We’re now almost a full year into living in this new world that we’re in – and I wanted to talk to you about ‘getting through the grind’ of lockdown –
Or rather at least how I’m coping with it so that it can help with your own journey as well.
Keeping To A Routine
So that’s what I’m trying to do with my morning routine.
Up (when I can) at 430am.
Produce a blog (like I’m doing now)
Learn something new (from Audible or otherwise)
And record some video content
And then from 1030am until 530pm crack on with my day job at Pearl Lemon.
I find that routine is definitely helping because it gives my days a sense of purpose. Some of it almost becomes auto-pilot as I try and stick to this routine each day.
There is lots of variance within this routine I find –
Somedays I write on Quora, other days I don’t. Some days I record longer-form videos, these days I record short form. Some days I listen to something on Audible, other days I don’t.
But the process of creating and learning is something I’m sticking to each morning.
Stop Watching The News
I didn’t watch the news much anyway before Covid – but the little I did watch during the lockdown did start affecting my psyche.
I see it when I go and visit my parents – that they have the news running constantly in the background and they speak of how important it is to keep informed.
I’ve found that it’s the same with Strawberries parents – they’re avid consumers of news.
This is a general life improvement thing I think as well – that the less news you watch (in general) the happier you’ll be.
Take Up A New Hobby
This one probably seems obvious – but there’s always an opportunity to start or do something new – especially now you’ve got more time on your hands.
In my instance, it’ll actually (to a degree) be this new morning routine.
My new hobbies are producing blog content and recording videos – these generally keep me busy on a daily basis.
So if there’s something that you’ve thought about doing, well do it now.
Organise Regular Calls With Friends And Family
To a degree, you’re probably already doing this – getting connected with family and friends on calls whether video or audio.
If you’re not, then do so – identify the people in your circle that you get the most joy from speaking to and connect with them more.
I’ve found there are people that I speak with much less, and then there are some others who I spent a lot more time talking to now.
My buddy Ross, Craig and Paul are people I’ll talk to more often about our work in SEO and also getting advice. Then outside of this, I’ve got Courtenay and Amir who I’ll check in with to see how things are going.
And meanwhile, my cousin, who was someone I spoke to regularly is now someone I’m just talking to a lot less.
Don’t bemoan things like that happening – rather just look at those you wish to connect with and reach out to them.
Keep (Or Start) Exercising
I’m not sure what your routine is – but I feel somewhat like a fraud adding this one in because my fitness routine over the winter has certainly taken a tumble.
Several things happened (2 surgeries) that meant my routine got a little knocked off balance.
I’m now slowly trying to get back into the swing of things again – but it’s certainly a challenge and I’m struggling with consistency here.
The dopamine rush you’ll get from exercise is important, however – so if you can get outside and train than I’d highly recommend it.
It’s Normal To Feel Depressed During Lockdown
With everything being said – it’s important to know that feeling down during lockdown is a pretty common feeling. Especially with there being no end in sight to this for a while yet.
So be gentle with yourself.
Don’t feel too upset if you’re not your usual self and you’re struggling to get on with the things you’d normally do.
Right now, writing this is an incredible struggle for me – and some days (more than there usually are) are going to be like this – where I don’t have the intrinsic motivation to just get up and start blazing trails with my content.
It’s important to treat ourselves gently during this period and accept that life isn’t quite the same.
Take It One Day At A Time
Strawberry and I went for a walk yesterday and caught ourselves talking about the next several months and the fact we’d still basically be in lockdown up until the summer.
That did nothing good for us, and we immediately surmised to take it one day at a time.
Focussing upon challenges such as things ‘being the same’ for the next several months did nothing good for our sense of freedom.
So focus upon today, and what you’ll be up to today, and then tomorrow – but looking much further down the line for me brings quarantine into view – and that isn’t great for the psyche.
Focus On Simple Sources Of Happiness
Hanging out with my cat has become a renewed pleasure during lockdown.
We’ve got a short-haired mongrel (I think the type is called) – Jenny is how we refer to her anyway.
So lockdown has massively improved the quality of her life in that she sees us tons more than she ever has.
The new normal for her is that Strawberry and I are basically home all of the time – so she’s got used to having us around.
So hanging out with my cat I find to be therapeutic.
Keep Your Health In Check
One of the things that have become important to me during lockdown is keeping my health in check (which is ironic as I’m not exercising as I used to).
This has come in the form of an at-home blood test, measuring my body fat and consequently cutting out dessert, aiming to eat less takeaway and the like.
Now’s a good opportunity (with the world being in something of a more sorry state) to think about your own health and what you can do to take care of it.
That reminds me – I still need to take my at-home-DNA test as well to see what else is going on inside me 🙂
Talk To Someone About It All
Now, this isn’t something I’m doing currently – but there’s plenty of mental health specialists that you can talk to about how you’re feeling.
You could reach out to MIND charity (if you’re in the UK) – but I’m sure there are dozens of charities out there or support lines that you can connect with.
As someone who’s done a lot of therapy over time – this is definitely something I advocate.
Expressing Gratitude With The People You Love
So in my instance, gratitude is something my partner and I express in that – at least we have each other!
This is a simple thing we do quite regularly – alongside focussing upon the fact our family are healthy and that whilst some of us in our family have passed during this period – at least we’ve not been devastated by it.
Making Sure I Stay Connected
I’ve seen some of my mates become very isolated – and see what a struggle that is. Especially for a couple of people I know who are living alone.
If you live alone I can imagine this period is particularly tough – so again – just make sure that you try and connect with people, talk to people and don’t go through this entirely alone.
Stay In Touch With Nature
The one upside of how much has changed because of lockdown is how much healthier the air has become in comparison to previously.
Use that opportunity to spend more time in nature.
Wherever there is greenery around you – it’s definitely well worth spending some time in it.
This is something that Strawberry and I have started doing more of during lockdown.
That’s basically what I’m doing now with the production of this blog.
I’m feeling ‘blue’ and so I googled an appropriate term to describe how I’m feeling and now here I am writing about it.
So whilst I’m not necessarily talking about THIS feeling with a therapist (and perhaps I should) – instead, I’m coping with it by putting it into words.
I find that it helps.
Not many really.
Waking up this morning and right now in general – I’m finding ‘things’ tougher than I have for a while.
My own research and common sense tell me – that well this is normal.
Maybe it’s also a normal part of the human experience – to have such ups and downs.
Last year when I was feeling down – I don’t think I was writing anything at all.
That accounts for the days and weeks I’d ‘take off’ from writing.
As I’m entering the end of the 2nd month of my writing journey – and I’m producing more content I’m becoming more attuned to my thoughts and feelings because well…
I’m writing more.
I’ll keep on working on all of the things above I just described as it’s helped me get this far – let’s see how much further I’ll get 🙂
That’s it from me – and here’s today’s word count effort:
Catch you tomorrow 🙂