So, here we are again. After months of lockdown from March to July 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Sunday that England is going back into a month-long lockdown, from Thursday 5th November until 2nd December. This has come after a spike in coronavirus cases around England, and has scrapped the tier system which seemed to only last for about a week. The difference between Lockdown 2 and Lockdown 1 is that kids can still go to school, and food places can still operate on a takeaway only basis. Nevertheless, it’s working from home for all office workers, and back to weekends scraping the barrel thinking of things to do. As a mum, you might be tearing out your hair right about now. Even though these lockdown measures seem to be necessary, you may be worrying about what this means for the Christmas period. Will the lockdown be extended over Christmas? Will we be able to do all the shopping and preparation needed for the holidays? These questions might be going through your mind right about now.
The first thing to be said is: you are not alone. All over the country, mums are freaking out about what the coming weeks will have in store for us. If you are feeling this way, this blog will hopefully help you to feel calmer about whatever coronavirus has in store for us. Coronavirus doesn’t care about our families, but we certainly do. So let’s get going – read on to find out six tips for surviving Lockdown 2!
Dig out your craft and baking equipment this lockdown
Remember Lockdown 1? Did you become a star baker in your own home? Many of us did. Although the kids are still in school and not bouncing off the four walls, for weekend fun it’s time to crack open the baking equipment and pull out the glitter from the bottom drawer. If your children love to create, use Lockdown 2 as an opportunity to give them creative projects at the weekends! Here are just a few ideas of ways to get your kids excited about being creative indoors:
- Drawing portraits of each other! This is a fun way to get the giggles going and encourage your kids to draw and paint.
- Making play-dough houses. You could encourage the kids to create their dream house, or perhaps your own house, out of a safe material like play-dough.
- Decorating cookies. Even if National Biscuit Day was back in May, whip out those colourful icing tubes once more. The best thing to do is bake the cookies yourself quickly to avoid the mess, and then have your kids do funny Christmas or Bonfire Night designs on them.
Take ten minutes per day to be alone
As mums, when something big happens like a lockdown, we tend to spring into action and begin sorting out everyone else’s new routine. However, it is important to process and deal with a second lockdown in your own mind too. These restrictions will affect everyone, including you, so it is vital that you take the time you need to process the change; even if this time is just ten minutes of me-time every day. This could be running a bath for yourself and watching your guilty pleasure Netflix show; it could be doing gentle yoga; eating a biscuit and a cup of tea or having a short nap. In order to function well you need to prioritise yourself, even when it seems you’re being pulled in a million different directions.
If you have never heard this phrase before, here’s what it means: doom scrolling means sitting on social media, mindlessly scrolling and absorbing all the terrible negativity that is passed around online. Social media has done many wonderful things, particularly during the first lockdown when people relied even more heavily on Facebook and Instagram to communicate with loved ones; nevertheless it has a dark side which we can also become addicted to. The spreading of false information, sensationalising of the media and fear mongering all take place on social media – so make sure you are aware of how it is negatively impacting you, too.
We can fall into this trap without ever realising it; to break the cycle, if you find yourself scrolling, ask yourself: ‘What am I looking for?’ If the answer is just to catch up on what friends and family are posting, then happily continue scrolling! But if you realise that you are simply addicted to the negativity and can’t seem to stop scrolling, now’s the time to catch yourself in the act and give yourself a good talking to. One way to curb your social media addiction is to set time limits on your phone which let you know when you have spent more than the allotted time on one app.
Take walks in nature
If you are lucky enough to live nearby a little nature, it’s important to maximise this privilege at this time. Seeing as non-essential businesses are closing, take this time to walk more in nature and do things you are still allowed to do. Not only is this good exercise, but it will allow you to be reminded how we are all a part of something bigger. It is easy to get wrapped up in your own world and become anxious and stressed by tiny things, especially in lockdown. If we learned anything from last time, it’s that we need to take things one day at a time and be reminded that the world will get through this crisis eventually. Listening to the birds singing and the river flowing can seriously help with that.
Reach out to someone who lives alone
As you probably already know, people who live alone are being hit the hardest during lockdown. Without anyone to spend time with, it can become very difficult to remain positive. Even if you live with a big family and don’t get lonely, you can probably empathise with those who are struggling with communication and socialisation at the moment. To do a good deed and have a nice chat with a friend or relative, make sure to reach out to someone who lives alone. It will make their day, and will help you keep your community close to you at this difficult time.
Don’t expect Christmas to be perfection
This is definitely the hardest one! We all have Christmas perfection syndrome; we plan, shop, cook, and primp to make sure everyone in your life has the perfect Christmas. Everyone is concerned that Lockdown 2 will encroach on our ability to see everybody we usually see, and do everything we usually do, at Christmas this year. The answer simply is: it won’t be the same. Just like the rest of 2020, Christmas will be a different experience this year. Excessive planning and stress won’t change the fact that we are in a pandemic; so instead of spending unnecessary energy on worries and fears, try to find a way to be at peace with the new challenge that Christmas will pose this year. The most important thing is that everyone in your family is safe, well and warm this Christmas. You might not get all the shopping opportunities you planned for; the Christmas dinner might not be pitch-perfect; but if you and your kids can spend a day of fun together this Christmas, that should be enough.
Ultimately, Lockdown 2 will be a wild ride – just like Lockdown 1. Strap in, everyone. We’ve got this