Something I love about my job is all the different people I get to meet and learn from. This is something I have in common with Emma Gunavardhana, broadcaster and host of The Emma Guns Show. I recently recorded an episode with Emma to talk about my career and all things Max Factor, and so enjoyed chatting with her. Here, as well as sharing the episode so you can give it a listen, I thought I’d take the opportunity to ask another social butterfly how she is coping with the current lockdown situation.
Q&A: #StayHome with Emma Guns
Q: How does the current #stayhome situation look for you?
A: It’s obviously a little different from what I’m used to, but I live by myself, work for myself and have an office at home so the transition into lockdown hasn’t felt too jarring. It certainly hasn’t been as much of a change as some of my friends, who are now home-schooling and still trying to stay on top of work, have felt.
Q: What is the most annoying thing that people are doing on social media at the moment for you?
A: I try not to engage with anything that I find annoying – that’s what the mute button is for. Someone said to me a while ago that your Instagram feed should be a stream of pictures that make you happy. As soon as I started looking at it like that, I found I was able to enjoy it a lot more.
Q: How are you staying healthy at home?
A: I like to work out so I make sure I do three workouts a week at home with weights and then supplement with yoga and walking in the park. I also live by Ian Haste’s book The 7 Day Basket for making sure that I’m feeding myself the most incredible, fresh and delicious food. But his book has also really made me fall in love with cooking from scratch every night – it’s not as time-consuming or as messy as you think, and the reward is a really delicious meal.
Q: Your favourite quarantine food?
A: I love a Rich Tea biscuit with a cup of tea in the afternoon. Nothing beats it. Apart from maybe two Rich Tea biscuits…
Q: Any tips for working from home?
A: It’s so important to have a schedule, I think. Wake up at the same time and try, where possible, to go to bed at the same time every day. Also, get ready for work. Dress for work, put makeup on and do your hair. It doesn’t matter that no one is going to see you (apart from via a video call) you’re doing it for you.
Q: Any tips for working OUT from home?
A: I can only tell you what works for me and that’s to write circuits that I do in my living room. I have a bosu ball, some 5kg free weights, a 20lb kettlebell and a yoga mat and with that I can do a lot. I have three workouts, one for my lower body, one for upper body and one for my core. I do each of those once a week and it’s only 30 minutes and it makes me feel great.
Q: How can we look after our mental health and wellbeing in this period?
A: I’m a huge fan of breath work and I follow Wim Hof and do his breathing exercises every day. I also like yoga for slowing my body and my brain down. I think the biggest thing is to be kind to yourself. We’re going through a massive period of change, confusion and uncertainty and if that means that one day you want to clean out your kitchen cupboards and another day you want to just sit and watch Netflix then just do it. Just make sure you go out once a day for fresh air and to move.
Q: What has really saved you?
A: I have a whole bookcase of books that I’d been meaning to read but having more time at home has allowed me to start working my way through it. I use reading breaks to give me a break from the computer and work, to separate the day from work to evening and also as a distraction when I’m not really in the mood for TV. It’s so lovely that I’ll have so many books to pass on when we’re out of lockdown.
Q: What are you looking for on social media what makes you happy?
Q: We all have a good and bad days, what does a bad day look like for you ? And what a good day?
A: A good day usually starts early when I can just bound out of bed and that’ll all depend on hormones, what I ate the day before and the like but I always have that sense of hitting the ground running and those days are always productive. They always have a structure. I know what I’m doing hour to hour and I’m ticking off tasks so it’s always handy to have a notepad that you can write a to-do list on. The list can be ‘make the bed’, ‘make a coffee’, so not hard at all, but once you start ticking your way through them you feel great.
A bad day is just a day when I need to be slower, rest, maybe occupy my mind with other things like a methodical task that allows me to switch off and be productive at the same time (organising any drawer or cupboard is great for this).
I’ve really noticed the relief of not always having that ‘pressure’ to be somewhere, be doing something or just be on demand. Before I think I felt that if I sat down and read a book for half an hour that I was wasting time, but now I see it as just as important as a morning of emails or rushing to a meeting. It’s a difference pace and although it’s taking a while to adjust, I quite like it.
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