It’s understandable if you are already finding the second national lockdown a struggle because of the Covid-19 autumn/winter spread. Similar to the first time, we understand that our most important strength throughout this will be the fact we are not alone in this. Everyone is doing this together. Friends/family/colleagues are all going to be there to help each other out.
One thing we can be pleased about this time, though, is that we know what we need to do to keep ourselves happy and healthy whilst we get through it. Although, some of the experiments from the first round might be outdated (yes, we are talking about the under-cooked banana bread and the cringe-worthy TikToks). With that in mind, here are our best tips and recommendations to motivate and connect us despite being apart.
Our Top 5 Survival Tactics
Getting outside in the daylight
The obvious difference in this lockdown period to the last one is difference in the weather, unfortunately the weather this time around is far worse and the daylight hours is only during work hours. This means we need to make the most of it and get outside in the daytime, whether that is before work, during lunch or when your calendar allows you.
The first lockdown taught us that there doesn’t need to be a reason to get out other than to simply, well, get out. Walking, running and other physical exercise can be done anywhere and is essential to your physical and mental well-being. For us, a lunchtime running club has been essential to getting out and doing exercise in the daylight using the Strava app to record our runs to ensure we can see each others activity and stay motivated. The run (and sometimes walk – shh!) alongside a podcast has been uplifting. A podcast rather than an audio book or music has been great because it’s often meaningless funny conversations, which is what we truly miss about being at the workplace. Our podcast choices are definitely not suitable to be added to a business’s website, but we are happy to ‘pass the pod’ via a message on our Instagram or Facebook.
Stay physically distant, not socially
In a recent iNews article, Dr Mark Williamson advised us all to make a concerted effort to overcome the distance and stay connected. “We need to stay physically distant, but we absolutely mustn’t think we’re socially distant. We can stay together using social media, phone calls, and friendly smiles across the street”. Having all experienced Zoom fatigue and email overload this year, we couldn’t agree more. How are you connecting while working apart? Share your tips below if something has worked well.
Help those in need in your local community
Volunteering is a great way to improve your mental well-being and overall health. It can boost your self-confidence, give you new experiences, teach you new skills and mostly benefit your mind and body, while also helping out charities in need. Why not use this time to add something different to your CV, help your local community, and have fun while doing so.
Although there hasn’t been shielding law put in place for the people classed as vulnerable, there is still plenty of help needed for those who are having to isolate or unable to receive help from friends/family. For instance, food banks are now being used more than ever with a new influx of middle-income families. Therefore, charities and community volunteers will be doing what they can to support their communities. So why not have a look and see how you can help.
One voluntary group recommended is GoodGym, if they’re in your area you could help your community. Whether it’s doing someone vulnerable’s shopping, delivering food bank meals or clearing a garden for a community space.
Plenty of us have been picking up our pens, paintbrushes and wooden spoons for a welcome distraction from the virus this year, and will do so again during November. Here are some ideas to keep you busy:
Online creation kits – as mentioned earlier, having done this before we are better prepared for it this time around and so are businesses. Delivered to your door are all the materials and instructions you need. The array of these types of products has grown massively, ideas such as Sculpd and Doughnut Time DIY Kit are great
Learn a musical instrument – there is pretty much any level instrument lesson or song tutorials on YouTube, so get learning your guilty pleasure
Draw or Paint – however good or bad you may be, a loved one or friend will appreciate your post when they see what you have created
Knitting – again, there is always a family member or friend who will admire the knitting no matter how flimsy their new scarf is.
The list could go on, but you get the jist. We now have the time to try anything we have always wondered if we enjoy!
Consider doing nothing
Contrary to the last point, we also need to enjoy the downtime we have as we would before the pandemic. At the end of your day, put in all the time you want to do nothing, or watch a movie, or have a nap, or whatever you want to do just to have fun. If you spend all your time being productive and active you’ll burn out eventually.
Having recently read “Zen: The Art of Simple Living”, the 1st of 100 points (maybe that makes it the most important) made to healthier living talks about making time for emptiness. Modern life is busier than ever. All day, every day, we try our best just to do what has to get done. Making even 10 minutes time for not thinking about anything helps simplify your day ahead.
Hopefully you have took some inspiration from this and have thought of something you are doing that has kept you sane during this lockdown or not doing that you think will help. Get in touch with your thoughts and tips on what you are doing. See you in December!