Hands up who’s struggling at the moment? I’ve been doing fairly well in coronavirus isolation so far, being a proud introvert not socialising is the norm for me and I’m generally happy with my own company but today has threatened to break me a bit. The children are starting to get bored and twitchy, my 7 year old has involved me in an impossible craft project that has been more stressful than my art degree show. My 5 year old has been project managing me by helpfully reminding me (while i’m on my hands and knees with a dustpan and brush) that “you haven’t swept the stairs yet Mummy!” I think it’s safe to say we’re a bit sick of each other.
But I’m also aware that there are people at the other end of the spectrum who are living alone and are feeling lonely and isolated. There are people trying to manage without the support of a partner or the consolation hugs from their otherwise demanding children. In our different ways and to different degrees we are struggling with the isolation, the inconvenience, the change to our routine and the fear. We have missed weddings, funerals, birthday parties and other events and it’s ok to feel really angry and sad about that.
We can’t do much to change the current situation but there are ways that we can look after ourselves and maybe find a little calm in all of this weirdness.
So the gyms are closed but you can still do some gardening, especially now the weather is (hopefully) getting a little better. Getting out in the darden for a little while and breathing in some fresh air has several benefits generally, it has a de-stressing effect, gardening helps to keep you fit and can boost your immune system.
Learn a new skill
From Arts and crafts to Zoomba there are a wealth of activities and skills that you can learn from home, youtube is a great source of free tutorials for most things that you might want to try.
Reach out to your community
Have you heard of postcards for kindness? It’s where people can write and send postcards to those living in nursing homes. The elderly are not only very vulnerable to the Coronavirus but will also be feeling the effects of isolation as their families will not be able to visit. A postcard and a kind word could mean so much at this time. Follow this link to find out more:
Our NHS is doing such a fantastic job but this is putting a huge strain on the front line workers. If you would like to offer support there are some fantastic opportunities here:
Connect with each other
Suddenly it’s acceptable to be glued to your phone, how times have changed in just a few short weeks! Social distancing doesn’t have to mean a complete lack of contact. We can call each other, check on our friends and family, they might be in the same boat as us. I have been using zoom to make video calls and once I got past the fact that it made me look like a muppet (literally, an actual muppet) it was ok.
We can write letters to each other or send paintings and drawings.
If (like me) you’re struggling a bit to keep the children healthy and happy during this time there are some fantastic free resources:
Educational activities for children
Fun movement and mindfulness activities for kids (they’re lots of fun for adults too)
Free audible books
Activities for kids
If you’re working from home and struggling to get to grips with it here is a blog that has some useful suggestions:
Finally if you are feeling sad, anxious or isolated please know that you are not alone, this is such a difficult time but there is support out there. If you have family and friends you can reach out to, let them know you are struggling. If you feel you have no-one you can turn to here are some helplines where you can reach out for support:
However you are feeling about this time of social distancing it’s ok to feel how you feel but please try to remember that you are not alone and this will end.
Oh and if you are one of the people that got to the shops early and hoarded a huge amount of toilet roll this link might be of interest to you: