Katie Piper talks to Stylist about life in lockdown, and tells us the last thing she does at night to help ensure a good night’s sleep.
Katie Piper knows a thing or two about dealing with self doubt, practising kindness and leading a more compassionate life. She’s always shared brilliant life advice, messages of strength and positivity.. It’s no surprise that her podcast, Katie Piper’s Extraordinary People, is such a comforting listen for people during lockdown. And the great news is: she’s released a third series.
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Speaking to Stylist over the phone on a rainy day during the sixth week of lockdown, Piper explained what people can learn from the podcast during this strange and scary time. She also told us how she’s getting on in lockdown, shared tips on having emotional resilience and revealed her tip for getting a good night’s sleep.
What might people take away from listening to the new series of Extraordinary People podcast right now?
People are being selective with their content intake and are hunting out positive stories more at the moment. The podcast is about real people who have faced, in some cases, some really shocking trauma or adversity. But there’s a reassuring thread throughout the whole series about people coming back from it, and it’s not necessarily always a fluffy ending and hearts and flowers. It’s people doing what we’re all doing now: creating a new normal.
I’m the host, but I learn so much from these stories and I even apply the lessons to my life and they help me dig a bit deeper and continue with that resilience.
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How are you coping in lockdown?
I’m not going to moan because I’m not a key worker, I’m not risking my life every day. And the people who are doing that are quite frankly amazing. Who am I to sit in my garden and bitch about my life?
I think, like anyone, at the beginning, there was a lot of anxiety and anger. But when I got past that and started to accept it, I just found my new routine. I’m very big on structure and dignity, so when I got my routine I just thought “right – I’ll wake up at seven and still put my make-up on in lockdown”. I’ve even worn a pair of leather trousers! I’m still wearing heels, doing work and working out. And I think because I have children I need to have structure because I’m schooling them too.
At first we all just thought “well it’s temporary”. And it is still temporary but now we’re realising it’s a mid-long term thing and we’re adapting.
A lot of people feel helpless and a sort of ‘survivor’s guilt’ – what advice would you give about emotional resilience during the pandemic?
Firstly, I always say never be dismissive of other people’s feelings. If that’s how they’re feeling, they need to be allowed to sit with and feel that.
So what is in our control? What can we actually do? Well, we can follow all the guidelines to lessen the difficulties. I’ve got some people who are ill down my road, so we’re shopping for them, going out and getting their favourite smoked salmon and some bread and bits and bobs.
You can be proactive. Just think ‘yeah there are things we can’t really do right now, but these are the things we can so let’s get on with them and do them’.
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What do you do last thing at night and first thing in the morning to help with your mental health?
I’m a bit of a control freak! Before bed, I go around all downstairs to tidy everything up – I cannot leave dirty plates on the side. I have to make sure the washing is done and hung out, I have a quick spring clean and declutter around the room. And I go to bed with a less busy mind.
Then in the morning, I always get up before everybody else (even when I wasn’t in lockdown!) and I always get dressed, come downstairs, have a black coffee – no radio or distraction – light a candle and spend 15 minutes on my own in silence, ready for the crazies to come downstairs.
Top image: Getty
Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…