How I'm Coping with Lockdown

Some days I can say I’m totally coping. Other days, I’m most definitely not. I think that most of us find ourselves on a rollercoaster of emotions right now. Going through the motions of feeling like we're on a steady part of the track to suddenly free-falling down a steep drop or on a stomach-churning loop-the-loop. From panic to boredom, I can be fired up and motivated one day and then not want to get out of bed the next. Pregnancy hormones* aside (*which I’m sure do play a part), I had a good couple of weeks at first when the novelty was distorting and shielding my brain from processing the gravitas of the situation. From there, it has slowly ebbed into an exhausting marathon in which I have been known to burst into tears* (*see pregnancy hormones reference). However, at the end of an iffy fortnight, I can say it has been a 50:50 mix of good days and bad days.

‘Stay home and carry on’ is the M.O. and strive on we must. It really is as simple as staying home. An opportunity I’d mostly definitely opt for on most "normal" work days given the choice. But 'choice' isn't a luxury we have and I think that is the hardest part of this restrictionI’d never ‘choose’ to avoid my family. I’d never ‘choose’ to take all my friendships online and abandon IRL connections. But there isn’t a choice and that’s where we are having to adapt. So, after that rather doom and gloom introduction (sorry!) I wanted to share some new habits I've formed that are really helping as coping mechanisms. You never know, they might work for you too...

Gratitude Journaling

And you don't even have to get out of bed to try this one! I like to start the day, before I’ve even risen from bed, opening an app on my phone called Morning and writing down 3 things I'm grateful for and 3 things I would like to happen that day. At first, you might struggle to even list three, but soon it won't feel like 3 is enough. I vary from jotting down the ‘big stuff’ - my health, my family's health, the twitching lockdown comrade lying next to me, the roof over our head and my job - to the ‘small things’ like having coffee in the cupboard, a breeze blowing through the window and warm feet under the duvet! I find it very centering and it helps me have perspective of all the positives in my life in the midst of a negative world.

The Secret

I've spoken on my blog before about Rhonda Byrne's law of attraction theory that culminated in the film, book and app called The Secret. Tuning into a positive frequency each morning helps frame my thoughts for the day - positive thoughts attract positive actions. Naturally, living through a pandemic, nothing feels particularly positive right now so I purchased the app for a daily teaching to help provide some focus. It's not for everyone, I get that, but it works for me.

Meditation

Taking 3, 10 or 15 minutes to focus on my breathing and clear my mind feels essential right now. It’s a habit I’d been trying to form for some time but always found my commuting lifestyle meant there wasn’t always time. Now I make sure I spend a few minutes with the Headspace app sat in peace and quiet. I can really notice the difference when I’ve skipped this practice so find it a balancing, calming start to the day that stays with me for the hours that follow.

Reading

Escaping into the pages of a book is the biggest luxury. I’m averaging one book a week which means my bookshelf is getting some attention. Plus, the Kindle app is providing a steady-stream of more recent reads, especially as I've become slightly addicted to the thrill of buying a .99p Kindle book most days! There are a number of great book clubs you can join on Instagram if you’d like a recommendation - my favourite is @bethsbookclub_. Or you can rely on the much-loved High Low podcast hosts to provide an endless supply of great reads.

End of the day signpost

Now my home is also my office, it has been increasingly difficult to switch from ‘work mode’ to ‘relax mode’. A few tips I’ve picked up along the way include packing away my laptop and all work-related paperwork out of sight once I’ve clocked off. I also like to use the time I would have been commuting to either take a walk or an exercise class. It helps bookend the day.

To Do Lists

Whenever I feel stressed, I turn to my to-do list to help with gaining clarity and setting priorities. Sometimes, I’ll write the list out fresh and pop an ‘!’ next to the urgent tasks so I can clearly see what needs to be done and help form a plan of attack. I love the idea of having no more than three tasks per day on my to-do list so it feels more accomplishable but I haven't quite managed that one (yet!)

Get Creative

You may feel like this is a big ask right now. I consider myself 'creative' if I manage to wear something other than pyjamas or gym kit of a day. But, on my good days, I also enjoy exercising my creative flair through baking, gardening, colouring, or making vision boards (check out my Holiday Vision Board on Pinterest!). It is so much fun to escape down a rabbit hole - I spent my morning in Santorini putting this together!

Bucket List

I don't know about you, but I couldn't be more excited about the small things of normal life that I totally took for granted. Of course, top of my list will be seeing friends and family, having big hugs, reunions and generally wanting to lick their faces when it's safe to do so. But, assuming that is some time away, I've taken to writing a bucket list for life after lockdown. From trying a new local restaurant or bar we've discovered on our daily walk to missing my sweet coffee hit from the coffee shop that has been closed for weeks. I can't wait to book a massage, get my nails done and go out to a restaurant for brunch or dinner. What are you looking forward to the most?

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