Stay at home is a significant focus of the Government’s drive for our physical wellbeing, and a substantial change to the routine of many of us. We are all sacrificing parts of our lives, so missing those parts is normal – people, places, hobbies, work.
We’re in this to save lives – so let’s continue exploring how to make an indoor bubble life the best it can be for ourselves and others. We want you to thrive, and that includes preventing you and others from becoming lonely, or at least lonelier.
We’re living in unprecedented times, with such wide-scale lockdown.
Some people will feel temporarily better connected, and some might experience loneliness for the first time.
Prolonged loneliness is harmful, particularly for anyone vulnerable, experiencing hardship or under strain.
There is a detailed section of each of these below. A quick summary is:
We are all used to the normal routine of who amongst our friends and families go out to work, school and morning coffee groups, where we get much of our socialising. And who we would socialise during those routines, and for the amount of time.
We now are blending our new routines staying in, which have a very different look to our work and socialising. To avoid disappointment, give realistic consideration how you combine your new circumstances with those of others.
To avoid disappointment, give realistic consideration how you combine your new circumstances with those of others.
We want our routines to work for everyone – in our own bubble (of one or more) and beyond.
We have all seen how quickly life can change, and how we can adapt. Our routines will make us happier if we take the same approach, being ready to be flexible.
(a) reflect on your own routine and get a feel for how its working. Are you getting all that balance? How are others adapting to it? What are you hearing others want it differently? Are you putting too much expectation on yourself? And are others asking too much of you?
(b) have a conversation, checking in with your family, your support networks and other members inside and out of you bubble. Are they feeling well supported? Are you giving them a good understanding of your needs? And is there anything they want different from you? Talk about how you can both adjust expectations to get a healthy balance for meeting everyone’s needs and wants.
Mindfulness means being aware of your present moment. Amongst others, these include focusing on your state of mind, your feelings, thoughts. Being mindful of these situations will help your wellbeing.
We’re mindful that you are unique in personality, circumstances and need; and yet we have our humanness in common. So we are not prescribing specific activities for each of you. Rather consider these few examples of how to be creative using your normal routines to guide your new routines.
If you hear yourself thinking of an activity and then thinking “I used to… BUT I CAN’T …” before you give up on the activity or worse yourself, shift your thinking to “I used to… SO INSTEAD HOW can I do that now?”
Shift your thinking to what will work to benefit you.
As we hear of more that might benefit many of you we will add to these…especially those that do not rely on other people or technology, and can be done indoors with small spaces.
What I used to do
Instead in my home today I’ll…
OR in my home I’ll…
Car-pool to work
Set up a “car-pool call” to the same people and chat on the phone for the length of the ride.
Walk walk walk – on the spot, listening to a radio chat show and making comments out loud.
Walk up the stairs to my office, and greet people.
Do “on the spot” step exercises “walk- knees up-walk knees up-smile-knees up…. and think positive things you would have been saying.
Use the stairs within your home… and cheerily greet people as they wake up in your home.
Chat to my colleagues over coffee
Have an agreed few people to call at. We keep the time brief and positive.
Phone an aunt living on her own I haven’t spoken to in ages.
Served people in the restaurant all day
Have an activity that keeps me busy, with similar energy levels… using your hands.. its a craft which gives me a chance to walk while glue is drying.
Upskill myself with online learning to stay in my same job (increasing my understanding of people); I also might explore changing jobs (understanding the management side of a shop).
Go to the gym with my brother
Call my brother and we do exercises using our small spaces and that also uses all our muscles. We chat on the phone about our technique. Beats only exercising my fingers using my devices :).
Accept my brother is now tied up with family, so find some online exercises that energise me, using a different range of muscles each day. I’m adapting and changing – but every day I’m actively doing.
Meet friends for dinner
Get us together as group on a video conference and we’ll have dinner together … and we agreed give each other space to chat.
Give my friends their space, and instead use the time to create a series of new recipes for me to share with them when we do talk during the week.
Play in a card group
Be creative, adapting familiar games for playing on the video conferencing using real cards….and we can chat online at the same time.
Enjoy some solitude, teaching myself new patience card games with real cards – and mindfully build my tallest card tower.