WHat the world needs now is a bit more fun!
With WHO defining the Coronavirus as a Pandemic this week it is not surprising to see some countries have gone into lock down isolating many of us in our homes for who knows how long. This sudden restriction on our lifestyles, the fear of the virus threat and the enforced company of only the people you live with is not only causing widespread stress, it’s also causing cabin fever.
If like me, you are not allowed to be in contact with anyone due to chronic health disorders, there is a strange feeling of suddenly being in a bubble. I literally have not been outside of my home and garden for 4 days. And I will probably not see anyone in person but my dear Mr T for the next month, if not two. It’s such a weird feeling I can hardly describe it. As we live in the middle of nowhere it is like the rest of the world is not entirely real any more. If you get the reference, time seems to be running at ‘Ent’ speed.
As a country we have only been in lock down in Denmark since wednesday evening. The outside world is surreally quiet, nothing is normal and it all seems to have gone topsy turvy. Already across social media there are people commenting on loneliness, how their offspring, relatives and flatmates are driving them up the wall and how bored people are. In short Denmark is already starting to show signs of cabin fever. And cabin fever means drama and stress. There is a reason that the Big Brother TV show was so popular for so long. Humans stuck all together in one place do go a little bit mental.
Basically the bi-product of coronavirus cabin fever is that stress levels are rising. And that‘s the last thing any of us need right now. Who wants to be vaguely paranoid, stuck at home, bored and extra stressed?
What the world needs now is a bit more fun!
Cabin Fever. Coronavirus Lockdown and isolation doesn’t have to be stressful.
It can be a golden opportunity to maximise on fun. An too often overlooked necessary human emotion that is hella important for your mental health.
As Elle Woods memorably said “ Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands”. Or to paraphrase ‘Endorphins make you happy. Happy people aren’t stressed.’
So how can you Minimise Stress and Maximise on Fun during a Coronavirus Lockdown?
Well here are a few tips and ideas from me, my clients and friends that are helping us be happy people during our isolation that you might like to try. Go on give yourself a happy boost!
First and foremost you have to accept this is just the way it is. If you stay frustrated then this time is going to suck. Just think of all those days where you just wished you could stay at home and not have to go to work or school. Well the universe was listening and your wish has been granted. Have a think about why it was that you wanted to be at home? Was it because of those million and one things you wanted to do and never had time for? Well guess what you have time now! Shift your thinking to seeing the silver lining in the gift of being home and the opportunities this time gives you.
Don’t be a couch potato:
In DK we are currently in lockdown for 2 weeks. Sure a day on the sofa with some netflixs and chips is going to be fun. However 14 days of that will turn you into a zombie. And the same goes for 14 days online gaming binges too. We are not cats. Our bodies are designed for shaking and moving. Give yourself that day if you really want to but find some other activities to keep you moving.
Awesome ideas and projects:
We all have projects we have been wanting to do for ever and not done. Or a pile of half finished projects just waiting for us to complete. Whether it’s tidying and rearranging the home or doing that painting you have been thinking of for years, new seeds for the garden, a jigsaw you haven’t done before, something you have wanted to try and bake or an exercise routine you have been thinking of starting but haven’t had the time for. Make a list of these projects and choose a few to make a priority during the lock out time.
With the schools closed the house is full. And this means that you can finally have that time in with your family, your partner, your house mates. Turn the tv off and play some games together, make a meal together as a family, do a creative project together. One of my favourites has been to have a picnic in the garden or if it is too cold, in the lounge. Last time Mr T and I tried this we created a beach scene in the lounge and had a date on the beach! Children are brilliant at thinking out of the box so if you can’t think of a family idea ask your children. They are hardwired to think about making fun from just the things around them.
Have you always wanted to have a better morning routine? Or to start to do daily yoga, meditation, running or new eating habits? This time at home is a great time to start new habits. I always recommend to my clients to start a new habit during a holiday period as it is easier to train new habits when you don’t have to work. I know lockdown is not a holiday, but it’s close. You can apply this to your working at home life too. I have to work from home during the lockdown, so I am working on creating a more efficient work day to minimise stress when we get back to normal life. Try simple things such as; make a fixed time for doing some office stretches, create a system of how to approach and manage your work tasks, optimise how your team can work together or take the opportunity to do some digital spring cleaning, reorganise your files and empty your spam.
Invest in yourself:
3 days a week I have a 2- 3 hour commute. With lockdown this time is now mine. And I am going to use that time to catch up on some of my own personal development work. There is a stack of books I have been meaning to read, a load of journaling I haven’t had time for and some general self care activities I have been neglecting. So once the kids are in bed have a pamper night. Do some self coaching journalling or watch some inspirational people on the Ted channel. Inspiration is a key to happiness so actively look for it even though you are at home.
Create some virtual social time:
We are so lucky that we have social media and the interwebs to keep us connected today. So use it. This month my social activities will include meeting 10 of my friends in our online Skype pub for drinkies and stupid games. And we are adhering to normal standards no PJs allowed you have to be dressed to go. It will be enormous fun. As well we have a virtual girls night planned where we will use messenger to hang out whilst all watching Dirty Dancing simultaneously! Ring or video chat people you haven’t seen for a while. Make a dinner date online where you all eat dinner together. Use the real power of social media. Connection. Who knows this whole virus might change the way we use social media! Think out of the box for social events you can do online together with your friends, family and colleagues.
Release your inner child and be silly. From just dance marathons, to building elaborate pillow forts, making sandcastles on the beach, build an obstacle course inside (for the adults and the kids), have a charades night, making a home disco, create a treasure hunt in the house or dress up for posh dinner at home. Pillow fights and bizarre brunches are an absolute must. You have carte blanche to do what you like because you are in your own little castle. You make the rules! So don’t be dull. Be silly!
Go in nature:
Tired of being inside? Well nature is not going to hurt you. Going for a drive or a walk is going to help both your mental and physical health and calm down the cabin fever. Take some time to discover the wild untamed areas around you. They are there. We just forget to look for them amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday. If you aren’t allowed out of your home specifically then spend some time in the garden. No garden? Then plant some seeds on the window sill in a cup and open the window to get fresher air in the house. A change of oxygen helps the brain to feel better.
Coronavirus when all said and done is scaring us all. We can’t do much about it apart from following the guidelines. Lockdown however doesn’t have to be a time of stress and frustration. Take it as an opportunity to improve your lifestyle and most importantly jolly things up and I promise you that you will look back on this as one of the best times in your life.
Now I want to hear from you. How are you going to maximise fun during your lockdown?
On a personal note I would love to see social media exploding with pics of us all having fun at home during lockdown. Come and share yours on the Re:Root Facebook group!!
Take out there. Be safe.
And most importantly keep calm, be jolly and enjoy your journey !!