Steph Claire Smith and Laura Henshaw share the tips that got them through lockdown last time

They’ve been here before…

Editor / August 12 2021

When it comes to the strange lockdown life many of us are now living across Australia (or ducking in and out of), there really is no right or wrong way to deal.

But if you are searching for some tips and handy hints on what others have found to be helpful in getting through it, lockdown veterans and Keep It Cleaner (KIC) founders Steph Claire Smith and Laura Henshaw have some pretty good advice.

Here, they chat to BEAUTYcrew about the activities that lifted their spirits, the comfort foods they relied on, and why, for one of them, getting off social media was key.

Top 3 things that helped get you through lockdown?

Steph: “I 100 per cent felt more tired throughout lockdown and exercise helped me. When I was exercising I still felt like I had that little bit of normality. I'd also say Zoom trivia nights with friends, and just organising something on Zoom over the weekend; making plans for the weekend really helped otherwise every day just blended together. And lastly, just connecting with others – scrolling through our Facebook community always made me feel good.” 

Laura: “Number one: trying not to go on social media. Especially when you’re going through what you’re going through, and then seeing other people on social media out and about; just don’t go on social media. I even just got phone fatigue and didn’t want to even text, so I’d also say talking instead of being on your phone.”

“Second would be getting dressed up or just trying to get dressed and have that routine and motivation. Try to get up, do your workout and have your shower before sitting down to work.”

“Honestly, I’m trying to find a silver lining of lockdown and it’s really hard. I’d say try and think of one thing that you wouldn’t have been able to do if you weren’t in lockdown. Something that you’re grateful for in a really hard time.”

Steph: “Yeah, for me, we used to have such a hustle and bustle lifestyle and I learned so much about myself in lockdown and that I wasn’t for that lifestyle anymore. I realised how much I needed to slow down.”


Words of wisdom for those going through it now?

Steph:Validation. If you’re feeling crappy right now, that’s fine. Validate your feelings and validate your friends feelings.”

Laura: “Don’t think you have to take anyone’s advice. I’m type A and I don’t want to slow down – even though everyone was telling me to – but for me, if I sit there and watch Netflix I will not feel good at all. So I needed to have this regimented life at home and that helped me. Everyone is different.”


If you really don’t feel like doing a workout, what’s the one class on the KIC app that you’ll still (reluctantly) put on?

Laura: “I love doing a Pilates class and I love doing ‘core to the floor’, which is mostly abs. What I love about Pilates is that you’re mostly on the floor and laying down.”

Steph: “Yoga is my go-to, even on my recovery days.”

Laura: “Yes! I love doing yoga at home. I’m too embarrassed to go to a class but at home it’s easy because no one can see how uncoordinated I am.”


Favourite go-to winter recipe from the app?

Steph: “We’ve added a few new recipes to the app lately and one of the new ones is the Mediterranean chicken and olive bake and it’s a crowd favourite. And I love the pumpkin and feta pasta because there are hardly any ingredients.”

Laura: “I am a one-pan fan. My favourite is currently the one-pan chicken and halloumi and it’s got lemon, thyme and honey and it’s so yummy.”


Go-to lockdown Uber Eats order?

Laura: “My go-to is usually the chicken shop – chicken and chips with triple chicken salt. With tabouli salad. Or pizza!”

Steph: “Something that we order almost every week is Greek and that open souvlaki, with the dips and salads and meats.”


What advice would you give for self-motivation for at-home workouts?

Steph: “If you have a planner, lock them in like they’re real appointments. You’ll always feel better for it – just commit to some kind of movement and write it down to see it through.” 

Laura: “Sharing with your friends – go on Zoom and screen share the workout and do it together. While it isn’t in person if you make the plan you are accountable.”


If people were to only spend money on one piece of workout equipment for lockdown – what should they get?

Laura: “A pair of dumbbells or a kettlebell. An 8kg kettlebell you can do a lot with or a pair of 4kg dumbbells.

Steph: “I agree. Dumbbells for smaller exercises you can use wine bottles etc. so that heavier kettlebell will help.”


Main image credit: @laura.henshaw

Need some more at-home exercise ideas to get you going? Here are some of the best free workouts to try.