Pedicures and paychecks: Life beyond the Twilight zone
At the beginning of lockdown life felt surreal, and many of us struggled to adjust to the upside down world. We’ve all been made acutely aware of how different the experience has been for everyone (insert famous quote about all weathering the storm together but not being in the same boat). And frustration mounts because things are just not right, and the end is not yet in sight.
Our lives are disrupted in so many ways, from pedicures to paychecks. And in times of uncertainty, and the struggle of trying to keep your life together while juggling kids, homeschooling, work, mental stability, chores etc, things can really fall apart.
Our lockdown restrictions are lifting slowly but surely, one by one. And life (always) goes on, so we have to prepare ourselves and our families. It has been stressful to many people and, understandably, for most it has been very hard to be disciplined while everything around us feels like chaos.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, and we’re battling with different challenges as part of our effort to ride out the Covid-19 storm. It’s natural to want to lie in a bit longer, and too easy to be tempted by all the various things that we associate with off-time or weekend-time at home. But when you have to be productive, and you’re trying to manage your anxiety, then routine and structure is your friend. When your world is upside down, cling to these trustworthy allies - they will energise you in the long run.
Whether you’re working from home or just trying to keep things under control while waiting out the storm, consider the following tips:
Most children need structure and routine - it makes them feel safe and less anxious. The magic in this parenting tip is: it’s a universal truth for anyone feeling disrupted or anxious. We can’t control what’s happening in the world right now, but we can control our own environments. Routine doesn’t sound very exciting, but it is magical.
Pretend as if it’s business as usual and keep meal times close to the same time you’re used to. Also, if you used to have pizza every Friday, then continue doing that. Speaking of business, it might have been fun at first, but probably not a great idea to work in your pj’s all day if you want to get back into routine.
Do a bit of time management (or a lot…).In this time of flux, it might just be your saving grace. Time management is a word that gets thrown around a lot in a world where people try and have it all. But it’s not to be sneered at - time management is a great way to instill routine and create the feeling of security in anxious times. You don’t have to be productive for every minute of the day - time management can be as simple as being disciplined about setting time aside for work, for chores, for home schooling and also for cooking, exercise and fun. Knowing that you have allocated time for specific things, will help you feel more in control.
Start your day off right: We all have that one thing that makes us ready to have a productive day. For some it’s putting on red lipstick, to some it’s the bare minimum like brushing their teeth and their hair. Others need coffee, a bit of meditation, packing a lunch, taking a hot shower or a shot of vodka. No matter what your routine is for having a good day - it’s more important now than ever that you know what it is, and that you don’t stop doing it.
Don’t disregard the effect all this can have on your mental health - get yourself and your family out of the door for a good dose of fresh air and exercise.
Stick to early bedtimes, a good night’s rest is not only beneficial to your immune system, but also a great way to help you be productive during the day and get ready to move into “normal” routines.
We’ve all had to adapt to a new way of doing pretty much everything. Some have it incredibly tough and face very little to no income for the foreseeable future. Some of us are lucky enough to keep on working, even though we don’t really feel that lucky most of the time.
Though many people have made some very instagrammable comments and jokes about the “joys” of working from home while also being the chef, the teacher, the cleaner, etc., it is undoubtedly one of the more stressful things many of us will go through.
Look at your experience during lockdown and identify one or two things that was the silver lining on the Covid Cloud. Maybe your family really enjoys having a proper breakfast together, or just exercising together. Or maybe it’s having time to sit through a whole movie together. Pick one or two things that you would like to continue doing once this madness ends, and then make another list for all the things you look forward to doing again.
Thanks to social media this is a famous quote by now, but very apt: Remember this too shall pass. It might pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass.
Forgive yourself for everything you should have done or could have done and march forwards with new enthusiasm into every lockdown level. We’re all gatvol, and we’ll all just have to keep on trying to do our best for a little while longer.