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Lockdown Fatigue - tips to help you get by

This piece is a quick look at how to help yourself followed by my five week diary of what worked for me, I hope you find it helpful.

The term ‘Lockdown Fatigue’ has been given to the general gloom and exhaustion felt by many of us over this past year. It’s an overwhelm of feelings of helplessness and the inability to move forward. It’s the stress and anxiety built up over weeks, it’s the poor sleep, the extra burden of juggling work and childcare, it’s the job insecurities and it’s the loneliness. We’re all living a slightly trapped life, in limbo, waiting to see family and friends, run businesses, attend clubs, places of worship and social events; the simple beautiful ‘normal’ life as we knew it.

So how can we find the silver linings? I’ve put together a quick list of ideas to help with Lockdown fatigue, I hope you find something that helps.

1. Set yourself a schedule. Have it somewhere you can easily access so that if you’re feeling foggy you can have something lined up to help you feel productive. Get the tough or boring jobs done first. Try to include at least three activities to look forward to each day. For example, take a long bath with salts, go for a mindful walk, light a fire, watch a film, play a board game or my personal go-to activity: have a glass of wine whilst singing along to my favourite music whilst cooking from scratch. Also try to include contacting someone to talk to, email or video call.

2. Get Some Exercise and Eat Well. I know, everyone bangs on about it but honestly however you can get moving, in whichever way suits you, do at least 30 minutes every day. Pop it in your schedule. Choose a healthy range of foods for your diet, try to get a rainbow of colourful foods with plenty of fruit, veg and fibre, then wash it down with at least 8 glasses of water. Don’t forget the treats (everything in moderation) it’s important to find little pleasures, dark chocolate is good for you don’t you know. Simply setting the table with candles etc invites an occasion, it creates an event out of eating a meal together; something to be shared and enjoyed.

3. Rest. Guilt-free please. Go on, add it to your schedule, time to sit with your feet up with a nice cuppa during the day and then treat yourself to a good night’s sleep. Try to go to bed at the same time every evening, make sure to get your hours in. Half an hour to an hour before you go to sleep start a ‘going to bed’ routine. Don’t eat or drink during this time. Include things like that relaxing bath from earlier, reading, listening to an audiobook or mediation. Try to stay off the screens, especially reading or watching the news! Leave your mobile at enough of a distance from the bed to be a nuisance to reach.

I think I’ve just listed the Mars Bar jingle- work, rest and play but hopefully it makes sense. Get your schedule sorted so that things get done and you feel like you’re making progress rather than standing still. When you create your own schedule, you will regain a sense of autonomy and control that seem to be lacking right now. The other ideas are making sure you fill your days with a good balance of working, moving, refuelling, resting and playing. If in doubt of where to find some of life’s pleasures the diagram shows ways to get those positive chemicals flowing. Good luck!

Stay safe and sane, Teresa


My Lockdown Fatigue 5 Week Diary

Week 1

I should be shouting "Happy New Year!", but something still doesn't feel right. Maybe, like me you thought that with the new year came new beginnings, new hope and a fresh start but a week in and I'm exhausted already. A migraine yesterday didn't help but I've been feeling a bit 'hamster on a wheel' for a while now.

The kids are back at school albeit in their rooms on live lessons or working though online activities, my husband is back in front of his screen too beavering away at work and I'm, well I'm a bit stuck. In limbo, I can't teach or run my workshops, I'm lacking motivation to get making jewellery again and sorting out my emails feels like a mountain I don't have the strength to climb.

So, how to get out of this slump, how to get back to health, buzzing with creativity and sparkle? Over the next few weeks I'm going to share my journey and would love to hear yours too. I'll research and get on with tips that are supposed to help and let you know how I get on. I'll share what works for me and what might work for you too.

My first tip (that I have to keep reminding myself) is that I have to rest. I have permission to be a bit crap every now and then, that it's okay to feel a bit useless and that it's not forever. A wise friend told me that all living things need downtime, 'wintering' she called it. She explained how seeds need to be in the dark to get ready for growth, that huge potential is stored during the darker times. So if like me you're on a bit of hibernation-drive remember you're busy nurturing your potential.

Week 2

Last week I shared how life was feeling a bit of a struggle for me recently. I wrote a piece for my local magazine and would like to explain my understanding of Lockdown Fatigue:

The term ‘Lockdown Fatigue’ has been given to the general gloom and exhaustion felt by many of us over this past year. It’s an overwhelm of feelings of helplessness and the inability to move forward. It’s the stress and anxiety built up over weeks, it’s the poor sleep, the extra burden of juggling work and childcare, it’s the job insecurities and it’s the loneliness. We’re all living a slightly trapped life, in limbo, waiting to see family and friends, run businesses, attend clubs, places of worship and social events; the simple beautiful ‘normal’ life as we knew it.

