Most of us don't have access to any “Surviving Lockdown” manuals so we have put together some basic rules to helping you survive our strict lockdowns.
- Set a routine. This may sound odd after all unless we are key workers, most of us find ourselves at home 24/7 even whilst working from home we have to remember that as social creatures (which most humans are). we seek out company of others for our mental and physical wellbeing. This has been removed and it is now time to start a new routine. We suggest you set yourself set times for going to bed, waking up, time for exercise and keep to these times. Without a routine, days blend into one another and we lose focus of not only the day of the week, dates etc., we lose focus of our purpose. Each and everyone of us has purpose and we need to ensure that we are aware of that purpose. To be lying in bed all day will lead to severe depression, anxiety and illness. So set yourself a daily routine – set time to wake, to work, to exercise, to sleep and keep to it. Ensure you set a different routine for weekends to separate the week days from weekends.
- Communication is key - It is very important that you keep communication going between yourself, family and friends. It could be via text message, phone, email or social media however ensure the communication doesn't cease. We are all in the same position (with some exceptions we won't go into) and we will find comfort and security by keeping in touch with loved ones. Why not set up a Whatsapp or Zoom so you can visually see your family and friends.
- Monitor Screen Time - This may sound odd when I previously stated to keep in touch with family and friends, however; social media is controlled in part by the very people who wish to instigate trolling, scare mongering etc., it is prevalent on all social media sites and we urge those who are depressed, stressed and anxious to greatly restrict time spent on social media and T.V. Set yourself a time limit on social media as it can greatly affect your mood and wellbeing.
- Meditation - Personally to force myself in a cross legged heap on the floor will cause me untold physical, mental strain not to mention pain, however; the main importance here is to free yourself of the daily stresses. We have people you can call to reduce stress and anxiety (See Linda Hamilton-Ross) in our contact information – we need to remove ourselves from media, social media and all forms of head stress and relax in whatever way or means you can. Personally for me I enjoy writing and have started to write a book which I have been intending to write for the past thirty plus years, now that time is available to me and helps me leave the reality of lockdown and enter a make believe scenario, this calms me as does painting and art and when I am feeling mentally tired, I watch blackhead popping video's (I know totally sick) but it relaxes me and that is what is important, that we all find ways of relaxation. Some may say “How can you be stressed being at home?” Easily, we are in forced isolation from our families, friends and our fellow humans this can instigate mental stress which workers who are out of the house all day mixing with others, will not understand.
- Enjoy your hobbies As I stated my hobbies are writing and art and lockdown gives me that opportunity to partake in my hobbies. This is an excellent time to do the very things you have put off in the past due to having no time – you have no excuse now, jobs around the house, schooling the children in a fun exciting way, practical learning such as cooking, construction and all other manner of practical teaching will leave lasting memories in your children's minds and we must not forget that our children and grandchildren are experiencing fear, stress never before seen and experienced by us as children and we must appreciate their fears and try our best to reassure them that the world is still a safe place and their home is a place of comfort.
- Exercise - Exercise is important to us all. It releases the necessary serotonin and feel good hormones which is required to keep our mental health in tip top condition. I am not saying you need to carry out a triathlon or marathon walk, but twenty minutes of walking in the fresh air will build up your mental and physical strength. Children especially need to exercise or you will find children with special needs will have untold energy which can be released in bad behaviour in the home. For those who enjoy high impact exercise, there are virtual gyms you can join whereby you exercise in the home for those isolating.
- Acts of kindness - All of us are equals (despite some believing they are above the rest of us) and as such we need to try to hold out helping hands to others. To show an act of kindness during these times is very appreciated. So many people out there are suffering as a result of the lockdowns and businesses being closed down and it is imperative we all try to show kindness to our fellow human beings. You will find your act of kindness is paid in thanks from those you help and assist.