Following last night’s announcement that we will be going back into lockdown from Thursday, it got me thinking about how we’re all going to get through the next 4 weeks without going stir crazy!
Quite frankly, I’m done with this virus. It’s destroying lives, people’s mental health, our economy, and there are people losing their jobs and their livelihoods left, right and centre.
Yet, there are some small things we can do to get through this difficult time. I wrote a similar post to this one during the first lockdown, but with Christmas on the way and having learnt a lot during the previous lockdown, here’s my ‘new’ top 5 ways to survive lockdown – Take 2!
Reach Out To Family And Friends
It’s never been more important to check in on loved ones. Although we’ve been living with this pandemic for the best part of a year, it’s something we’re all still adjusting to. It’s taking its toll on even the strongest of people.
You may feel like you want to hide away, but connecting with people is so important during difficult times.
Why not take some time out to reignite those zoom quiz nights again, or perhaps write an old fashioned letter to a friend, or just drop someone you haven’t seen for a while a message to see how they are feeling?
With redundancies on the increase, people’s mental health deteriorating, and with many of the things we love to do in our spare time grinding to a halt again (and let’s not forget the effects it has had on those who have had Covid or have lost people at the hands of it), it’s important to check in on those we love, to show our support, and to let people know we are thinking of them, as well as to help our own mental health and wellbeing.
Almost three-quarters of a million jobs have been lost so far at the hands of the pandemic, my job included. That means that many of us will be approaching Christmas, worrying about our finances and working out how we can try to make magical memories without bankrupting ourselves in the process. One of the ways I’ll be looking to save some money this Christmas is by making my own Christmas cards. I’ve always been quite creative and even had my own greetings card business many moons ago. I find making things a great way to spend some time being mindful, losing myself to a sea of creativity. Perhaps you don’t have the time to get creative yourself, but why not your kids involved, and get them to make some to send to their friends?
And it doesn’t have to stop at Christmas cards! Why not get creative with your gifts too? There are some great ideas on Pinterest for cheap festive DIY gifts.
And if arts and crafts aren’t quite your thing, it’s Stir Up Sunday towards the end of the month, so why not ditch the banana bread and have a go at making your own Christmas pudding this year instead?
Just think about the amount of joy a homemade card or gift would bring someone you love this Christmas 🙂
Set Aside Some Time For Your Health And Wellbeing
The pandemic has taken its toll on everybody. It’s impacted everybody in some way or another. On a personal level, taking time out to ensure I’m looking after my health and wellbeing has been top of my priority list since the beginning of the first lockdown. Although it may have been top of my list, I haven’t always put it first. I started out trying to ensure I meditated every day, carving out time for exercise, and to make sure I was eating well.
Since moving house in August, all of that has somehow become a little bit difficult. I don’t blame the house move, if anything, that’s one of the best decisions I made during the first lockdown. My purse strings are certainly thankful!
I do, however, think that redundancy has a lot to answer for. From the moment I was told my job was at risk of redundancy, I’ve struggled to think straight. No-one can prepare you for how you are going to feel when you’re told your job is on the line. And even though it was an easy decision for me to take redundancy rather than reapplying for a role I had no interest in, that opened so many more unknown’s!
Despite the uncertainty, and as much as meditation might be on the back foot, for now, I am finding small ways each day to help my health and wellbeing. For one, I’m making sure I get out into the fresh air at least once a day even if it’s raining. I’m also making sure I get a good 8 hours sleep and self-care Sunday’s are back in the diary, which is heaven now that I have a bathtub again!
One of the main things I’ve learnt about health and wellbeing during lockdown, is that there is no one size fits all. What’s right for one person, won’t be right for the next. Things also change, so whilst meditation might help you one month, the next, something else might be more beneficial to your wellbeing.
Oh and let’s not forget, it’s ok not to be ok. We are in unknown territory. We don’t know how long this uncertainty will continue for. There is no manual to help us through this. It’s so important to remember that we are allowed our down days. We’re allowed moments where we lose our shit or sob into a pillow. These too are perfectly normal ways of coping through this pandemic and are equally important as coping mechanisms. I for one cry at anything these days! Books, movies, you name it, but I always feel so much better for getting it off my chest.
Learn Something New
Ok, so we may only be going into lockdown for 4 weeks this time (fingers crossed!), but that still gives us all plenty of time to learn something new. With Christmas very much in mind, why not have a go at making a Christmas Cake if you’ve never made one before? Or perhaps you might want to learn a new skill to help you find a job? Or perhaps you’ve been thinking about learning a new language?
I for one, really need to get my head around understanding SEO. All the jobs I’ve been applying for all seem to want some degree of SEO knowledge and experience, so I’ll certainly be putting some time aside to understand that better.
Learning something new doesn’t have to be some grand new expensive hobby. It can be as small as simply learning something you didn’t know before.
I’m determined not to write this year off, so at least by learning new skills, I can get to the end of the year and say that although it was a tough year in many, many ways, I still learnt a lot about myself, as well as a bunch of new skills too.
Get Ahead With Your Christmas Shopping by Supporting Local Businesses
So it looks like going into our favourite shops and shopping centres to do our Christmas shopping will be a no go this year. It’s also looking increasingly unlikely that the Christmas markets will be able to open either.
Christmas will look very different this year.
I don’t know about you, but I was beginning to get a bit bored with the same old gifts being on display every year anyway. I was quickly running out of ideas for my family, and with more people turning to a more minimalist way of living, present buying get’s more and more difficult.
And that’s why I’ll be turning to local, online, independent businesses this year to get gifts for my nearest and dearest. Not only will this help me to get more creative with my gift buying this year, more importantly, it will also help struggling businesses too.
Are you back in lockdown wherever you are in the world? What will you be doing to get through another lockdown?
Stay safe everyone xx