How to stay mentally well during coronavirus lockdowns
In these blogs our Door43 team provide wise words and support to help young people manage emotional health and wellbeing during this difficult time.
This week, Chris takes a look at his own experience of the lockdown period and how he’s managed to turn a negative situation into a positive one to use the time more proactively and stay emotionally well.
For this weeks blog I want to write about how I’ve been trying to make the most of this lockdown period. Turning its negatives into positives by pushing myself to use this time a bit more proactively. Maybe learn a new skill or simply to watch a film that’s been sat in my watch later list for months.
Before the lockdown happened I had several things I wanted to have a go at or learn or even just things I wanted to watch but life always seemed to get in the way. I figure now is the perfect time to get some of these things done.
Growing my own fruits and veg.
Last year I grew a tomato plant and some potatoes in a bag in the garden, and to my amazement, given I hadn’t got a clue what I was doing, I ended up with a decent amount of tomatoes and potatoes and I actually really enjoyed it and felt a sense of achievement.
So this year I thought I would step it up a gear and have attempted to grow a wider range of fruits and vegetables and have had various levels of success.
I’ve attempted to grow potatoes, parsnips, lettuce, carrots, radishes, spring onions, cucumbers, bell peppers, chilli peppers, strawberries and a couple of types of tomatoes all from seed and with very little understanding of what each of them needs besides what a bit of a google can tell me and a ‘can do’ attitude.
The potatoes, Radishes, lettuce and strawberries are doing really well and I think are now about ready to be eaten.
The tomatoes and Chilli peppers have fruits on them but aren’t quite ready yet, not really sure at all how long they take but we’ll see.
The cucumber plant is a bit of a sad story… it was doing so well and grew a massive cucumber which we have since eaten and it tasted great but I followed Google’s instructions and moved the plant outside when it grew to a certain size but it seemed to wither, and despite my best efforts just never recovered. I think maybe I left the fully grown cucumber on it for a little too long or the move from the warm inside to outside may have been a bit much for it. It’s all learning for next year.
The parsnips have finally started growing, I’ve had to plant seeds several times and I think something disturbed the first lot I sewed but they’ve recently started to grow and have a long way to go to being ready.
The carrots are basically a no show. Despite sewing a couple of different types at different times and making sure they’re watered they haven’t really done anything yet. Maybe the seeds just got eaten by birds as quickly as I was putting them in.
I’ve really enjoyed doing this for several reasons. As I mentioned before, there has been a sense of achievement in managing to grow something from a seed and working to look after it as it grows but also because a few members of my family enjoy gardening and my parents and my partner’s grandfather have allotments and it’s been really nice having a shared interest that we could talk about together to keep conversation away from Covid-19, PPE and queuing for shops.
If there’s something you’ve always wanted to learn how to do or that you just thought looked interesting I strongly urge you to go for it! What better time than now?
As I’m sure many of you have also experienced, I have found that being in the house so much has impacted really heavily on my mood.
When lockdown started, myself and my partner Laura made sure we went on a little walk around the block straight after our work day ended and we managed to keep this going until June when it seemed to rain every day but as soon as we stopped that feeling of being stuck inside became more intense.
Now the weather, while still a bit hit or miss, has slightly improved, we have started to go on our evening walks again however we aren’t thinking about it as gong for a walk but more that we’re exploring the areas around where we live.
I’ve really enjoyed getting to know more about our neighbourhood. Turns out there are little pathways connecting loads of the roads like some kind or rabbit warren and we’ve learned loads of shortcuts, but also that there’s a farm literally two roads away which we had no idea was there.
Now that restrictions are being eased a little we feel more comfortable about being out and on weekends we have been trying to go a little further away from home for the walks to some woodland and spending some time in this change of scenery has had a really positive impact on our moods.
I really recommend making sure you get outside, provided you make sure you maintain social distancing and take measures to keep yourself safe and would also suggest you take loads of pictures of places or times you’ve enjoyed!
I always forget to take pictures when out so am trying to remind myself to do this so I can look back on places we’ve been on these little adventures as a reminder the good times!
Clearing ‘watch later’ lists
Another thing I’ve been trying to do, mainly when its raining is to actually watch some of the films or shows I’ve said I wanted to see.
I seem to add loads of things to various ‘watch later’ lists such as on Netflix and its got to a point now where this list feels like a chore which it really shouldn’t be.
So now I’ve been trying to actually get through this list before I add anything new to them and I’m not going to lie, even simply watching a film and then removing it from my list feels great.
So my advice to you is to get yourself really nice and comfy, line up your tv snacks, settle in and watch that film or show you’ve been putting off! Or it might be a good time to delete any films it turns out you’re just not that bothered about watching and so something you are interested in instead.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a drastic impact on a lot of peoples plans for 2020. Lots of events having to be postponed until a later date or cancelled all together but it doesn’t mean this time has to be completely wasted. Let’s try to use it as best we can and come out of all of this with new skills, knowledge or just loads of little tasks completed, ready for whatever’s next!
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