Hey everyone! It’s been a while…
So blogging didn’t have the best start and we parted ways for a short while which makes me sad. I love writing blogs and I haven’t put as much effort in as I should do. If I’m being honest I struggled more than what I thought whilst writing my first one and I think I lost confidence in myself.
Lockdown gives you a lot of time to think and it’s made me realise that I need to focus my energy and time on things I love to do. Patience is key and I will obviously improve the more I write.
Anyway less about me, I hope everyone is keeping safe and well in these worrying times. I genuinely don’t even know where to start about the current situation apart from… What the fudge is even going on?
The whole situation is so overwhelming and I find it so hard to get my head around sometimes. Everything about Coronavirus is bloody awful and my heart truly goes out to anyone who has majorly affected by it or lost someone to the virus. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain hundreds of thousands people are going through right now.
I want to thank all of you key workers putting your lives at risk every day for the sake of other people. You truly are heroes and the world would be lost without you. You are all so much braver than you think and you have got this!
I feel kind of silly writing about lockdown because I know people are dealing with things so much worse right now but it can be tough for anyone and I want to spread some positivity in such negative times and try and give some tips on how to get through this.
I was originally working from home during the lockdown which was a sense of normality but if I’m being honest I did not enjoy it in the slightest. My concentration levels are the worst and found it difficult to focus. My employer then decided to place me on furlough (temporary) leave last Friday until June. It’s only been a week of not working but so far I’ve kind of enjoyed it!
I’ve decided to write some tips on things I have found help me get through this first week.
1. Try to Keep a Routine
Yes I know keeping a routine can be harder than you think when you have nothing to do or nowhere to go but try and bring some of your normal life to lockdown.
I have been setting my alarm and waking up at 7.30am on Monday to Friday as usual. This does not mean that I am necessarily up and ready to tackle the day at this time but it avoids me getting into the habit of sleeping in. The main reason I do this is because I do not want to struggle when normal life comes around. I can’t imagine the shock of setting an alarm after weeks of sleep ins every day (it scares me).
I make the same breakfast as if I was going to work so either Granola or Fruit and Fibre then enjoy it in bed. Like I said before, I am embracing the lazy mornings but just making sure I am up for the day.
Another tip to avoid living in Groundhog day is to try and keep alcohol for weekends. The only reason I am sticking to this is so I have something to look forward to and kind of still have the weekend feeling. I get so excited about opening a bottle of Prosecco on a Friday night and it gives a slight structure to my week.
2. Stay Social
Self isolation can be extremely lonely times and we are all missing our friends and family but there are many ways to stay in touch with our loved ones. Modern day technology is a blessing in times like this as it lets us stay connected whilst in our own homes.
Text your friends and family and ask them how they are doing and if you are feeling down let them know. It is an amazing stress relief to talk to people when you are having a down day.
It was coming to the time of the month last week and I actually cried because I did a shit job of decorating a cheesecake. All it took was a text to my friends to get it off my chest and I felt so much better. Yes they probably thought I was going crazy but that’s what friends are for. I went from feeling really down to the next Mary Berry.
There is no reason to ever feel embarrassed on a down day, especially to your family and friends so always reach out to people. A problem shared is a problem halved.
Another tip to keep social is conference calls with family and friends. I have been using Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Facebook Messenger. It’s a great way to have a nice catch up or host a pub quiz. I have been doing quizzes each week with my family and friends and I love it! I’m still terrible but it is honestly so fun. Each week we have a different Quiz Master who decides on the rounds and questions and you can make it as silly as you want to!
Me and my friends went to Benidorm last year and one of the quiz rounds was all about the holiday. I was in stitches laughing and was a chance for us all to remember the funny stories.
My sister also hosted a Titanic quiz night and we dressed up as the characters which was really fun.
Some other ideas are a murder mystery night, bingo or even music bingo. Everyone gets a bunch of songs and then when a song is played, if you have the song on your list you cross it off until someone obviously shouts Bingo! (Alcohol can also be included to make things extra fun).
3. Keep Active
Exercise has been one of the main things getting me through lockdown. I have never been a huge fan of exercise and find it hard to keep motivated to go to the gym when I work full time so one of my lockdown goals was to try improve my fitness.
I think it is really important for your mental health to try and do some type of exercise as it can completely change your mood.
Try not to have weight loss as your only reason to do exercise as it can become extremely frustrating and you can become your own worst enemy. Think about how exercise releases endorphins in your body which trigger positive feelings. If your goal is to feel more positive and improve your day then exercise seems a lot more appealing. I find it best to try and exercise on a morning because it gives me so much more energy and sets you up for the day!
- Enjoy the fresh air and go for walks or bike rides.
- Go jogging – Couch to 5k is good for beginners.
- Try Yoga or Pilates (Search Yoga with Adriene on YouTube)
- Do home workouts on YouTube or Instagram – My favorites are Joe Wicks and Ferdinand Fitness.
4. Be Productive
There is no better opportunity to spend this time to be kind to yourself and enjoy the things you never have time to do in the real world. Now we have all this free time on our hands, we need to embrace it!
Explore a hobby which has been pushed to the back of your priorities or even learn a new skill. It may be something like to improve your cooking skills or maybe learn a new language. Whatever it is there will always be a positive outcome and you are potentially investing for your future. Who knows where it will take you.
Try and plan your days as much as possible and set a daily task to carry out. It can be the smallest task in the world and can still bring you a sense of achievement. Some of my tasks have been to write a blog (obviously), organise the tin cupboard and clean my bathroom. Yes some can be pretty dull but it makes me feel like I have done something with my day!
Take some time for self care and give yourself a good pamper. Put a chilled Spotify playlist whilst you paint your nails, smother your hair in coconut oil and moisturiser. Maybe do some meditation or enjoy a nice bath and focus on your breathing. Taking time to relax is just as important as being productive.
Some things that I advise NOT to do during these times are to watch the news constantly or be on social media. It is important to know what is happening in the world but the constant repetitiveness of the news can be so draining. Try and limit yourself to so much a week or even none at all. Since full lockdown I haven’t watched the news once as it was making me so anxious and worried and starting to affect my sleep. As long as I am following the rules, I do not feel like I need to know the daily death toll as it only has a negative effect on my mental health.
I am also trying to limit my time off social media. I have stopped myself from scrolling through my phone for hours on end as it was making me feel really lousy. Try to only go on your phone to stay in contact with people and limit the amount of scrolling. Remember to take everything on social media with a pinch of salt and don’t believe everything you read.
So I hope you enjoyed my tips on how to cope in lockdown which will hopefully help some of you along the way.
I want to remind you to not feel guilty about spending lockdown the way you want to. Social media can be rife with people saying ‘how we should be spending lockdown’ but there is no right or wrong way!
Take everyday as it comes and as soon as you wake up think of how you want to spend your day. Remember balance is key and each day is different. We are all on this crazy roller coaster which is throwing so many emotions our way.
We are all first timers at this and we all need to adapt to the situation with whatever brings us happiness. This is never going to happen again in our lifetime (fingers crossed) so try and enjoy it as much as you can. If that means having days watching Netflix eating chocolate then go ahead; if it means spending your day learning funny Tik Tok dances then do it or if you decide to redecorate your full house then amazing! There is no guidebook for this so just try and roll with it.
Love Charlie xxx
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