on our planet, with reduced levels of pollution. I feel like the planet and the animals needed this and already we are seeing huge benefits. Venice is the clearest it has been in 60 years, and dolphins have been spotted in southern Italy, swimming in clearer water.

Secondly, I am learning to love being at home. I am the first person to constantly plan leaving the UK, as I can’t sit still. I want to be here, there and everywhere appreciating it all, but I’ve never really sat still in my own garden and appreciated my own patch of the world. It has been a great lesson.

Selin: I can’t say that I’m not missing travelling but also yes, I think there’s a good thing about staying in. Life gets slower and you are suddenly out of the rat race. You start to concentrate only on the moment and the place you are currently in and start to explore your hidden expectations, needs and talents.

When you’re no longer quarantined where will you be?

Alice: I was meant to be in Mauritius, so hopefully that will be booked up soon. I constantly want to be in LA, so definitely there at some point and over to NYC to see my family.

Selin: I think first place I’ll travel to is Turkey to visit my family.

Has this pandemic changed the way you we should travel / treat our environment?

Alice: Absolutely. Obviously when lockdown is over people will go back to their original life and routines, but I am sure each and every one of us might do something, even if its small, differently. All those small things add up. Food wastage will be my biggest change. Learning to use everything in the cupboards and fridge before going to the shops has been an eye opener.

Selin: Yes, I have some new life mottos. Be nice to nature and don’t forget that the earth is really fragile and can be very cruel if you make her upset. Treat your body with respect – eat healthily and exercise whenever possible.

With all this extra time on your hands, have you made any discoveries of travel essentials to take with you on the road?

Alice: Whether I’m traveling home or abroad, I have to have healthy snacks with me. I don’t like relying on service stations, or airports. I love the Swisse Me Care package – a selection of 90 vitamin and mineral rich smoothies. Some of the ingredients are perfect to keep my energy levels high throughout the day. They have a vegan version too.

Selin: I haven’t discovered new beauty products since I haven’t worn any makeup during this period and it feels really good in a surprising way. But I have discovered some healthy yet delicious ready-to-drink smoothies: Swisse Me. They’re probably going to be with me throughout my travels as they’re very nutritious and practical to eat on the go.

What are some things that have surprised yourself during this period of lockdown?

Alice: That I don’t actually need to go to restaurants, bars or different countries to be happy. I am happy exactly where I am. Going out is just a great added bonus to life. (Which I am really looking forward to enjoying soon).

Selin: I thought I couldn’t stand to be at home all day for weeks but apparently it’s not that bad. It’s actually been a creative period. Also I’ve seen that I’m not bad at cooking and baking at all. And very surprisingly it turns out I’m pretty good at giving haircuts.

How do you stay happy and healthy at home?

Alice: I am a planner. I LOVE to plan. Obviously there is not much you can plan at the moment, but I still put things in my diary which makes me happy. A concert on our street, a date on our balcony, a Sunday lunch delivery service. But more importantly, working out. It does more than people realise for our mental health. I am still very unfit from my twin pregnancy, so if my body is tired I listen to it and go for a long walk instead, but I have to do something every day, a run, a workout, a walk, a stretch. Keep your body moving.

Selin: My baby boy is actually keeping me very active and positive. I also started doing yoga regularly and it feels really good – especially before starting the day. And as I mentioned earlier, eating healthy has become one of my biggest motivations during this time.

Has this period of lock down reaffirmed why you do what you do?

Alice: Right now, I’m a mum. I am using this period of lockdown to really think about what I want to do and how I can keep helping people and motivating them to live healthy and happy lives.

Selin: It actually has. Because I really miss creating content outside and apparently I liked it more than I thought. But also it has shown me that sometimes (because it is my job as well as my hobby), I stress about checking off to-do lists so much that I miss out the fun parts. So I’ll do my best to keep it balanced after things go back to normal.

Favourite place you’ve ever travelled to and why…

Selin: New York! I love it there so much. I feel as free as a bird when I’m in that city! It’s just like there are no limits and anything and everything is possible. I don’t know the exact reason why I feel this way but I think it’s just the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple!

Alice: Patagonia. It was my ultimate bucket list destination since I was a child and it exceeded every expectation. The landscapes and nature are unlike anything I have ever seen. Every morning I would wake up and say WOW look at that, multiple times a day.

Describe your dream 3-course meal inspired by your travels

Selin: French onion soup, Austrian Wiener Schnitzel and Italian Tiramisu.

Alice: The unreal crudite board at Le Club 55 in St Tropez to start. Lobster Pasta on the rocks in Santorini for my main. Rainbow cupcakes from Magnolias Bakery on Bleeker street, NYC.

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