If you are anything like me the first few days of lockdown were pretty hard. Intense really. The sudden ripping of life from the ordinary everyday routines; the events, gatherings and regular meetings planned for the remainder of the year rapidly cancelled; and the loss of our freedoms.
Here are some helpful thoughts and tips to surviving well that I have gleaned from my online friends around the world over the past few weeks. There’s probably heaps more but thought I would post these so you can have a think about them and if they help you it will have been worth it.
1. Have a daily routine. Make your bed. Apparently the most successful people in life have one thing in common; they always make their own bed – everyday. Do your dishes. Keep your spaces tidy and free from clutter. Vacuum. Give everything a good wipe down and spring clean.
2. If you are working from home treat it like the real job it is and set a space aside specifically for work if you have the extra space that is. But make sure to demarcate the private and the work part of your space so there is a difference. This helps with your productivity and mind-set. Dress for success. Guys have a shave, put on your best cologne. Go out there, even if it’s just your living room and kill the competition (not literally). Ladies wear makeup.
3. Relax. Take a long hot bath. Add in Epsom salts and your favourite essential oils if you have them.
Savour peace. Solitude. Sacredness. Love. Peace.
4. If you have children teach them these virtues. Show them new things, recipes, activities. Turn your kitchen into a science lab. I see that businesses like the Warehouse are now putting up online family home-based activities, find these online resources. Here is an activities page that my son set up for the business he works in: www.comac.co.nz/boredom-busters
If your children are doing schoolwork set the same time every day for this part of their life. Make them lunch as if they were going to school to avoid them hitting the pantry and fridge all day. Parents set the example here too (if you can!)
5. Stay in touch with loved ones. Use the phone (the old fashioned plug in the wall one – if you still have it). Or use texts, media platforms such as Skype, zoom or messenger. If you don’t know how to use these just ask someone to help you. Think of that person that you haven’t contacted for ages. Find their number and give them a call. Forgive. Who needs your forgiveness, or whom do you need to get right with? This could be a time of great healing for you and others.
A lot of my children are adults and live in far-flung places. Just before lockdown I started a group chat on messenger for us all to contribute and keep in touch. We have had huge laughs sharing the highs and lows of our lives in lockdown. I started a photo competition of us doing whacky or different things and my kids love it. I also included my parents who are somewhat isolated so they can see what the grandkids are up to.
Tell someone every day that you love them and they are loved
If you live with others an obligatory daily hug is important. If you live on your own hug yourself and keep reminding yourself that you are loved and you are going to be okay. A pet helps in such situations. Talk to your plants indoors and outdoors. I am told they listen. Talk to God or whoever is important to you in the spiritual realm. Cry. Let it out if you need to and don’t judge yourself for the way that you feel.
Do something positive and uplifting every day for yourself.
6. Play music. Dust off those old cd’s or get onto Spotify or whatever. If you play a musical instrument give it heaps! Read more. Spend less time on social media unless it is helpful to you but most of us find it a distraction or even disturbing as the information overload can be overwhelming.
7. Sleep more. Get regular sleep times and those 6-8 hours of sleep. If you feel like a daytime nap do it.
8. Eat well. Three regular meals. Plenty of the right nutrients, vegetables, fruits, carbs fats and protein in a good balance. Make eating a meal an act of pleasure, sacred and special. Eat slower. Chew your food well. Be thankful for it. Say grace if you were brought up doing that. Being thankful for your meal actually has been shown to increase digestibility. Drink plenty of water, but not cold drinks with your meals please as it hampers digestion.
9. Meditate. Pray. Read scriptures or self-help books or inspirational books. Anything that can help you to get out of head space and into your heart space. Get in touch with the divine. Get in touch with yourself, your inner thoughts and feelings. Ask yourself why you feel this way or that. Don’t be hard on yourself. Don’t criticise yourself and avoid criticising others. Remember we are all in this thing together. Be kind, First to yourself and to others.
10. Keep active. It’s okay to do those home projects if you have the materials at hand. It’s just as okay to rest and relax but try to get some activity in your day every day. Walk if you are allowed outside – to grassy areas or anywhere with trees or near nature. Feel the sun and breeze on your face. If you see others smile and say hi (2m distance). It can make a huge difference. If you can’t get outside, move! Watch an exercise programme on TV or online. Jog on the spot. Bounce. Move every limb and muscle. Feel your body. Do sit-ups, press ups or whatever you can safely and painlessly move (within your limits!) If you can, get on messenger video or zoom with a few friends or family and exercise together in your own bubble.
11. If finances are a problem or are going to be an issue, reach out and get help from the appropriate avenues. The government has subsidies set up for you. Don’t forget the government website on Covid19 has reliable information about this crisis and things you can do. If you need food but can’t get out again please reach out to someone – your family, friends, and neighbours. If you know your neighbours number, give them a call to see how they are getting on. Especially if you have elderly people in your street, look out for them. Just because we are in our bubbles does not mean we cannot care about others.
I hope these tips give you something to think about and to act upon. Keep safe and well in your bubbles and hopefully soon we shall be beyond these troubles.