We seem well on our way along Boris’ roadmap out of lockdown and, with each big date, comes a new taste of freedom. We’ve heard the cheers from fans, as outdoor sport kicked off again, watched people hit the high street for some retail therapy, seen pub gardens and outdoor restaurants bursting with thirsty punters and hungry diners desperate to go ‘out-out’ – even in the rain – and delighted as the nation was finally able to get a haircut. Surprisingly, even Boris went in for this one! The next milestone, on May 17th, sees indoor hospitality open up, 30 guests allowed at a wedding and, yes, hugging will finally be given the green light! Amazing news right? But, after more than a year of elbow taps, Zoom chats, and two-metre standoffs, without so much as a gentle squeeze, are you primed and ready to throw those arms wide and embrace your loved ones with gusto? If not, don’t panic because the lovely people at Robert Dyas will have you match fit in no time.
Think about it; when was the last time you gave someone a cuddle? If you’ve been sticking to Government advice, which discouraged any kind of contact, it could have been well over a year. In that case, you need to get your body back into training and make sure all the muscles needed to perform the ultimate clinch are in tip-top shape. I mean, what if you have a meet up with your nearest and dearest and they all want to get in on the action or you attend a wedding? You could be hugging anything up to 29 people in quick succession!
Get stretching, toning, and prime your arms, shoulders and back for what is probably the most action they’ve seen since that first (and only) week of ‘P.E. With Joe Wicks’ that you ever did.
Kit yourself out with an exercise mat some resistance bands, and this fab exercise wheel to give your upper body a good workout. And, don’t forget to stock up on this microwavable heat pack to help you recover from your training sessions or if you’ve just overdone it on your meet and greets.
And, if it really has been a while and you’re worried your technique might not be up to scratch, we did find this instructive guide to self-hugging, so you can get a bit of practise in.
Take My Breath Away
If having your mouth and nose enclosed in a non-permeable facemask for hours at a time has taught us anything, it’s that good dental hygiene and fresh breath is desirable at all times. This could be the first time you’ve been close enough to anyone without said covering – and how we have all missed seeing each other’s smiles – so make sure your pearly whites are shining and you’re smelling fresh if you do choose to get up close and personal with anyone. Get those gnashers gleaming with this Oral B cross action electric toothbrush or, to really take your dental hygiene up a notch, look no further than the Philips Sonicare AirFloss Ultra Interdental Cleaner.
Keep it Clean
Lockdown saw people adapt to a completely new way of life, as well as developing some interesting new habits. Thanks to furlough and home working, casual became the nation’s new dress code. Even on video calls with the office, most people tended to be ‘business’ only from the waist up; and we don’t think anyone really wanted to see what was going on below the Zoom line. It was a novelty at first, with people ordering trendy new loungewear sets online but, before long, it just became wearing the same joggers and hoodie (complete with miscellaneous stains) for days on end, unless you needed to change your top half to appear on a screen. If you haven’t donned your glad rags and graced a beer garden with your presence for a chilly few hours yet, it might still be time to think about upgrading your attire for May 17th. That could mean actually doing some laundry for the occasion, or at least try and give that hoodie a good spritz of Febreeze. And, if you want to leave your loved one with nothing more than happy memories of this long-awaited clinch – as opposed to a layer of fluff to remember you by – it might be wise to invest in a lint roller ahead of time. Plus this Tefal Fasteo 220W Steam Generator Iron is a lifesaver, featuring more power for quicker ironing, so you can choose to wear any outfit as it glides easily over a host of fabrics!
Having, no doubt, truly perfected the art of spacing single seats at just the right 6ft intervals around your garden for outdoor gatherings, now you need to think about cosier arrangements. Give your living room an upgrade with this stylish two-seater sofa or, if the weather is too nice to be stuck indoors, then make the most of it with a Monaco 3Pc Grey Radar Bistro Set which has the added benefit of a table to put your drink down and free up your hands for a good bear hug.
As excited as we all are for this next phase of lockdown freedom, it’s probably sensible not to get too carried away to think about making sure everyone in the situation safe. Of course, you can always opt to keep face masks on for an added precaution and even make sure everyone has a free Covid test before meeting but it’s also important not to forget the biggest piece of advice we’ve had drummed into us from day one – wash your hands! This gorgeous Faith in Nature lavender and geranium scented handwash will do the trick, or if you haven’t got a sink nearby, then add a splash of sanitising hand gel.
Next up… the life and sole of the party
Hugging may be back on the agenda and wedding guest lists have been ramped up from a meagre 15 to 30 but dancing at these happy occasions is still banned… for now. If you haven’t spent lockdown perfecting your moves on TikTok, that’s the next big milestone you’ll be limbering up for, so do yourself a favour and set yourself up with a home disco and a foot spa to ease those tired trotters now.