We are living in a pretty crazy world right now, more so than any of us have ever seen before in our lifetime. I for one feel like we're living in a movie scene but with no knowledge of the ending! It's pretty daunting and it is causing a lot of uncertainly and suffering for people BUT, in true British style, we will get through this and whilst we cannot control what this crazy disease is doing, we can get some control in our lives to help make life a little more bearable. I am a firm believer in things happening for a reason at times, so maybe our new norm might help us to put the most important things in life at the forefront for a while and refocus our minds for the better.
Now enough of the deep and meaningful dribble and the negativity....this post is all about KEEPING POSITIVE...! Now I'm no expert and my fun may not float your boat but here are my tops tips for trying to stay sane whilst you are social distancing. Let's get clever, lets use our imagination and above all lets show this damn virus that we cannot be beaten.
1. At the very top of my list.....GET ALCOHOLIC supplies. Now I am not an advocate of stock piling but if there is anything you need in abundance it's a tipple or two to enjoy at the end of your day. Something to look forward to. If you've got some dribbles and left over odds and ends, have fun with it and see what cocktails you can create. Number 1. will also come in handy for number 2.
2. Pour yourself a drink, yep, the one you made above and have a girls night in with friends. Just because you cannot physically be with each other doesn't mean missing out. The beauty of this century is that we can FaceTime, whatsap, messenger and get all our friends together in one big group. Messenger has some great little games you can play when you're all on a group chat, from games to silly faces and its the perfect tonic. I do this with my girly friends and it's the perfect way to catch up. Take a photo of your group chat - the faces are hilarious! Have a laugh, share down moments, highlights and just talk.
3.With most of us now trying to work from home, put on our teachers hat and wing our way through the national curriculum, despite having no idea what a number bond is, it can be easy to become overwhelmed with so much to do. You are not a superhero and no one is expecting you to be. Writing lists and structuring the day will help make things seems doable and less consuming. You don't need to come up with a minute by minute schedule but breaking yours and your child's day into sections will help create order and make you feel a sense of achievement. Highlight your top 'things to do'. Get creative with the school stuff. Learning isn't all about books, maths and English...life learning I think they call it.
4.Pull on your resources. There are loads of groups being created in the community to help make life easier. Use these groups, maybe for shopping support and help, ideas for school work but don't forget that amongst family and friends we have so many unused skills to offer. Use each other, create your own groups and help each other out. An example here, is that me and my hubby are into our fitness so we are creating a little once a week circuit workout in our small street, that keeps each person at a safe distance. We have friends who are teachers that can share ideas with us for the girls too.
5.Relax, create your own spa night! Run a hot bath with your fave bubbles, shut the world out and breathe. Spend a bit of time pampering yourself. So you may not be going anywhere but a bit of nail polish and a face pack can do wonders.
6.Have a date night! Now this is a little tricky and does require A LOT of imagination but it can be done. Cook meals for each other. Some pubs and takeaways are delivering at the moment too. Watch a film, play games but just take some time out for each other. I am sure you can create your own fun in so many other ways. (wink emoji inserted here).
7.Exercise! This is a big one for me. I am a runner so I am out most days and it is the most amazing thing for my mind. A chance to unwind, release some stress and get some fresh air. But you don't have to run. Take a walk, ride your bike and as long as you keep your distance just enjoy being outdoors. Get the family outside. Playing catch, football, netball are all exercises we can do whilst keeping a distance. If you are isolating, then find a fitness channel like Joe Wicks or search on Youtube. You will find a whole heap of workouts for all intensities. If you have gym equipment at home then even better. 15-20 minutes a day will make a huge difference. And when this is all over, you can get out and show off the new, healthy you.
8.Get out in the garden and make it nice for those summer BBQ's. If you're like us, we never have enough time to spend being proactive in the garden. I'm longing for a little bit of time to get out, paint the fence, clean off the patio sets and plant some flowers. The kids can get involved with this too.
9.Organise your wardrobe, cupboards, have a good clear out and declutter! This is another of life's jobs that I want to do but never have the time for. But I know when I've done it, it makes me feel so good. I feel like a weight has lifted and taking things I don't want to the charity shop makes me feel like I've been helpful too. This is very much needed right now. Donate unwanted things where you can as there will be a lot of people needing more and more financial support than ever.
10.Freshen up your house with a new lick of paint. You are going to be seeing a lot of your four walls so freshening them up and changing your decor might get a job done but will also help with keeping things looking fresh and cheer you up.
11.Dust off the old school board games, puzzles, books and get away from the technology. Breaking the norm of technology!
12.There are so many box sets that all my friends and family talk about. I feel like an outcast and a total freak for having never seen an episode of Game of Thrones! I know, I know. It's a time thing. But with extra time I'm looking forward to have a box set binge.
13.Learn a new hobby or pick up one that you haven't done in a while. I started an art project several months ago but I haven't finished it, so I am going to pick this back up again too. Learning something new gives you new focus.
14.Avoid negative Nelly's and the fake news! This is a big one for me and I could rant about it all day. Social media and the media can be great sources BUT they can also be the worst. This blog has been prompted because I was starting to loose myself in my news feed and scaring myself unnecessarily. A lot of what you read on Facebook is misinformation and sensationalised rubbish because this is popular. People love a drama but it can become destroying. I have now made a conscious effort to watch one news report only and to avoid my Facebook feed. This way I can stay focused on the main facts and get some perspective. Stick with the facts, the here and the now and take one days news at time. This will help you to not overthink, panic and loose precious time worrying.
15. Stay in touch with family and use the time to catch up with old and new friends. Make the time to phone, email, FaceTime and Skype. And maybe for the older members of your family, put pen to paper. Get children to draw pictures and send them in the post. Send them to care homes and make someone smile. Knowing you've made someone else happy with make you feel good too.
16. Meditate - not all mediation requires flower power clothes, dread-lock hair and mountain tops. There are some really useful online tutorials to help you along the way but 10 minutes on your own to breathe and destress is really useful.
17. Whilst you are at home with your family, take the chance to take photos! Memory making is a precious gift and being able to look back on them is even more so. We often forget to do it though so now it the prefect opportunity. And whilst they may not seem like happy memories now, they can be. Take photos of this moment, of a time to look back on with your kids and talk about how unprecedented 2020 was, how it will go down in history and they were part of coming through it. Create a scrap book maybe!
18. Don't sweat the small stuff - lets face it, most of us have never spent so much time with our other half and children at one time as we are about to. Times like this can be challenging and it may become easy to argue or niggle over the smallest of things. Try and take a moment before you react and think 'is this worth what I'm about to say?', let go of the stuff that's not important. If there's one thing we can all learn about this, is that health and being safe is the most important thing. Pick your arguments.
19. Cook , share recipe ideas and try out new meals. Trying something new will break the monotony. Even if the country went into lock down the shops will remain open, there will be food so please don't stockpile.
20. Remember - WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. There is a great power in the knowledge that we are all going through the same thing. Our challenges maybe different but we all have them and you are not alone.
I hope some of these tips help. They may seem trivial, silly, common sense but my main aim to demonstrate that there are some positives. We can come through this and there are ways in which we can make a rubbish situation a little more bearable.
If you think of any more , comment and get sharing. If it helps one person then I am happy!
Love, Claire x x x