Life&Style Writer Heidi Linton offers different ways for getting out of the sluggish state known as ‘lockdown funk’ as we continue life at home
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, lives around the globe have been paused indefinitely. Many of us will now find ourselves passing hours scrolling mindlessly through the same social media sites, our eyes glued to series after series on Netflix. While some of us are getting used to this unfamiliar way of life, for others the struggle to escape the so-called ‘lockdown funk’ is a daily challenge. While you may not be accustomed to the lifestyle we are presently undertaking, the tired and groggy feeling of doing nothing all day is not inevitable.
While the socialising you are used to may be off-limits at present, it is not necessary to let your social life diminish. In the 21st century, we’re used to keeping in contact over vast distances through no-contact video-calls, so we might as well make use of them. Humans have become dependent on face-to-face interactions, so checking up on your loved ones, be it friends to grandparents, is both morale-boosting and time filling. Try mixing it up and host a quiz with a small group or try out the new trend of dressing up for a virtual dining experience.
Dig out those long-lost paintbrushes, knitting needles and sudoku puzzles; now is a good a time as any to adopt a new hobby or regain an old skill. Put down your phone for an hour or two and completely immerse yourself in baking for the family, learning to play an instrument or speaking a new language, writing a poem or a letter to a dearly missed friend.
Taking the time to read a few chapters of a book can be as intellectually stimulating as it is relaxing. Be this a Penguin Classic, a childhood favourite, a non-fiction interest or a self-help book, reading is a wholesome method of education and escapism. Perhaps, begin the hefty series you’ve never got around to attempting or try a hauntingly relatable pandemic novel.
This may be the most time you’ve spent in your own home, causing you to notice mood-crushing clutter. If so, it’s time for a clear out! When it comes to overflowing wardrobes, it’s time to ditch the garments you have long outgrown and rearrange the remaining clothing. Try out Marie Kondo’s organisation techniques for top tips on decluttering. Alternatively, if it is the kitchen cupboards that are overflowing, donate to your local food bank to help others in this unforeseeable time.
Help Your Community
You do not have to be a key worker to do your bit in this global emergency. All around the globe, communities have come together to play their part. NHS volunteering and food donations are beneficial if you’re able, although a socially distanced conversation with a lonely neighbour or an essential shop for someone in isolation can be equally effective. If you’ve been consumed by boredom these past few weeks, then helping others is a charitable way to fill the day.
Exercising each day is a great way to boost your mood and fight of that groggy feeling, (alongside the health benefits of course). With the gyms shut for lockdown, it may be difficult to motivate yourself to get active, though there are plenty of home workouts and outdoor activities that can substitute a pricey gym membership. Give running a go with the popular ‘Couch to 5K’ app, or browse YouTube for a suitable home workout routine. While physical challenges may provide purpose on unmotivated days, a daily walk or a yoga routine should equally aid happiness and relaxation. Since you’re having to spend an unusual amount of time with other household members, a short trip outdoors is important in ensuring the precious alone time you seek.
Look after yourself
Self-care is always important, though in combating that lockdown exhaustion, it’s integral. Aside from exercising, healthy eating and a regular sleeping schedule are strongly recommended. Though social media may put on the pressure to think of others and be productive, it is vital to find hours in the day for ‘you-time’. If you find yourself in a funk, you may not require a strict activity routine, but a meditation session or a hot bubble bath and a glass of wine. Don’t feel guilty; sometimes doing nothing is exactly what you need.