If someone had told us six months ago that a killer virus was going to take over the world, forcing us all into quarantine, we would have thought they were insane. Now, after a month of reading news reports and exponential infection graphs in horror it’s suddenly far too real. Funny how quickly we adjust.

We were lucky to have moved house just in the nick of time. We went from an apartment in the city to a house in the suburbs – with a backyard, thank goodness – just in time to for lockdown. Every day I thank all the lucky stars. Now, on week three of isolation, we’re trying to home school two very active kids, run two businesses and avoid killing each other in the process. It’s such a difficult time for everyone and I’m grateful that we can actually stay at home. For many people, on the frontline of the medical industry, infrastructure and supply chain things look very different.

Somewhere in all the chaos and sadness, we have to try and look for the positives, or we’ll all go a bit mad.  So for us, we’re trying to use this time to really bunker down and prioritise. To finetune the important stuff. To work on our relationships with each other and rediscover the art of actually playing with the children. To nourish our bodies and also somehow try to inspire our minds. And we’ve found a little routine, that works quite well (well, most of the time – between the tantrums and tears!)

In the morning…

I try to meditate first. It doesn’t always happen but when it does it helps immensely with my mood (and ability to handle the kids!)  I drink my coffee while I watch the kids on the trampoline or bike riding in our street. If the sun is shining, we all get a bit of immune-boosting vitamin D and the kids burn off some steam before we head back inside for work. Sometimes I try to fit in an exercise routine – I’ve just finished Amanda Bisks’s Fitness Lockdown but I always go back to Barre Body’s Online Studio. They have hundreds of workouts from five minutes to one hour long so I can usually manage that, even if I’m interrupted a few times by the kids and sometimes I just do it in my pajamas!

If I have a video call planned, I’ll escape for five minutes to pull myself together (at least from the waist up!) Because there’s no hope for professional skin treatments for the foreseeable future, I’ve been using my Nuface Trinity microcurrent device to tighten and lift, followed by Skinceuticals CE Ferulic and Ultraceuticals Brightening Serum. I find a quick application of It Cosmetics CC Cream evens everything out beautifully and still provides sun protection during lunch or as I sit my the big windows in my office. I’m missing my lash extensions but have found that giving them a good curl before a few generous coats of Fenty Beauty Full Frontal Mascara makes the hugest difference. A bit of cheek cream adds instant life to pallid indoor skin – I’m currently loving Nudestix Nudies in Naughty n Spice. And finally I’m leaning on my concealer now more that I’m not wearing full blown foundation – sp am particularly enjoying Benefit Bo-oing Hydrating Concealer as it has Vitamin E built into to the stick.

Controlled chaos…

The rest of the day we try to stick to a loose schedule or two to three homeschool lessons around meal times. We try and have a green smoothie at recess with more immune-boosting supplements in a desperate bid to keep ourselves healthy. Of course, despite all our efforts to stick to schedules, the kids ask for food constantly and interrupt us whenever we’re trying to focus or are on conference calls. I already had so much respect for teachers but now they’re deities in my eyes. How they manage to get 20 children to do anything I really don’t know. Just one eight year old and four year old are proving enough of a challenge for both Damien and I.

I love that while I’m working I can justify multiple beauty treatments – sometimes all at once. I constantly spritz on Minenssey Hydrating SOS Mist while I work, and apply Peach Lanolips and Dr Hauschka Cuticle Oil pen.  A good non-drip mask to put on while you’re working is Drunk Elephant F-Balm Electrolyte. With all the hand washing going, the best hand cream I’ve found lately is Buly Pommade Concrete – it’s super thick and indulgent so best saved for bed time. While typing, I really like Chanel Creme Main or Cerave Restorative Hand Cream.

Down time

The most magical moments though are when we try to let go of our work pressures and…Just. Slow. Down. Sometimes in the afternoon when the schedule has gone out the window, we just relent to the bedlam. Play time is a picnic on the grass with teddies or Lulu will fire up her pretend barbecue and make burgers for Max and I. There’s a basketball ring out the front of our neighbour’s house and the kids on the street have a respectful distanced roster going on. The trampoline has never seen so much use.

As for me? Self care has never been to important, or available to us. I’ve been doing plenty of masks current favourites: (La Prairie Sleep Mask and Minenssey Skin Revival Set) and taking loads of baths. On our IGTV channel I’ve started a series of videos called Home Truths to navigate this time – such as How to do a Manicure at Home so stay tuned for more beauty and health ideas.

Damo is installing some monkey bars in the backyard this weekend and I’ve just bought a badminton set. When winter takes hold we’re planning a weekly tradition of Firepit Fridays – with marshmallows of course. Apparently you can make a pizza oven with a flower pot and a firepit (or so says Pinterest!). Any other ideas on how to occupy kids would be very welcome!

All in this together

While the losses are devastating and they will be felt for many years to come, hopefully as a society it will bring us closer. If nothing else the quarantine is forcing us all to slow down and spend time together. And maybe, when we look back on all this we’ll see the beauty in the mayhem. There will be a swing back to traditional ways (I’m planning to install a Vegepod veggie garden and had to bake bread myself this morning because we couldn’t buy any!) and maybe we’ll learn to treasure the older generation more, now that we are faced with losing so many of our elders. For the businesses that survive many will evolve to be better managed from home. With less commuting, and a return to tradition and slowness maybe we will become more productive, happier and more healthy. For my children’s sake, I truly hope so.

Words by Sigourney Cantelo. Photography by Camilla Quiddington.

Sigourney wears a Zimmermann dress, Palm. Noosa dress, Little Joe Woman dress and cardigan by Elka Collective. Lulu wears Cotton On and Printebebe. Max wears Boden

Comment (0)