It’s my 100th day in lockdown, which means only one thing; for my lockdown survival tips to see how I’ve been getting on, and for some ideas on how to keep going through all this, read on…
I began this whole coronavirus experience with a lot of optimism. I was loving working from home, and not having to commute every day, I was enjoying spending more time in the house, and I was in good spirits. Well, let me tell you, this optimism didn’t last.
Day 100 in lockdown starts today… I’ve spent 100 days working from home, I’ve drunk over 10 bottles of wine (that’s minimal for me), I’ve cried just once, and I’ve celebrated my 23rd birthday, all whilst at home. It’s been a difficult few months, that’s for sure, and something I never thought I’d have to experience in my lifetime. But, like many of us out there, I’ve learnt how to cope in my own ways.
Like me, you may have reached day 100 too, or thereabouts, and you might be struggling to cope. I know I’ve had my ups and downs, so I thought I’d share with you my honest struggles, and the ways I’ve been coping with it all. This way, perhaps you can change up your routine to master the art of staying at home.
My 3 Biggest Lockdown Struggles
I understand that many of you will be struggling, in more ways than one, so I really wanted to be as honest as possible with you all. In order to do this, I thought I’d let you in on my biggest struggles since being in lockdown. Hopefully, this will show you that we’re all going through similar things, and that you’re really not alone, so here goes…
1. Keeping a Positive Mental Attitude
One of my biggest struggles since being in lockdown has been maintaining a positive mental attititude. During the first month of all of this, I was quite enjoying the novelty of spending time at home, and getting on with the working day in the comfort of my kitchen. But, as the first month wore on, and the second month came hot on my heels, things became trickier.
My biggest problem so far has been that I’ve been overthinking everything that’s come my way. Because my world now revolves entirely around social media, I’ve become a lot more sensitive to it all.
It seems lockdown Joanna cares a little more about what people think about her than outside Joanna. I guess it’s the lack of control of everything right now; the only way anyone can view me is through social media, which is normally not my go-to choice. So, it’s definitely getting to me.
This has also had a spiral effect into all the aspects of my life. The previous energy and motivation I’d had, especially to get things done at the weekend, has vanished. So, my initial spurt of blog post writing trickled away pretty early on. Now, I’ve had to really make an effort to pick up my laptop and write.
On a normal day, exercising is never something that comes naturally to me. At school, I always used to dance, so was very active, which meant it was never something I had to consciously go and do. Then, going to uni, cheerleading became my hobby and sport, which meant I always had something to keep me active during the week.
Now I’m in the working world, though, I don’t have the same luxury. I don’t have a sporting hobby to guide me to health and wellness, and my normally busy lifestyle, commuting everyday, means I’m usually too tired to do anything about it.
Now, even with all this spare time, I’ve been struggling to get on the exercise bandwagon. I started off trying to run, then I moved onto dance exercise, a bit like Zumba, using YouTube. That said, these exercises were short-lived, as I just lack the motivation to keep them up.
During the first couple of months, I basically spent the majority of these days not doing anything, and not even really leaving the house. Although I really have no excuse, I have found it really tricky to get motivated to go anywhere. This has then led me to feeling anxious about my health, so it’s not a fab combo.
3. Maintaining Focus
Finally, all of this has led to a real lack of focus. I spend the whole day doing my job, which is tricky enough to focus on as it is. Then, when the work day ends, I just don’t have the energy to do anything else. My blog is calling, my book is calling; all my other side hustles are hollering at me to pick them up, but I just don’t have the energy.
Overall, this definitely leaves me feeling demotivated, and guilty too. What started off as a productive time during the weekends, and on most days after work, has now become a time of slothing around and watching TV. It’s been a struggle, but I’m hoping that the motivation from the first month of all this will pick back up again soon.
6 Ways I’ve Been Combating These Lockdown Struggles
So, with these three struggles I’ve been facing since all this began, I’ve really had to make the effort to explore options to beat the blues. Some of the main things which have really been helping me to combat these demotivating struggles include:
I’ve always loved reading, but I’ve found that this has really been a saving grace through all of this. I’ve read a number of books during lockdown, and even rebooted my kindle so I had more options to choose from, and this has helped me greatly.
Yes, books are a great way to escape into another world. That said, I also find that books have a real power to ground me, and help me really take in the moment. Especially when I read outside, being at one with nature, and just immersing myself in a book makes me feel so lucky to be alive.
