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Lockdown 3.0: Coping Strategies

 And here we go again.... 

On NYE I sat and wrote the first blog post I had got around to in some time, thanks Covid! And yet here I am again, back in lock down. How awful is it that it feels almost normal now a days to not see anyone for weeks on end? To not get out of the house except for the daily walk and to pop for some essential groceries?

Lockdown photos
Unsplash Photos: Glen Carrie

Anyway, this isn't our first rodeo! I thought I would share a couple of coping tactics that I have picked up along the way that I definitely helping me out this time around. I would love to hear of your own coping strategies if I have missed any and should be doing them! The coronavirus pandemic has been hard for lots of us, for lots of various reasons and all that we can do to help one another right now has to be a win! 

Mind says "Coping is our ability to respond to, and deal with, unpleasant, difficult or stressful situations. Our ability to cope with things can vary – we can cope well one day, and poorly the next" and this couldn't be more true for myself. 

1. Look for something positive in each and every day. At the end of each day when the little ones are tucked up in their bed and I get that moment to take a deep breath and turn on the tops to a very hot bath I like to remind myself of something positive from the day. Some days this is easier said than done, but there is ALWAYS something. Maybe it is that the kids got their set work done without too much fuss, maybe that huge pile of laundry got put away, perhaps you spoke to a friend or family member, maybe you got 5 minutes too pick up a book or just sit outdoors with a hot cuppa. 

2. Get outside. Again I appreciate this isn't always an easy option for everyone. But IF you can then get out. In doesn't have to be a huge, long hike (Boris won't let us anyway hey!) but just a 5 minute walk around the block can help so much. I even find just wondering about the garden with my cup of tea helps me clear my mind a little. And my 2 kids have to get out once a day or they are at one another's throats all day long, it seems that they forget any tension as soon as they are out. They can be free and I don't need to shout at them or restrict them! We often just walk up to a muddy old field where they can just be free and kids for half an hour, let their imaginations run free. And I can have 10 minutes to just observe and be still. 

3. Feel productive. Each morning I write a list. I have to admit I love a list and I love getting pen to paper, although I know it isn't for everyone. For me I like to write a list purely for the reasons of ticking it off and feeling accomplished. It is a feeling that I like and gives me real satisfaction. I do it for my day job but I also do it for generic things such as post letters, do the ironing, walk the dog, call mum, anything that I know will make me feel productive. 

4. Talk to People. Yes, we can't physically see them but we have great social media now which means they are just a tap of a button a way. I am lucky in that my day job means I speak to people all day long but it is also good for me to put time aside to talk to friends and family. Make a conscious effort to pick up your phone and call family and friends, it is all too easy to lock yourself away and become lonely. You could even create a habit or routine out of it, such as having a morning coffee with a family member, virtually of course. If you have the facility to do this over a video call, then even better. I often sit and have a coffee break with someone from work, or call my mum during my lunch break so I can see her and have a catch up. 

5. Cut out the noise. This has been a big one for me this time around. As much as I love social media and I am a visual person and love scrolling and procrastinating, but sometimes the clutter of all those notifications becomes too much. The endless messages and posts were almost starting to become expectations and competitions and no one else was setting them for me, just myself. I found by coming off a few WhatsApp groups and limiting my social media usage, for example I have removed the Facebook app off my phone then I started to feel free, like I had more time, and no one was expecting anything from me. This is very much my personality traits though and you may be very different. I love social media but the endless scrolling was not doing me any favours! Especially when home schooling was top of the agendas! 

So they are just my top 5! I would love to hear what else you have been doing to help yourself this time around. I of course am still a HUGE fan of a hot, long bath and the odd bar of chocolate with a trashy series, (Oh, Hello Bridergton!) but these are other steps I have taken to survive this next few months! 

Hayley x




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