Dealing with the lockdown and living alone
Being stuck alone, working from home for now 6 weeks is hard. As a spoonie and an introvert, I thought this would be fine and I would have more energy without the commute to work. I was wrong. I’m trying to make the most of it. Here’s some tips that helped me or could help you.
First of all, don’t feel pressured to be super productive. Don’t feel like you should have decluttered your home, baked a dozen loves of bread, learned a second language, etc. This is a stressful situation and your body is in fight or flight mode and this is exhausting.
Dedicate a moment to watch the news. Being on your news app or watching the news channel 24/7 is quite stressful. Choose one or two times in the day for gathering information. I tell my grandma to stop listening to the continuous news channels.
Avoid sensational and questionable sources of information. Trust your local government (in my case Québec and Canada) and the WHO.
It goes without saying that you should try to keep contact with your loved ones thought phone, text, Skype, email, etc.
Try to keep a routine. It’s a little easier for me because I still work from 8 :30 to 5 :00. Even if I didn’t work, I’d go to bed and wake up at the same times. I try to do this on weekends in normal times because it helps me sleep better.
Staying in PJs may be fun for a while, but getting dressed helps the morale.
Move a little or exercise. It doesn’t have to be a full-blown workout, maybe just a walk outside, some stretching or other exercise (I play Dance Dance Revolution on my Wii). Go with what you can do and feel like to do.
Do something mindless. It can be colouring a colouring page, doing a puzzle, sudoku, word search or crosswords.
Read a book (a magazine or a comic). But I would stay away from anything stressful or negative. In a stressful period, I like to read wholesome or fun stuff.
Ask for help when you feel overwhelmed.
Use social media in a positive way. Suggest TV series and videos worth watching, watch videos that make you laugh/feel good. Do not share post from questionable sources that will only contribute to spreading lies and anxiety.
Have a cool off period at the end of the day. Read, meditate or listen to relaxing music.
Stress can mess up with your appetite, but you still need to eat. Sometimes I will eat smaller meal more often.
Practise gratitude. I can’t say I do this very often, but sometimes when I feel a little down I think about how I’m lucky I still have a job, that I can do in the safety of my apartment and that none of my close family got sick with COVID-19.
It’s not my speed, but I know many people enjoy journaling. This can be a good time to do so.
Do a simple (or not) DIY project you had in mind. That is if you have all the material available. I took the opportunity to try some craft kits I had.
Listen to your favourite song and sign or dance.
Paint your nails.
Acknowledge your feelings. It’s ok to feel stressed, anxious or overwhelmed.
Be kind to yourself.
Channel your emotions into creativity
Have a “home spa” day. Take a bubble bath, treat yourself to face, hand, hair or foot masks, etc.
Cook or bake, if this is your thing and if there is no shortage of ingredients.
Lower your expectations. You home doesn’t need to be sparkling clean. But the opposite can be bad too. Living in a dumpster is definitely not good for you mentally.