How to be second wave savvy and what not to repeat from the first lockdown –

Posted: September 22, 2020 at 1:52 am

Lockdown was a time of terror for me. I was a sixty-something granny living alone some 40 miles away from my adult children and my seven-year-old granddaughter, Edie.

I was terrified that actually I might die (something that had not really worried me before) of Covid, or maybe starvation as I struggled to get an elusive supermarket delivery. My home, lovely though it was, had become a kind of prison and I was in solitary confinement. I overdosed on vitamin pills, I talked (a little too much) to the dog and I absolutely lived for my daily face time calls with Edie. In short I discovered what if felt like to be terribly, terribly lonely.

There is, then, just one huge thing I will do the moment that any new lockdown is announced. I will pack the dog, the cat and a suitcase in my car and drive as fast as I can to London.Begging Bryony to please let me into her bubble.

Christine Armstrong, author of The Mother of all Jobs

Given that school has had six months to plan, well be leaving the kids timetabling to them. Which means that instead of wasting time on colour-coded plans of school classes and Joe Wicks that have less basis in reality than the Governments testing plans we can createtimetables for us parents instead. Filled with the things that keep us calm and happy.

Stuff like, times for each of usto exercise every day (hello again Yoga withAdriene). An hour alone to watch rubbish TV, listen to podcasts, call a friend or just hide from the children. And a system to decide whose work video call is more important, which doesnt involve us yelling about it as we dial in.

To help keep the house under control, we will take inspiration from Our Yorkshire Farm, and all jobs will be shared between kids and adults. Cleaning, washing, cooking, food ordering, gardening.

Obviously this will go extremely well and not end up in a squalid shouting match...

Linda Blair, clinical psychologist and author of The Key to Calm

Start by knowing you can face this uncomfortable possibility with confidence. The first time we have to cope with unexpected change is always the most challenging. Youve already done that, which means you can do it again and with the benefit of experience.

Here are three reminders to help you through:

Structure: Nothing is more important to convey a sense of control. Plan each day the night before. Include time to prepare and enjoy wholesome meals at regular intervals. Establish a regular bedtime and rising time, and recreate your favourite bedtime routine. Make sure you take at least 20 minutes of daily aerobic exercise. Set three small goals you know you can achieve each day. Write them down and tick them off at the end of the day.

Micro-breaks: What are your warning signs that stress is building decreased concentration, inability to make decisions, fidgeting, irritability? Whenever you notice them, take a three-minute micro-break. Sit somewhere comfortable, close your eyes, and take 20 slow breaths: in through the nose for four, hold for seven, out through the mouth for eight. For added effect, envelop yourself in your favourite colour or scent at each in-breath.

Compassion: Studies across the US and Europe have repeatedly demonstrated the benefits of kindness, both to yourself and to others better mood, better physical health, increased tolerance of pain and distress, even greater longevity. Contact a friend every day, preferably talking and/or sharing screens rather than by email or text. Ask how theyre coping; listen non-judgmentally and with full attention. If you can, thank or compliment them genuinely. Finally, dont let fear of imposed limitations sabotage your mood. Expect them instead then every day there are none, enjoy the resulting sense of relief.

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How to be second wave savvy and what not to repeat from the first lockdown -

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