10 Ways To Survive Lockdown
They say life comes at you fast. Add a deadly virus to it and by god, it takes on the speed of light. In the mere blink of an eye all our lives have been completely turned upside down and most of us cannot even start to comprehend the sheer enormity of what is currently happening. It’s frightening.
Personally, I’m quite enjoying this new slower pace of life. I’m liking not having to be anywhere, the peace, no constant running around and having what to wear dilemmas. Social pressures have just disintegrated. Granted, new pressures emerge and being a self-employed business owner isn’t exactly a luxury holiday at the moment. But I figure so long as I’m alive and so are my loved ones then I’ll figure the rest out when I need to. That also comes from a self-confidence in my own abilities to find a way through whatever happens.
I know many people are finding lockdown hard. Things like working from home and being with your kids and partners 24/7 are practically alien to many. Not seeing friends and family or being able to go anywhere is tough. But then again, so is losing someone you love.
Death is permanent; lockdown is temporary.
So, here’s a few tips to help get you through the next few weeks and months or however long it takes. But the most important thing, and the one job you all have, is to do everything you can to stay alive. Concentrate on what you can do within your own control.
So, we’ve all seen the Insta Mums Joe Wicks fans getting up to do their morning PE sessions. The dogs that are getting walked about 5 times a day now after spending most of their lives confined to the back garden. And then the ‘we are so freaking great at home schooling’ Facebook Mums posting every god damn minute of their lockdown. Like any of us actually care that little Tilly Primrose did finger painting today.
But guess what; it’s perfectly ok if you also want to take this time to just relax. To not go anywhere. Sit and binge watch everything you can on Netflix. To have far too many lie ins and forget to get dressed for half the week.
Ok so science and stuff tells us that keeping some form of routine is better for you and not sleeping for 15 hours a day isn’t great. But if that’s what gets you through this then go for it. You might want to stick your head outside every now and then for some fresh air. But it’s perfectly ok to resist the urge to become a middle-aged jogger.
Enjoy this time you have to actually chill. How many times in your grown-up life have you had the opportunity to literally do nothing? We have been living our lives at such a ridiculously fast pace that perhaps this was the break we all needed. Take the break, mentally and physically if that’s what you need. You can also use the time productively. Whatever floats your boat.
Get A Hobby
I know I just said that it was perfectly ok to do nothing if that’s what works for you but it’s also a great opportunity to get yourself a hobby. Why? Many of us live our lives on eat, sleep, work repeat. There’s not much else going on there. If you ask someone what they do, they will generally reply with their occupation. Push them for what they do apart from that and they may struggle to tell you.
Hobbies are good for you. They give you something else to think about or focus on. A welcome distraction. Hobbies also have a great way of igniting a passion in you that may, I stress may lead you to a new career. Profit from your passion. Loads of people I know have turned their hobbies into side hustles or full-time businesses. And in these very uncertain times, that’s not a bad thing. 12 years ago blogging was my little hobby to keep me sane whilst working as a Management Accountant. Fast forward and it’s opened more doors and created more opportunities than I could have ever even dreamed of and set me on the path to what is now my full-time income (with several side hustles too).
Whether it’s painting, DIY, gardening, knitting (yes I can knit) or whatever you’ve always fancied trying or taking up again, now is a great time to get on with it.
Are you happy? Like actually happy? Are you doing your best in life? Are you surrounded by the right people? Do you drink too much? Smoke too much? Do you feel like you’re on the right path?
Life is slowing down enough for most of us to be able to take a really good look at our lives. And with that we also have the time to make changes. I know I take the piss out of the middle-aged joggers and Insta yoga mums, but if ever there was a time to get fit and healthy, now really is that time.
Many will be faced with having to think of their own mortality. That’s quite a tough thing to think about. When I was recovering from sepsis last year, it stopped me in my tracks for long enough to really consider a lot of things about my life. What I wanted and where I wanted to go. That’s not a bad thing. It’s just unnerving when you find yourself actually really seriously thinking about what you want to do with the rest of your life and how long you may potentially have left to do it. None of us know what will happen next or what twists and turns life has lined up for us, so you might not want to delay the thinking process for too long.
Also, look at the people around you. Do they lift you up or bring you down? Do they accept you for who you are or expect you to conform to their version of normal? Unfortunately, lockdown is highlighting the incredibly selfish amongst us. Luckily there are block and delete buttons for those people. You don’t have to put up with them.
This one is more of a personal recommendation, but if you do start to reflect and plan forward for what you want to do when the lockdown is over (positive not just go to the pub and get pissed), then knowledge is power. They say it takes on average 21 days to form new habits so chances are you’re locked down for long enough to make some changes. Knowledge is power, so now is the time to read up and arm yourself with that power.
I read about a book a week. I don’t read fiction anymore, apart from the occasional re-read of a classic or I think the last fiction I read was The Testaments (maybe not a good idea to start reading about dystopian society at the moment though). I tend to read books that I can learn from or that will give me a boost to crack on. But fiction could be a good escape at the moment too.
