How to make the most of lockdown
Updated: Apr 16
“May you live in interesting times.” That may or may not be a curse of Chinese provenance, but one cannot help but feel that it might have been uttered in rage a few months ago.
We certainly live in interesting times.
As of yesterday, the UK is now in the state of lockdown which many have been calling for but which a short while ago none of us would ever have imagined seeing in our lifetimes. Pretend, for a second, that you could go back in time three months, to Christmas Eve 2019, and tell yourself what the world is like now. How would you react?
But the fact is that we have to react. Unless you are one of the vital and heroic key workers keeping the country moving and safe at the moment, your immediate future is a fairly housebound one. But this is not a reason to slip into despair or bad habits. We basically have the opportunity to create a slightly different life for ourselves for the next few weeks. This will look different for everyone, but here are a few thoughts which might help you.
Whichever way you look at it we are living history right now. None of us could have imagined this would happen and it will change the world we live in in one way or another. Keep a journal, write a blog, make notes. It will be a good way of keeping your own mind and mental health in order and it will be something to look back on one day
Use the time
Make a list of what you want to have done by the time the three weeks are over. Our day-to-day life usually sets us goals and targets, whether we know it or not, and we are going to need them. Find things you want to have done and keep working towards them.
Unless you are a gym rat, you will be surprised by the amount of your daily and weekly exercise which comes from the to-ing and fro-ing you do each day. That has gone. So you need something new. Luckily for you, the internet is already full of exercise classes and events in one form or another. The Body Coach Joe Wicks is running daily PE lessons and Strictly and Greatest Dancer star Oti Mabuse is doing daily dance classes on Instagram. Tune in and get your sweat on.
Set your routine
Sitting on the couch and letting the day drift past is no way to spend your time. If you are working from home then give yourself a start time; get up, make coffee, open your emails and clock on and then clock off at the end of the day. Keep to a routine; schedule your exercise time, make use of the classes which are available online and keep some structure to your days. It will make your weeks much better.
Do not – I repeat, not – become an unwashed couch dweller. Get up, wash, put on clothes. Every day. No exceptions.
Enjoy the time off. We are being given an enforced time off at the moment, so use it to catch your breath and recover. Rest, sleep, read, draw – whatever gives both your body and your mind the chance to rest. This is going to be stressful at points, so let yourself indulge the peaceful moments.
Disney+ has landed, Netflix and Amazon Prime are packed full of TV shows and films. There is something for every event, from relaxing to horizon-expanding. Make the most of your downtime to watch those shows you have always wanted to see.
Reassess your socialising
Video calls are going to be your friend. I used Houseparty the other day for my first virtual pub trip – it’s the best app I have found for multi-person, split-screen chats. Most people are at home so this is the perfect chance to catch up and chat.
I think this goes without saying, but this enforced downtime will give couples and housemates plenty of time to indulge their more personal desires. Please be careful when doing so, we don’t want a tidal wave of babies this winter because everyone was bored and laissez-faire at home. Know what I mean?