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 1010919
Published
  • 12 / August / 2020
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Lockdown: what?! For how long?

How has lockdown been for you and your loved ones? How have you been keeping emotionally, physically, mentally and otherwise?

 

It’s been over 100 days of lockdown and what an interesting period it has been.  At first it felt like we were being sent to our rooms (homes) to think about how we have been living ,how we can make changes where we can and accept where we cannot make a change.  Similar to when a child is being disobedient and they are sent to a naughty corner or naughty chair to calm down, think about what they have done , a parent approaches the child to explain why what they did was wrong and the effect their actions has on those around them , how they can do better next time and the importance of apologising to those who were affected.

The first few weeks of lockdown were tough, full of uncertainty with questions like “what is this? Where did it come from? What does it mean for life now and going forward? What about work? Does this mean I can watch TV all-day every day? Pyjamas all day every day, is this the new normal?”.  The more information we had access to the less anxious one became and the more one started to think about a routine that was comfortable in the midst of the uncertainty.

Lockdown also meant that we were spending A LOT of time with our families which for some of us was not something we were used to.  We were all in the same space and learning to all enjoy the space without driving each other insane!  That meant having difficult conversations about the chores – cleaning, cooking, general tidying up.  It also meant that we had time to catchup on book reading and being active – there was no excuse of working late at the office, oversleeping thus can’t make gym or just not enough time in the day to do it all!  We had all the time and were not in a rush to go anywhere!

We enjoyed spending time with the family doing different things – playing games, cooking, exercising etc – it was just until the novelty started wearing off.  When the lockdown period was extended, then our mood changed.  On one hand we came face to face with the realities of being in a confined space for an extended period of time – on the other hand we started conversations on how to forge a “new normal” in the midst of the pandemic.

One of the things that helped our family was to have a basic schedule – dishes were to be washed at 12 o' clock midday and 7pm daily.  Afternoons were reserved for quiet time – for reading or taking a nap – which meant no loud music or shouting from 2pm to 4pm.  The rest of the time could be used any way you like.  That helped ‘cos there was a certain rhythm and predictability around us and when school started online that added a another dimension to the routine which meant the house was quiet from 8am to 4pm.

I realised that working out became even more important than ever since it gave me a break from work and was the best mood-booster I could find.  My family members would sometimes join in and sometimes would just watch and cheer me on.  Slowly I started seeing how they each were making time to exercise in their own way and in their own time.  Its amazing how habits can stick when they are not being enforced. 

Another thing we learned by being on lockdown is that we all have different preference for space or human interaction – some family members love a lot of interaction either through Zoom calls, skype or interrupting for a hug here and there – and some preferred their quiet space with no interruptions.  We all learned to knock and wait for an answer prior to entering any room with a closed door.  We stressed less about who has not taken a shower or who was in their PJ’s the entire day.

I’m a sucker for routine so I continued to meditate daily in the mornings and twice on those challenging days – I started exercising daily (for at least 30 minutes) for a good mood boost and because it improved my sleep tremendously – I even started napping during the day whenever I felt like it (my husband is a serial napper and I now appreciate why!). So it’s been a fun, interesting, frustrating, learning experience for all of us and we continue to have difficult and not so difficult conversations during this time.  How has it been for you? What has worked for you? What’s been your take-home lesson for you and your loved ones?

 

“Choose an Active Lifestyle. Always”

Mandisa