My Lockdown survival plan
Although the light has come back, the air is a little warmer, the days are longer and gardens have begun to bloom, this Spring is very different from any other we've ever experienced. And although Spring is my favourite season, like many others I'm finding life very unsettling at the moment.
It's April 8, 2020, and we're into week 3 of the Lockdown here in the UK. While I'm trying to keep busy, it's hard to stay positive and optimistic when round the clock news is a constant reminder of how bad things are outside the haven of our homes.
Dealing with stress and anxiety
The stress and anxiety that COVID-19 has sparked around the world feel very real. Suddenly we're experiencing all sorts of money worries, potential business failures, new terminology eg Furlough, PPE, WFH etc., homeschooling our children, queuing up for food supplies, food shortages, worrying about our health and that of our loved ones etc.
All on top of being trapped in our own homes with uncertainty as to when normal life will resume!
So, for the sake of my sanity, I've decided that the best way to cope and get through this time is to try to keep my body moving and my mind still.
Here's my list of things to do and
best avoided during Lockdown:
I'm trying to limit exposure to bad news by watching the national news just once a day and by resisting the temptation to click on and devour the hundreds of news updates which constantly pop up on my social media news feeds.
A good action movie is great but, as we're feeling hypersensitive at the moment, murder mysteries, disaster movies, psychological thrillers etc are out for now in our house. The Disney Movies we watched about a million times when the children were growing up are the perfect pick me up and will make you smile.
Check out the BBC's Culture in Quarantine for a great selection of online art and culture which you can stream from home.
Exercise releases endorphins, the "happy" hormone which we're all a bit starved of at the moment.
As a regular gym-goer, although I'm missing the social side of exercise I'm lucky to be married to a Fitness Instructor who has a selection of home gym equipment which we can use at home until getting back to the gym is possible again.
If you're short of space like us, he recommends an exercise mat to start, kettlebell/dumbbells, skipping rope, resistance bands. He also reminded me that:
It's scientifically proven that nothing beats the great outdoors for our wellbeing and if possible a daily walk/run is essential.
A short search on YouTube will bring up a great choice of quarantine home workouts from HIT aerobics to yoga, whatever your level - which you can do at your own pace.
With the extra time on my hands I've been turning my hand to mastering the Aga which was a vintage fixture of our home when we moved in 4 years ago. Soup-making is my forte and nutritious and healthy too!
Next week I'm thinking of giving breadmaking a go. That'll be an interesting challenge, as the inherited ancient Aga is very temperamental and its temperature literally changes with the weather! When cooking on it windy days, I have to adapt by doubling the cooking time of everything, so I'll need to choose my breadmaking day carefully.
Although I read a lot of business-related books, and pages and pages of information on the internet, I haven't picked up a novel in quite a while. So each day I've set myself the challenge of sitting down with an actual book (not a Kindle book as I need a break from a screen) for a least half an hour.
Staying social at a distance
It's weird in the last couple of weeks I've spoken to several people I had lost contact with. It's been fantastic! Plus thanks to the Lockdown I've learnt how do make Skype, Microsoft Teams and Zoom calls and have a lovely Face Time chat with my London based adult daughter almost every day.
I know they're a bit cliched and overdone, but I find that sometimes words from others who have overcome adversity really helps.
Here are a few of my favourites:
Acts of Kindess
It's so encouraging to hear about the acts of kinds of others who have stepped up to help in their local communities since the virus struck, as well as the 750,000 people who signed up and volunteered to support the NHS by giving up their time for others.
Personally, I was touched and so grateful, when David Evans a very stylish Instagram Influencer @greyfoxblog offered to support Kalabash by sharing a short video about me and my products. His kindness ignited some much-needed activity on the website. A massive thank you to David.
Like many other artisan makers, the majority of my sales are from face to face pre-paid events which have been cancelled. But, instead of just giving up the organisers like BCTF have pivoted their offer to put on virtual online markets to support small businesses like my own. A big thank you goes out to them too.
Artisan makers will find this Small Business Survival Guide produced by the wonderful US-based small business mentor Lela Barker form Lucky Break Consulting invaluable. Many thanks to Lela and Team Lucky Break
Please feel free to share it with any other maker/business owners you know.
People all over the world and from all corners of society really are pulling together.
This Guardian article sums up how people are helping each other around the world.