Beating lockdown? How to improve your chances even more
So, it has been almost six weeks since we were put into lockdown, here in the UK.
Yes, SIX WEEKS…
Time certainly flies when you’re having fun…
That word “fun”. It seems as if we’ve almost forgotten what that actually means. Personally speaking, it was very difficult in the first few weeks to acclimatise to life without road trips, random adventures, seeing friends, nights out etc.
I suspect it was similar for all of you too, right?
It was as if we were so used to our routines and freedoms we so often take for granted, that it hit us like the Shinkansen. I couldn’t randomly go for an evening drive and look out at the sea or have a wild night on the town and wake up to some random I’d met on a hook up app or pick up my best friend for one of our famous ‘Old Lady Sundays’ (Yes, no joke. We do those - it involves visiting Garden Centres and...anyway, that’s another story).
Then after a few weeks of self pity and wallowing in the negativity that the News tends to spoon feed us, I decided to switch up my routine. It had rapidly become a very dreary sort of groundhog day; Get up, brush teeth, eat breakfast, do work, eat, watch crap on tv, go to sleep - AND, REPEAT!
Then one morning, I woke up, sick of the crippling depression that had mercilessly followed me around like an inescapable piece of wet toilet paper on the bottom of my shoe and decided to make a change.
What did that involve? I hear you ask…
I downloaded TikTok. Don’t groan! It’s actually so much fun when you get into it and can become quite addictive, but in a positive sense. It instantly improved my mood, solely based on the sheer amount of laughing I was doing. In comparison to the week prior, which was next to zero, that was an earth shattering turnaround. As a creative person, it also allowed the right side of my brain to flex its artistic muscles and really pump out that authorial juice (ooh-er? Steady on chap…).
Secondly, I devised a workout routine. Well that’s not entirely true. I ‘BORROWED’ one of Joe Wicks’ home workout routines (you can find it here) and have stuck to it ever since. It has helped to get my body fired up in the morning, improve my mood and help me shed some extra pounds that isolation boredom helped create. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is an invaluable exercise routine to get into as it requires very little set up, very little weights or accessories relying mainly on bodyweight and can be done in as little as 15 minute sessions to slot into your day perfectly. You also need barely any space to do it in, so regardless of whether you live in Buckingham Palace or a box room bedsit, you will be able to do it.
Thirdly, stay connected! I’m an old soul in a young body and despite being part of the millennial generation, I’m not glued to my phone. I like to read physical books, not swipe through a kindle. I like to talk to my friends over a drink about what’s going on in their lives, not tap ‘like’ on one of their statuses. However, it has been impossible to do the latter with my friends since the lockdown, which is why the mental effects hit me quite hard. Then I remembered the beauty of social media and technology. More than ever before, we are so heavily connected with one another, it makes every day easier. Imagine doing this one hundred years ago? No thank you. So get your friends on FaceTime or Snapchat, make sure you give them a call every now and then, just to laugh at stupid things. Hearing their voice and seeing their face (even digitally) can certainly make the distance between you seem non-existent. Technology isn’t as bad as a lot of people try to make out - it has been a gift during these challenging times.
Mr Johnson (our Prime Minister, just in case) also kindly allowed us one walk per day, which was more than some of our European counterparts were gifted. Recently, this has even been extended to allow for a short drive to go somewhere for a walk (providing the walk is longer than the drive though - remember, our health is most important here!) It has given me an amazing opportunity to get some fresh air, see the wonderfully unpolluted blue sky and be around nature a lot more than I would have before. With this brings a whole new appreciation for the stunning greenery that is all around us, waiting to be explored and makes you stop and consider your own ecological footprint (again, another story). So make sure you are utilising this every single day. A few extra steps accompanied with a few extra breaths of fresh air will definitely help you.
Hopefully there were a few useful tips amongst the rambling to help you improve your health and wellbeing during this lockdown. If you’re doing all or most of these already, then well done. If not, then please try a few. They should do you the world of good.
Until next time, dear friends!