Lockdown: How I am coping with just my Other Half for company

Lockdown is here for the foreseeable future so we had better come to terms with it. These are strange times, nothing like anything we have ever experienced before but unlike most disasters we are all in it together. This COVID-19 has brought the human race to its knees, it knows no barriers, it does not discriminate and so far we have nothing to fight it with apart from human spirit and the dedicated care of our NHS workers. If there is one good thing that is coming out of this is that we are all coming together, living a humbler life, staying put and caring for each other.

We are doing all we can and as women we are naturally worrying about our family, friends and neighbours. I find it very hard being separated from my four children who are all in self-isolation elsewhere. If any of them were to contract this virus I would find it hard as a mother not to be with them.

So I need to fill my days and take care of myself and my OH. We are doing all we can to make sure that we stay healthy. Our life now is more simple with no clock watching, and enjoying the time to do so many things around the house that have been on my ‘To Do List’ for years.

I have no medical training but I want to share with you things that are helping me personally. Maybe at the end of all of this we will re-evaluate our lives and realise that perhaps we do need to spend more time appreciating who and what we have.

ROUTINE

Annabel in Me+Em blouse from post Lockdown: How I am coping with just my Other Half for company
A pretty blouse from Me+Em cheers me up

My first tip is to keep a routine in your day. It would be so easy to just stay in bed longer, not change out of pyjamas and generally slob around. However, in my opinion, if you can keep a routine going your days will pass with purpose and a sense of achievement.

I am rising at the same time and I am getting dressed and putting on a little make-up as it makes me feel so much better. Nowadays in the new age of Lockdown I only see my Other Half (OH) but it is just as much for me as for him. Now is not the time for my OH to see me falling apart.

YOGA

I am still taking Yoga class twice a week but online with the aid of ZOOM. My teacher Maddy (Yogawithmaddy.co) was able to set it up so that we could all see each other and also follow her guidance. I know that you can find a Yoga teacher on YouTube and follow their programme. However for some people, who have never done Yoga, this might be the time to give it a go. Most of the videos, even the ones that say they are for Beginners, demand you have a little bit of Yoga knowledge. So Maddy filmed (before social distancing and lockdown) a 10 minute video with my friend, Jane, and I, which is a good starting point. It is an excellent wake up for your body with stretching, and plenty of breathing exercises to calm your mind and can be performed every morning.

DOG WALKING

Social distancing dog walking from post Lockdown: How I am coping with just my Other Half for company
SOCIAL DISTANCING WHILST DOG WALKING (now we have to walk on our own or with OH)
Annabel with all the dogs from post Lockdown: How I am coping with just my Other Half for company
GUESS WHO HAS DOG TREATS?

Dog walking is now a bit of an issue as so many more people are out walking. Social distancing was a challenge as inevitably we gravitate towards each other when chatting. Lockdown has made it easier and so I have had to abandon my regular dog walking friends and just dog walk with my OH. We are going at sunrise and not meeting a soul and to be honest I am enjoying just getting out even though I have a gorgeous garden and can exercise my dogs with lots of ball games.

In the meantime I am enjoying the fresh air and the beauty of Spring as everything comes to life. A hug with my dogs every morning is also a joy and is so very calming.

HOUSEPARTY

Annabel's family group Houseparty chat from post Lockdown: How I am coping with just my Other Half for company
HOUSEPARTY WITH OUR CHILDREN

I keep in touch with my family and friends with the wonderful app, Houseparty (free from the App store). It is currently the no. 1 in social networking. No trolling or anger on here. Just connection with your friends and family. You can see when your friends are online and join in the conversation with a video call. It is easy to use and there are even games and quizzes to play amongst your group. I have been to a ‘virtual drinks party’ with some friends who are self-isolating in London. 6pm, G&T and some friends to chat to – what could be better.

This disease can isolate us but cannot separate us.

Personally I am finding books difficult to concentrate on and so I have had to turn my phone off whilst reading otherwise the constant pinging with news updates, messages from friends and family are all a distraction that I am unable to resist. However I have my recent haul from Mr. B’s Emporium so I am determined to read the pile sitting by my bed. I know Amazon is wonderful but don’t forget your local independent book shops and order from them otherwise they won’t exist after the virus.

