There is no denying we are living through challenging times at the moment. At times it feels almost like we’re living in a movie. It’s difficult to avoid the constant media coverage about the coronavirus outbreak. With that, there is so much uncertainty floating around, so much so it can consume our day and overall overlook. I think it’s important to remember that we aren’t stuck at home, we are safe at home. It got me thinking of what I’ve been doing that has kept my spirits up. So here are some of the simple things helping me stay positive during isolation.
Positive vibes only
Staying up-to-date with the latest news and government recommendations is important, but it’s easy to get caught up in all the negativity. It can then subconsciously affect your mood. I wrote a post about the ways to manage your mental health when self-isolating. It touches on the health effects of consuming too much news. I try to watch the news update in the morning and then in the evening. Throughout the day I will try and switch off from news or only read good news stories because we all need some positivity, now more than ever.
Let’s admit it, we are all guilty of spending money on unnecessary purchases at times. Popping to the shop and returning with an extra twenty pounds worth of things we didn’t need. Now that we all have to stay indoors and most businesses are closed, we may find ourselves spending less money. Some people may not have their usual income coming in. Either way, this is a good time to sort out finances and make changes. Analysing spending patterns pre coronavirus pandemic to current spending. Right now, we are only allowed to go out and buy essential items. This time has reminded me how little we actually need to live and how much unnecessary purchases are made. There really is a big difference between need and want.
Organising and making things more accessible
We have a set of drawers in our home office where I store my makeup, skincare, hair products, paperwork and general bits and bobs. Over time more stuff was getting chucked inside and it was becoming increasingly difficult for me to open the drawer and lift out what I needed. So I’ve slowly been working my way through each drawer, organising and decluttering. It felt good to get rid of things I didn’t need and make space for things I use. These little changes make my life easier and gives me the independence to be able to pull out my makeup and skincare. I’m enjoying using lockdown to spring clean and work towards minimalism.
I spend a lot of time with my family so not being able to see them and spend time together like we usually would is strange. It really makes me appreciate them more. I’m looking forward to being able to enjoy simple things like going to the park with my nephew when it’s safe to do so. We will get these days again and I’ll enjoy them, even more, when we do. For now, I’m enjoying video calls with my sister and nephew, phone calls with other family members and staying connected with friends online.
Keeping travel memories alive
Although we can’t travel right now, it doesn’t mean we can reminisce about our travel adventures. I’ve been enjoying looking back at previous travel blog posts as well as my travel photos and remembering all the fun times. There are even trips that I haven’t shared on my blog yet like our trip to Portugal with Tourism For All last October. I have loved looking through all the photos from that amazing trip and reminiscing about the amazing people I met including John, Blandine and Sanna.
For such a long time I’ve wanted to organise my photos and print some of them to put into albums. I used to love having traditional photo albums so I’m going to use this time to work through my photos and select my favourites to print. I’m also going to do the same for the thousands upon thousands of photos I have of my nephew.
Coronavirus is contagious but so is kindness. I’m all for spreading kindness and lockdown isn’t going to stop me surprising my family with little gifts to show I care. Like most people, this is the longest I’ve gone without seeing my family and it’s tough. I’m grateful for the internet and video call chats with my nephew. It makes not being able to see him face to face a little easier. He loves books and ninjas so I surprised him by sending a new book and ninja toy. My mum does so much for us that I also sent a surprise parcel of books that she would enjoy.
We also have a nephew and niece that live a little further away from us and it was her birthday last weekend. We felt awful not to be able to be there but we enjoyed finding the perfect gifts to send to them both. Even though we couldn’t be there in person, it was great to see their faces on video.
I’ve also been on the receiving end of kind acts from both my parents checking in on us every day as well as dropping food shopping off for us, which is such a big help. My friend Ross (A Life On Wheels) also surprised me with a lovely postcard with a personal handwritten message. It made me smile.
Great isolation bake off
Usually, we don’t have a lot of time to bake so we decided to take advantage of a rare weekend at home. After trying some vegan banana bread our friends brought along to a Euan’s Guide basketball event we all went to a few years ago, we decided to make our own. Our friends shared the recipe on Facebook and we had most of the ingredients so gave it a bash. Despite messing up the measurements and substituting some ingredients, we really enjoyed making it. It was a disaster but a fun disaster, which you can watch below.
Although no one wants to be in lockdown, in a strange way I think it could be worse if it was in the middle of winter. Whereas its spring right now, the flowers are blossoming, the days are sunnier and nights are brighter. People are allowed out for daily exercise and to buy essentials. Imagine having to do that in horrible weather. Even though disabled people have been told to shield at home for twelve weeks, we are at least able to get a little fresh air in the garden or sit at a window when the sun is shining feels so good compared to dark, wet wintery days. I think we can all relate that good weather makes us feel better.
Planning blog content
It can often be tricky to juggle work, travel, gigs, social life, hospital appointments, blogging and everything else in between. Now that there is no travel, no gigs, heck there is no social life or even hospital appointments either, so it’s been good to use this downtime to work more on my blog and freelance writing. I’ve been looking through my old lists of blog post ideas as well as thinking of new content ideas to work on that I think you might enjoy. Please feel free to get in touch or leave a comment with things you would like me to write or what you enjoy reading most on my blog. I’d love to hear from you.
Nature and wildlife
I’ve always loved having a garden, but the lockdown has made me appreciate even more that we have a front and back garden. Many people don’t have and I can only imagine how difficult it must be to not have a garden to enjoy during this time. I’ve found myself enjoying the simple things about our garden like the many birds that live in our trees and feast all day at the feeders we have hanging for them. I love to watch them feed and play together and the bird song fills our house all day. The pink and white cherry blossom trees we have are stunning against the blue skies on sunny days. Instant mood booster. Savoring the small moments feels so good.
Giving myself some slack
I feel so much guilt when I’m not being ‘productive’. I think about the million to-do lists and beat myself up for not having ticked everything off my list that day. It’s silly to think like that, but sometimes I can’t help it. I’m so used to always doing something that when I’m not the guilt kicks end. However, it’s something I’m working on and I’m realising how good it feels to take a
step roll back and rest. The world isn’t going to end if I don’t tick everything off my list each day. Use this time to do whatever feels right to you, whether that’s work, create, rest or watch Netflix all day. I’m learning to pay attention to my body and realise when I’m doing too much. Stop self-judgement and know that tomorrow is another day to start again.
So that is some of the things helping me stay positive during isolation. Some days are ‘productive’ and others not so much, but that’s okay. We are all adjusting to this ‘new normal’. It’s important to remember that it isn’t forever. We will all be back to ‘normal’ soon. I really hope you’re all well. Please share how you are managing and what you’re doing during isolation.
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