Book shops are currently closed so it’s back to the trusted Kindle app. I do use the Kindle Unlimited service on Amazon but for books that I know I’ll probably revisit a few times I do still prefer a physical copy. I did have a good stock up pre lockdown so I’ve still about 8 weeks worth of physical books to get through before I’m back to tablet reading.
Make And Mend
Have you ever made anything? Like from scratch? I don’t mean like a lasagne or a birthday cake. But like a physical thing that you can keep forever. It’s a great feeling to put something together yourself and then proudly stand back and admire it. Be it a cushion, curtains, a jumper or a table. We live in such a throwaway society these days, it’s nice to make something yourself and no matter how good or bad it turns out, that sense of accomplishment will give you a great lift.
Besides learning to knit, there are some great opportunities to learn lots of new things. The Open University have a huge range of free courses available online. You can learn everything from French to Science stuff, Politics, Law, Business and lots more. If after your period of self-reflection, you decide you want to go down the path of self-improvement then this is a great opportunity.
With no KFC meal options are becoming limited. I don’t mind cooking and do tend to make most things from scratch anyway due to my allergies. But every single night is starting to grind even my gears. And running the gauntlet of going to Tesco to try and do a shop just isn’t funny anymore. Like, has anyone seen a bag of flour anywhere!!!!
A few months ago, in life before lockdown (do you think we’ll call life that in the future, like pre and post lockdown?) anyway, I signed up for the Simply Cook subscription boxes. And now I’m madly in love with them. Every month you get a nice little box through the door containing all the dry ingredients for 4 really nice meals. You need to buy the meat, veg, pasta etc yourself but each box has all the herbs, spices and stock mixes that you need along with a recipe card that’s really easy to follow. Most dishes are quick to cook too so you get a lovely meal in about 20 minutes.
This isn’t a product I’ve been paid to promo, I just really do like these boxes. And the meatballs are amazing. They currently have an offer on to get your first box for free. Just click this link and sign yourself up https://simplycook.com/invite/499KQ7
Cooking nice food and making a point of sitting down together every evening to eat keeps a touch of normality for us. And keeps us off the snacks. I don’t think I’ve eaten as many snacks in my life as I do at the moment, even though I’m used to this working from home thing. And it means that most of my day revolves around thinking what to have for dinner. God, I miss the KFC.
Right Your Wrongs
This is a tough one. I’m not saying you have to go and be best friends with every person who has done you dirty in the past. But there will be grievances that you can let go of. It’s time to let bygones be bygones.
As I said before about reflecting, we are now, sometimes considering our own mortality. It’s really scary to think that none of us know if we are still going to be here next week, next month or next year. You can’t tell someone you are sorry or that you love them, miss them, wish you could still chat to them, if they are gone. Reach out. Just a simple text saying you hope they are ok. That’s all it takes. And if they don’t respond then you’ve done your bit. And if they do respond, as I said, you don’t have to be the best of friends, but you are acknowledging that the past is gone, and the future is far more important. Starting with now.
I know some things are unforgivable and you shouldn’t ever lower your standards. But it really is time to put aside petty arguments and squabbles. Do they really matter in the greater scheme of things?
If you are off work, sat at home with not much to do, there are loads of great organisations that are crying out for help. From the NHS to the local foodbanks. And sometimes you don’t even need to leave your home to help out.
You may be starting to feel a bit useless stuck at home, even though it’s by far the best thing to be doing right now. What about coming up with your own fundraising ideas or phoning up the old or vulnerable just for a chat? Even doing the smallest of things will help to give you a sense of purpose.
For obvious reasons I do mean that you should have sex with your partner, that you live with. If you’re single this probably isn’t the time to go swiping for randoms on Tinder. Nor, if you’re a couple, is it the time to explore your interest in group sex, threesomes or cuckolding (look it up if you don’t know what that is. I’m not explaining it).
But, it kind of stands to reason that the divorce rate is going to rocket after all this is over. Which is great for divorce lawyers and singles businesses like mine. But if your relationship can be saved then now is the time to reignite the passion that was once there. Let’s face it, there’s naff all on the tele at night and eventually, you’ll have completed Netflix, so you might as well give sex a go. You might even enjoy it!
Listen, none of us knows what the future holds or how all this will end. Times are going to be really tough for a while and we don’t really know how long that is either. Things are very uncertain at the moment, and I know that many of you will find that really scary.
Some people are coping really well with all this. Personally, I’m surprised how upbeat and positive I’ve remained. My anxiety-riddled years appear to have trained me well for this moment. My lockdown to-do list is that long that my biggest worry is that lockdown will be over before I’ve finished the to-do list!
Others aren’t coping so well and for some lockdown is their worst nightmare. This is why it’s so important that we all look out for each other. Ask people how they are, and genuinely mean it. And if someone asks you and you feel like shit, then tell them you feel like shit. No hiding it because nobody should be judging anyone at the moment. Likewise, don’t feel compelled to fill your lockdown time with productive and meaningful stuff. If staying in bed and chucking the kids in front of the tele works for you, then do it. Do whatever it takes to get you through this in one peace.
I do hope that this changes us all and makes us a better, kinder society. And puts a stop to all the fuck boys in the dating world!