Let’s face it, lockdown hasn’t exactly been all glitter and rainbows (although the rainbows we’re seeing in our neighbours windows do put a smile on my face)! It’s been a bloody tough two months so far, with at least another month to go. I’ve seen loads of posts out there on “how to pass the time during lockdown”, but that’s not what I’ve been on the hunt for. I’ve been more interested in how to deal with my anxiety that’s built up in lockdown, and how to get through a day without feeling like I’ve got a tightness in my chest.
If you too are suffering with how to deal with life in lockdown, firstly have a read of my Lockdown Diary; I’ve been sharing updates of my time in lockdown and what I’ve been up to. On the other hand, take a look at these 5 things to help you in lockdown.
Create a routine that suits you
At this stage, no one is expecting you to have the same routine you did pre-lockdown. It’s likely you’re working from home or not at all, which throws your standard routine out of the window. The first 5 weeks of lockdown I relished the new-found lie-ins now I’m no longer spending 45 minutes on the road to work. BUT, recently I’ve got back into a routine and feel much better for it.
I’m up by 7.30am most days, showered and dressed, wolfed down a bowl of cornflakes and a yoghurt drink, fed the rabbits and cracked on with my day of work. Each day me and husband take our lunch at 12pm, making ourselves a decent bite to eat and making sure we just chill, then back to work we go.
The biggest struggle for me however, has been switching off. You no longer have that commute home where you look forward to kicking your shoes off the moment you get in. Instead, I find myself working 9am to 11pm some days, and it’s just not healthy. So if you are lucky enough to still have a job to attend during this global pandemic, give yourself a cut-off time where you switch everything off and forget about work until the next day. The biggest help for me was removing my work emails from my phone – there’s no temptation and going “I’m just going to respond to this one”.
Video Call EVERYONE
We’re fortunate we live in an age where video calling apps are so easily accessible and all our friends and family have devices that allow you to socialise virtually. I must’ve done more video calls during these last eight weeks of lockdown than I have in my entire life! They’re a great thing to help you when you need that pick me up.
I have a weekly ‘Coffee Catch-Up’ with colleagues via Microsoft Teams every Friday morning just for 30 minutes. We block out that time in our work calendars and catch-up as though we’re back in the kitchen at work making a brew and asking, “what are your plans for the weekend?”, “how’s homeschooling going?”, “have you started a TikTok account yet?”. Although only 30 minutes, it makes such a difference.
I also video call my family regularly via WhatsApp where I can see my beautiful Nephew who is soon to turn two and catch-up and see how everyone is getting on. Even if you’re only able to do quick 10 minute calls here and there, they have a huge impact on your mood. I always feel ten times better than I did before.
Avoid the news as much as possible
No one likes feeling out the loop, so it’s inevitable you’re going to be glued to your screen waiting for the next update on how many deaths there have been, asking “did they have any underlying health conditions?” and then getting yourself worked up when you find out they didn’t and thinking, “Oh my gosh, what if I get it?”. It’s so unhealthy for us to be this consumed in the news, more than we’ve probably ever been before.
Stick to trusted resources only. I only ever follow BBC News now, as I know that’s where I’m going to get the facts. Anything else, I simply scroll past and take the headline with a pinch of salt. I’d experience regular nightmares during the first couple weeks of lockdown; watching myself be told I need to be put on a ventilator, or worrying over my Mum who was suffering with every Covid-19 symptom they warn you about yet I’m unable to help her. This is all because I was constantly reading every article going, including conspiracy theories and news that was so far fetched that I’d actually believe it.
Still keep yourself updated on what’s going on, but minimise the resources you trust and the time you spend reading them.
Get a TikTok Account (or a distraction of your choice)
This sounds more like something to pass the time, but for me it’s actually been a distraction. It’s something fun that takes a couple minutes to do each time and also has family and friends laughing. If you want, view my profile here and you’ll see what I mean. If this isn’t for you, then find something that works as a good distraction if you’re unable to video call anyone because of the time of day or because they’re working.
Try baking (banana bread seems to be all the rage right now), gardening, drawing/colouring/painting or creating a nice reading nook to engross yourself into a book – I’ve really been enjoying sitting in the garden with a book lately, it’s extremely relaxing and half the time makes me that sleepy I come inside for a nap!
Clean, Clean, Clean!
Sounds a right chore, but for many of us, cleaning the house is calming. Even if you don’t find the activity to be relaxing, the outcome surely is. I find if I’m ever down, annoyed or feeling a little anxious, I take a break from whatever I’m doing and just start cleaning. Whether it’s do all our laundry, dust down all the blinds, hoover, or clean the bathroom, any bit of cleaning helps me relax so much!
Stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling x