At home with Elke Sockeel

The web editor of L'Officiel Belgium and friend of The Bicester Village Shopping Collection shares her five favourite habits to keep happy and healthy at home this spring.

By Elke Sockeel


Stay active

“Don’t underestimate the benefits of a daily workout. Not being able to go shopping, to work, the gym or out for dinner means a lot less moving around. It’s really important to stay active in and around the house.

“Add up all the time you usually spend walking, lifting things and taking the stairs each day, and that should be the duration of your new workout routine. For example, start your morning with some stretching, and then go up and down the stairs four times. After lunch, go for a 20-minute walk. In the evening, swap the couch for your yoga mat and do your favourite poses while enjoying your favourite series. Personally, I try to fit in a 30-minute run almost every day, followed by some stretching and walking around the house.”


Eat well

“We’re spending a lot more time in the house, getting less fresh air, so we need to take extra care of our lungs and immune system. The key to staying healthy is to eat and drink well, which works to stimulate your immune system.

“Here’s what I drink every morning, I call it my ‘immune-tea’:

  1. Step one: Boil water and cool it down to 40 degrees by adding cold water.
  2. Step two: Pour the warm water over a tea bag (pick your favourite flavour!) and leave for two to four minutes before you add fresh ginger.
  3. Step three: Then add honey, preferably manuka – because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits – and a few slices of lemon.”

Spend time with loved ones

“If you can’t be together, invite your friends or family to socialise via video. Whether you’re lighting some candles and eating dinner together, or enjoying a family quiz with a glass of wine, make catching up with your loved ones a habit and schedule in regular video calls.”


Read a book

“While you have more time on your hands, take the opportunity to get lost in a really great book. My current read is ‘The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment’ by Eckhart Tolle. It’s all about living in the present, and how meditating can be helpful – which is perfect for this moment in time.


Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, don’t feel pressure from social media

“With users being more active on social media than ever – posting workout videos, cooking tutorials and TikTok routines – it’s hard not to fall into a cycle of comparing yourself to others. Don’t feel guilty if you aren’t learning a new skill, decorating your home or exercising as often as you’d like to be, sometimes just taking some me time is the most fulfilling practice of all.”

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