Esther O'Moore Donohoe describes herself as a Podcaster, Writer and Rhythm Dancer. This week, she takes lockdown self-care to the next level
I’ve started talking about personal grooming like it’s a new hobby I’m getting into. ‘Yeah, I’m definitely going to start showering maybe two, three times a week? Like, I’m not going to tie myself to a strict schedule but if I spill something on myself, I’ll defo reach for a face cloth.’
Lovely ideas for Gwyneth and Margot Robbie and whatnot, but not for me.
It doesn’t stop there. My evolution from Lockdown Feral to the marginally more polished Isolation In Bits, has seen me spritzing myself with perfume every couple of days, as a treat. I’ve also begun to have fun with moisturizer again. I smear it over my elephant skin in big globs like I’m plastering a wall or pretending to be Mrs. Doubtfire. Overall, my approach is more Bobina the Builder than Bobbi Brown but it’s enough.
In other areas of self-care, such as exercise, well, I’ve never been a major partaker. I understand that like washing, it is good for me but I tend to file it away into the section of my brain that includes notions such as ‘Try a Mooncup’ and ‘Start your day with hot water and lemon’. Lovely ideas for Gwyneth and Margot Robbie and whatnot, but not for me.
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Like many movement adverse sloths, I’ve gone through my ‘join a gym’ phase and lept around a Zumba class for a week or two. Inevitably, the little membership card slides to the back of my purse near the stamps, never to be used again. Despite my resistance to organised perspiration however, in lockdown, continuing my gentle walks every day has been essential. My constitutionals are more than getting vehicle emissions into my lungs, they are also important for resetting the noggin. Breaking out into the real world reminds me that there is life beyond the hot press and to not get worked up about the endless dishes. ‘Look! A cute chirpy bird! A puffy cat! A post box covered in someone’s vomit!’ Nature gives us so many gifts.
The beigest form of exercise
To make sure I don’t start walking too much (Je lol) I downloaded a pedometer to my phone. My current target is the classic ten thousand steps a day. The other night, when I saw I’d only gotten to 9k, I shook the phone furiously until I reached the magic number, all whilst lying on the bed watching The Last Dance on Netflix. I am the Michael Jordan of fake walking.
Beyond my slow walks each day, I’ll admit that I’ve flirted with the resistance bands I bought in the centre aisle of Lidaldi in January. Over the course of lockdown, they’ve been moved from my wardrobe, to the press in the bathroom and are currently opposite my WFH desk. Right now, it’s enough to know that they’re there should I ever want to use them, which I won’t.
I wonder if I could wash my hair in pasta water? Would it thicken it?
Whilst walking may be the beigest of all the forms of exercise, I have been pushing myself in other areas. Last weekend, I finally crossed something off my ‘to do’ list which has lived there for many years. I’ve read about it endlessly and watched countless videos and TV shows where famous faces were telling me how good it is. So on Sunday, I added pasta water to my bolognese sauce for the first time and well, let me just say, it was...it was fine?
For me, that is as adventurous as I want things to get right now. I may give the resistance bands a whirl by the end of the summer but if my biggest accomplishment from this time is adding pasta water to my spag bol, I’m a winner baybuh. Why not try it yourself? You too may notice no discernible difference just like me. I wonder if I could wash my hair in pasta water? Would it thicken it? Feck it Marion. The immersion’s going on for the second wash in ten days. Wow. I really am taking to this new hobby like a duck to water. Who knows? I might even shave my legs!
Esther O'Moore Donohoe is a writer and broadcaster. On her podcast The 80%, she interviews guests whose success she is 80% happy for.
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