It ain't easy keeping sane in lockdown
How are you all keeping sane in lockdown? Are you finding it quite easy, or is being stuck in a house with your family driving you mad? Maybe you're self isolating alone? Whatever your situation I do hope you are finding some way of looking after yourself.
I find myself in a pretty nice situation, if I'm honest. Apart from not being able to see my boyfriend (which is awful), I have been very lucky. I am very grateful for my own position; however, there are things I miss, the situation is not ideal, and being around family for prolonged periods of time can have its... repercussions, let's say. All in all, though, we're getting along pretty well!
I've decided to share some of the ways I've been (attempting) to keep sane during the lockdown, including things I've been learning along the way. Remember this is coming from someone not working from home, i.e. apart from the 9 hours of babysitting I do I am literally free as a bird the rest of the week. If you are working from home - I applaud you. If you are getting through each day without having a meltdown, I'm proud of you. If you are getting through each day and melting down, I'm still proud of you. As the politicians keep saying, we are in 'unprecedented' times, so the most important thing is that we follow the rules, and are kind to ourselves and others.
Without any further ado, here are some things I have learned so far in lockdown and some of the things I am doing to keep busy and sane.
Remember it's okay if you don't have something to show for the day. I hate feeling like I've 'wasted' a day, but really, if I've got out of bed, dressed myself, cooked myself food, got outside and not had a meltdown - it's still a very good day.
It really helps to get dressed properly. It doesn't have to be jeans, or a dress, but wearing clothes I feel human in helps my day feel more normal.
Some days, however, it is nice to dress up - I'm talking hair, makeup, the works. It's a great reminder that you can look good, even if you're not going out anywhere. Bring out the kid in you and use your imagination!
Jigsaws - is it just me, or are they really addictive? We only have 2 in the house and I have already completed them but it made the day go so quickly and it's a very therapeutic activity. Having to destroy it at the end is heartbreaking.
Art - I am terrible at art. However, it is still quite cathartic to get creative. I've been enjoying doing some colouring in my 'adult' colouring books, and no, adult does not mean what you think it means... I also think that putting a 'thank you' rainbow in your window is not just for kids! Judge me all you like but I really enjoyed creating thank you signs for our window.
Exercise - As important as ever, but even more important now that we are spending more time at home, more time on our butts. If you are working from home, spending most of your day sedentary, you may notice your back stiffening up. Get your body moving, even if it's just to stretch. It'll make you feel so much better. I've been missing the gym a lot, and working at a pub I'm used to being on my feet for long periods of time, so I'm trying to keep as active as I can without it feeling like a chore. I've been going out on my bike, trying out new YouTube workouts, as well as exercising with my family to make it more exciting. At the moment we are allowed to go outside for exercise for an hour a day, so make the most of that and explore the areas near your house you've maybe not explored before. Just, remember to stay 2 metres away from people!
Music - I have been spending a lot more time practising my instruments - piano and ukulele! If you don't play, why not pick something up? The ukulele is a great place to start as it only has 4 strings and can be bought very cheaply! If you aren't a musical person, just listening to more music (rather than the 24/7 news which can be very dreary...) can be a great way to lift your mood. Some studies have found that listening to music can have the same effects as meditation on the brain. Find a new album or artist to listen to - maybe do a music exchange with a friend. (If you want to listen to some of my covers check out my IGTV, or my soundcloud).
Film/TV - Now is the perfect time to catch up on all the films on your bucket list. Or just binge Netflix series'. Or rewatch some old faves. I've been enjoying the new series of After Life on Netflix, and *don't judge!* have just finished Too Hot to Handle which was a lot better than anticipated. My tri-weekly dose of Coronation Street has also been getting me through the weeks, (#sorrynotsorry).
Cooking - I have felt very inspired recently, the new found time giving me the opportunity to try recipes I've wanted to for a while. Some recipes I've tried out include gnocchi, burritos, paella, fishcakes, and ramen. My brother has been creating amazing 'fakeaway' meals once a week too, like pizza (from scratch!), crispy duck and pancakes, McDonald's burgers and Nando's chicken. If you want to check out some of the tasty food I've been cooking and eating in quarantine, I've made a 'LOCKDOWN GRUB' highlight on my Instagram profile.
Instagram/TikTok challenges - If you get really bored, Instagram and TikTok can be good at passing time. I haven't downloaded TikTok as I know how addicted I'll get, but I did try and learn one dance with my sister (I was terrible). Instagram has lots of fun filters going around currently - watch people's stories to find and try them out. And you could even start a challenge - you may have noticed the 5km run one raising money for charity, well there's also a baking challenge! This isn't necessarily the most effective use of time, but as I said, kills time if that's what you want.
Video calls - This is an obvious one, but needs to be said! Not being able to see friends, family, and my boyfriend, is hard. Texting and calling is good, and it is important to keep regular contact, but video calls are so important as seeing a friendly face, reading expressions rather than having to guess them over text, is so much more fulfilling. Me and my friends tried Netflix Party last week and that itself was really fun! Add a couple of drinks in the mix and you could almost pretend you're actually at the pub, or the cinema. (This is also a good excuse to take some time away from the people you live with - healthy distance and all).
Reading - I have loved reading since I was a child, but since my late teens I've been terrible at it. I always make excuses, or feel bad for reading when I have other things like studying to do. Well, lockdown has given me the time to pick up reading again and I am so happy! So far I have read 'The Woman Who Walked into Doors' by Roddy Doyle, 'Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine' by Gail Honeyman (deeply recommend this one! Me and my mum LOVED it), 'All the Bright Places' by Jennifer Niven (also a Netflix film), and I am currently reading 'The Prison Doctor' by Amanda Brown (again, would really recommend!). Me and a couple of my friends have set up a (very casual) book club, which has produced some great reads and chats. Give it a go if you're wanting a good read.
Pets are loving it. Our guinea pigs are getting way more attention than usual, and way more time on the garden lawn monching on the grass. And our cat is delighted! She loves the extra rubs and playtime. They're going to get a big shock when we all go back to work...
So how are you occupying your time in lockdown? I'd love to know.
If you liked this blog, please like and comment and share around. I've recently posted a blog all about the impacts of coronavirus on cancer patients, and it would be great if you could read and
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Thanks for reading, until next time!
P.S. On Sunday I took part in the 2.6 Challenge in aid of Sarcoma UK. I undertook 26 challenges over the day, including dressing up in 26 layers of clothing and doing 26 reps of various exercises, and running 26 laps of my house in a tutu. Charities are suffering at the moment due to the cancellation of big fundraising events like the Marathon, so the 2.6 challenge is a great opportunity to donate to some of the important charities we could not live without. Donate to my JustGiving page here, I've been asking for just £2.60, but I'd appreciate anything you can afford.
This year I am taking part of the 500km Virtual Runner challenge, running/swimming/cycling 500k over the year, as well as taking on lots of random challenges each month! This is all in support of Sarcoma UK, the national sarcoma charity that funds vital research and support for patients and their families affected by the rare cancer. If you want to support me, then you can donate whatever you can through this link. Even £1 would be greatly appreciated, and you can donate completely anonymously!! Thank you!