For those finding themselves in lockdown (again…) then here are five strategies that might be helpful.
Part 1: Something to look forward to
For human beings, having something to look forward to is essential. It’s why these lockdowns become so challenging…those things we have planned, organised, prepared for and mentally given us a reason to keep moving forward towards all of a sudden disappear.
So create something. Everyday. Give yourse;f something to look forward to. Doesn’t matter how simple or seemingly insignificant it is, build it into your day. Maybe it’s a different thing each day.
Maybe it’s a walk with a different friend each day.
Maybe it’s baking a cake.
Maybe it’s cooking your kids favourite meal.
Maybe it’s looking ahead to the TV that night and deciding which movie to watch.
Part 2: Creating a routine
We know even in the act of parenting that kids function extremely well when they are in a routine. Well guess what? So do adults.
It doesn’t really matter what’s in the routine or how simple it may appear to be but keeping some semblance of a routine will really help the days pass.
Plot the day…3 meals, some form of exercise, maybe reading (the paper?), catching up with at least 1-2 friends (even if via zoom), walking the dogs, doing the washing, some gardening, cooking, baking….and drinking water. Yep, keeping hydrated is very important and something we often forget and no, that glass of wine or G&T doesn’t count as water!
Part 3: Not Pretending
Lockdowns are really challenging. Trying to always be ‘up’ and optimistic is exhausting and also not helpful for those who need to be able express their frustration, anxiety, disappointment and anger. These are all normal human emotions and completely normal given the current circumstances. Staying in this state for extended periods is certainly not good (seek professional help) but in the short term, it’s ok to validate your partner/childrens/parents feelings as well as your own. We spend lots of time as mums looking after everyone else but acknowledging how you are feeling is also important. Self care is essential and it’s especially important when we are looking after others. (Self care also includes exercise, sunlight if you can, water, balanced diet and so on).
Part 4: Starting a Project
So what is that project you have been procrastinating about? Always putting it off, for whatever reason. Well now is a great time to start that project! And don’t worry about running out of time because unfortunately, this won’t be the last time we go into lockdown…we all know that. Chip, chip, chip away at something that you know you will be really pleased once you’ve finished! Maybe you’ve been thinking about learning a language, starting to paint (you can find very inexpensive courses on many platforms) or maybe reading that epic book or book series you’ve been putting off.
Part 5: Remembering what is important
I don’t necessarily mean starting a gratitude journal (although for some people that’s very helpful) but reflecting on what’s important and nurturing those things. Whether it’s relationships (friends, family), connections to groups (friendship, sporting clubs, sewing circles), your health and well being (so exercise & diet), skills and passions (keep finding ways of practicing them at home if you can) and ultimately, identifying and continuing to nurture those things that bring you joy.
To explore what the next chapter of your life might look like, reach out firstname.lastname@example.org