These posts are supposed to be of some help and this week I want to talk about making connections to others and in my case my spiritual self too. With the fog comes a distancing from friends, self-care habits and spiritual practise but this only serves to prolong the fog so to help myself I set intentions to email, call and set zoom dates with family and friends, but not too many - no one needs to add zoom fatigue to the list! I have also reached out for help with a Reiki Share and wow, what can I say, I was blown away. It was truly magical and I'm still thrilled and buzzing from the experience. This is set to be a monthly share and I can't wait to build relationships with these beautiful lightworker women from around the world. The wonder of Reiki, of light, feeling Gaia's presence and connecting to source takes life to another level. Please if you're feeling lonely or lost try to find ways to reconnect.

For a long time I found solace in nature, either walking or running and this has sustained me up until now. I still go out daily and I would suggest you try to do the same however for that next level try to connect with people to share ideas about self-care, mediation and/or healing practise.

My sister shared this with me and it too blew me away:

Week 3

If you haven't started journaling yet I would suggest that you give it a try but with the aim of setting enjoyable activities alongside the everyday essentials. It's also a great place to pour out your feelings and a place to reflect.

Try to find a balance, set yourself a schedule"

It's repeated online as a top tip to help lockdown fatigue. I agree setting a schedule is a fantastic way to make sure you get your exercise in, ensure work gets done and that kids get fed. I like to toy with spontaneity and going with the flow but during this time of a massive collective halt this isn't the most beneficial way forward and can actually make the situation worse. If you can't jump on a bus and visit friends, the beach or even the pub then you're going to fail before you begin, dwelling on what you can't do isn't going to create any positive feelings. But if you take stock of the limitations, go inwards and use the time to explore your dreams and desires for the future then you will also find that spark and autonomy lockdown loves to quash.

I read recently that too much journaling, too much gratitude practise and too much searching for happiness can actually have the opposite effect. Again if you find yourself dwelling on finding happiness, or on continually counting your blessings then the moments themselves become other than their pure essence. Those intentions to find happiness become medals or rewards to be recorded rather than for their own sake.

Try to find a balance, use the journal as a tool to make stuff happen, to set intentions and to reflect. It's a practical tool to give you something concrete in a contradictory uncertain world.

Week 4

This week on my lockdown fatigue journey I've been motivated to get on with setting small achievable goals to get stuff done. My journaling is going well, I'm using the Moon Diary by #nikkistrangedesign and it's perfect for adding the practical day to day tasks but it also has lots of prompts to keep me aligned to my spiritual practise. It creates a wonderful balance of the ordinary and the magical. Working with the moon energies syncs beautifully with my own cycles such as when to rest or manifest or get on with things!

So this week, after much frantic filling in of my diary I set the intention to finish decorating the hall by the end of January. This is no easy task as there has been building work in there last year, including removing and adding doorways. Anyway I've managed to get the walls plastered and smooth, most of the skirting board and architrave is up and now it's a matter of the paintwork. At the start of the year there was no way I would have been able to tackle the job, it was overwhelming. So my tip for you this week is to set the intention, no matter how tricky or seemingly difficult - what do you want to achieve for yourself? Then break it down. Break it down so much that you have a list of jobs ranging in time (no more than an hour at a time if possible) and then put them in order in your diary/journal/google calendar. Do as many as you can comfortably do each day. Take days off, do more on some days. Give yourself way more time than is needed to produce the maximum success rate. It doesn't matter if you finish early - time to celebrate :) Most things are achievable and they don't need to happen in a day.

Give it a few months and I won't even remember that it took me 5 times as long as it should, I'll just be thankful the job is done!

Week 5

I think I've cracked the lockdown fatigue thing, for now. I know there will be some days where I can't be arsed to run or decorate or cook or create but that's okay. We wouldn't be human if we didn't have some days where we're not running at maximum proficiency.

I believe our current system is throwing everything out of balance. The divine feminine is resurfacing, slowly, but we're conditioned to keep consuming, to compete and win, win, win! So much so that we're responsible for creating a worldwide pandemic. We, humanity are part of an awe-inspiring living organism. The abundant flora and fauna of our planet is part of us. When we are out of sync we nudge the rest of our ecosystem out of sync too. Our home is suffering as a result of mass human suffering. This over-consumption, addictions and need to fill a hole is what I believe to be, the result of us losing our spiritual connection with our soul purpose and our beautiful ecosystem, Gaia, the planet Earth and all her inhabitants.

So lockdown fatigue - it's certainly shined a light on how much I personally consume, from visual delights to edible treats etc. With the boredom and the mundane routines we can start to look inward and truly reflect on the important things in life

It's taken a global pandemic to realise that love and life (ultimately our only home) are all that is important. We're missing our loved ones, seeing beautiful natural sights, chatting with friends over a coffee. It's connections we crave not things.

So if if in doubt I'm going to get out in nature, connect to the trees, the snowdrops, the changing cycles of the seasons and the moon, embrace the benefits of the Earths natural treasures and get those happy chemicals flowing in my body with movement.

We are all spiritual beings who have chosen to be here to experience the joys of a physical life, let's make it worth it. Go forth, protect and play in our very own awesome playground.

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