Here in Sydney we are in our millionth week of lock down, I can’t remember the start and I can’t see the end.
That sounds depressing, and it can be on some days. Other days (especially the days with beautiful sunshine and the smell of spring in the air) I’m upbeat, getting some work done, dressed before midday, working out, maybe also eating semi-well… until the kids go to bed, then it's snack and wine time!
The only way to describe this season of my life is a roller coaster… BLINDFOLDED!
On your average roller coaster you can see the curves and dips coming up, but on THIS roller coaster it’s dark! You can’t see what’s coming and I guarantee you there’s whiplash involved.
These are the top 5 things that have helped me survive so far.
Getting into Nature
Outdoor time and going for walks has been crucial. Sometimes it’s an angry walk, sometimes I need to do some deep breathing and escape my life by listening to a funny podcast (any recommendations for podcasts are most welcome). Other times it is the only time I have the head space to call a friend, or just listen to the birds. Except it’s magpie season so every rustle has me ducking for cover! And even when I couldn't be stuffed, I know that I will feel better afterwards.
Time for workouts has been saving my sanity. Partly because I know the mental benefits are just as important as the physical benefits. This means some days it’s just the 1 hour long walk, but most days it’s either a live streamed or a recorded workout that gets my blood pumping. And to be honest, physically it’s just offsetting the extra snacks and wine I am consuming in this season.
Letting things go
Seriously, I am not doing anything particularly well. My focus is shattered, my productivity is down, all because I can’t dedicate a decent amount of time to anything. The washing doesn’t always get hung in one go, my house is in a constant state of ‘messy,’ and I am always finding random dry macaroni for my bare feet to crunch. Apparently, "it’s the best snack around…" At least it’s cheap!
So I have had to ‘let go,' and guys, some days I succeed at this. Some days, not most days, I casually ride the ‘let go’ coaster, until I can’t anymore and then I have times where I lock myself in my room to get focused time in for work, or I rage clean, or I go lie under the covers and binge-watch the latest show on any of the multitude of streaming services available.
My husband and I have had to make some sort of unwritten rule, if one of us is having a bad day, the other will take on the emotional load of lock down. I am in awe of those of you who are doing it on your own or who have partners that are less than stellar in their support. There would certainly be more ‘screaming into the pillow’ moments for me. We have taken to asking, “What do you need?” Some days it’s just a vent, other days it’s a trip to get me a large coffee, and some afternoons it’s an Espresso Martini.
Some of my introverted friends haven’t found lock down to be quite as horrible as I have. But for all of us extroverted humans, staying in touch with friends and having weekly, sometimes daily conversations has been very important in keeping our spirits up. Zoom nights, family games nights, chats over coffee or while walking. Keeping in touch with your people and support network is what is going to get you and me out of this lock down in one piece.
What about you? What is keeping your mood up during this season?