Like most of you, I’m stuck at home due to the coronavirus. I’m having to be very careful, since my deeply confused and unhappy immune system has a tendency to go into complete meltdown if anyone so much as sneezes within a mile of it. Luckily, it’s behaving itself at the moment and I am well, but I’m not taking any risks – and neither should you.
I have a number of new posts planned – one of which will be my 500th, believe it or not! I’ll also be posting links to some essential resources that some of you may need during the lockdown. I may not be able to get out and help directly, but I can provide information and try to distract from the boredom of being sat at home.
We are living in strange times. The normality we are used to has skulked off into the sunset, but here are a few small ways of capturing sanity in an uncertain world:
- Get a daily routine going. Creating structure helps to ground you in difficult circumstances. Sleep is really important in this respect – make sure you’re getting enough if you can.
- Keep an eye on your mental health too. Isolation and lack of sunlight can do a real number on you, whether you have a diagnosed mental health condition or not. The charity Mind have put together some helpful info here.
- Relatedly, take Vitamin D if you can. Doctors recommend that everyone should do so during the winter months anyway (my GP is very hot on this) – read the NHS guidance on the subject here.
- Remember that you don’t have to watch/listen to the news if it’s creating stress and anxiety for you. And if you do watch/listen, take it all with a big pinch of salt (see here and here for ways to do that). The same applies to social media.
- You can indeed read the books you’ve always meant to read, but if you’re anything like me, the comfort book is the way to go. Re-read childhood favourites, and books that make you laugh, and books that transport you to another world. Same goes for other forms of media too. Escapism is not a bad thing.
- Handcream. No, seriously. All this handwashing, though necessary, is drying out your skin and that can become very uncomfortable after a while, especially if you have sensitive skin. Even something as small as a dollop of handcream can make you feel a bit more human! (I swear by this one).
- Cuddle your cat/dog/guinea pig/ferret/goldfish. Well, maybe not your goldfish, but there’s plenty of scientific evidence that your furry friend can help reduce stress and lower blood pressure.
- No pet to cuddle? Don’t be ashamed of getting your old teddy out from the back of the wardrobe and cuddling that. It’s a scary world right now, and sometimes old ted is the best companion to have while navigating it.
- Watch the birdies. I’ve written before about the amazing amounts of local wildlife you can see from your window, even in a big city like London. And since it’s nesting season, you might even get to see the beginnings of a new family… The RSPB have some useful information here to get you started.
- Open the windows, put your favourite songs on and dance. Not only is this great exercise and guaranteed to get the endorphins flowing, it’s also a brilliant way of tiring out bored and over-active kids!
- Keep a journal or write a blog. Getting your feelings out of your brain and onto paper or a screen is a really good way of processing them. You don’t have to write much or even every day, but it really does help.
If you like what you read here on Another Kind Of Mind, you can follow me on Twitter. I’m also on Pinterest, where I’ve put together a somewhat extensive London-themed board inspired by my posts here on the subject.
If you’re missing the sport (I am!), don’t worry. I also edit And Still Ricky Villa, a football blog inspired by the legendary 1970s Argentinian midfielder. You can find that on Twitter too, and also Instagram. If you do Pinterest, you’ll also find a variety of football-related boards by me there.
If you fancy watching some football, I’ve compiled a YouTube playlist of complete FA Cup finals going all the way back to 1953 – and there is always the joy of the animal pitch invaders playlist too!
(And incidentally, all the other Playlisting posts are here, covering everything from London to Andy Weatherall and beyond…)
Keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Sending you all love and elbow bumps – from a safe distance of two metres of course!