• Sophie Whitmarsh

Getting through lockdown

It strikes me that the months ahead are going to be somewhat troublesome. The children I love having at home, and most of the time they are no bother to me or to anyone else. But, there comes a point when being confined to one space 24 seven for an undetermined amount of time is going to begin to takes its toll...

The question then, is what do you do...? I have a lots of advice from various people, but one resounding piece of advice has been to have a routine, and to be honest this has to be the most sensible thing I have heard. What though does this routine look like? It struck me, that monks and nuns are probably fairing quite well under these circumstances, particularly the those who regularly confine themselves to their monastery. They have a rhythm about their day. A routine that is grounded in a prayer. Now, I already say the daily offices at 9.00 and at 4.00pm, but I have decided to add to my day a midday prayer and compline or night prayer session to my routine as well. Ive found that it gives my day some more structure than I had before. If you are not the praying type, perhaps you could try meditating, or listening to some calming music.

Ive also added to my day a time to play my instruments. Now, if you play an instrument you know that you normally practice anyway, but there is something helpful I have found about actually putting it into a daily routine at a certain time. With prayer and music practice, thats the best part of 4 hours taken up already. If you don't play an instrument, perhaps you could read a book, do some gardening, write a blog, add another couple of pieces to the jigsaw puzzle, or whatever you are in to.

Exercise is a must... whether walking, or jumping up and down in the living room to some bloke on Youtube, whatever is your thing, exercise has got to be on the agenda. Particularly if you are like me and find yourself eating enough bourbon biscuits to sink the titanic when you're bored.... another great reason to have a routine, which leads me nicely on to food

Food is a part of everyones day, but its just as helpful to put that into your routine and plan as well. It gives you something to aim for and helps to focus the mind the rest of the time. Otherwise I find myself just nipping off to the kitchen for a nibble to keep me going. If you are working from home (which I am) then adding coffee and lunch breaks into your day will keep your mind on the task...

Lockdown could become particularly depressing and not good for your mental health if you are not careful, so restricting watching the news to just one session a day has also been a help to me. Turning off notifications on my phone has been a huge help to this, because otherwise its pinging every 2 minutes with another coronavirus update.

As a family, we have also begun to put together evenings out (that are in). So, Katie is organising a Murder mystery night, and Chloe is organising a pub crawl with activities in each room of the house. Date nights can still happen, we just have to get creative. Find ways of doing things that you would normally do, but do them at home. Lockdown is difficult, but it could open up a whole load of opportunities and ways to be creative.

Why don't you send me some of your ideas for being creative during lockdown....

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