The year 2020 certainly hasn’t gone the way we expected it to. In a situation that no one can control, there’s a global pandemic and we’re suddenly spending more than enough time inside with family members. Every news update about COVID-19 is serious, worrying and surreal. Everyone is baking banana bread and shaving their heads. We’re in our fourth week of lockdown, and everyone is going slowly insane. If you’re looking for a light distraction from the unsettling news outside or an escape from isolating with your family members, here’s a few lockdown survival tips.
1. Start a hobby
It’s a joke I’ve seen countless time recently but it’s true that most of us have hobbies that involve going out, seeing friends and spending money. In a world where I can’t go for brunch or boomerang a mimosa, it’s time to get creative. A beautiful, heart-warming part of isolation so far is how many people I’m seeing online launching YouTube channels, painting, learning TikTok challenges, talking about podcast ideas. Everything seems charmingly wholesome as we’re clearing out the garage or learning a musical instrument on a sunny weekend instead of heading to the pub. Maybe you’ll get into something you love. Maybe you’ll never touch that knitting again once this is over. Either way, this is a time you can put yourself out there and be creative and know that there are a lot of people at home rooting for creativity too. You could even start a blog – there’s no time like the present to persuade family members to read your writing.
2. Remind yourself that it’s ok to find the new normal difficult
Perhaps everyone is reaching this point at different stages, but there seems to be a sinking feeling moment, where suddenly this surreal time becomes the new normal. It’s weird to know we’re living in an unprecedented time that feels closer to a disaster movie than reality. But it’s ok to be frustrated or sad over cancelled plans. It’s ok if home-working is your worst nightmare. You’re allowed to find family members a little intense right now. We’re really good at posting the positive on our social media and this pandemic is no different. Even if it looks like everyone online has immediately begun baking banana bread and becoming domestic gods, remind yourself that this is stressful for everyone.
3. Embrace technology
Long ago, our parents were scolding us for spending too much time behind screens, and now we’re all desperate for a video call with each other. It might feel like we’ve been thrown back into the dark ages finding hobbies to do, but let’s be thankful this lockdown is coming at a time when we’re more connected than ever. For every scam email hoax, there’s countless viral messages of positivity and funny videos to make you smile. Take the time to reach out to people rather than aimlessly scrolling. Set up that Zoom bingo night with your friends or host a virtual pub quiz and remember that technology can help us feel closer at the moment.
4. Consider Group Therapy with a Silver Fork
One element of lockdown is we’re all spending more time together, without the structure of normal life, which can lead to tension. Sat around the table, our family quickly discovered after a few days cooped up inside it’s important to talk about our feelings. How lockdown is unsettling, how working from home is tense without any face-to-face interaction, how it’s simply despicable someone ate the last biscuit. There was a beautiful moment when one of us (I won’t name and shame) picked up a fork and said, “I’m going to talk about my feelings because otherwise I want to jab this in your eye.” Cue the Silver Fork Therapy Session! It can be any inanimate object you like, but the rules are if you’re holding it you can talk about your feelings and everyone else has to listen. You can mock us, but this might prove to be essential to our nation’s sanity.
No one knows the right answer
This lockdown is affecting more than just our daily routines. It’s cancelling weddings, affecting births, disrupting funerals. It’s turning every element of our normal lives into something to debate. We don’t know when normality will return, and people are asking those huge, exhausting existential questions about whether normality will ever return. And yet it’s prompting beauty. We’ve collectively gone mad for a tiger documentary and jigsaw puzzles. People are coming together (not literally) and supporting each other. At least the sun is shining, Spring is blooming and we are surrounded by people we love. Plus, it’s proven an apt time to relaunch this blog.