Keeping a Healthy and Busy Mind in Lockdown
Updated: Dec 8, 2020
by Kendra Clark
Image courtesy of HeungSoon via Pixabay
As the lockdown for COVID-19 extends, people are becoming more and more frustrated and losing the priority of staying at home. It is difficult to stay motivated in these uncertain times and keeping busy can prove to be a challenge when there are such tight restrictions. If you’re reading this, you’re probably just as bored and unoccupied as I am, which is why I’ve put together the ways [MA3] that help me stay busy and happy under lockdown. However, most importantly, I want to stress that it is okay to feel helpless and lost during this strange period but you are never alone and you can always reach out to someone.
The first and most obvious suggestion I have is to really focus on that hobby you have always wanted to undertake but have never had the time or motivation to do so. If you’re not sure where to start, then think back to your younger years and remember what you used to enjoy. Maybe you loved to bake with your grandmother or always had a soft spot for photography. Even doing a bit more exercise can make you feel more achieved and better about yourself. I have attempted to regain the skills I learnt whilst studying art in school and began painting again. Of course, almost all of them have come out terrible but it is still fun to try. I’ve seen many posts on social media about people taking advantage of the sunny weather and completely transforming their gardens. Another activity I have enjoyed during lockdown is baking, from simple brownies to vanilla cheesecake to salted chocolate caramel. Baking helps reduce stress and can give you a huge feeling of satisfaction and achievement, so I really recommend trying it out because what could really be better than eating sugary or chocolatey baked goods?
Being in a lockdown can be an especially lonely time for us all, but only if we let it. With modern-day technology, it has never been easier to connect with people online. For example, the new Houseparty app allows friends to connect to your room which means group video chats with all your friends are available. However, if video chats and technology isn’t really for you, then take this time to focus on your smaller circle if safe to do so. Whilst living away at university, it’s easy to lose touch with your family so this time could be spent rebuilding and strengthening familial bonds. Setting up a game of monopoly, creating a family quiz or even sticking on a much-loved family movie is ensured to boost anyone’s mood. It’s also comforting to be reminded that you aren’t alone during these tough times, and you’re parents, siblings and carers are probably struggling with isolation as well.
Something I have been struggling with is the feeling of not doing anything that productive or educational. I really enjoy learning but it’s difficult to do so without lecturers to guide you, so instead I’ve been keeping up with reading and attempting to write more again. Some books that can offer you a sense of adventure and comfort during lockdown are 'We Are Completely Besides Ourselves' by Karen Joy Fowler, 'Rebecca' by Daphne Du Maurier and by 'Trumpet' Jackie Kay. When our world seems so controlled and restricted, it’s incredibly relieving to dive into a book and enter a new world.
If you enjoy reading or are just looking for something new to do, writing is a really creative and fulfilling hobby, and with nothing else to do, now is a perfect time. Although sometimes writing something as big as a novel can seem incredibly scary and overwhelming, so a good place to start is with something smaller. Short stories for those with creative outbursts and the Satire section of The Gaudie is currently looking for writers, their contact details can be found on their Facebook 'Gaudie Satire’. Satire pieces would be greatly appreciated from fellow Gaudie readers.
One of my last recommendations is to really focus on yourself, both inside and out. If you have been lucky enough like me to be furloughed, then you should still have a stable income and if you can spare a chunk of it, then this is the best time to give your wardrobe a well-needed update for 2020. I have been buying a bunch of new clothes for during and after quarantine, this has actually really helped me to keep looking forward to life after the lockdown. From splurging on comfy new loungewear to planning outfits for future nights out, this is a fun and productive activity which you will certainly thank yourself for. If you aren’t in the position to do this or simply don’t really enjoy spending money, then there are many other things that you can do to make yourself look and feel good. Since all the saloons are closed, dig up your old nail polish or the makeup that you haven’t worn since before lockdown and try a new style or colour. You never know, you could find those colours or styles you’ve never taken an interest in look best on you.
The final and easiest recommendation of all is to sit back, relax, and stick on a beloved TV show or movie. Sometimes different realities are the only thing that cheers us up and it's completely okay to feel that way, just as long as it’s not all the time. My current favourite thing to binge watch is Peaky Blinders which has just released an incredibly gripping season 5. This intense series is ideal if you want to enter another world, which is also slightly depressing but much more exciting than ours. A more feel-good TV series is Glee, now as cringey as it is, Glee is fun and joyful. The show is so lighthearted and upbeat that it’s almost sure to put you in a good mood. Another final recommendation is any and all of the Louis Theroux documentaries, most of which are on Netflix. These documentaries teach so much about different kinds of people, with a much loved and well-known journalist. From hunters to prison life, to transgender kids, something is sure to spark your interest. My personal favourite documentaries by him are the America's Most Hated Family episodes, there are three of them where Louis revisits a family with incredibly strong and offensive views in different time periods. These documentaries are interesting but they also deliver the content in a casual and sometimes jokey way, which is something that documentaries don’t do often.
However you choose to spend your lockdown is entirely up to you and you shouldn’t ever feel bad about how you are spending this time. The first priority is to keep as happy and positive as possible and everyone does this in different ways. First and foremost, remember to take care of yourself as best as you can in any way which suits you.