Updated: Jan 13
How are you feeling?
The bad news is that, once again, we are for the most part confined to our homes, which is a hard pill to swallow after the 2 former lockdowns in 2020.
The good news is that, the Pfizer & Oxford vaccines have both been approved, & the biggest ever national vaccination programme is underway. The Moderna vaccine has also been approved, although supplies may not be with us until the Spring. This gives great hope for our ability to be able to control the spread of the Covid-19 virus going forward, and a return to being able to socialise freely, once again
However, with the new mutation of the virus, which is far more transmissible than the 1st one, we are seeing a huge spike in cases, and many more younger people are becoming infected. As a direct result, we as a nation need to dig deep, and find the the strength & resolve to remain steadfast over the coming weeks, until the vaccines have been widely administered.
Many of us are finding things increasingly difficult, the longer the pandemic goes on. Feelings may include fear, frustration, lockdown fatigue, financial worries, self-doubt, loneliness & isolation.
With so many curbs to our personal liberty, there is a strong desire to be in control of anything that we can. Where possible, we need to look after our overall wellbeing, both physically & mentally, and our homes, once again, need to be multifunctional & efficient, while simultaneously being nurturing & relaxing. Bedrooms may need to double up as home offices & kitchen/dining areas also used for home schooling etc. There can be no doubt that with everybody at home, all with different agendas & priorities, tensions can arise.
As a direct result, creativity and the most effective use of space, has never been more paramount.
Over the next few weeks, I will be blogging with tips on how to tackle these challenges easily & cost effectively......
Today however, I want to remind you of the simple things you can do NOW in terms of self-care, coping mechanisms, & improving the ambience of your home, as well as having structure, daily exercise and time for rest & relaxation. I have deliberately used the word 'simple' as when we are feeling overwhelmed, we are much more likely to 'over think' things.
All of the suggestions below are things that work for me:
Start the day by taking the time to check in with yourself, as to how you are feeling.This will help you to set the correct measure for the day. For me, this quiet reflection always results in a much more focused day. Plan your day. If it suits you, make a 'to do' list & ensure proper breaks when you 'switch off' from work/study, as well as taking a proper lunch break.
If you have a young family & are feeling daunted by the challenge of more home schooling, link up with other parents so that you can all share difficulties & solutions. Also, take advantage of the recently launched Education programmes on the BBC - a great additional resource, especially for families with no home internet.
Find time for yourself - I have various books from which I read daily quotes for inspiration:
In addition, the books below, which I got from the Buddhist centre in Chiswick, I have read many times. They are short, concise, easy to read, inspiring & on point.
Let in the natural light in & when possible, the fresh air too!
On grey days introduce some light & indulgent aromas with scented candles &/or essential oil burners. For the latter, I use either lavender, lemon grass, orange or peppermint oils. Remember to always keep potentially hazardous items well out of the reach of children.
On the left are 3 beautiful candles, that I was given for Christmas, & on the right, are 2 candles from the retailer Wilko.The latter both have lovely aromas & are reasonably priced at £4.50 each. The tea light used in the oil burner, is also from Wilko. It burns for 8 hours, & a bag of 30, is just £3.00.
Bring the outside in, with plants, flowers & nature photos.
Daily Exercise is important for our physical health, & the endorphins released, are also good for our mood & overall mental health. Personally, I do stretching exercises in the morning, & make sure that I go out daily for a brisk walk, whatever the weather! I am fortunate in having a wonderful park at the end of my road. If you have one too, use it. There are also a plethora of online classes. While many do have a cost per session, there are also plenty that are free, so if you are financially constrained, shop around & you should be able to find a free class that you like.
On Monday the 11th January the lovely Joe Wicks as shown above, restarted his morning exercise sessions. They are be at 9am on Monday, Wednesday & Friday. They can be done with all of the family, & at a time to suit you, if 9am does not & they are always fun!!
Try to have a set work routine during the week where possible, & keep weekends work free!
For rest & relaxation do whatever you love be it meditating, cooking, reading, dancing, listening to music, painting etc; the possibilities are limitless!
Finally, give yourself a new challenge. People have done the most inspiring things during lockdown, such as learning a new language, learning an instrument, taking up a new craft or hobby, doing volunteering, fundraising, learning DIY & many more.
Doing anything that challenges you be it physically, &/or mentally, can give a real sense of achievement, and is a great boost for one's overall wellbeing. While technology such as Zoom etc. has provided a lifeline for many, remember to call anyone you know who is unable to use such software. Not everyone is connected to the internet & a voice call with someone, means so much more than a text message.
If you have any challenges in the home that you would like to tackle now, call me on 07775 728447 or email me at email@example.com with your questions.
I will send some useful tips on how to make a room multifunctional, and how to gradually declutter your home in my next blog.
We are all in this together, so no matter how hard it gets, remember, that following the guidelines, is for the greater good.
Good Luck in the coming days, take care & stay safe.
With very best wishes as ever,