9 Feel Good Things to do During a Lockdown
The coronavirus pandemic is affecting the lives of millions of people. In an alarmingly short space of time we have been forced to make huge changes to our lifestyles in order to protect health services across the globe and to safeguard the most vulnerable among us.
Sitting at home, often with only our phones, laptops and televisions for company, it can be easy to feel panicked and out of control as newsfeeds fill us in on the latest developments around the world. Deprived of most human contact and largely confined to our homes, we need to actively stave off negativity in times like these. With this in mind, we have put together a list of nine things you can do to lift your mood during a lockdown.
Times are tough and finances have taken a hit for many of us as the coronavirus crisis has escalated. However, when you do find that you need to buy something, consider getting it from a small business. Big multi-nationals will be able to weather this storm a lot more easily than independents, many of which may not survive the months of disruption and uncertainty without a bit of support.
Many businesses have adapted their processes to conform to new social distancing guidelines; some businesses that previously relied on face-to-face contact have taken their operations online and many food outlets are now offering contact-free delivery services to get their products to consumers at minimum risk.
If your favourite small business has had to cease operations in the short term, support them by buying gift cards and vouchers to inject some cash into the business during this difficult time. If you have a paid a deposit or the full balance for a booking with a small business that it can no longer honour due to the measures in place to combat coronavirus, consider postponing your arrangement, rather than cancelling, so that you aren't taking money from the business at this time. Finally, now that we all have a bit more time on our hands, it is a good time to write online reviews for all our favourite small businesses. It may just give the owner the strength to persevere until normality resumes.
Social distancing is hard for most of us, but the majority of us will be able to muddle through with just the occasional wobble or bad day. Some people will find it harder than others though, and we need to be vigilant and make sure that our friends and family know we are there for them. If you see a troubling update on social media or you notice a friend by their absence on a platform that they are usually regularly updating, drop them a message or give them a call to make sure they are okay. The focus of the world at this time is on workers providing essential services and on the health impaired who are most vulnerable, it is up to the rest of us to look after each other (from a distance!)
In the same breath as I say the above, it is also advisable to take a break from catching up on news and policing the mental health of our friends and family online. Over the coming months social media will help us to feel connected to the outside world and part of a global community fighting coronavirus, but it is also easy for it take make you feel angry, panicky and out of control. Try to distance yourself from it for at least a few hours each day, so that is doesn't completely take over your life!
Even if you have to stay in your home, get out into the garden, onto the balcony (or even just stick your head out of the window) each day for some fresh air. Seeing a few people on the street outside (hopefully maintaining social distancing guidelines), hearing birds sing and, if you are lucky, feeling the sunshine on your face will remind you that you are part of a bigger world and should help to lift your mood for a while.
Exercise is one of the best ways to get the endorphins flowing. If you are starting to feel overwhelmed by lockdown life, put your trainers on and go out for a run or a bike ride or do an online workout in your living room. It's amazing how things that seemed insurmountable before exercise suddenly seem a bit easier to deal with afterwards.
Now is probably not the time to sort out a lot of bags of clothes and other unwanted items to take to the charity shop (as they have closed their doors for the duration and delivering second-hand good is not on the list of permissible reasons to leave your house). However, if you have a backlog of filing, a spare room that has started to look like a dumping ground or a shed that was last in good order in 2008, now is a great time to impose some order on a small bit of chaos that you do have control over!
Finances may be tight and the end to this crisis impossible to pin down, so it is probably not a good time to actually book your next trip away, but there is no harm in planning and dreaming your way to your next destination. Going a few miles down the road to the supermarket may feel like a worrying trip into uncharted territory at the moment, but it won't always be like this and you will be able to actually book the trip you have been daydreaming about in the not-too-distant-future. In the meantime, what harm can it do to delve into the possibilities for adventure that other parts of the world can offer?
In these times where it is all too easy to focus on the deprivation we are experiencing thanks to coronavirus and the measures imposed to combat its spread, we need to remind ourselves of the things we can enjoy. Read your favourite authors new book, re-watch your all-time favourite films and cook some of your favourite meals. How many times in the past have you said "I wish I wasn't so busy and had some time to..."? Well, this is our opportunity to slow down, spend time with other members of our household and wait for the storm to pass. We may never have chosen lockdown life, but it will pass more quickly and more enjoyably if we make an effort to see it in a positive light.
It will not always be possible to be positive, so when the stress levels reach the red zone, go into the garden/bathroom/spare room, have a little scream or a big cry, rage at the world and allow yourself to not feel good. Giving it an outlet will allow you to feel better more quickly that if you bottle it up. You can always avoid video chats for a couple of hours afterwards if your face is a bit red and blotchy and you don't want to explain yourself to anyone.
Stay safe and as happy as possible everyone!