In the wake of the coronavirus, all of us face a once-in-a-generation level of upheaval. At the time of writing, the UK has just come to the end of its first week on government mandated lockdown. Those lucky enough to still be gainfully employed are learning about the mixed blessings of working from home. Many of us are on temporary furlough from work, frustrated by our newfound inertia (not to mention the 20% pay cut). Not to mention all those self-employed people, small business owners and freelancers who will have to wait until June for any kind of support to be available.
The combination of diminished or decimated income and cabin fever can be a combination for an emotional overload. An overload that can drive a wedge between us and our significant others, significantly reduce our quality of life and set us on a path to poor mental health. Here are some ways in which you can improve not just your morale but that of the whole household. So you can all stay smiling until life gets back to normal… however long that may take.
Look for the silver lining
It’s all too easy to bemoan all the liberties that we’ve lost… not to mention the income. However, with every cloud comes a silver lining. Even this one. Think of all the creative endeavours which you’ll now have time to enjoy. Think of the quality time you’ll get to spend with your significant other or your kids. Or the opportunity you’ll have to read all those books that have been gathering dust on your shelf. As the old song says, you’ve got to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.
Keep up the creativity!
It’s absolutely imperative that you find opportunities to do something that’s creatively rewarding while the lockdown persists. This is an opportunity to define yourself outside of your job and your career. Re-engage with the arts and crafts that used to bring you such joy and fulfilment. Try your hand at new artforms like watercolours or digital painting. Heck, maybe even set up an Etsy shop and share your talent with the world. A creative pastime could turn into a lucrative business endeavour.
Or, of course, you could get creative in the kitchen if that’s your preferred studio. And since times are hard right now, you might find these cheap Le Creuset deals appealing. Speaking of cheap deals…
Make online bargain hunting your new best friend
As important as it is to resist the urge to panic buy, who doesn’t love a spot of online bargain hunting? As well as familiarising yourself with all the best coupon sites, you might want to try using apps and browser plugins like Honey which help you to find the best deals on any given product online automatically.
Take advantage of natural stress relievers
These are anxious times and while we’re all a little stressed right now, we owe it to our loved ones not to take it out on them. Make sure you’re taking advantages of natural stress relievers including;
- Deep breathing
- Yoga / meditation
- Herbal supplements and teas (as well as cutting back on caffeine)
- Exercise (combine a home workout with a daily brisk walk, jog or bike ride).
Don’t go too far with the social distancing
Just because you’re not able to get into close proximity with the people you love doesn’t mean that you should rob yourself of the pleasure of their company. Don’t overdo it with the social distancing. Schedule time for phone calls and video chat with family members, especially those who are elderly and may be feeling especially isolated at the moment.
Make the most of your time outdoors
While we should all be spending the majority of our time indoors, we’re all allowed an hour’s recreational time outdoors every day. This might be a long walk, a bike ride or a jog. Doing this together as a couple or a family can help you to make the most of your time outdoors. Indeed, you may well find that there’s a certain beauty to walking streets that might once have been teeming which are now virtually empty. Be sure, however, to keep yourself and your kids at least 2 metres away from strangers at all times.
By all means give them a smile as you pass, though. We’re all in this together, after all.
Ensure that there’s always something to look forward to
Finally, plan your days so that you always have something to look forward to tomorrow, individually, as a couple or as a family. Not to mention, of course, planning all the fun things you’ll do together when the lockdown is lifted and life returns to a semblance of normalcy.