Keep Sane During Lockdown
As I write this, we are ten weeks into ‘lockdown’ during the Covid-19 pandemic. I have stayed home now for eleven weeks, as my household were self isolating one week before the schools closed.
In the last ten weeks we have seen pubs and restaurants close and the majority of high street shops shut. We have seen people bulk buying (especially toilet paper and self raising flour), businesses on their knees and a wave of parents juggling homeschooling with homeworking. It’s all been incredibly hard to keep sane during lockdown.
There have been some positives however for those in their ‘bubble’. In that I mean those who haven’t met with the virus and have stayed well. There has been free online everything throughout – from yoga classes to zoo tours. The resources for home learning has been immense (I have been overwhelmed by it all). Plus fitness classes – including the Joe Wicks ‘PE with Joe’ streaming live on YouTube every morning.
Too much can be overwhelming. Strangely, having ‘too much time’ can also result in not meeting goals. In fact, it can go the other way and life can be depressing. We can feel alone (even if we are living with others). We can struggle to get started on something. Plus the tiredness is real.
It’s also pretty easy to compare ourselves to others who have used this time to do amazing things. I’ve seen houses covered in chalked rainbows. Kids rooms spick and span and furniture up-cycled. Gardens turned into something from the Chelsea Flower show and decluttered homes.
But are people really coping? Surely the days are up and down. We get good days and bad, but that’s normal. And to accept that really should be the start.
Don’t try to Overthink it
As someone who not only needs to keep up with their lifestyle blog, I have also started a business locally. I also have two children. One of which is in reception class and needs to do some learning each day. I also have to occupy her and deal with the meltdowns (because this tiredness affects us all).
I have a husband at home who works and the teenager is able to study for his A-Levels with little prompting.
In the UK, some year groups will also be returning to school next week, but I have made the decision not to send my daughter back until September.
I have the ‘luxury’ to make that decision, even though my business will slow down as a result. It doesn’t help my mental health, but I have to look at the ways to keep sane during lockdown.
Someone on one of my online networking groups posted something I found important.
They put: ‘List three goals for today. One for your business, one for your family and one for yourself.
I thought that was something to do everyday. If we worked towards those simple goals then things could be achieved more easily. They are bite sized and doable.
There are a few ideas you could do in business (even if you’ve put your biz on hold), for your family (even if you don’t live with them) and for yourself. Ticking the list off each day will show what you have managed to do everyday and this will help your mental health. The ‘mum guilt’ can kick in when you are working or doing housework, so these ideas can help to keep sane during lockdown.
Aim to do one of each every day. Of course, you’re likely to do more, but aiming to complete one of each can take the pressure.
Of course every business varies. So you may be working on daily tasks anyway, such as material for courses, producing products and delivering your service.
For My Business
Create some social media posts
These can be scheduled for next few days or for the full week if you have the time to do them, so a great one to do at the weekend before the new working week.
You can share your Instagram posts to your Facebook page and you can share your LinkedIn posts to your Facebook group or Twitter feed. And use Tailwind to schedule your Pinterest pins (create in Canva first).
Social media can be overwhelming as there’s so much of it! So if you manage it all yourself, do some planning and scheduling. Don’t worry if you share the same post in all of your accounts as you will have a different audience for each platform.
If doing all your campaigns for the week is too much, then break it down each day and do what you can.
Catch up with clients
This could be by catching up with emails, making a telephone call or responding to messages on social media. This is usually a daily task, so prioritise the urgent calls first. Customer service is important.
Schedule Zoom meetings
This could be with clients for a ‘face to face’ chat or for networking. Or you may be running a course this way or delivering teaching or coaching.
Do the Accounts
As boring as this part of business is, keeping on track of the invoices, bills and expenses takes the weight off your mind. Look at your cashflow and keep on top of transactions.
For My Family
Take some time out
Go for a family walk or take a picnic and spend some quality time with the family. If you have bikes, then a bike ride can also help to get you away.
Obviously at the moment we cannot go for meals out or head to some local attractions. But time is free and going somewhere you wouldn’t normally go to can help with headspace.
Bake them a cake
If you are lucky to get flour, then baking seems to be the in thing. Getting back to basics and home cooking is proving to be an important skill. By using up cupboard ingredients and not taking for granted the fact that we can ‘pop’ to the shops just for one or two bits, we are learning to cook.
And everyone loves cake, right? You can make it as healthy or as indulgent as you like. Use wholemeal flour and fruit or veg, such as banana or carrots. Or bake a bog standard sponge cake with jam and buttercream.
Arrange a Zoom call
If you have family you cannot see, then video call them. Use Zoom, Facebook messenger rooms, Facetime, Google Hangouts or Houseparty. The list of ways to ‘see’ your loved ones is endless.
Play a game
This will depend on the ages and interests of your family members. You could play a board game or dig out the Xbox or Switch. For the little ones, good old fashioned hopscotch is always fun.
Or design a pub quiz or have a go at charades.
Watch a movie together
By simply sitting on the sofa under a blanket eating popcorn is a great time out with your family. Pick something that everyone will enjoy, and turn off the phone and laptop.
Do some yoga or a workout session
This won’t suit everyone, but taking some time to do a yoga or low impact session, or something you enjoy will help you feel better and more energised.
Doing it for yourself doesn’t mean doing it alone if you don’t want to. Have a look at YouTube for workout sessions. Or take the bike out or go for a run.
If exercise really isn’t your thing, then try some meditation.
We can’t head to the spa or get our hair and nails done. But we can recreate a spa at home. Don’t feel guilty for getting out the foot spa (or a bowl and using Tropic’s A Walk on the Beach foot pebbles). Use a hair and face mask, and sit in front of some trash telly – or whatever you want.
If that’s a bit too much, then have a bubble bath. Candles optional!
Read a Book
If you are struggling to find time to read, then make some time. Even if it’s fifteen minutes each day. Find a window, such as at lunchtime or when the kids have gone to bed.
Do Something Creative
If your mother taught you to knit or crochet, or you quite enjoy painting, then have a go at doing something creative. You can make something by using clay, upcycle an old piece of furniture, make a bar for the garden out of pallets (yes, I’ve seen a few of these!) or start an allotment in the garden.
For me, my creative space is writing and taking photo’s for my blog and for instagram.
Oh, and I quite like decorating cakes!