It’s a weird and hard time for us all. Most of us have never gone through anything like this. Pretty much everything is closed, the streets are deserted, there are queues to get into supermarkets, many shelves are bare… You might be nervous or even anxious about everything that’s happening, and that is perfectly normal. But there are ways to stay sane while you are mostly stuck inside. You might also remember Anne Frank, the young girl that lived in an attic with her family for around 2 years, without being able to leave, make a sound or eat enough. We are at least able to do what we want to do, there is enough food for us to be fed and, if we’re not able to leave the house, we can at least open the window. Although the situation is not good, it’s important to focus on the positives where we can. So here are a few tips to help you make your time on lockdown a little easier.
Have a routine
Creating a routine for yourself is crucial when you are staying at home pretty much 24/7. If you don’t have a routine, chances are you will end up not getting much done, the hours are just going to blend together and it’s not going to be productive. That’s been my situation, to be honest, but I am still working quite a lot because people need food – so please be kind to people that still have to work because we are genuinely putting ourselves at risk so that you can still get your necessities. I’ve been putting aside uni work because I’ve just not had the energy or the headspace to do it.
So, if you feel like you’ve not been productive and have just been having a hard time being stuck at home, create a routine for yourself. Wake up at (pretty much) the same time every day, eat at regular times (try to avoid under- and overeating), go to bed at a reasonable time and get a good amount of sleep. Create routines to start your productive day: for example, shower, get dressed, do your hair, put on makeup or do whatever gets you into work mode. Then, have a routine to wind down in the evening to get ready for bed and sleep. These routines are personal to you and can be however long or short you need them to be. What’s important is that they get you into the “mode” that you want to be in.
You might not be able to go to your gym or dance classes right now. That makes it harder to work out if you’re not the best at self-discipline. However, if you have an internet connection, there is no reason why you can’t start now. There are countless videos on Youtube for follow-along workouts or dance classes. Some gyms and studios offer live videos of workouts you can do from home. You could also videocall your usual gym buddy and do a workout together that way! Just schedule a time where you are going to work out and have a routine to get yourself into workout mode!
There is nothing like getting ready that tells your body that it’s time to get shit done. When we leave the house to go to work or uni, we get ready. So why not do it at home as well? You can put on some comfy clothes or you can put on what you would normally put on at work/uni while you’re doing productive things and then change into your loungewear when you are ready to chill and take the night off. Trust me, it works wonders. I’m literally sitting here at my laptop doing work for the first time in ages; getting ready and putting on my favourite lipstick was the only way that would happen!
There is no better time to do that task that you have been putting off for weeks or even months. Clean areas that you normally wouldn’t, clear out things that you don’t wear, use or need anymore. Decluttering is a great way to fill your time and be productive at the same time. Cleaning is now also more important than ever. Wipe your surfaces often to avoid spreading germs and hoover to avoid the build-up of dust which can trigger allergies. Also, do yourself a favour and clean yourself. You might not feel the need to shave or wash your hair because no one is going to see it. However, you deserve to feel fresh and it’ll also make you feel like less of a caveman that hasn’t seen the sun in months!
Get some fresh air
It’s so important for your body and mental health to fill your lungs with fresh oxygen. Here in the UK, we are allowed to leave the house once a day to do some physical exercise. If that is the case where you live, go for a walk or run every day. If you have a garden – I am jealous! Spend some time out there, do some gardening, enjoy the sunshine. If you don’t have a garden and can’t leave the house, open your window or go out on your balcony if you have one. Just letting in some fresh air will be great for you.
Cook good food
In challenging times like these, it’s normal to want comfort food. It’s also good to bring yourself comfort, but eating bad foods isn’t necessarily the best way to do it. Instead, try cooking meals that will provide you with nutrients and make you feel good. I’m not saying that you can’t treat yourself every once in a while, you should. But try to make simple home-cooked meals. I know that you might not have access to all the ingredients you might need, but it’s the perfect time to think outside the box and be creative! You can find recipes with very few ingredients or just try to make a meal you enjoy and substitute the items you don’t have. You can also video call a friend or family member and cook with them.
When you are stuck in the same place for a long time, it can become quite monotone. So I suggest redecorating. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy, but moving the furniture around will make the space feel new and exciting. My flatmate was kind enough to help me redecorate and I feel like I have a new, beautiful, inspiring room. If you haven’t already, add some personality to your space. Put up some pictures, pieces that bring back memories, your favourite objects, put on your favourite bedding, etc. Giving the space around you a refresh will help your mind feel less like it’s been stuck in the same place for what feels like years.
Stay in touch
Although some of us live at home or with friends/flatmates, you might currently be living by yourself. And living alone in a time of self-isolation and social distancing is not fun. We are fortunate enough to be living in a world where you can have a face-to-face conversation with someone without having to leave your house. So video call family and friends to help make these difficult times a little easier. We are all in the same boat so I know that they will be happy to get a call from you too. We must look out for each other but also for ourselves. So when you feel like you’re spiralling, call someone and do things with them on the line. It will feel like you’re in the same room together. I strongly recommend video calling as it provides a more “social” interaction.
It’s important to fill your day with different activities to keep yourself entertained and stimulated. Not being able to go out and see people can make you feel like you’re losing it. So the more you do, the less you’ll feel like that. Sort through old photos, clean up your space, call someone, cook nice meals, drink your favourite tea… Here is a list of 20 things you can do if you’re stuck at home!
Remember that this is a tough and weird time we are going through so take care of yourself and check in with yourself every so often. Protect yourself and others by staying home and use this time to slow down and do things that you haven’t had the time to do. Stay in touch with your loved ones and if you ever want to chat, email me (email@example.com) or message me on Instagram (@relatablesunday). Take care and I will see you soon!