How I’m Staying Sane in Level Four Lockdown

New Zealand extended the level four lockdown for another week.

I’m sure everyone in New Zealand tuned in for the announcement at 4:00pm on Monday afternoon.  I was unsurprised the lockdown was extended for another week.  Jacinda has always said “we’re going hard and going early”.  That phrase has rolled around my brain for the last few days and solidified my gut feeling that this isn’t over yet.

Like everyone tuned in, I’m sure everyone had differing opinions and feelings on the lockdown being extended.  Stress.  Anger.  Frustration.  Anxiety.  Hopelessness.  Worry.  Relief.  Calm.

I would be lying if I said I was thrilled about the lockdown being extended but I can see the purpose.  We are squashing the curve.  We had five new cases on Monday.  It just makes sense and falls in line with the “going hard” mentality that has led New Zealand during this pandemic.

So, how am I staying sane during the level four lockdown?

If you’ve been reading my lockdown diaries then you would know the first and second weeks were a bit of a rollercoaster.  I was getting used to the idea of being stuck in one place for an indefinite amount of time.  I was finding my new “normal” and, as we enter day twenty eight, I have finally figured out how to keep myself sane during the level four lockdown.  Typical.

Hopefully, these behaviours will become habits and I’ll be able to continue once the lockdown eases.

1. Getting the fu*k outside.

There have been a few days when I have felt overly bleak and “stuck” with this whole situation.  Guess what?  I hadn’t been outside all day.  It’s a small, simple thing to do but getting outside really does change your perspective.  We are in lockdown but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck in your house or on your property 24/7.  You can go for a walk around your neighbourhood or sunbathe in the backyard or start a water fight with your three year old.  Ten minutes of sunshine and fresh air can do a world of wonders for your psyche.

2.  Exercising.

Move!  Your!  Body!

Our bodies crave movement.  Not the type of movement that involves walking from the couch to the fridge and back.  Pre-lockdown, I averaged between five and ten kilometres of walking/running per day.  Unsurprisingly, I have been very antsy (and angsty) during this lockdown.  Those feelings disappeared as soon as I made movement a priority.  I downloaded the Nike Training application and resolved to complete their “start up” plan during the lockdown.  And you know what?  I damn well did it.  “Exercise” doesn’t have to mean HIIT training or marathon type runs or F45 training every day.  It can be as simple as a walk around the block, yoga, or playing a game of tag with your family.  Every little bit helps.

3.  Resting.

We will not be able to rest like this for a long, long time.  Do not take it for granted.  There have been days when I have done nothing but read books, watch television and nap because my body has craved stillness.  Honour your body.  Listen to your body.  Give your body (and your soul) what it is craving.  You aren’t being lazy or unproductive.  You are honouring your needs.

4.  Having “me time”.

It took a while to get there but I now have a solid two hours every morning as “me time”. I had my son over to my parents and I am free to do whatever I want.  This is something I look forward to every damn day.  I love my son more than words, but I also love the ability of showering without an audience or having time to read that book from my TBR pile.  Having time to just be and not feeling pressured to do anything in particular has been the biggest blessing to come from this lockdown.

5.  Reflecting.

Honestly, I think this lockdown happened at the perfect time for my self-development and personal growth.  At the start of the year, I picked “create” to be my word of the year.  I have been questioning a lot of things about my life and these four weeks have provided the time I needed to just be with myself and figure out what I want from life.  I have spent a lot of time reflecting, writing, planning, and meditating.  I’ve also been taking part in #TarotVision2020 and that has proven to be the best tool for reflection of my inner and outer worlds.  

6.  Video calls.

Thank goodness for technology, right?  I’ve been “locked down” with my immediate family and it has been great but I have missed my friends.  A lot.  Part of me feels guilty for spending so much time looking at my phone but my goodness, my heart needs it.  Video calls and WhatsApp conversations have ruled my life and I’m just grateful that I have friends who check up on me and make sure I’m surviving the lockdown with most of my sanity in tact.

It has been a very trying time.

There have been some bad days amongst the okay days.  There have been times when I’ve wanted to pack up the car and leave.  There have been times when I’ve wanted to stay in bed and do nothing.

And I’m one of the lucky ones.

Stay safe everyone.

signature, the caffeinated millennial

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