It's March. This month, last year, was the beginning of all this insanity, when we first became acquainted with the now universally-detested term 'lockdown'. Can you believe it's been an entire year!? At this point, it's a *slog*. We're all totally fed up of not being able to see our families/friends, go out for a meal or even travel further than five measly kilometres. It is TOUGH. Especially when your phone regularly breaths "ON THIS DAY" reminders down your neck, igniting a sickly nostalgia bomb of the fun, varied life you used to lead. But, we push on. Because we have to. And, with the sun deciding to cop on and make an appearance, and all the news of vaccinations, there is a sliver of hope in the air. Here are the other factors making this time easier for me to cope and retain my sanity.
So much of my time is spent fantasising about food. What I'll have for lunch. And dinner. And a snack. Any form of 'date night' is centred around food, whether it's a takeaway or putting in EFFORT like the above slow cooker ribs, twice cooked fries and lime and chili corn. We also love to cook tacos, homemade burgers, chicken fried rice and calorific salads (the kind with loads of chicken, cheese and bacon). We're living through a historical event, an actual pandemic, shove your diet. Comfort all the way.
In saying that, I also want to feel as healthy as possible right now, because for me, physically healthy equals mentally healthy. So, I've been HORSING the supplements into me (Vit C & D, Fish Oils, Magnesium, etc) and taking CBD capsules and spray every night (I've been trying Irish brand Pureis) to ensure that my sleep is better. Which I can honestly say that it is. I've also been keeping up my Stupid Little Walks™, which of course always make me feel better, even when I REALLY don't want to go on one, especially when I blare tunes in my ears, and stop for a takeaway hot chocolate or coconut flat white. Has to be done.
A lot of the time, I'm in the house on my own as my boyfriend works long 12 hour shifts on-site. Thankfully, I'm happy in my own company as I'm a bit of an introvert but it obviously can get lonely. Enter the wonders of the radio. The previous tenants left an old-school style one in the house, and I've been using it daily, my favourite channel being Radio Nova. The chats and lols provide a sense of company, while the songs encourage me to get up and have a dance every now and then (I say dance, I mean twirl around the room in an uncoordinated mass of shapes whilst warbling the wrong lyrics). If you're working solo, I recommend!
Speaking of keeping me company...anyone who knows me knows that I am truly obsessed with my dog Mike, going as far as to see him as my child. I fully expect Mother's Day cards in the post...ahem. Adopting him last year was the best decision of my life. While I don't encourage anyone to get a dog on a whim - it's something you need to seriously consider/research - maybe sign up to foster with a dog charity during this time at home...if you can face giving them back that is (we couldn't with our Miggeldy #fosterfails)
If you're lucky enough to have a bath in your home...go *extra* with it. Make it an event. One that includes a pillow, a tray, a g&t, candles, a face mask and a Kindle/Tablet. The petals/orange slices in my bath above are from an Irish company called Milk Bath; the entire experience will make you feel like a really boujie Cleopatra.
This might seem like a random addition on this list, especially for a nearly 30 year old woman, but Conor's Xbox has been my lockdown saviour at times. I have completed countless games, from classics like Tomb Raider and Spyro to newer offerings like Life is Strange. I also dabble with my Nintendo DS from time to time, reliving the simple joys of Pokemon and the like. For me, video games are the ultimate escapism.
Telly. Lots of telly
Ah, television, my best pal. I have enjoyed so much telly these past two months. Irish tv like Gogglebox, The Tommy Tiernan Show and Davy's Toughest Teams, Netflix offerings like White House Farm and Pretend It's A City and All4 reality goodness Married At First Sight Australia. I've found that reading is difficult for me at the moment, as my concentration span, except when it comes to work, is just not there. Same goes for podcasts. But tv always holds my attention, and makes me feel better; entertained, comforted, informed. Every time I curse the times that we're living in, I imagine going through all of this without the beauty of a box set. Shiver.
Writing it all down
The thing about life now, is that, as the great Ronan Keating once sang, it's a rollercoaster. One day, you could be feeling sorry for yourself and missing everything about life pre-2020, the next could be filled with fun and laughs. To keep my perspective in check, I write down the things I'm grateful for a few times a week, so when I'm having one of those shit days, I can have a read of my list. It might not make me feel instantly better but it'll give me a shake. Lists in general are great for someone with an anxious brain like mine, to give the day ahead a bit of structure. I have a Head Plan journal, but to be honest, I usually just scribble it all into the Notes app on my phone before bed. Once it's written out before me, I feel calmer; like I have my life together that teeny bit more. Roll on the days where one of my entries is preparing for the night out to end all nights out...