Friday, 27 March 2020

Lock-Down Day 1

Today is Day One of a 21 day Lock-Down here in South Africa.  It is a totally strange experience and most of us are unsettled and quite a bit apprehensive.  All over the world people are experiencing the effects of the new Corona virus.  Thousands of people are infected and thousands have passed away.  We are unable to really grasp the severity of all of this.  Sometimes I wake up and for a moment think that it is all just a very bad dream.  I often wish it were just a hoax, but it is very very real.  It is easy to fall into despair when we hear about the staggering number of people affected in every country around the globe and here in our own country.  Therefor it is important to stay active and creative even while in quarantine or lock-down.  There are still so many things we can do, but it is important to have a plan.  What should you do during this time?  

Firstly, and most importantly: stay safe!  Follow the guidelines provided by the WHO.  Practise social distancing, wear your mask and wash your hands regularly.  Drink plenty of fluids, eat healthily and stay active even if it means walking up and down your own passage.  Listen to your body and be aware of changes like a sore throat, coughing and/or fever and contact your doctor to find out what medicine you can take to treat the symptoms, but don't delay to get medical help.

Secondly:  get up every day and get dressed.  It is important to practise self-care in order not to slump into lethargy or depression.

Then, do your planning.  Twenty-one days mean we have three weeks of seven days stretching ahead of us.  I have made a list of seven areas to focus on each week:  Health, Home, Hobby, Harmony, Help, Hunger and Happy Hour(s).

Health - it is very important to take care of your health during this time.  Very often people tend to just sit in front of the TV all day and at the same time they binge on a variety of unhealthy snacks.  The result is that you may come out of the lock-down a few kilograms heavier!  Therefor it is vital that we establish a healthy routine.  By all means catch up on a few movies or episodes of your favourite show, but make sure that you get enough exercise.  Download a do-at-home workout and spend at least 30 minutes three times a week doing it.  Once a day take a walk in your garden, or run up and down your steps a few times.  Believe me, you will thank me for this advice after twenty one days!

Home - being cooped up in your house or apartment all day, every day can often make us depressed and we may start to neglect our daily chores.  Maybe your house have a few equally frustrated and emotional guests visiting.  Now it is very important to keep your chores up and give out tasks for each family member to do.  Make turns washing up, making food and  doing the laundry.

Hobby - now is a good time to dust off those hobbies you have been meaning to take up again, or perhaps learn a new hobby.  Have you always wanted to learn to sew?  You Tube abounds with tutorials.  How about learning a new language?  Do not wait any longer, is a good place to start.

Harmony - during a period of lock-down it is essential to  pay attention to your mental health.  It is often a period that can really put a lot of strain on our emotional well-being.  Spent some time every day to read your Bible or a spiritual book, take time to pray or meditate and record your thoughts in a journal.  In fact journaling is a great way to help manage your stress levels, it keeps your memory sharp and it can help to improve your feeling of well-being.

Help - most people need to feel like a valuable part of society.  When we are of service to others we derive a sense of  value and purpose from the action.  Although we may not be able to visit anybody or come into contact with people outside of our household we can all make sure that we stay in contact with other people via cellphones, voice messages or video calls.  Reach out to elderly people or people staying by themselves.  If you suspect that they may be unwell or are in need of medical or nutritional supplies contact your local council member or the police to reach out to them.  When you do go out for groceries find out if you could maybe get them something to.  Deliver it to their door if possible.

Hunger - It is important to make nutritious meals for your family and if you are by yourself it is equally important to not neglect making yourself a proper meal at least once a day.  Crisps, cookies and popcorn do not qualify as nutritious food, although in my household cake is a strong contender as it contains dairy, protein, fiber, fat and sugar!  Now is the perfect time to try our some new recipes as the brood cannot order take-away!

Happy-hour - it is very easy to fall into the trap of super-woman, and be so busy catering to everybody's needs that you do not make time for yourself.  It is very important to take an hour or more a day to do something which gives you pleasure.  Read that book while sitting out on the balcony, take a long leisurely bath or write your memoirs.  Filling your own well is as essential as food and water. 

For this period, I personally have committed to running 2km a day.  2km x 21 days = 42km !  What challenge are you taking up?  Please let me know in the comments.

No comments:

Post a Comment