By Amreen Pathan
Lockdown -which number are we on now- is impending. It’s pretty much a matter of when rather than if.
I wonder what feelings you are assailed with at the thought of another lockdown.
I know I am torn between two realities.
One is that of privilege: working and studying from the comfort of home, straight from the bed to the desk with no worry of Wi-Fi or heating or companionship.
In a strange way, there is less pressure.
As a teacher, the other is that of providing some form of education to pupils who might not share my first reality. What will my pupils miss out on? Who will have access to an internet connection? Who will have access to reading materials? How can I cover everything that I had planned for? How will I assess their learning? Who has to share their computer access with siblings? And so on.
In a strange way, there is added pressure.
All of you will carry truths of your own but please peruse through the following tips I have collated from family, friends, colleagues, my lovely pupils and of course the delightful internet. As always, please share yours below!
Bringing life to lockdown
- “Two words: prepared environment. Lockdown is by no means fun but have some sort of structure or routine in the day. Reading time, planned screen time, crafts etc. I also found it helpful to keep a basket at child-reach level, stocked with water bottles, fruit and snacks so the kids can help themselves. I’m sure every mother can understand the frustration from being inundated by the snack monsters!” (Mother of two and teacher)
- “Game nights with friends. There are so many apps that let you play multiplayer with friends – our personal favourite was Ludo King! Since morning commitments were somewhat reduced, we’d have midnight matched whilst being on call at the same time. As it’s such an easy game, even siblings would get involved leading to further banter plus potential (hilarious) arguments. It’d be competitive but light hearted and a great way to end the day.” (A-Level student and aspiring doctor)
- “I think it has to be waking up early and regular morning routine including my 3K treadmill!” (Headteacher)
- “Baking and cooking as coping mechanisms. The motion of measuring and stirring and whisking and watching all the ingredients come together and rise is really therapeutic and brings out the chemist in everybody.” (Doctoral researcher in chemical engineering)
- “Working from home? Turn that screen off and make yourself obtusely unavailable. I assure you, your work will still be waiting for you tomorrow.” (Senior sales manager)
- “I genuinely think gardening is what will keep us sane through this. It connects us with the outdoors and the gentle satisfaction of watching things grow brings a unique positivity. If you’ve no garden, there are plenty of ways to grow indoors.” (Gardening columnist and author)
- “Sunlight (Vitamin D), proper sleep… daily movement and exercise, meditation for mindset… nutrition and eliminating seed oils and excessive sugar intake.” (Instagram: Author unknown)
- “One of the main things that helped me was using the ‘spare time’ to express and embrace my feelings through various creative outlets such as writing, reading, drawing etc. Over lockdown, I explored so much poetry and delved into old folklore narratives. I travelled back in time and to different places learning about traditional beliefs, customs and stories of communities and cultures… It is crazy to me how sane this act of reading kept me. A tip I would give is to challenge yourself and read about something or of a genre, you normally wouldn’t traverse. What do you have to lose? (A year 7 pupil)
- “One crucial piece of advice I would give is to keep in contact with friends and relatives. It makes you feel like nothing has changed and you’re not alienated from the rest of the world. It also makes you feel good knowing that others are thinking of you and caring for you even if you are unable to see them.” (A year 10 pupil)
- “There’s a lot beyond our control at the moment and that can be difficult to accept. But if you can let go of what you can’t control and practise acceptance and self-compassion, it may help to free up energy and space in your mind.” (Mental health specialist)
My advice? You do you. Don’t be pressured into taking up a new hobby (and letting your entire social media audience know about it!) if you really don’t want to. Feel like cooking? Great? Don’t feel like cooking? Also great. Read or don’t read; embrace the change of pace or wallow; exercise or sloth; news or not – ultimately, you decide. Sometimes there is comfort in doing nothing. Let your body and mind dictate what you need whether that be human contact, a prepared environment, exercise, sleep, food, routine or otherwise.
Oh and one other thing.
Making a trip to the supermarket?
Leave that third pack of toilet rolls for the person behind you.
#Lockdown #StayingAtHome #Covid