Fun on Lockdown
So, it’s official, we are self-isolating. Things are feeling pretty uncertain at the moment but I have decided not to write about the dreaded C word. Instead I want to remain positive. Over the last couple of weeks, I have found myself falling into a dark pit of news and it has caused me nothing but stress and gloom. So as of yesterday, I promised myself I would not check the news anymore. I can assure you I am not sticking my head in the sand, rather that I am acknowledging what is bringing me anxiety and darkness and choosing to not accept it into my world — at least for the time being. This is a time for self-preservation and for me, that means filling my world with more positivity and kindness. Kindness to myself and kindness to others. Working from home for the first time will be daunting for many. I know it was certainly daunting for me when I started my practice a few years ago. It can fast lose the excitement and charm of not having to go to the office and begin to feel claustrophobic and lonely but fear not! Working from home can be brilliant, rewarding and fun and when you’re not working but you are merely stuck inside, here are some ideas to help you fill your time in a wholesome, fun and productive way.
Teach yourself yoga
The joy of being quarantined in 2020 is that we have more available to us via the internet than anyone has ever had before. You only have to click through to Youtube and you’re transported to a yoga class in your living room. It is so important to keep moving and exercising during times of stress and anxiety and yoga is fantastic for stretching out your muscles, getting you moving but also focussing on your breathing and keeping you grounded. There are hundreds of free videos online, Yoga with Adriene is a good place to start.
Read a book
Sure, Netflix is great to a point, but when you find yourself scrolling through hundreds of titles you’ve already watched and find yourself clicking onto shows you have no interest in you know it’s probably time to put the remote down. There are so many books on my shelf that I bought years ago yet never got round to reading and I can’t be the only one! Now is the perfect time to grab that book you’ve always meant to read. I decided that 2020 would be the year that I read more classics, the important literature that takes more effort than a chick lit thriller (my guilty pleasure) but is ultimately so much more rewarding and fulfilling. So switch off the tv and get lost in a book, Salinger, Austen, Wilde, Orwell, Faulkner await you.
Invent a recipe
In my normal existence, something I make absolutely certain of is my meal plan. The consistency of knowing which meals I will be having on which days helps to keep my mind steady and organised and part of that is having my food delivered on Sunday ready for the week. This has gone completely out of the window recently; delivery slots are nigh on impossible to grab and shopping trips becoming more difficult since people have started stockpiling essentials. Turn this into a positive by going through your cupboards, take everything out and go through what you already have. I certainly found a few items that had gone off a couple of years ago! Start to think practically about meals you could make from the ingredients you have already got stored away. Be creative, use the internet for inspiration, teach yourself something new. Just because we’re stuck inside, doesn’t mean we can only eat baked beans on toast. Use this time to gain new cookery skills.
Have you always wanted to start a blog, write poetry or a novel? Now is that time! Never before (and hopefully never again) will we have a period in our lives when we are quite literally forced to stay indoors, don’t waste it re-watching old episodes of Friends, use this time to spark your inner creative. Go online, read articles and blogs on how to write, find inspiration from other sources, find subject matter that excites you. Put your thoughts to paper, even if it is journaling. Make a list of all the anecdotes from your working career. Create a character based on your most difficult boss, a poem about the love of your life, a blog about your latest holiday. Whether you write it for your eyes only or it becomes a best seller, put the kettle on, turn Netflix off and get writing.
Now is as good a time as any to deep clean your home. Empty out your kitchen cupboards and thoroughly clean the shelves. Chuck out anything you no longer use or is past it’s self by date. Cleaning can be enormously therapeutic in times of high stress, when I was recovering from post-traumatic stress disorder years ago, I found one of the most comforting and nourishing things I could do for my mind was to clean. Whether it is filling the kitchen sink with hot soapy water and washing up, doing a huge pile of laundry, hoovering and mopping the floor or spraying and wiping down all of the surfaces in the flat, it is a brilliant way to clear the head. A particularly good tip for keeping yourself in the zone is to pop on an audiobook or an interesting podcast whilst cleaning to keep your mind stimulated.
Check in on your elderly relatives
As difficult as the current situation may be for us, we can be sure that there are others who need our support and love more than ever. Stay in touch with your elderly loved ones, whether by phone, email or text. If you are in good health and geographically able, see if they need help with groceries or help with anything else that may become difficult for them to do. We are all in this together, as they say. Now is a time for love and kindness, to share, to be open and to be considerate.
I hope these ideas help to make the upcoming weeks and months a little more bearable. Let’s work together to make sure we utilise this time in the most positive and creative ways. I’ve created the hashtag #funonlockdown on instagram for us to share photos of what we create and discover whilst in self-isolation. Get involved by using this hashtag whenever you use one of the above ideas or come up with an idea of your own that you’d like to share with the community.
You are not alone in these times, let’s find the light together.