A comprehensive list of suggestions and ideas to keep you safe, well and sane during this bizarre time in our lives.
Here we are 6 or so weeks or so on from my ’26 Things To Do Right Now’ post and we’ve been in a state of lockdown here in the U.K. for the best part of 8 weeks now… I think? Time, of course, is a concept that has lost all meaning. Meeting up with the gals for a Thursday night margarita in the usual place has become a distant memory, a mere recollection of the past. This is not the type of blog where you can gain factual and scientifically accurate information about the Covid-19 virus, that’s just not what I’m here for. There are plenty of accurate sources that you can find across the internet for that kind of update, and no, your Auntie Karen’s Facebook is not one of them.
It’s no secret that our mental (and physical) health is as important now as ever, and I’m a firm believer in taking good care of both. Preserving our wellbeing and committing to looking after ourselves whole-heartedly is not easy during this unprecedented time, Ive personally spent copious days in bed, but while it’s important to listen to our bodies and it’s needs, I think it’s also paramount to keep a few things in mind…
So without further a due, here is a list of things I will be trying not to do over the next few weeks, a list of personal reminders that you too may find some semblance with.
- Do not gain your information/ base your opinions of the pandemic on posts you see on your Aunt Karen’s Facebook. There are plenty of credible sources, epidemiologists, scientists and NHS experts to gain insight from.
- Do not be a victim of racist propaganda- mad that I even have to write this, right? Trouble is, Karen and like-minded people share information that is false, misleading and inaccurate about the origins of the outbreak of Coronavirus.
- Do not over-watch, re-watch or fixate obsessively on the news. This can be super damaging to anyone’s mental health.
- Do not share false, inaccurate information across social media constantly like Karen, this creates unnecessary panic. Is it kind? Is it necessary? Is it true?
- Do not be anything like Karen.
- Do not compare your life to others’ on social media – not just specific to this pandemic – it applies throughout life. Instagram is a highlight reel for many people, most of us are feeling all the feelings despite what we may share online.
- Do not feel pressured to post/ show your productivity and banana bread making endeavours to the world. Some of us just aren’t natural bakers.
- Do not place unrealistic standards and goals in place for this time.
- Do not feel guilty for not being productive during this time.
- Do not feel guilty for feeling sad during this time.
- Do not feel guilty for feeling anxious during this time.
- Do not neglect your emotional needs during this time. Do reach out for help and support across groups, friends, networks though. There are plenty of mental health specialists who will be working remotely and are ready to support you. GP surgeries are also still open, as a first port-of-call.
- Do not use the excuse of a global pandemic to message your toxic ex, or in my case, the dude who ghosted me and fails to acknowledge my existence and/or value as a human being but continues to watch my stories on Instagram. Do, however, throw on some Lizzo and remember who the f** you are.
- Do not use the excuse of a global pandemic to message a toxic family member or friend. Nothing is worth sacrificing your mental health for, trust me.
- Don’t feel bad if you don’t want to participate in all the social media socialising and zooming going on, it’s okay to retreat a little.
- Do not feel guilty for enjoying this as ‘time-out’ on some level.
- Do not feel guilty if you are being super-productive and getting your life in complete order – go you! In fact, we applaud and commend your efforts…now pass me the Oreo Bites so I can finish watching every episode of Gilmore Girls ever made.
- Do not feel bad if there are days where you can’t get out of bed or brush your teeth – honestly, I’ve had many a duvet-day.
- Do not suffer in silence during this time. Some of us may have difficult relationships with the people we’re quarantined with. Some people are the victims of the rise in domestic abuse at this time. There is help available, even from home, as mentioned in no. 12.
- Do not pressure yourself during this time, there is no right/ wrong way to deal with this.
- Do not forget to thank the key workers around you; even the people working in the supermarket and behind the post office desk – Barbara you single handedly are helping me keep my Depop sales shipped and going. Thank you sweet, small, Irish lady.
- Do not neglect yourself and your needs (physical, emotional, spiritual, or Oreo-Bite-based needs…) really just do what makes you feel good and helps you get through the days, no-one is judging. So long as you’re not harming yourself or others, obviously.
- Do not feel bad for loosing track of time, none of us know what the day OR time is. Time has lost all meaning.
- Do not feel alone in your anxiety of returning to ‘the new normal‘ – again – we’re all in the same boat.
- Do not let this temporary period of abnormality and struggle screw up your plans for the future. Do know that this will be over very soon and you will once again be able to hug your friends, stroke all the dogs in the park and sit uncomfortably close to a stranger on public transport again. Im looking forward to the first two immensely so.
- Do not give up. I’ve seen many-a-post from fellow girls, expressing their mental health struggles and sometimes relapse during this period, but the silver lining is that we’re all in the same boat. I often forget this. By the end of this we will have endured one of the biggest challenges of modern times in many respects, and to have survived it, to be alive at the end, well, I suppose we should really consider ourselves lucky. Whether we’re carrying a few extra kilos from Oreo Bites and Custard doughnuts, or not. We are the lucky ones.
I hope in reading this you may have found some solace in knowing that most of us are probably feeling a lot of the same things right now. I believe that we are through the worst of this situation (if only you’d all keep your backsides at home and not on Brighton beach) and that from here there is so much to look forward to. I cannot wait to go back to work and resume all the mundane things that we once took for granted.
Stay safe, wash your hands, take care of yourself whole-heartedly.