During the lockdown, conversations with family, friends and colleagues have regularly touched on how we are tackling these disordered and discombobulated days in isolation. From person to person our approaches and our activities vary, but the one constant seems to be that each of us has our reservations about whether we are doing the right thing. Elements of doubt and guilt persist. Are we doing too much, just enough, or too little? And if we are doing nothing at all, should we be judged?
One usually very motivated person admits to being barely bothered to throw a meal together and would gladly slump in front of the TV at the earliest opportunity. Another has embraced online training, good books and an interest in celebrity gossip, whilst some tribes multi-task with a well-structured exercise regime, an orderly home-schooling agenda, working as productively as possible from home. And then there are those who, by their own admission, have fallen unwittingly into isolation-activity-overdrive, the mildly annoying meerkat, frenetically cooking, cleaning, laundering, fixing, gardening, reupholstering, painting, sewing and, and, and…
Not having experienced anything like this before, how can there be a right way or a wrong way to navigate our way through this isolation? There is no instruction manual detailing what we should be doing, how much we should be doing and when we should be doing it. We have had our freedom severely curtailed. We are all missing our normal routine, our families and our friends and we are all trying hard to find our way through these angst-inducing times as best we can.
Routine, nourishing food and exercise are all important for our physical and mental health and to help signpost us through the day, but it is up to each of us to find out what works best for us, to find our own personal comfort level and to dial things up or down as and when required. It is not the quantity of what we do, or do not do, but the quality and the balance. Everyone is doing it in a different way, and it is OK to forge our own paths. We should not allow ourselves to feel pressured to do things, or not do things, by the clamour of social media or those with the loudest on-line voices.
It is inevitable that some days will be more stressful than others. However, despite the turmoil, there is always cause for hope and a small celebration of what we have achieved or enjoyed each day. Our own “personal bests” are sure to help see us through this lockdown one day at a time.
Never in decades has the rallying cry “Keep Calm and Carry On” seemed more apt.