MEDITATION

Annabel meditation by the river from post Lockdown: How I am coping with just my Other Half for company
So good to be outdoors for meditation

I have joined a meditation group on What’s App run by my friend, Kamin, author of the post, Life in the Italian Lockdown, and I have found it very calming as it is so reassuring that so many of us around the world are linking for one hour and thinking positive thoughts. Other members of the group send in photos showing where they are. It is so hard to think that amongst all this beauty in the world there is a hidden enemy intent on bringing us down.

Try Headspace the app for meditation tuition. It is highly recommended by Bill Gates and I find the discipline, i.e. the text reminders so helpful in order to keep me on track.

LEARNING A NEW LIFE SKILL

OH is learning to play the piano on a keyboard, a lifelong ambition of his. He now has the time to do it and I send a daily video of his online lesson to our children which amuses them if nothing else.

THE WIM HOF METHOD

If you want to try something else to help your immune system you might want to read up about the Wim Hof Method. I was introduced to it by a Buddhist and he recently contacted me to say that now is the time, whilst in lockdown, to start doing it daily.

I am currently doing the breathing technique: the second pillar of the wim hof method is breathing. We’re always breathing, yet we’re mostly unaware of its tremendous potential. Heightened oxygen levels hold a treasure trove of benefits, and the specialized breathing technique of the Wim Hof Method unearths them all: more energy, reduced stress levels, and an augmented immune response that swiftly deals with pathogens.

It is very, very simple to follow and it only takes a maximum of 10 minutes a day. and can be done on your bed or on the sofa. Watch this video to find out more ~

And then go to the the tutorial which takes just over 10 minutes. I do it before my Yoga, early in the morning on an empty stomach.

OH and I have never spent so much time at home together and I am sure that there will be some low points but honestly we are so lucky to have so many different ways to communicate with friends so we try to do our own thing during the day and come together for meals. It is a very testing time for everyone but one that we can learn so much from.

Do let us know what you are doing during lockdown. We would love to hear from you.

3 Comments

  1. I’m doing all the things you suggest: structured day; on line exercise; aiming at looking good even though I live alone (- best cashmere sweater, Hermes scarf and a splash of Chanel’s Sycomore today); keping in touch with family and friends, and above all, thinking positive.

    For example, I won’t use the word ‘Lockdown’; Homestay is much nicer.

    I won’t regard my home as a prison; it is a sanctuary.

    I won’t be terrified, even though I’m apprehensive. By staying at home, we are making a positive contribution to saving lives by not risking passing on the disease to the most vulnerable.

    Remember we have been asked to make greater sacrifices in the past – we’re not being asked to fight in the trenches, just to stay at home with a glass of wine and a good book. We can do this!

    Stay well, everyone!

    • Well done – I love your #outfitoftheday Such positive thinking will be rewarded. And you are so right we are JUST being asked to stay home. We can do this easily – our contribution to fighting this virus. Ax

  2. Hello!

    I left a reply yesterday but it doesn’t seem to be here – hope I’m not cancelled! Try again!

    Great ‘survival’ tips, A & G; here’s how I’m coping, living alone and trying to stay positive:

    I’m banning the word ‘Lockdown’. For me, it’s Homestay – much nicer.

    I’m focused on home, not as a prison but a sanctuary.

    I’m keeping fit with HASfit on line – lots of fitness routines including a 200 calorie-burning, 20 minute seated workout for oldies and keeping sane swapping jokes by email & phone with my grandchildren.

    I’m playing the piano again – with arthritic fingers, so yes, terribly, – but, hey, not annoying anybody else

    I’m doing one task a day on top of general cleaning. My linen cupboard is now swooningly neat – everything pressed and folded and I found some ribbon lace for the shelf edges.

    I send a ‘love ray’ of gratitude every morning to our heroic doctors and nurses – more than 5000 retired medical staff signed up to return to duty within hours of the appeal – and to M&S, who gave a bunch of flowers and a round of applause to every nurse coming in during their ‘special hour’ to shop for food.

    And I remember that millions in the past made a greater sacrifice for the greater good. We’re not being asked to fight in the trenches. We’ve been told to stay at home and watch the telly. We can do this!

    Best wishes to all!,

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