Shona Louise is a disability and theatre blogger. In this article, she discusses how she’s coping amidst the third lockdown and why looking after yourself is so important.
It’s hard to believe that we sit here now in the midst of our third national lockdown. In some ways it feels totally normal, and in other ways it feels exactly how it did in March 2020; unsettling. However, I think we can all say that we are facing this lockdown with the lessons we learnt in the first two.
Social isolation was such a new concept to most of us and so as a result we threw ourselves headfirst into anything and everything to pass the time. But there is certainly such a thing as doing too much, we cannot forget that as humans we need time to recharge and be still. So, here are a few things I’ve learnt and what I’m doing to get through a third lockdown.
I don’t know about you but during lockdown one I was doing multiple quizzes a week and zooming with everyone I knew; in fact I saw my friends more than I did pre-Covid. Now, I like a quiz as much as the next person but when you are doing two or three a week it starts to get overwhelming, and I think we are all feeling the affects of zoom fatigue. I find that video calling people often uses up more of my energy than talking in person, especially when it’s a large group.
“We all need time to ourselves to recharge so we shouldn’t feel bad when turning down an invite.”
This lockdown I’m ditching the quizzes and being more mindful of how many zoom calls I’m pencilling in. I think for a while I felt obliged to say yes to every invite I received but it’s actually much more enjoyable now the calls are further apart. It’s important to remember that we aren’t designed to be constantly on the go, bouncing from one call or another, we all need time to ourselves to recharge so we shouldn’t feel bad when turning down an invite. I’m opting to keep in touch with friends via messages more, finding more time to relax and watch some Netflix. It took two lockdown’s for me to learn that just because there is time to fill, it doesn’t mean it has to be jam packed full of social interactions and productivity.
A new hobby
Another thing that I went full steam ahead with last year was crafting. I did scrapbooking, colouring in and even made a Llama out of modelling clay, but I found I was bouncing from one thing to the next in an attempt to keep busy. This time round I’ve picked up my crochet hooks again and I’ve found it to be a really relaxing hobby that challenges me, but I can also put it down and pick it up as I please. I’ve taken the pressure of it and I’m doing it now for fun, rather than just as a way to pass the time. My girlfriend started an Etsy store just before Christmas and I’ve really been enjoying making some crocheted bees for her to sell on there, we’ve both found that having a creative outlet has helped our mental health massively this time around.
I think the biggest lesson I learnt during the first two lockdown’s was that it’s easy to overwhelm yourself. I was worried that I’d get bored during the time at home but actually the opposite happened, I was so much busier than I was pre-pandemic and my mental health suffered for it. I think a lot of us almost feel obliged to say yes to every invite we get because we’re worried others will think ‘well, what else are you going to do?’. But, self care is the most important thing we can do during a lockdown and I’m a lot better off for taking more time to do the things that calm me. Whether that’s popping on a face mask, making your favourite meal or reading a book, I think the key to surviving lockdown is looking after yourself and your needs, leaving behind any guilt that you should be busy every minute of every day.
If you’d like to read more from Shona then visit her blog http://www.shonalouise.com/