While I know I could have it much worse, for those who are in lockdown in England, they are certainly struggling at this point, and there needs to be some recognition for that. Surviving multiple lockdowns in the last year and surviving so far the strictest lockdown in London is not easy. For so many of us, we haven’t seen friends or family in months upon months and live in fear everyday that we may too fall ill at some point, with young people not being optioned for a vaccine anytime soon while the UK works to vaccinate the at-risk and vulnerable first.
For the youngsters like me in lockdown.. hopefully this gives you something that helps you to feel less uncomfortable.
And at this point (as of mid-Feb) we are staring down still several more long months of restrictions and lockdown rules. I’m no pro, but I’ve been at this for awhile now under one of the toughest lockdowns the world has seen.. so I may have figured out a few things that help.
Hopefully they do help.
MUST DO’S and MUST HAVES:
Your own coffee machine. Either a single-serve option like Nespresso/Keurig or a more expensive option like an espresso machine are must-haves if you enjoy caffeine and will be working from home and need a kick of motivation. If you purchase syrups or a milk frothier, you can make your own creations as a self-taught amateur barista.
Take up a new hobby. For me, this looked like starting a YouTube channel and creating daily vlogs on TikTok, making this blog, and scripting/writing the content I create. (it also included turning into a modern day treasure hunter… but that’s a story for another time)
Plan to exercise daily. In London it’s advised that you only leave your home once a day to exercise. Try to go on long walks in your local area. Look up parks or parts of your town or city that you haven’t seen before. Remember that getting fresh-air is important and so is stretching your cramped muscles.
Stand while you do work. If you work from home and on your computer, try getting a standing situation going. It increases productivity and helps to keep you healthier.
Speaking of productivity, get dressed everyday and stick to a schedule. Put your computer away when it’s time to eat lunch and invest in making yourself meals that are easy but that fuel you. There are lots of easy recipes online that you can tailor to your lifestyle. Nowadays that is one of the kindest things you can do to your body while being stuck inside all day – don’t default to only eating junk food. It’s the quickest way to start feeling terrible I’ve found.
FaceTime and call friends! I talk to family nearly everyday and text friends daily as well. It’s not the same as meeting in person and I haven’t seen my family in person since October, but it’s nice to check-in with those that you care about and reach out to people when you need help.
In the UK, there are a lot of hotlines for mental health and for individuals in distress. In the USA, there are also hotlines you can call. Don’t go all day not talking to anyone. (please)
Curate a YouTube discover page and create Spotify playlists to give you a positive hit of entertainment and to always have something to listen to. Now is a great time to discover artists that you’ve never heard before and make playlists that inspire creativity and productivity. I tend to watch a lot of YouTubers that vlog or give “a day in the life of” because I enjoy having background noise on while I work and it makes me feel a little less lonely.
Engage in new forms of social media such as TikTok, or maybe start a cleanse and spend less time on your phone. Pick up new books to read and redecorate your room or home. It’s a space you’re spending a lot of time in so it should be organized and make you feel as good as possible.
Invest in a workout app, software, weights, or workout clothes. This helps to motivate and keep you active if you can’t leave your home to walk or cycle, or maybe the weather is just not great.
Spend some time on Pinterest if that’s your thing. I use mine to help manifest and keep positive, set goals for the future and remind myself how exciting life can be and the small things that I really enjoy the most.
This brings me to…
Be as grateful as you can. It keeps you grounded and reminds you to look at things positively. Make a list of the top 10 things you’re grateful for and keep it as your phone background or in a place you see everyday. These are horrible, dark times but there is light at the end of the tunnel, even right now.
Ask yourself what you want the most and desire to accomplish, and then figure out a way to go make it happen within the confines of lockdown. If it’s a goal like learning to improve at cooking or writing music or a book or content creation, how much of that can you do from your home? Throw yourself into the things you love and want to excel at because it’s a great distraction.
Take a break from social media. I find that a lot of negative thoughts stem from social media for me these days. It’s beyond difficult to be in such a strict lockdown with not even the ability to eat outside as everything is to-go while I have friends back in the states who are going on vacation to places like Mexico and partying at bars with friends on the weekends. It feels very isolating, and feelings like jealousy and anger are so much more common for me to feel. But I have to remind myself that there’s nothing that being upset will do. The best thing is to put your phone down and meditate, exercise, color or do something you enjoy instead.
I think if you’re a big movie buff it’s important to binge the shows and movies you enjoy on Netflix, but for the sake of the sanity of those of us who have already seen everything on Netflix and have found it to be an empty and vast space, I’m not going to include Netflix binging or adopting an animal in this list because I don’t really support either. I think unwinding with a show is perfectly fine, but I also think at this point everyone has already done that and are looking for alternative ways to keep busy and stay sane. (and I don’t support adopting animals in lockdown for a multitude of reasons)
If you’re feeling particularly socially deprived, try Bumble Friends and other apps that are similar. You can meet people over zoom or FaceTime and it’s one a way to make friends in lockdown!
Which brings me to.. getting dressed up for FaceTime or video calls! Have dates with friends or people who you’ve just met, or with family – getting dressed up is fun and it can help to make everything feel much more normal. (like a fun weekend out)
Drink water. Seriously. Go drink some water.
Redo your closet and organize the clothes that you do have; plan outfits for the summertime and focus on honing your style.
Speaking of style… nobody will notice if you give yourself a (potentially bad) haircut. Now is a great time to experiment with that vibrant hair color you’ve always wanted or the bangs your friends told you not to get. None of it’s permanent anyway. (but don’t pierce your own body or give tattoos to yourself or friends… that’s dangerous and not sanitary, and should be left to professionals. seriously.)
Instead, plot out tattoos and piercings you may want once we’re all out of lockdown. Ask around and find artists that you really like and take the time to really think on designs/placement of piercings. Now is a great time to research and make appointments with artists you admire.
Take this terrible time and try to be as productive as you can to keep your mind off of things. You can change your path in life and make something out of nothing, trust me. We’re all more resilient than we give ourselves credit for.
Be kind. x