How can we find happiness while self isolating during lockdown? Is it even possible?
I love a good moan. I do. A good moan is very cathartic, it gets things off your chest (and mind) but sometimes a moan turns into a mindset and you’re stuck. Miserable. That isn’t to say we aren’t entitled to moan, or be miserable, we totally are. We are stuck in the middle of a pandemic, every feeling is valid.
I have seen so many posts from people complaining; complaining about being bored, bored of the same old walk every day, the kids driving them mad their partner getting on their nerves and so on so I asked the members of my Facebook group (you can click here to join here if you want to) what is making them happy at the moment.
Now, I should say that there are people working and it almost feels like we shouldn’t be happy when they are putting themselves at risk but hear me out. This is our current “normal”. We need to do whatever we can to get through the day. I also appreciate people are self isolating completely alone, my mum and a couple of friends are single and living alone but they are still able to find things they enjoy, although they are lonely. Finding happiness at least for a short time, is what will keep us sane.
I spent a good portion of the first week in self isolation in tears (we took the kids out a week earlier than most – you can read about why here). In fact for the first couple of weeks it felt like grief and an amount of guilt, worry and so on. Then I started to relax into the new way of life and was able to “enjoy” parts of it, I wrote about our first week in self isolation here…
So, what are we enjoying about lockdown? What is making us happy and what are we grateful for?
So, in no particular order:
No set schedule during lockdown
We’re loving the fact that we don’t have to be anywhere at a set time. Apart from medical appointments, obviously. The lack of schedule is meaning we can relax more. We are taking it in turns to get up with the children while the other has a lie in – it feels very indulgent but it means that we can rest, and rest is important.
It also means there is no rushing to and from school, classes, groups, work and so on. It is an unprecedented change in lifestyle and I think most of us are enjoying it.
An empty washing basket
Whether it’s because we’re all wearing pyjamas during the day or we have time to get the washing done the basket is empty – hurrah!
Getting jobs around the house done
I have to say I haven’t managed this, well I did clean the oven, but I haven’t done much else. I know others have got decorating finished that was planned for the holidays. DIY has been done. Rooms have been tidied. Windows washed. Cars maintained. My house is still a tip but hey ho!
Spending time in the garden
If you are lucky enough to have a garden I bet you have spent more time in it than before. We have never seen so many neighbors in their gardens as now. Some have kids that I didn’t know existed! I love seeing the little faces pop over the fence while they bounce on their trampolines to keep active during lockdown.
I’ve had a delivery of plants and compost from a local garden centre (with another on the way) and it’s really helping my mental health getting in the fresh air and watching the flowers start to bloom. The recent weather has helped.
Finding time to do things we love
Friends have taken up hobbies they haven’t had time for. One is teaching herself to play the ukulele (I don’t understand either). People are drawing, reading, writing, knitting, crochet, learning instruments, cooking – which leads me on to…
Cooking from scratch
Despite being on a budget I was guilty of not using everything up and being wasteful. Now we are restricted to one online delivery a week and no popping out to the shops I have learnt to be more resourceful. I meal plan much better and at the end of the week go through what we really need from the shops. I am finding more time to enjoy cooking and trying different things. I’m cooking with the children more. I have even put a recipe on for one of our favourite dishes I have recreated from Prezzo: Goats cheese al forno Preezzo style
Spending time with our family
There are obviously times when we would rather not be in such close proximity and we are all getting stroppy from time to time but we are loving the enforced family time. Instead of having to find time for each other all we have is time. We are learning together, eating together, playing together. It’s lovely (most of the time). We do miss the family that we don’t live with though, but we actually speak to a lot of them more now than we did before.
Not having to see people we don’t want to
To be fair this is the best excuse ever not to see people! I mean it is a bit extreme but you know, you have to see the good in the bad don’t you?
Some of us are still working, or earning and are saving money as we aren’t having to pay to travel to and from work. We aren’t eating out or buying things that we don’t really need. I used to pop to the shops several times a week but now we have one shop a week delivered so we are saving money on groceries – although that one shop a week is eye watering.
We all know it isn’t big or clever, and it’s not good for you but sometimes a gin at 3pm is just the tonic (sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun)
This time has really taught me what is important, and what I previously took for granted.
I think we should take the time thank those who are still working, keeping us going at such a difficult and dangerous time. When this is over (will it ever be over? Let’s hope so) they will need us to look after them and we can only do that if we emerge the the other side as mentally and physically able as possible, and in order to do that we need to find a little bit of happiness in every day.
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