In what can only be described as a surreal turn of events, life in Dubai is unrecognizable – gyms, nightclubs, cinemas, theaters, cultural institutions, and large-scale tourist attractions have all closed in an effort to curb the spread of a microscopic virus that has practically taken over the planet. This is our new normal. And while feeling a combination of anxiety, fear, and restlessness is completely natural, we encourage you to keep yourself busy by doing something meaningful to pass these long days of social distancing. Here are 10 ideas to get you started.
It’s no surprise that family-run businesses around the globe have taken a hit as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and two of our favorites in Dubai are no exception: independent theater Courtyard Playhouse and food tourism company Frying Pan Adventures. One keeps our appetites for culture satiated, while the other, well, keeps our appetites satiated.
Courtyard Playhouse is facing permanent closure and attempting to raise enough money to survive this period and ensure it can can reopen its doors again once the spread of the virus has subsided – and every dirham raised will go towards keeping this gem of a theater open, so donate here. Frying Pan Adventures, meanwhile, is looking to the local community to help by purchasing gift vouchers for future foodie experiences at a discount of 10 percent. Use the discount code: PayItForward10.
Looking after your mental health is crucial at a time like this, so express yourself through whatever best helps you cope with the situation. Meditating, expressing yourself through journaling, finding a creative outlet for your emotions through art, practicing deep-breathing techniques, and making a vision board will give you some clarity and keep your anxiety at bay. However, if you’re in need of professional help, The LightHouse is now offering web-based therapy so that you can book a session from the comfort of your own home. Learn more here.
Master 'Me Time'
Self-care is not selfish, so now’s the time to make a DIY mask, slather your hair with some coconut oil, replace your nail polish with nail strengthener, and take a long hot bath – complete with candles, soothing music, and that book you’ve been meaning to read since forever ago.
Somewhere between work, working out, and your social life, you never had the time to cook. Well, here’s your chance. But don’t go cooking dishes that will leave you feeling bloated ands sluggish. Instead, experiment with different herbs and spices, whip up wholesome smoothies and nourish bowls, and up your vegetable intake in order to boost your immune system. We’re currently relying on this collection of recipes by SHA Wellness Clinic.
The SHA Recipes to Live Longer and Better
Don’t let the sudden closure of your gym or yoga studio be an excuse to get lazy; you need those endorphins now more than ever before. Yes, you could go out for a run to release some pent-up energy, but if you rather play it safe and stay indoors, there are countless workout videos on YouTube for which absolutely no equipment is needed – just a little self-discipline, that’s all.
With the majority of the UAE’s population consisting of expats, most of us are away from our loved ones, so pick up the phone and connect with them – catch up with your friends and family members to ask how they’re doing through all this. Kindness doesn’t cost a thing and, sometimes, all it takes is a friendly phone call to get through the day.
They say woman are more guilty of hoarding than men, so let’s prove them wrong. Take this downtime to organize your wardrobe, setting aside items that should be discarded or donated. Now is also a good time to toss out expired beauty products, clean your makeup brushes, and evaluate what you’re (actually) still using – that nearly empty bottle of rosehip oil from two years ago needs to go circa now.
While you’re at it, get organized on the technology front by unfollowing social media accounts that no longer serve you, deleting unnecessary photos and apps that you haven’t used in a while to free up storage, and backing up both your cell phone and laptop. Welcome to your very first pandemic-induced digital detox.
The editors at Savoir Flair turn to podcasts for entertainment and edutainment alike, and we have a few favorites that we highly recommend: On Purpose with Jay Shetty (if you’re seeking wisdom from a former monk), Modern Love (if you prefer love stories with a twist), Dear Sugars (if you’re a fan of old-fashioned advice columns), Happy Place (if you’re on a quest for happiness), and A Way to Go (if you live in a state of perpetual wanderlust).
While you can’t – and shouldn’t – avoid the news entirely, try to limit your media exposure once you’ve caught up on the latest developments around the virus. We’ve found respite in the new seasons of comedy TV shows like Sex Education, Grace and Frankie, and The Good Place. After all, laughter is the best medicine – and Netflix is our pharmacy.
Yes, it feels counterintuitive to be grateful at a time like this, but reflect closely on your current situation and you’ll realize how truly lucky you are. We live in a city that is equipped to deal with the crisis and, unlike several poverty-stricken places around the world, can afford to take both daily essentials and creature comforts for granted. Lastly, know and remember: this too shall pass.