Now at this point, as I write this here in Corfu, Greece we have been in “lockdown” [a word I had not imagined in my wildest dreams – well maybe my wildest but let’s not go down that path LOL – would be an everyday word!] from the coronavirus pandemic for 3 weeks and currently have another 3 weeks to go [which they may extend]…Our government here has been AMAZING making immediate action and as of today seems to have slowed the rise of infection cases….
Also, you may wonder how I would know the best ways to get through it as we haven’t even finished it yet, but during the last couple of years I have been in a lockdown type situation for various amounts of time for various medical reasons – the longest one being just over 5 months and this one not just being in one room but also bedridden and unable to do more than go to the toilet and have a shower [only when using the special chair] so in all honesty, this time seems for me so far quite easy – as this time I can at least move!
Also once you have read this you may think – well that is basically all just common sense, but sometimes you just need to see it! As I found out recently when I read “The rules of Life” by Richard Templar, it was like getting a letter from a good friend, who can see your problem clearer than you, but it is reading the words that someone else has written that can help you really get it, and take the actions needed ……
So here we go…..
1. The Honeymoon phase
On hearing that you were told to stay home and binge watch TV to save the world, so many will have done as I did when first told to stay in bed and that is do exactly that…Woohoo! Stay in our PJs all day, snack on treats and watch Netflix/Prime/Youtube until as my Gran used to say my eyes really did go square!
So we all did that …… until we start to smell, feel sick and our eyes hurt and we cannot sleep, we can fall asleep in front of the TV, but when we get to bed we are wide awake…
I am not saying skip the Honeymoon phase – I for one think it is important, especially if you are normally working massive long hours, perhaps doing a job where you are on your feet all day and finally have time to snuggle with the kids [or partner LOL] and watch Disney nonstop…bring it on and pass the popcorn…..chocolate covered for me, please! Enjoy!
2. Have a routine…
Honeymoon phase over, It may sound a silly thing to list, but especially if you have kids this is a no-brainer – my mother-in-law spent her career being a midwife and when I finally got pregnant she said to me “if you don’t take heed of anything else I say, remember one thing – a child with a routine will be happier than a child with none!” and we like to think that was why Jamie was so easy !!!! So make yourself a routine, however loose, even if you’re on your own – now during my previous lockdowns I was alone during the days but I could look forward to my boys coming home and some interaction but I had a taste of being alone from 7am – 7pm so I get it is not easy!…
I am not saying that you stick to it like your in the army, but have an idea of your days planned. OK so our alarm does not go off at 6am anymore [and I have to say if I was alone I would still set an alarm just for routine but Hubby prefers not to], but my body wakes me at about 7.30 every morning anyway…I go and make the coffee, bring one for Hubby and we sit in bed checking on what has happened in the world and passing the phones back and forth, waiting for our son to message he is awake and OK.
Half an hour later, I make my Frappe [Cold Greek coffee] and a fresh cup of hot coffee for the Hubby… The first drink for me, to be honest, does not touch the sides, my daily morning Frappe is another thing entirely – it is what wakes me up and makes me human LOL …. Once my Frappe has kicked in and I feel faintly human I go upstairs and exercise – yes for those of you who know me, I exercise!!! After that Hubby does his exercise as well while I shower etc then we “Brunch” because let’s face it by this time it is at least midday!
Then computer time/list time [see below] for me and Pinterest/youtube time for Hubby, then afternoon tea [with cake or biscuit if possible] then a walk if not raining [with the appropriate paperwork required by the government at this time to go outside] then dinner, then TV with a drink – I say “Drink” as we are limiting ourselves to one alcoholic “tiffin on the terrace” [as we have now named it for some reason] per day to make supplies last…..
We have worked our way through the Mead [a gift from a client and was VERY nice!] and the 44 [recipe for that to come!] and now going through the Malibu [family member left it behind!] and have a bottle of Limoncello left [gift from local taverna !] …. And the day is done! So as you see I am not saying at 0700 spring from bed etc but just have a rough idea of how your days are planned as in a weird way it will bring comfort in what must be literally a worldwide stressful situation……
3. Shower and get dressed…
OK – Now you really think I am talking daft, but yes shower and get dressed! Once the honeymoon phase is done this is a biggie! Our PJs will only stand the test of time for so many days until you REALLY need to be fair to your fellow lockins or even just to yourself! There are days I know we won’t be going out, but I still shower, get dressed, do my hair and put my perfume and jewelry on, seems like a waste of time?
Two things – it fills time! And it makes you feel better… there were times looking back on my last lockdown [especially after the surgery] when I could not shower or even wash and I realised how crappy mentally it made me feel afterward…Even today after I did my exercise, having a shower lifts my spirits, and I have no idea why but makes me feel ready for whatever the day may bring……This for me is all about the mental health side of the experience, anything that makes you feel the slightest bit better about all of this ….I will admit though on Sundays we act as though we have been at work all week and have a treat [pancakes/Chelsea buns type] breakfast and Pjs all day while binge-watching the TV…but again this is part of the routine
4. Make a list…
Now along with the routine, make a list …. By the way, my OCD just loves all of this, this time!
Again sounds like a daft thing to say but here and now in this moment, in this space, you are in and have, make a list. I am not saying get everything done in one day, but along with the routine may be put aside part of the day for something on the list? One of the things I was kicking myself for after my lockdown was to not have done all these things I kept saying were on my list [in my head!] ….why had I not read that book, done that sewing, sorted my 10s of thousands of photos, etc while I had the time??? And there must be something that you always said you would do? Amazon has tons of free books online right now – maybe if you haven’t actually got “that” book that one you always meant to read? Maybe it is on Amazon or some such site??
I have boxes of photos and so many folders on the computer filled with them and not sorted properly, which I will sort and work out when they were taken and who is in them before the memory goes! Some will make me cry, both with sadness and hysterical memories I am sure, some I am sure will make me wistful for that pain-free, supple, thin mad young thing that I was, but at least when I am gone the photos will be organized for the next generation and ohhhh how much time that will fill!!
What about your kitchen cupboards? Or your wardrobes and drawers? – when did you REALLY clean them out! Fabulous discoveries could be made in either! Some of the recent meals with discoveries from the cupboards could come under the label “interesting” to put it mildly [beware of sell-by dates by the way!] for me so far the Spam and Spinach delight was a big highlight! And in the wardrobe, THERE was that top I had been looking for for the last 2 summers! And ohhhhh yep it fits! Maybe in the case of the wardrobes and drawers, there will be so much you suddenly realise you really don’t need anymore and you can start a donation pile ready for when we can finally go out again…Another reason to feel better!
Now in my previous lockdowns, I was confined to bed –at the moment with the right paperwork we can still go out for a walk and I hope you can as well while staying safe and practising “Physical distancing!’. This time I am working out and doing yoga as well as my list!! My hair and nails may look like I was in the forest for 10 years but I WILL not be a fat blob this time!!! …OK last time I was supposed not to move [or as little as possible] but I still found exercises for my arms as I knew once on crutches I was going to rely on them. These exercises I was doing in bed so there is no excuse you don’t have room !!!
This time I found my new “bestie” and that is SarahBeth and her yoga courses, with literally everything from sitting in a chair to advanced yoga and she is excellent!! Now until the last lockdown, I am afraid I was one of those people who thought yoga was a bunch of “mumbo jumbo” [ just like hypnotherapy but that is another day!]. I first started getting interested in doing it was because 2 friends visited me, neither are let’s say “spring chickens” and they were on the way home from yoga and showed me something of what they had been doing …O..M..G …I was so impressed I signed up and went to the teacher they had been going to, Maria [for our local readers she is in Moritika!] – she is awesome but until we are allowed out again Sarabeth does just fine!
Now for my workouts, I scoured Youtube as I am restricted to certain things and also if I found something I liked quite often the instructor would annoy me – lo and behold I found the channel – Trainer Hub – BRILLIANT! I can follow the routines as much as possible BUT the best bit is there is no commentary! Literally nothing! You listen to your own motivation music and just follow along!
But ALSO keep your mind going –this major muscle needs some work to do as well! Find interests on Instagram/Pinterest to follow, do an online course, clean up your computer, play online scrabble!….Udemy and the open university [to mention two – there are LOADS more!] also have great courses online, both paid and some free! I just signed up for 2 more! This blog has come about as I did a course online!
6. EAT WELL!!!!!…..
Yup I know the biscuits/cake/sweeties are calling you, and your feeling low but and trust me on this, I tried, you can not live on these alone!
We all know “fresh is best”…. BUT in this weird world maybe you cannot get to fresh produce right now – remember both frozen and canned goods are produced at the time when the product is at its best, so there will be tons of vitamins etc in these as well as fresh – as mentioned before check the freezers and cupboards – but also check the sell-by dates just in case – we found something with a 2018 date…. hmmm no thanks!!
7. Stay social!…..
If you have read this far – firstly, Thank-you and secondly please note – I HATE the term “social distancing”………. What they should have coined is the term “physical distancing” but this was obviously too much of a mouthful… and this term “social distancing” bothers me. If there was EVER a time we needed to be more social this is it… What we need to be safe is PHYSICAL distance NOT SOCIAL! ….
Trust me when I say that my phone kept me sane during my previous lockdowns, well as sane as I have ever been but let’s not go THERE we all know there is a fine line LOL….Yes, Netflix and Prime were my super friends, but the neighbor shouting up at my window on her way out to see if I needed anything, the fabulous photos of the people I follow on Instagram, the messages from friends on messenger, the crazy stuff my friends were posting on Facebook, my son messing about and face timing me from his room next door – I wasn’t contagious by the way he came and gave me a hug after LOL, the first aid parcels from friends with magazines, coffee, and chocolates…ALL of this made my life at that time better and happier and MOST important kept my often [especially as it dragged on] flagging spirits a boost….
And so the MOST, MOST important thing, PLEASE, yes to stay apart physically, BUT to stay SOCIAL even with PHYSICAL DISTANCE… Shout out to your neighbour and make sure they are OK, mine laughs at my crap Greek and corrects me but we do it all with a smile! Call/facetime/message/email your friends and family…STAY SOCIAL WITH PHYSICAL DISTANCE …..
So when I say, I know this may be hard, the most important is PHYSICAL DISTANCE NOT SOCIAL …. Let us all keep each other sane [well sane as possible in my family LOL] and get through this as best we can …and use the #physicaldistance #staysocial rather than the Social distance one..Thanks for reading…I am now off to nag the husband about those “little jobs” he has been meaning to get to for the last six months – Ha, no excuse now buddy!!! Ohhhh signed us up for an online Salsa course have you??? LOL
#stayhome #physical distance #staysafe #staysocial #munnersmadness