2. Enjoying the Outdoors
As previously discussed, getting outdoors, especially to have a read and relax in the sun, has been a real God send to me during lockdown. I rarely get the chance to connect with nature, and it’s such a nice treat to be able to do so a lot more now. Just walking around the garden barefoot really grounds me, and I just love that feeling of living in the moment.
3. Walking Adventures
Recently, I’ve started going on long walks around the area, which has been so lovely. My partner showed me a bunch of greener areas in Bristol, which are a mere walk from my house, and it’s really boosted my spirits and motivation to get out of the house.
I really love the idea of just doing a Jane Eyre, and following my nose to see where I end up. That said, I don’t have the courage to do this, so I have been following my nose and exploring to some extent, but have been firmly relying on my iPhone to get me home again. It’s definitely been an adventure so far, and I’ve been loving it.
My only problem with walking is that, a lot of the time, it can feel a little aimless. Unless you have a dog, walking for the sake of it makes it a little tricky to stay motivated.
So, one thing which has really been helping me through is immersing myself in fictional podcasts, as well as true crime podcasts. I simply head over to Apple Podcasts, and they have a huge amount to choose from. This has been working a treat to keep me excited to go on my walks; walking means hearing the next episode!
4. Zoom Calls with Family and Friends
Over the years, I’ve really learnt that it’s important to surround yourself with people that make you feel positive. After all, letting anyone negative into your space can really have an impact on your day, and life. Through all this, my family have been a big positive light during these crazy times, so I’ve been really enjoying this positive influence on my days.
Every week, we do the Thursday Virtual Pub Quiz. Then, my boyfriend puts together another pub quiz for Saturdays, and we do Bingo every other Wednesday. Afterwards, we all have a little wind-down chat, and it’s been lovely.
Before all this, me and my family never communicated much. We would have the odd phone call here and there, but otherwise, we just go on with our lives. Now, our lives revolve around when we’ll next see each other online, and it’s been a real wake-up call.
I’ve also enjoyed speaking to some of my friends over Zoom too, which always helps brighten my day. Just having that chance to communicate with others outside my home helps to give the day a little more purpose.
5. Enjoying Cat Time
As many of you may know, me and my partner adopted a cat at the end of last year. We’ve had the best time looking after him so far, but we were initially very scared to inaugrate him into the world of outdoors. This is where COVID-19 has come in handy, if we’re looking on the bright side…
Where we live, there are a lot of dangers, including foxes, larger cats, road traffic, and humans. So, we were very worried about letting him explore the outside world, and tried our best to keep him in our garden when we ventured out with him. But, as cats usually go, Arthur wanted to explore further, and often escaped into other gardens next door.
So, to protect him from passing cars, we blocked off the front escapes, and left the back areas open so he could explore the gardens backing onto ours. Now, having spent many happy hours enjoying the sunshine outside during these past months in lockdown, so has Arthur. It’s given us a real chance to get used to letting him outside, and to let him leave our sight for a few hours at a time.
Because of this quality time outside spent with him, we’ve managed to train him to come back to us at the sound of his treats rustling. He also actually wants us to come out with him, and loves nothing more than to have us sit and watch him play. To top it off, he’s also made a cat friend with one of the larger cats we were so worried about.
This whole experience has really allowed us to loosen the reins, and become less worried parents. Of course, we always worry about him, but it’s set us up well for when we finally go back to work, and Arthur is left to his own devices outside. I couldn’t be happier with the progress we’ve made.
6. Treating Myself at the Weekends
The final thing which has really been helping to get us through this all is treating ourselves at the weekend. I feel as though it could have become very easy for a lot of us to fall into very bad habits during all of this. I know I’ve had to be very restrained when it came to drinking, especially during all this hot weather.
So, what has been really getting me through each week has been eating relatively healthily, and not drinking at all throughout the week. Then, when Friday comes around, I’ll crack open a bottle of wine, and we’ll plan some less healthy and more delicious meals. It may sound simple, but this really helps to break up the monotony of the weeks, and gives us something to look forward to.
How Have You Been Finding Lockdown?
Today, I’ve let you in on my three biggest struggles during this lockdown period. I’ve also given you an insight into how I’ve been coping with it all, including six blessings in disguise which have really boosted my spirits. I hope they’ve helped you to find some new ways to boost your mental health during these weird times.
How have you been finding lockdown? What day are you on, and is it getting a little too much now? Let me know in the comments down below how you’re getting on, and I’d love to know if any of my tips help you feel a little more grounded.
Or, if you have any more tips of your own for coping, leave them down below too. As the High School Musical cast always said, we’re all in this together!