It’s tough. It’s boring. It’s groundhog day again. We have up days and down days. It’s so good to have rest but we don’t have a job until normality resumes. Our gyms are closed. What do we do to not put weight on? We feel super OK symptom wise and yet stuck in with like, nothing to do. We had entire plans for 2020 and now can’t do any of it. We feel like such a waste. Bored. We just want a glass of wine with friends in the sunny pub garden. That date with that lush guy will probably never happen now. Our kids are driving us mad. [INSERT YOUR TROUBLE HERE]
It’s stay home to stay safe for a reason, and here are my 10 top tips to help ease that mental burden and squash times of boredom.
Find a YouTube guided meditation. Light a candle. Dim the lights. Choose an affirmation. Dig out a quote (Google is apt enough.) Laugh at me until you try it. You don’t need to go all Buddha. Lay down or sit up on the sofa. Clear your mind and repeat that quote/affirmation/mantra. Listen to a guided meditation. Clear the noise from your mind. It takes time and practice but a quiet mind is a healthy mind. Keep trying. You’ll find the head space I’m talking about. Something really great happens. Answers arrive. It’s definitely odd but it works.
BORING. Some of you will find this to be second nature whilst others don’t enjoy the word whatsoever. Fine. It just has to be mentioned. Exercise, believe it or not, doesn’t have to be 20 burpees and 100 squats. Half a round of sex-a-robics is more fun than that.
Take yourself for a walk on your daily allowance of outdoors exercise. Plug in that playlist and stretch those legs. Dare yourself to add a jog in there at some point.
Tune in to your inner yoga bunny and stretch that stress out. Put on your favourite tunes and dance to your clean up regime. Move your body. Join in with good old Joe Wicks P.E for the nation. He donates all his advertising profits to the NHS so you can can feel morally fantastic at the same time.
Did you know that even sex counts as exercise when you give it a good go? Let’s get physical.
Music is magic to the soul. Right now, life as we know it, isn’t as we know it. We are missing family. Missing friends. Worried. Panicking. Sad. Lonely. Mental health is a huge concern. So play the songs you need. Cry to the sad lyrics. Scream to the rock gods. Dance with your hairbrush to the cheese. Music really is therapy. Use it as you wish. Don’t feel you can’t let emotions out or that you even need to create 24/7 happy playlists to mask how you feel right now. Let the music cure you. Let it all out baby.
Avoid the news
For a solid 24 hours avoid all forms of news broadcasting. Be it on the TV, radio, social media or via friends chatting on messenger. Say no. Negative attracts negative when it comes to thoughts and the spiral down to sheer defeat.
You will be fine for 24 hours. Honestly. Stop breathing in the media and breathe in your own positivity.
I’ve been journalling since I was 10 years old and my first ever diary was a Spice Girls one. I wrote down all my wins, worries, crushes plus everything else in between. Granted, as I’ve grown older it’s been far sparser but it always hoists that baggage of worry off of my chest or at least relieves a part of it. A worry shared is a worry halved. Even if that is with ourselves in a form of outed rage on paper. So open a notepad (it doesn’t have to be fancy) and write. Nobody is checking your spelling or how neat your handwriting is. Forget about writing perfectly. Let your thoughts and emotions take grip of your pen as the words flow onto the page. This isn’t for anybody else’s benefit to read. It shan’t be published or fully edited for a magazine in which thousands of eyes read deep into your soul and secrets. This is for your mind to free up space and express itself. De-stress. Guess what? You don’t even have to read it when it’s finished.
If this pandemic scares you, write it down. Most of the time we cannot speak openly about our fears. Burn the paper once the words are written if you just can’t read the words back one day or want it permanently erased from your memory. This will take such an immense weight from your mind. Trust me.
Turn off your phone
That’s it. Turn it off completely. I know some will need it for family to contact, if so, turn off your apps or delete them for as long as you need to feel the calm. Give yourself a break from the constant phone checking addiction. It’s not healthy for starters. It’s domineering for mains and for afters it’s just a glorified world of false pretences. Live in your moment and not a worry of missing out on somebody else’s. You won’t be missing out, especially whilst these trying times are upon us. Stop being so concerned about what everybody else is doing. Stop comparing if that’s what you’re good at. Friends will still be there when you turn your phone back on (I’d question the friendship if they’re not.)
Step away from all the polished, curated lives and exist in your own real one.
