Talking Point

11 Lockdown Lessons

I have been very quiet on here, and some of that has been because I was really really busy for the first few months of the year. Literally praying for a quieter week. [note to self: be careful what you wish for]

Part of the reason has been because I have found some personal issues very difficult.

And part of the reason has been lockdown. Me and being at home 24/7 (minus my exercise and occasional trip to the supermarket) are not happy partners.

Not seeing friends, not being away from home, not working flat out. My life is pretty unrecognisable .

John and I have always spent substantial time apart. I used to joke and say it was the secret to a happy marriage. Nearly two months into lockdown and thankfully we are not reliant on distance for a happy relationship.

But boy oh boy have I found it hard. Here are some things I have learnt, I hope they may help.

  1. When a five year old starts crying and says, ‘Mummy, I miss my friends so much,’ it perfectly acceptable, if not helpful, to cry a bit too and say, ‘So do I.’ Show empathy at this time, be kind.
  2. Taking time out is good. Just 15 mins here, 30 mins there, or longer if you can. Read a bit. Listen to something. Have a bath.
  3. Exercise is vital. Whatever makes you happy, I have run a lot (of course), but I am also loving my twice weekly virtual PT session and I have just (tonight) started 1-2-1 pilates.
  4. Drinking every night is a bad idea, always was, is especially so now. If you need help, ask.
  5. Volunteering is fantastic. I chair a charity and it has been very challenging (more on that in a future post) but also given me focus and purpose on days when I have been looking for that. It’s also been quite stressful on days when I have been so busy, but it is still very good for the soul and such a privilege.
  6. Support your friends. I love writing letters and cards. The response has been very moving, for the cost of a stamp (and it is a good use of the daily* exercise) as well as I hope offering some support and motivation at these difficult times).
  7. Cooking simple food is good. Tonight the fritatta that took 10 mins tasted as good as a complex dish I would usually make.
  8. Talk. Meet virtually (but not so much it’s a burden). Be honest. Be kind.
  9. Make structure. Honestly just try it for three days, if it doesn’t work, then OK maybe I am wrong, but I think it will. Set the alarm. Get up. Exercise. Have a shower. Get dressed. Put on whatever makes you happy – make up, earrings, a tie. Whatever. Build some structure.
  10. Don’t feel pressured to do anything new. This might not the time to learn latin, after all.
  11. Be honest. I have not been OK. I am feeling 100 time better because I have done some of these things, some of the time. I am OK with that too.

Clearly guidance is changing, especially on how often we can exercise * outside. But I thought these ideas might still help. And I wanted to write something. I’ve missed it.

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