At home with Tess Alexander

News| 14th May 2020
At home with Tess Alexander
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With COVID-19 restrictions still in place, though slowly lifting, we took the opportunity to catch up with Tess Alexander to find out how she keeps social and active in the 'new normal'.

After being in ISO, what do you miss most?
People! I miss people. I love experiencing things with others; connecting, talking, being. There’s nothing I love more than being in an electric atmosphere with good friends and I can’t wait to experience that again.

Tell us the bright side of ISO, what positive changes have you seen in yourself because of it?
I’m definitely less stressed and I have to say, it feels really good! I’m guilty of placing work and other people’s needs above all else. I love this quality about myself but if I’m being honest, at times it can be all consuming. Isolation has given me perspective and time, which is a beautiful gift.

What have you learnt about yourself while in ISO?
As it turns out, being ‘idle’ is a skill I’m not very good at. Isolation has been a great lesson in valuing the moment for what it is.

How do you keep up to date with friends?
Dear FaceTime technology, thank you for keeping me and my friends sane in this time. Yours desperately sincerely, a girl who isn’t good at being alone!

What do you do on a typical Saturday night-in now?
It is so important to keep some sort of resemblance of a week structure. Saturday night for me now consists of watching the sunset with a glass for rosé, a good candle and some Lo-Fi music.

What is your ISO pamper treatment look like?
I have mastered the fine art of applying a sheet mask with no wrinkles. It was a turning point. Plus, how good is not wearing make-up every day?

What fitness are you doing?
Phwah, this has changed a lot for me. Currently, I am doing a resistance band workout in the morning, and going for a long walk in the afternoon.

What are you most excited for when restrictions are lifted?
I never realised how much I enjoyed simply sitting in public places until I, well, couldn’t. I am excited to sit in the park, sit in my favourite café with my laptop and sit in a restaurant with my friends.

What has been your biggest challenge during ISO?
One of my favourite quotes is: ‘Judge each day not by the crop you reap, but rather the seeds you sew’. I have had to remind myself of this a few times. I thrive on feeling productive; feeling like I have achieved something positive. And with that mentality I’ve had to pivot my accomplishments, learning to feel content simply doing what I can, where I can.

What do you think has helped you adjust to ISO most?
Knowing we are all in this together. Although we are physically isolated, we aren’t alone in this, and that is key.

What TV series have you ISO-binged?
You might not have heard of it, it’s a indi docu series called Tiger K… kidding. I watched a couple of episodes but with my cat sitting on my lap, I just can’t get into it. I have been loving Money Heist and Grey’s Anatomy. And yes, Netflix has asked ‘if I’m still there’ a couple of times.

What does your ISO schedule look like? Is there an ISO schedule?
I’m a big believer in structure, especially in a period when we’re all feeling a little out of control. I like to allocate time; time to exercise, time to cook, clean, work and time to play. This helps to combat the feeling I should be doing something else.

Can you share with us a photo that best describes isolation with your pet?

What has been your guilty pleasure in ISO?
So I have a craft drawer. It’s a random assortment of crafts that I’ve collected over the years, and let’s just say, isolation has expanded the single drawer into an overflowing cupboard! To say I’ve ‘leant in’ to my creative side, is an understatement! I’ve had a great time.

What has been your ISO silver lining? (Kindness story? Time to yourself?)
I am such a silver linings kind of girl and I can’t help but feel like, there have been many unexpected positives coming from isolation. We are all more conscious and considerate. Our community has rallied around essential workers and local businesses, supporting everyone as much as we can. We are helping our neighbours, thanking and supporting each other in a way we haven’t before. Plus, ‘necessity breeds innovation’ which is exciting for our future.

How have you stayed up to date with the latest fashion stories while in ISO?
Social Media has been fantastic for sharing behind the scenes fashion stories that haven’t previously been highlighted. I really enjoy learning how brands, both big and small, came to be and Social Media has been an excellent platform for this recently.

What’s the first store you will visit with restrictions easing?
So many! I really excited to walk through the centre and see everyone out and about again!

What has been your ISO- hobby? Will you continue with it?
I really have let my artistic side flourish in isolation. Everything from embroidery to knitting, painting to making furniture. By no means are they always perfect, or something I would hang on my wall. But, art doesn't have to be perfect and there is a certain poetry in that. It gives you this beautiful brain space; to think, create and block out the world for a few hours. Pre-isolation, I was guilty of feeling there was always something more important I should be spending my time on. Now I realise it’s ok to spend time doing things simply for fun. (Thank-you iso for the life lesson.)

Where will your first holiday be post-ISO?
My friends and I are currently in the process of planning a future overseas holiday. We’re thinking Western Europe. Any suggestions?

What’s been your favourite ISO meal? (New recipe you have tried? Takeaway restaurant you have discovered?)
I looovve cooking. I have had a fabulous time creating new recipes and actually cooking every day rather than bulk meal prep. I’m currently trying to perfect what I’m calling a ‘breakfast slice’ with collagen protein, nuts and quinoa!

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