Pick up the phone
Contrary to me telling you to turn your phone off, make a conscious decision to speak to people rather than just pinging a message over. I know it’s so 2020 to message and totally convenient and far less anxiety inducing, but it genuinely does connect you when you talk to another human. Especially ones you quite like. Once the conversation starts flowing it’s so much better than toneless messages.
Right now, we aren’t busy. We have the gift of time to actually speak. Day to day in the manic world of normality, messages are brilliant because we are on the go and it can be picked up at any convenient time. Right now, messages are good but really they can be empty. Pick up the phone and speak to somebody. Human connections make us more relaxed and in touch with emotions. Get a little bit old fashioned.
Read a book/watch a film
Escapism is a wonderful type of freedom and it’s right here for us at home. Our minds need time out. We are inundated with the worlds problems, our own burdens and the fact that freedom as we know it has been taken away for a short time. To be involved in another story, even if just for a few hours you elude your own reality. Choose a new film or pick up a book. Get lost in the story, the twists in the plot. Let your mind take on a world outside of its own. I love immersing myself and burying into a new book. It’s one of my favourite things to do. Living the life of the characters, feeling their emotions, the story behind their lives and walking their journey alongside them. It’s a world so far away from my own thoughts and distracts the killer of over-thinking from ripping in. Over-thinking is the worst form of self- torture and it’s to be avoided where we can make it possible to avoid.
Pick up a book or put that film on. Escape the world.
Get it on
You’ve more than likely heard the puns and repartee surrounding the baby boom of lockdown 2020. In all honestly, if you have the privacy, what better way to spend your time than in the throws of passion (Contraception to not be forgotten of course, unless you genuinely want a bundle in 9 months time.) Go through the Karma Sutra. Most people roll their eyes but have you actually done it all? Download sex positions. Get creative if you’re lucky enough to be uninterrupted…
Have mini-me’s running around? Make the most of nap times and bed times. Spontaneous quickies can be breathtaking when it’s done with intent and not schedule.
Single? You know what to do. Ann Summers, Love Honey and more have some serious orgasm enhancing self-play toys and accessories. This is the perfect time to get to know yourself if ever there wasn’t a time.
Orgasms and skin- touching- skin will always relieve tension. I don’t think I’ve ever orgasmed and thought of anything else at the precise same time. Whether that be with a man or with my favourite vibrating pink friend…
Put a bra on!
Get yourself out of those pjs right now! Don’t get me wrong, I am queen of comfort and an advocate of pyjama wearing. Pyjamas are so necessary right now but not to the point you forget what it feels like to be fully dressed. Watch your films on the sofa, have your snuggle days (I do truly believe they are good for your wellbeing) but for goodness sake put your bra on, choose an outfit and show up for yourself. Put a dress on for dinner with your partner. Apply makeup for that once weekly shop. Make some videos of your isolation to create a video journal. Take photos for Instagram. Dive in and and play dress-up with your entire wardrobe. Wear those good yoga pants for your workout. It doesn’t matter that nobody is looking. You are looking! Never put feeling good to the back of the mental pile. Feeling good is our style, the way we invent ourselves and dressing up like a 5 year old with no inhibitions. It’s priority for self-care.
Right now, in this moment of time, we are making history. We are forever going to be showing the future generations how we personally responded to a worldwide pandemic that is killing thousands of people. We can show them how we listened, how we cured and how we got through this together by staying at home. It might be boring. It might suck that you can’t go out and do your thing, whatever that may be. We are dutifully bound to stay at home to prevent a spread of a virus. We don’t have freedom. Yet we do have to power to learn about ourselves. We can triumphantly tell our stories of what we did when we stayed ay home one day and it will matter.
I haven’t re-written the bible, but I have noted down some great ways you can escape your mind, connect with those you care about in a deeper way and how you can help yourself avoid over-thinking and world news overwhelm. Create a sense of calm within and know you will be OK.
This will pass. People will live through this. One day it will be talked about in past tense. It will be OK. That bottle of champagne you’re saving? Pop it open because if there’s ever anything to celebrate, it’s being alive.
Until that moment comes, stay at home. Save lives.
Let me know how you get on. Sending my love to you all.
NB – In this time of crisis and lockdown, many women will unfortunately suffer some form of domestic violence. There is always an open door to help. Please reach out. Share this number.
NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HELPLINE: 0808 2000 247