Well, this is not exactly what I imagined my first blog post in god knows how long would be! What a weird and unsettling time we’re all facing right now. I feel like I’ve spent the last few months with one eye on this unfolding global pandemic, trying not to panic but certain that the day where we would be on a coronavirus lockdown would come. And it has.
I’ve spent the last week or so riding a wave of fear and anxiety combined with spurts of positivity and pride of the resilience of human nature. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve also sworn at the TV when I’ve seen people ignoring the government guidelines too! Thankfully, living in the countryside, we haven’t felt the jarring change many have had to settle into since this happened. We can still go for long walks without seeing another soul, work from home as I have done for three years and pick up groceries from the local farm shop. But it has bought a fresh perspective on the things that perhaps we took for granted – seeing friends at the pub, having parents over for dinner or popping to the cinema on a Friday night. Small moments and snap choices that bring you more joy than perhaps you realised until they’re taken away.
What has remained a constant throughout this whole ordeal is taking care of ourselves both physically and mentally. It’s never been so important, especially when navigating unchartered territory. So, I’ve put together a few things I’ve been doing to keep my head above the water when everything else around me seems hopeless.
LIMIT YOUR INTAKE
As important as it is to stay informed at a time like this, I found myself gorging on every news special and online updates until I couldn’t sleep and look suspiciously at anyone who so much as cleared their throat around me! Anxiety is very real and very heightened at a time like this and it’s important to keep a balanced mind to cope with the day-to-day. So, now I watch the news at 6pm, absorb the info and put a feel-good movie on to take my mind off of it before bed.
REMEMBER THAT IT’S OK TO LAUGH
When the world is falling down and things feel completely out of your control, there’s a certain level of guilt to just getting on with it. For example, I had a really productive work day this week and secured a new contract which felt especially amazing given the uncertainty of finances right now. But after feeling elated I instantly felt guilty, thinking of all the people that didn’t feel like that or that were poorly or caring for someone who was.
However, now more than ever feels like an important time to celebrate small wins because during difficult times such as these, feelings of happiness, success or gratitude can be fleeting and remind us not to take anything for granted. So, laugh, smile, be happy and be proud of your daily achievements. It’s OK, we can still think of those less fortunate at the same time.
DO SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD
Forget the buzzwords around self care and wellness, there’s no right or wrong way to have some feel-good time. It could be something small and routine like having a morning coffee in the garden, breaking out your favourite skincare or going for a run in the middle of the day (away from everyone obviously!). At times like these, it’s important to lean into however you’re feeling on a day-to-day basis and do whatever you can to feel OK.
Some of the things I’ve been doing include taking a long walk in the fields, cooking some homemade comfort food like pasta and stir fry’s, lighting the fire and watching old films like Funny Face and Bonnie & Clyde. Sometimes it’s even just putting fresh bedding on and crawling into bed with a new book.
TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME
I think it’s fair to say that nothing is normal right now so I’ve stopped trying to make it that way. I’m not doing the weekly shop, working as much or feeling like working out. I wake up feeling different on a day to day basis and after becoming frustrated with myself for not snapping out of it, I’m going with it and boy, has it taken the pressure off.
As we navigate this unsettling and scary time, just getting through the day can feel like a huge achievement. So I’m giving myself the time, space and understanding to feel whatever I feel at any given time. Try, it – you’ll be amazed at how freeing it is.
KEEP A ROUTINE
That being said, try and keep or create a daily routine to keep your mind calm. When it feels like everything’s spiralling out of control, the one thing you CAN steer in your direction if your actions, movements and time. Even if it’s just getting up at the same time every day or making that 11am cup of tea. Those small moments every day can provide you with a little slice of stability even if nothing else is at the moment.
FUN THINGS THAT WILL ALSO BRING A SENSE OF CALM
– Lucy Sheriden’s Instagram Lives
– Psycle London, Kobox and Danielle Peazer Method free Instagram Live workouts
– The lovely Ruby Holley has compiled a BIG ole list of things you can do to keep busy at home here