Quarantine catch-up: At home with Dubai-based style star Zeynab El-Helw

Quarantine catch-up: At home with Dubai-based style star Zeynab El-Helw
Influencer Zeynab El-Helw opens up about her quarantine routine. (Instagram/@fashion_pirate)
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Updated 25 April 2020

Quarantine catch-up: At home with Dubai-based style star Zeynab El-Helw

Quarantine catch-up: At home with Dubai-based style star Zeynab El-Helw

DUBAI: Arab News catches up with our favorite stars who answer a quickfire round of questions about their time in self-isolation as people around the world stay at home in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

London-born influencer Zeynab El-Helw, who has more than 1.1 million followers on Instagram, has been enjoying spending quality time with her family.

How has self-isolation been for you so far?

I’m enjoying it so far as I have my husband home with me which wasn’t always the case as I used to travel a lot for work. And now we are so busy during the day with our baby Luca, therefore I feel like the days roll by quicker than I expected. I actually sometimes need more time in the day to get my objectives done.

What’s the biggest challenge?

Trying to fit a schedule where you balance everything well, so you finish the day on a high and feel positive and persevere to the next day knowing you have accomplished something.

What is something positive that has happened in your life due to self-isolation?

Luckily spending time home with my husband and being involved in activities together with Luca. Having more me-time, indulging in hobbies I never had time for and being able to take my time with work and create fun content while focusing on plans and setting goals in the foreseeable future. I do not want to waste this time and really hope to keep motivated and make the most of it.

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Team early risers, who’s in?

A post shared by Zeynab El-helw زينب الحلو (@fashion_pirate) on

What are you currently watching in self-isolation?

“Ozark” (US crime drama) – I plan to finish tonight and start the “Vikings.” We are going through series’ quicker than a bag of candy. So much to watch!

What are you eating? Have you tried cooking anything new?

Yummy home dishes. I also plan to pick up baking. Yesterday we had bamia (a stew) and tonight we are cooking veal escalope with sweet potato. We’re differentiating between dishes daily and I never thought I would find myself cooking with hubby – we are trying to maintain a healthy yet fulfilling menu. Problem is, I have a sweet tooth – I can’t resist chocolate at night. Yet my morning workout makes me feel like it is ok. Nonetheless, we do keep one night a week over the weekend for ordering in, whereas before we used to order a lot more.

How are you keeping sane as you stay home?

Between work and family, I feel pretty sane. I am actually getting a lot more done than I have ever done before. I’m also overindulging in skincare and having more time to read and write – picking up old hobbies such as my musical instruments, composing, art and having fun with it. I really want to push my abilities. I always neglected these things that I love and now having more time to be in touch with family and friends makes me realize how much more effort I need to put in long term.

How are you keeping fit?

Exercise – a one-hour bike workout is my morning session, we installed it at home a few days ago and that has helped a great deal. Also, mat workout exercises or some stretching/yoga, etc. I’ve downloaded a bunch of apps to motivate myself too. I try to do one or both of these a day to feel satisfied – that really helps with my mindset. The trick to staying on the bike for a long period without getting bored is by answering emails and messages and editing my videos while I cycle – that’s how time flies by on it.

How are you staying “social”?

I’m chatting to people I didn’t have time to before and engaging with my social media family and learning more about them each day. I am also spending a lot more time calling friends and family and have quality one-on-one time chats while doing group conversations over the weekend as if I’m going out.

Any tips for bored readers on how to keep entertained or fulfilled at home?

Fulfilment would be to get your body moving and setting a task daily and accomplishing it. I make sure to workout daily and be productive. In addition, I plan to rearrange my closet and probably the furniture too. I’ve become a handyman in the house – I’m going to hang frames and shelves tomorrow. Tip is, to get creative and embrace hobbies such as drawing, baking, singing, etc.

In self-isolation, are you relaxed, or do you feel the need to be extra productive?

The latter. I don’t have time to sleep with a baby – he gets me up on my feet early, therefore I have more hours in my day to be productive during his naps. I am also very keen to learn, so I’m constantly finding new things to do such as recipes to follow. I really want to work on myself as much as I can while I have the time.

Are you living in your PJs, or taking the time to get dressed up?

More loungewear, I’m a huge fan of casual wear and anytime I want to get dressed up I put on a pair of jeans and some makeup – that’s my effort for now, who knows I might even start wearing sparkly dresses soon.