We’re halfway through November lockdown and to put it mildly: people are on the edge. I’ve had so many phone calls about depressions, worries, fatigue, anxiety – and that was just about November in general! I’m feeling you here, I’m feeling all of that – I really do. But to be honest, I think at this point it’s better not to dwell on these feelings too much. It’s just going to become a spiral that leads further down, and we’re probably better off staying optimistic hoping things will get better once the situation somehow passes – whenever that will be.
And in that optimistic spirit I did what we do best here at iHeartBerlin: gather some ideas for a fun listicle – this time about some lovely spirit-lifting things to do to make the lockdown period and winter, in general, a bit better. And I’ll spare you the obvious such as taking walks in the park and binge-watching Netflix because I think we’ve done enough of that already. And I’m sure you all already Marie-Kondoed your house and perfected your sourdough baking skills during the last lockdown. So we’re moving on to new things, more specific things – all of which are approved and tested by me personally!
Start Your Own Urban Jungle
So, here comes the most obvious one first if you know me. I am a total plant nerd and I started my plant collection long before the lockdown. But I can assure you, being surrounded by a jungle in my own house while I couldn’t go outside much has really kept me sane during the first lockdown. Nurturing plants and watching them thrive is really soothing and getting new ones to expand your collection can be really satisfying and addictive in the best way. In the beginning, they are probably just part of your interior design, but more and more they will take over your space replacing every non-plant item and then you’re suddenly in your own urban jungle. Garden centers were one of the few places still open during the first lockdown so a lot of people actually spent their time like this. You should get into it as well!
Learn How to Chair Dance
In the night-time equivalent of this article where we introduced you to all the options, you have to make-up for lost party moments during this pandemic we already suggested you get into stripping to give your neighbors from across a little entertainment. We’re going a few steps further here with this one. I know the trend is actually pole dancing, but who the fuck has a pole at home? But what everyone has is a chair! How about learning chair dancing? It’s certainly going to come in handy at upcoming dates when there is really not much else to do! How to find a chair dance class? There are plenty of online courses being offered all over the world, check websites like eversports and urban sports club, etc. to find them.
Become an Art Connoisseur
I know the general status quo is that everything fun is closed right now except for shops and malls. But that’s actually not true: One aspect of the cultural scene of Berlin has not shut down: The art galleries – apparently because they somehow count as retail stores. While we won’t be able to go to Hamburger Bahnhof and Martin Gropius Bau, at least we will be able to enjoy some art and stimulate our shriveled minds with it. Some iHeartBerlin favorites are open such as König Galerie, The Ballery, Urban Spree, Sprüth Magers, and Contemporary Fine Arts that all have excellent exhibitions going on right now. Our respected colleagues from Exberliner even made a little guide about art enjoyment during lockdown that you should check out. It’s a great list of places to work yourself through during November – who knows maybe afterward you’ll be a real art connoisseur!
Build a Home Gym
I’m one of these people with a gym membership that doesn’t actually go – and this year has been a fantastic year for that because gyms were actually closed so I didn’t even have to feel bad about it. Well, I do feel bad that I wasn’t one of these people who hysterically started getting into jogging. You know the ones I’m talking about because you can see from a mile away they never did this before. Good for them though! But I simply couldn’t be arsed. However, I did get some light fitness equipment such as weights and foam blocks and I repurposed an old piano bench as a work-out bench. I have to admit that having these things lying around in the house has motivated me more to actually use them than the sheer existence of a yoga mat that’s lying somewhere in my house. I try to see these fitness tools as little toys that want to be picked up and played with – much more motivating than taking a run in the rain!
Make A Vacation at a Friends House
So I did this more or less involuntarily earlier this summer for personal reasons that are not a great story to share. But I have to say in a drab situation this did me wonders! To just move into the house of a friend (no matter if they are there themselves or not) really felt good and the change of scenery felt refreshing. While traveling is really rather limited these days, it’s one of the only ways to give you at least a sense of a vacation. And if you’re lucky and your friend has already started to use their heating you can even pack shorts and flip flops for the ultimate holiday feeling!
Change the Scenery in your Home
If moving in with a friend is not a great option because they all live in tiny dark Hinterhof flats or in messy WGs you will have to think of something else to get the same feeling. This is a bit of an aspirational suggestion and it really depends on how creative you are. Here’s what I did: To surprise a friend for an anniversary and to make up for a canceled trip we had planned for the occasion I built a lovely little boho tent in my house. I filled it with pillows, covered it with Christmas light chains, and surrounded it with plants (see first point in our listicle) to create a bit of a jungle vibe. The idea was to create the sense of going camping in the wild (well, in my case glamping!) while not even leaving the house. And I kid you not, since I built this tent I have found myself snuggled up in there many times watching adventure movies and spooning ice cream – brings back some childhood memories for sure!
Start a Sell-a-thon
I’m sure you used the first lockdown to declutter your house, bring in some order, maybe even do a little redecorating. Perhaps you even did a flea market in the summer to get rid of some stuff. But I’m sure over the course of the last months you got a new perspective of life and the world in general with this bleak outlook of the next couple of months. And let’s face it: there is even MORE stuff you won’t be needing much in the future. And this includes stuff you might just have gotten in the last year. Don’t feel bad to get rid of something so new! You couldn’t have known how things will turn out. But I promise you, it’s best you get rid of it anyway. Do what you never thought you would ever take the time for: Put those things up on ebay – now you’ll be grateful to have a reason to leave the house and drop those packages.
Appreciate Little Pleasures
This is the inspirational quote in italic font on a beautiful beach background of my list. Let me tell you the story that prompted this proposal: I took a walk with a friend the other day – as you do during lockdown – and we came through Mauerpark which used to be filled with life but it’s pretty empty now. We explored a bit these newly designed parts of the park they recently opened behind the stretch where the flea market takes place. There are mostly uncomfortable stone benches, but there are also these swings like there used to be up on the hill by the wall. So my friend and I took a little swing and were instantly filled with joy and memories. Even if it was just a short experience it gave us laughs and we continued our walk with smiles on our faces. Since then I have been trying to have these little moments of pleasure every day and really cherish them. It’s such a tacky thing to say really, but in these dreary times, it does make you feel better and gives you some good vibes that will carry you over the rest of the day.
Improve Your Masturbation
It wouldn’t be a listicle on iHeartBerlin if it wouldn’t get saucy at some point, wouldn’t it? This proposal actually came from Claudio who presented me with this book about becoming a “Profi” in masturbation when I asked him what else I can put in this guide. And while he probably meant it more as a joke I feel it’s not such a bad idea at all! How little time do we normally have to pleasure and really take care of ourselves? Now that we are confined to the house so much, it’s a good opportunity to really explore how much more masturbation could be for us. Maybe don’t skip straight to the penetration close-up while watching porn. Maybe don’t jerk off straight into the sink to avoid a mess. Maybe introduce some new toys. Maybe dress up for yourself – or even better – undress for yourself. Build up a fantasy, make a scenario, take your time, be good to yourself. You deserve it, baby!