When lockdown was first announced, it was a short term proposition of just a couple of weeks. Now, it’s becoming clear that our lives are going to change permanently and while lockdown may be relaxed, it’s probably not going to be completely lifted for a good while yet.
With that in mind, lots of people need to shift their strategies from short term to long term strategies. If you are going to stay sane in this completely bizarre time, you need to put things in place to help you cope now. The sense of holiday might have evaporated but you can still stay safe, keep calm and have some fun.
Get into a Routine
Lots of people thrive on a regular routine but without work, keeping time can be difficult. When you are used to getting up and getting going, suddenly having very little to do can be stressful! The key is to create your own routine and give yourself stuff to do.
Getting up and going to sleep at the same time every day is one way to do this but incorporating particular activities is also a good idea. For example, you might make and eat breakfast together, spend the morning doing some creative activities, have lunch, spend the afternoon learning a new skill, watch a film together – anything you like.
You might not be able to get to the gym but there are still plenty of ways to exercise. Yoga is particularly good as it calms the mind while building your strength and flexibility. What happens to your body with yoga is pretty incredible, especially given that you can do it in the comfort of your front room.
Getting your heart rate up with exercise is also a good way to manage anxiety and burn off some energy. Being cooped up can be disheartening but Joe Wicks is providing daily PE lessons that everyone can join in with – sometimes in fancy dress! Setting up an obstacle course in the garden or doing interval training is also a great idea if you have the space.
Talk to Everyone
Social isolation is a bit of a misnomer – yes you should be physically distant but that doesn’t mean you can’t phone your friends and family for a chat. Zoom, Teams, Skype and FaceTime all make seeing others a lot easier and there are all sorts of games you can play too from hosting a quiz to charades. All you need is some imagination!
Getting in touch with people is essential because loneliness can be difficult to admit and even harder to deal with in such a strange time. But most importantly, it’s okay to admit your negative feelings and talk about them together. The British stiff upper lip attitude can only go so far and talking about the tough times with friends is even more important now. Ultimately, this is all about being there for each other.
We live in strange times but it’s amazing how adaptable we really are. Stay safe.