Well, I don’t know about you but I’m finding it really tricky with the lockdown this time around. I’ve been calling it my Lockdown Lethargy. So I thought I’d see what Google had to say and, who would have known, but it’s an actual condition known as ‘Lockdown Fatigue’.
So, this is what I’ve gleaned:
It is a state of exhaustion experienced when people have had to come to terms with the long-term effects of a virus that has affected every aspect of their life, including their freedom, over a prolonged period of time.
Well, that’s for sure! So what can we do?
• Allow yourself to grieve the ‘old normal’ – It is important to give yourself time to adjust to new routines and activities such as having to home school your children while trying to work from home.
• Be kind to yourself – Accept the fact that it’s ok to feel burdened, sad and anxious. Try not to be critical or judge yourself. Small things like journaling, meditating or talking through your feelings with someone by phone or zoom can work wonders.
• Create and stick to a routine – Make a schedule for your sleep, meals, work, rest and exercise. Include regular breaks to get fresh air and relax.
• Connect with family, friends, and colleagues – Use technology to speak and/or see the important people in your life on a regular basis. Make the most of any opportunities to communicate, such as chatting over the back fence or balcony with a neighbour, passing them biscuits you baked or lemons from your tree; speaking to a passer-by as you weed your front garden, or while out walking in your local area; asking the delivery person how they are as they drop off the parcel.
• Me time – Prioritise some time in your day for the things you enjoy; listening to music, reading, watching movies, cooking, gardening, working on your family history, playing games, or doing puzzles, craftwork or painting.
• Positive Thinking – Balance negative thoughts with positive ones. Focus on the present and try not to worry about what you cannot control. Feeling uncertain and anxious about your employment or financial situation is totally normal.
• Turn off the news – Being bombarded by COVID-19 information constantly does not help anyone’s state of mind. Have a couple of days a week where you switch off the updates.
• Eat sensibly – Not too many carbs or chocolate! A good Vitamin D supplement is especially important as we are inside most of the time. Drink plenty of water.
• Exercise – Get regular exercise and keep active in the fresh air and sun if possible.
• Sleep well – Try to prioritise sleep as the body needs good sleep to restore itself and keep you healthy.
• Plan – Make a list of holidays or things for the future when you are able to do or go where you want once more.
• Laugh– At least once a day!
It seems that lockdown is no different to a long-haul flight… something to read, entertainment on tap, chatting to your neighbour, staying put, trusting the pilot, keeping your legs moving… We all know the drill but sometimes we just need a reminder to view this more as a time to breathe, not as a restriction.
Happy lockdown everyone!