April 2020 Gratitude List - New Hobbies & New Perspectives

2 May 2020

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I feel like I speak for everyone when I say that it definitely doesn't feel like May right now. Can you believe we've been in lockdown for over a month now? I can't wrap my head around where the time is going, but wow, we're nearly halfway through 2020. If you remember my last gratitude post, you'll know that I was a bit down in the dumps about furlough life and the state of the world, but I'm pleased to say that that Negative Nancy won't be making an appearance in this post!

While I do still have my down days, I feel like I'm finding my stride with furlough life. I keep reminding myself that I should be grateful for having all of this extra time to myself and that one day, I won't have all of this time anymore and I'll be back at work. So I've been throwing all of my energy into things that I wouldn't normally get to do and it's been really quite lovely. Before I get too ahead of myself, let's talk a bit more about all of the lovely things in detail with my April 2020 gratitude list.

  1. Having a flurry of ideas for content - I can't lie, working full time in content would make it hard for me to find time for my blog and writing stuff that was meaningful for me. But with all this time on my hands, I've been able to throw myself fully at The Northernist and April has been one of my favourite months for content. I've had so many ideas for things that I think people will want to read during lockdown and content that I would want to read. There was a lot of Teesside-themed things and there's more to come, as well as more lifestyle bits. But it was a good balance throughout April and I had phenomenal views over the month. I'm just so excited for everything to come!
  2. Getting back into baking - I used to love baking so much and I sort of dropped off with it for some reason, but if you go look in the baking section of this site, you'll see I posted four new baking posts over April! I've also made things that I haven't documented and even dabbled in some proper cooking (if you haven't seen the cheesy goodness that is our homemade parmos, you need to go check it out). It was a great month for exploring the kitchen a bit more and making some delicious food!
  3. Picking up new hobbies - I've got a problem with hobbies. I'm a bit fickle and I'm a bit of a master of none. I like to pick stuff up to try it, then I get bored quickly and move on to something else. It means that I'm always picking up basic skills, but it also means that I never become brilliant at any one thing. However, in April, I started watercolour painting and embroidery (or painting with thread as it's affectionately called in my kit), and I'm hoping to keep them up. I'm really enjoying how therapeutic and calming they both are, as well as seeing the process of something being created by my hands. Keep you eyes peeled on my Instagram to see my finished bumble bee embroidery hoop!
  4. My support system - like I mentioned at the start, I'm still having the odd down day, and I have to remember that I'm only human and I'm allowed to be sad about the situation sometimes. But I've been so thankful for the little support system that I've got around me in April. Matthew has been amazingly lovely and understanding when I've felt drained, lethargic or not very talkative, and I've got a bunch of people that I know I can DM for a chat if I need it. I also hope that other people know that I'm here if they need it too - we're all living this experience together and it's beneficial to talk to others about it.
  5. The gorgeous weather - yes, I may have burned my knees from sitting in the sun for all of half an hour, but my gosh, I'm so glad for the sun. I forgot that I had foldable garden chairs in my car boot, but I dug them out and made a little set up in the garden where I can read, do embroidery or play on Animal Crossing, all while soaking up a bit of much needed vitamin D (is anyone else practically translucent from all the time indoors?). Having that tiny bit access to the outside, apart from that one walk that we're allowed a day, has been a total godsend. Even if I don't sit outside, it's lovely to open up the patio doors and let the breeze in. It just made a world of a difference throughout April!

So that's what my April looked like. I did a lot of creative hobbies that made me feel like a Jane Austen character, threw everything but the kitchen sink at my blog and gained a bit of a new perspective on furlough life. It was a month of mind-cleansing, I feel, so I'm hoping that as I'm going forward, I can keep up this optimism and positivity!

In May, you can expect to see a bit more Teesside-themed content, like a post about things you can from home in Teesside, some of my favourite food spots that are still doing takeaway, as well as more baking content and possibly something about what furlough life has taught me.

Let me know what you were grateful for in April!

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