I thought I was doing ok, then last Thursday I hit a Covid-19 wall. I couldn't stop crying. Every little thing seemed like a major disaster and I couldn't see a way out. This has happened to me every lockdown and I know that it's happened to a lot of my friends too.
In my head this is what it must feel like when you're in prison waiting for parole and you've been told that you're going to get it, then it gets taken away from you.
I keep saying that your house should be your happy place, but I know that for all of us at the moment our house is our prison.
So, here are a few quick wins to help keep you sane.
Every evening, make an effort to do the washing up, stack the dishwasher, put everything away and give the surfaces a wipe. It only takes 15 minutes and so many times we say 'I'll do it in the morning' but then the morning comes and it sets us off on the wrong foot because it's yet another thing we need to do that day. If you make an effort before you go to bed when you come downstairs in the morning and it's all done you'll feel lighter and feel like you're in a good place to start the day.
Make your bed every morning, even if you don't feel like it. And I don't mean just throw the duvet back on willy nilly (love that expression - it apparently dates from 1608 and is a contraction of 'Will I, nill I' - you're welcome). Imagine it's a hotel room and there's an important guest coming: plump up those pillows, straighten that duvet so that it's smooth as glass. and arrange those cushions and throws nicely. It will make you feel like you're ready to take on the world. And when you come back to bed, it will make you feel like that important guest. Plus, you can't shout at the kids for not making their beds if you haven't made yours.
At the beginning of this lockdown I made a sign saying 'Quality alone time, please do not disturb'. Every person in the household has the right to use this once a day and the other members of the household must respect it. Too much quality time with our loved ones is not healthy. In Lockdown 1.0 and 2.0 many of us neglected self-care which is so important to keeping your head above water. So, take yourself off to wherever you want to be, blu-tak that sign to the door, and breathe.
We're all sick of looking at the same four walls so let's do something about it. Take all your pictures off the wall and all your bits and pieces off your shelves and tables and have a switch around. It will make each space look different and rejuvenated. Ask any kids you know to draw you some pictures. Get any old tester pots or paint pots out of the garage and paint something to change it up (I'm going to paint a plant pot in my bathroom bright pink just for the hell of it). Hopefully this should put a smile on your face when you walk into a room and find something that's not usually there.
Join my Facebook #fridayfettle (if you're from Yorkshire and over 50 then you probably know that 'fettle' means to tidy, clean, or mend). Every Friday I encourage people to have a #fridayfettle whereby they pick one thing that needs tidying, cleaning, or mending (ideally one of those jobs you've been putting off for ages) then they pick three songs to help them do it and try and finish the job by the end of the third song. This works for kids, other halves, housemates, parents, etc. so get everyone involved: put on some uplifting music you can dance around to and get fettling!
I can guarantee that if you do even one of these things it will make a positive difference to your life. Imagine what could happen if you did all of them? We can do this!