I feel like the title should probably have a question mark after it because, honestly, I have no idea!
Let me start this post off by saying sorry – Yes, I’m talking about lockdown and Coronavirus again. But this will only be a short little post and will hopefully make you feel a bit better too. As you can gather from the title, I’m talking about surviving lockdown and why we shouldn’t have lockdown guilt.
What Is Lockdown Guilt?
Lockdown guilt is feeling guilty that you’re not doing what you ‘should’ be doing during lockdown. You must have seen lots of posts all over Facebook and Instagram:
“It’s a great time to learn something new, like how to play the accordion or learn a new language!”
“Use your free time to read all the books on your book list.”
“I’m making lifelong memories with my child!”
“I have so much time to clean my house!”
“It’s so nice just to have some time to relax.“
This is usually followed up by lots of lovely pictures.
Now, I’m not saying that any of those things are wrong at all! It’s fabulous that people are doing what they want to be doing, but for those of us that aren’t doing anything or have no idea what we want to do, that’s when the lockdown guilt can kick in.
But I just want to say that you don’t need to feel guilty about whatever you decide to do with your time.
If you’re keeping busy, that’s great! Keeping busy is excellent for your mental health, and we’ll probably not get the chance for all this free time again (if you’re not working, that is). Learning something new or spending quality time with the kiddies is a fantastic use of your time! Don’t feel guilty if you’re not taking this time to chill out. If you like to keep busy, then carry on!
If you’re doing nothing, that’s great too! Don’t feel guilty if you didn’t learn a new skill or get all the jobs done or make a million and one unforgettable memories with your kids. We’ve been given the opportunity to stay at home and not have to go out anywhere. Take that opportunity!
And now, just a few little tips to hopefully help you through
Try To Keep A Routine In Place
Routines are super important, especially for children. There’s nothing wrong with relaxing your regular routine, but try to have one in place, even if it’s just eating your meals at the same time every day and trying to go to bed at your normal time.
With Little J, we have kept our regular times for everything, apart from getting up in the morning. He’s no longer woken up at 7am by Daz’s alarm, so our day starts at about 8am but other than that, everything else is the same! (Well, not exactly the same, but you know what I mean!)
Don’t Feel Like You Have To Do Everything
With all this ‘spare time’, you may feel like you have to get all your odd jobs done, but honestly, don’t feel bad if you don’t get them all done! Well, I say spare time, but somehow, the day seems just to vanish now. It will get to lunchtime some days, and I’m still in my pyjamas, and I have no idea how it happened?! Anyway, there is nothing wrong with ignoring your to-do list. Give yourself a break.
Stay In Contact
Whether you are FaceTiming, phoning, texting, WhatsApp-ing or tagging people in memes, stay in contact!
I must admit, I have been suffering from the mum guilt recently. Me and Little J usually are off to groups and playdates so being stuck indoors is awful. I’ve run out of ideas of fun things to play and do, so we’re both getting bored, and Little J’s temper tantrums are INSANE!
So, he has had more T.V/iPad time than ever before. But do you know what? It’s okay; it’s not forever. This is a challenging time for us all, and it must be difficult for the kids to understand, so I’m trying to cut him a bit of slack!
Keep Up With Personal Hygiene
When you’re stuck at home every day, it is so tempting to just stay in your PJs all day and not bother doing your hair or whatever. And this is absolutely fine somedays but don’t forget to shower, do your hair and stick some nice clothes on now and then. It makes me feel more motivated!
Look After Your Mental Health
I know I mentioned this in my last post but looking after your mental health is really important at this time. Remember – it’s okay not to be okay. Have a read of the below posts, and please do ask for help if you need it:
- 14 Ways To Look After Your Mental Health
- How To Distract Yourself From A Panic Attack
- NHS Every Mind Matters
Get Your Daily Dose Of Fresh Air
At the moment, we are allowed out once a day for our exercise. So take advantage of that! A little change of scenery and some fresh air might just take the edge off, even if it’s just a slow walk around the block.
If you are self-isolating and have a garden, just sit out there for half an hour or so. Do a little gardening, pull up some weeds, or read a book. Take your iPad if you want and watch some TV out there! It makes a change from sitting inside the house, and getting a little bit of sun is good for your serotonin levels!
We have the chance to actually slow down and breathe. Taking this time to do nothing is an acceptable way to spend your time if you so wish. Equally, doing everything on your to-do list is great too! We need to stop being so hard on ourselves! As long as you are staying safe, do whatever you feel is right to do with your time!*
*Unless it’s going out socialising and meeting up with people. If you’re doing that, you’re a terrible person, and you need to stop.