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Lockdown Living – A Survival Guide

Words: Polly

Photos: Unsplash, Spencer Johnson

Don’t watch the news on loop, it is alarming, but remember nothing stays the same forever, it will pass, and every scientist on the planet is working flat out to find a solution.”


Things have shifted quickly and the previously unimaginable is here. Whilst the news is alarming, there are coping strategies that can help you get through. Killing time to counter cabin fever is the biggest challenge, here’s a few tips;

1. Embrace the New Reality
So, this may sound simple, obvious or ludicrous, but humans are inherently wired to resist change. Resistance causes friction and uncomfortable feelings that can influence our thinking and wellbeing. The quicker a sense of acceptance is reached, the quicker a sense of calm and clear thinking can return.

‘Who Moved My Cheese’ by Dr Spencer Johnson is a light-hearted easy read with a solid message on the benefit of adapting to change. It’s great for kids and adults alike in understanding how we behave during radical change and why resisting isn’t helpful. Download it on Google Play, Audible etc. I’d love to hear from you once you’ve read it.

Probably the most important tip is sticking as closely as possible to your regular routine. Whilst being off work and bingeing on Netflix might seem heaven at first, it will likely create boredom and irritability once the ‘novelty’ wears off.

2. Routine is Queen
Structure to each day will make life easier, whether it’s for you or children. The structure doesn’t have to be militant; it can be relaxed, fun and fluid, shifting to suit circumstance and mood, but do get up at the same time every day as this keeps your circadian rhythm (body clock) healthy.

Split your day into thirds and factor in your morning coffee, exercise, chores, lunch and dinner, filling the gaps with a mix of activities from work/study to fun filled and new skills-based learning (see point 5 below).

Family life is hectic, so if you can, do include a moment of calm, maybe a quiet 10 minutes while the kids are watching tv, or a relaxing bath after bedtime. Let them know this is your quiet time and stick to the same time every day so this becomes the norm.

3. Exercise
From a walk (if still permitted) to free online yoga or relay races on a space hopper with the kids in the garden. Introducing or maintaining physical fitness will help to tire the kids, abate boredom and stimulate serotonin to combat low mood.

4. Skill Up
Utilise the time to learn new skills, from interior design to playing the guitar, creating a blog, cooking, creative writing or learning a language. YouTube and Google/Alexa are great tools for this. Read more, start a Bookclub on Facebook, download Audible or for over 60,000 FREE ebooks including children’s books.

5. Community
Can you Facetime other parents or grandparents to create a Watch Party for bedtime reading, where each of you takes a turn to read the bedtime story? Or create a group for singing, dancing, or simply a cuppa and a chat? Could you video a craft activity on your mobile to share with other parents, or a handy DIY skill?

Having a purpose not only provides a focus and kills time, it is paramount to wellbeing.

6. Purpose
There are already a lot of community initiatives to look out for the vulnerable and self-isolating families who need supplies, a chat or medicines. Naturally, we have to follow government advice, but get involved in these activities if you have the time and ability to help.

DIY/Decorating is another great way to fill time, get those niggly jobs done or transform a space with a new paint colour. Change is as good as a rest.

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