The coronavirus lockdown came seemingly out of nowhere. One week we were getting to grips with properly washing our hands, and the next we are barely allowed out. We now have to work, educate children and relax all from home.
The sudden change to life can feel overwhelming. But it is possible to use this period to your advantage: without a commute there will be more time in your day for other things. You can still keep going with many of the things you did before, with tweaks to make them work online.
Read on for a thorough guide of how to get through the lockdown period, and dare we say it, maybe even enjoy it.
Things to do if you’re bored at home
You can’t get a drink at the pub, go for a movie or workout at the gym, so how on earth will you spend these long hours? It could be the time to finally get into one of those hobbies you’ve been meaning to do: learn to play an instrument (be mindful of your neighbours who will be stuck in their homes) or get baking (if you can find the ingredients in the shops).
Even if you can’t be in the same room as your friends, you can still make time to speak to each other. Virtual dinner parties are now A Thing: pick one dish to cook in each house, and eat it together in front of a webcam. M
If you want to see your friends and do something cultural together, you could do a virtual book club. With all this time at home, there’s no excuse for not finishing this month’s book.
If you are using self-isolation as a chance to, well, isolate yourself, this could be a brilliant time to catch up on all the television and books you’ve missed.
UNICEF recommends parents and their children to create a flexible but consistent daily routine. “COVID-19 has taken away our daily work, home and school routines. This is hard for children, teenagers and for you. Making new routines can help,” it says.
In a document on how to talk to children about the coronavirus disease, UNICEF says “children have a right to truthful information about what’s going on in the world, but adults also have a responsibility to keep them safe from distress”, recommending that adults use age-appropriate language, watch children’s reactions, and be sensitive to their level of anxiety.
The closure of gyms, sport facilities and stadiums, public pools, dance studios, and playgrounds means that many are not able to actively participate in individual or group sporting or physical activities. But that does not mean, people should stop being physically active, nor should they disconnect from the coaches, teammates and instructors.
The World Health Organization recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week, or a combination of both.
Changes to lifestyle during this difficult period can adversely affect people’s wellbeing. It is always important to protect mental health. WHO has released a 31-point guidance on mental health that specifically targets the general population; healthcare workers; health facility managers; childcare providers; older adults, care providers and people with underlying health conditions; and those who are living in isolation to try and contain the spread of the pandemic.