It’s been almost two weeks since the second lockdown began in Wales, and we’re about to start our second lockdown in England, so I thought I’d share some tips that have really helped me.
Whether it’s going for a walk every day, FaceTime with a friend, or baking banana bread, we’ve all seen plenty of tips to find joy in the little things. Honestly, if someone else suggested that a morning cuppa makes me happy, I might scream. In fact, while I find joy in my morning cuppa, it doesn’t save me from the spiral of anxiety during lockdown!
Here we talk a little about Lockdown 2.0 in Wales and some of the things that helped us get through it.
Does a second lockdown feel different?
The second lockdown definitely felt very different. In Wales, we were told that the lockdown would last for 16 days and would never be extended (and that’s true!), so knowing there was a clear end date made it a lot easier.
This end date has been found to help people try to enjoy and accept the lockdown. As winter sets in and we get cozy at home, slow down and close the door to the outside world, a hibernation-like comfort emerges. You don’t want to do this for long, but it’s really good if it’s just for a few weeks.
The first lockdown was difficult because it involved so much uncertainty. We didn’t know how long it would last, and I think most of us thought it would only be a few weeks. The usual feeling of “Oh, it’s almost over!” That meant no one was actually relaxing and having fun.
During the first lockdown there was also a very real fear that we would all get incredibly ill and lose many loved ones. I know that fear remains for many, but it’s now more clear that the people we really need to protect are the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions. It’s becoming more and more.
From my experience, people don’t seem to be that scared during this lockdown. That’s not to say people aren’t wary, but there isn’t as much fear in the air. Fear is not a good human trait, so we often become selfish and buy things in bulk that we don’t need!
I’m not pretending every day during lockdown. 2.0 was perfect, but it’s definitely much better than the first lockdown. With my kids back in school this week, it’s been nice not having the added pressure of homeschooling them to entertain them while socially distancing from others. The first week of lockdown in Wales was half way through, so the kids were at home for a week, which felt like a sluggish week compared to earlier this year. And kids being in school means parents can go to work, so that adds more normalcy that you missed in the first place!
Here are some of my tips to help get through the second lockdown
I live in a house full of early birds. I’m not an early riser myself, but Sam and the boys are up by 6:30am and hit the road. So usually by 7:30 a.m everyone is dressed and he’s ready to start the day. But, no, no, no! We had to put a stop to this during lockdown and encourage everyone to slow down and relax for the morning.
The day feels so long when it starts so early! The kids are ready for lunch by 11am, but by noon I’m completely exhausted and feel like I’ve run out of ideas to keep them busy. Still, I still have seven hours before I can put the kids to bed. There was a day when I thought it was lunch time, but then I realized it was only 9am. It was probably the longest day of my life!
Have a relaxing morning, watch a movie after breakfast, set up a study in your bedroom, read in bed until 9am, take a bath, and make a big breakfast of pancakes, bacon and eggs, and banana bread. Sho!
Basically, do everything you can to keep your morning activities going for as long as possible. Otherwise, the whole day will be long!
Set yourself a lockdown challenge
If you want to feel like you’re accomplishing something, I highly recommend giving lockdown a try. Having an end date by which you need to reach your goal will help you feel like you accomplished something and stay motivated.
Some challenging ideas:
- let’s run 10km before the lockdown ends
- read 5 books
- Redecorate the room you’ve been thinking about doing
- Make all your Christmas gifts by hand (flavored gin, homemade soap, photo book)
- Make your own Christmas decorations (use Pinterest for inspiration)
- knit a scarf
- Write all the Christmas cards
- Organize all your photos, hard drives, and digital files
- Take a photo every day
- Take part in an Instagram challenge
- create a video every day
- Create a large, organized list of everything you want to sell online
- Start the side hustle business you’ve been dreaming of for years
Don’t let the month of lockdown feel like a waste of time at home. Use this as a chance to do something new and get in shape for Christmas!
^My challenge during lockdown was to walk 10,000 steps a day
Ask yourself what felt the hardest with the first lockdown?
This will vary from person to person, but really sit down and think about what you found difficult.
For me, it was the anxiety of not having a job and the constant demands of my three children. I felt like a house elf running around after the kids all day, buying snacks, cooking meals, cleaning up, washing dishes.
So I seriously thought about how I could deal with these things. I started preparing the day’s meals for my children in the morning. I made them lunches and snack boxes, prepared dinner, and packed the fridge with fruit so they could feed themselves throughout the day. This made them stop nagging me for food. We also found that if we started the day with a clean and tidy house, kids were more likely to clean up after each game or activity. So we started lockdown with the house really tidy and tidy (of course I did all the tidying up!), but once everything was tidy and tidy, the kids left the house tidy and tidy. It definitely helped me keep it.
↑I can’t understand how such a small person can eat so much!
Do something with your hands
OK, please people for thinking out of the gutter (is it just me?)
I think many of us have almost lost the ability to do anything with our hands. Crafting, baking, gardening, playing an instrument, playing cards, making something, renovating something, decorating, upcycling, learning to knit or sew. Find something physical that keeps both your mind and body busy. It’s all about finding an activity that gives you a “flow”, an activity that you can completely lose track of and become engrossed in. If you want to learn more about this, I highly recommend the book Ikigai. This is a beautiful book that talks about how finding your flow can lead to a longer life.
Let people know how you’re feeling
This is not something I’m particularly good at, but it makes my life better when I can. Especially if you’re in a bad mood or have had a rough day. When you talk to people about it and talk about it, suddenly it doesn’t feel so bad. Just knowing that other people feel the same way sometimes can be a huge relief. No one can fix your feelings, but it’s comforting to know you’re not alone.
If you live with other people, it’s also a good idea to share your bad feelings. If you have a bad day, let Sam know before he gets home from work. That way I can take an hour for myself and let him know that he needs to take over child care.
If you have any further suggestions or insights about lockdown life where you live, please let us know in the comments below!