What to Read, Watch and Listen to While You Self-Isolate

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Stop the world for a little while with these great escapes …

It can be an anxious time while you wait to get the results from your PCP test but luckily there’s never been more at our fingertips to distract us from our own thoughts and worries. Here’s what to read, watch and listen to while you self-isolate at home…

WATCH: Headspace Guide to Meditation

And breathe. Netflix knew what they were doing by launching former Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe’s new Headspace series on Netflix this month. We are one week into 2021 and we’ve already seen Covid cases soar in Ireland, the country go into the highest level lockdown once again, and America seems to be falling apart at the seams with apocalyptic scenes at Capitol Hill yesterday – oh and there’s that Kanye West rumour circulating. It’s been a week, to say the least. This guided meditation series is a really accessible way to ease yourself into the practice if you’re a complete beginner. The 20 minute episodes start with an explanation of meditation, what it means, where it originated, and how it can help to reduce anxiety, stress and make you happier and ends with a guided meditation. Where do we sign up? Available on Netflix now as a limited series.

VIEW: An Exclusive Tour of the Mondrian exhibition at National Gallery of Ireland

If you weren’t lucky enough to bag a spot for the Piet Mondrian exhibit at the National Gallery of Ireland in December (weekend slots were snapped up in no time) now that the Gallery is closed, you can book in for a virtual tour to allow you to experience the magic of Mondrian from home with an exclusive online tour of the new exhibition led by curator Janet McLean. You might be surprised at the range of works on show, the exhibition begins with Mondrian’s earlier landscape works from his time growing up in the Netherlands and spans through his abstract work, almost Impressionist in style, and Cubism before coming to the Modernist, minimalist, geometric pieces he is now most famous for. The exhibit also features pieces from his contemporaries in the De Stijl movement. The most stimulating hour you’ll spend online this month, book online and watch the film on demand for €10. www.nationalgallery.ie

LISTEN: Hunting Gishlaine

One of the most captivating new stories of 2020 was the Jeffrey Epstein story. After his death while in prison awaiting trial, attention turned to Ghislaine Maxwell, his right-hand woman. Who was she? Where was she? And how much did she have to do with his horrendous actions over the previous decades. John Sweeney, an investigative reporter and former BBC journalist has launched a podcast, ‘Hunting Gishlaine’ which charts Maxwell’s upbringing (her father was billionaire publisher Robert Maxwell) and her subsequent relationship with Epstein and the stories that have been revealed. Maxwell is currently in jail awaiting trial for procuring and trafficking underage girls for Epstein and others. She denies the charges. All seven episodes were released at the end of last year so you can binge through the whole series while you wait for your results.

WATCH: Bridgerton

If you haven’t yet watched Bridgerton on Netflix (were you living under a rock this Christmas?) it’s now time to binge the series while you self-isolate at home. The perfect mix of period drama with modern storytelling (and modern soundtrack, Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift hits are reimagined in orchestral string covers) – it’s being touted as Gossip Girl meets Downton Abbey. Really it’s just pure escapism, the grandeur and pomp of the Regency period, the fluffy frocks, Irish star Nicola Coughlan, The Duke’s Spoon (move over Connell’s Chain). It’s already been streamed by over 63 million homes making it one of Netflix’s most popular original series yet. Catch up!

READ: One of Our Top 50 Books of 2020

If 2020 gave us one thing (and let’s be honest, it didn’t give us a lot of positives) it was the sheer volume of great novels, non-fiction and short story collections that were published. We rounded up a list of 50+ books to read over Christmas which offers something for everyone to choose from. Top picks include Irish author Naoise Dolan’s Exciting Times about the protagonist’s tantalising love triangle in Hong Kong and deals with issues of identity, language and belonging, and The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett which explores issues of race and “passing” (when a person classified as a member of one racial group is accepted as a member of another) and follows twin girls Desiree and Stella as their lives take different pathways when they leave their small town in Deep South America but come together once again in unexpected circumstances. During Covid-19 closures Dublin City Council Libraries have made their catalogues available online, if you join (or if you are a member) you will have access to eBooks, audiobooks, online magazines and newspapers for free straight away.

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