I'm a wanker.

My name is Alicia and I recently discovered candles. Ok so 'discovered' is not the correct word. I recently learned to appreciate candles. There, that's it.

I'm in month 11 of lockdown. In the last 11 months, I have socialised with people outside my home exactly 3 times. Outside, socially distanced, when allowed. In months 1 to 3 I would go for a long daily walk. Then the walks stopped. I couldn't drag myself past the same closed businesses along the same sad routes any more. Like many people, this lockdown life has seen me go through phases. The home workouts phase. The drinking more often than recommended phase. The overworking phase. The underworking phase and of course the Tiger King phase. These days I've settled into a more stable routine and much to my surprise, candles have played a significant role.

You see, I need a silent workspace. That's one of the reasons working from home suits me pretty perfectly. By nature I'm an introvert, meaning I don't thrive on the company of others. I'm rather exhausted by the company of others. I also need a clean and tidy workspace and ideally, cosy but minimalist surroundings. While the rest of my home is bursting with colour, my workspace is white. All white.

Sitting on a white credenza, you'll find a single beautiful candle.

I walk into my workspace, close the door to the rest of the home leaving the dishes, laundry, amazon boxes and general chaos behind and I feel relaxed. Yep, in the space where I work and am most productive, I am also completely at ease. This room is all about me.

I light my candle, signifying the start of my work day and I love it.

On my lunch break (which I always take), I do a 20 minute meditation on my shakti mat and my candle keeps me company. I sound like an absolute wanker, I know. But it's true. I am a candle loving, shakti mat using wanker.

In a world where we are not able to travel, see loved ones or even go out for dinner, these rituals have become important. They create comfort in a world where there is plenty to be uncomfortable about. And they help.