Life in Lockdown

While I don’t pretend to be an expert at what the world is experiencing right now, as a family, we were thrown into an ‘unprecedented’ situation (for us) at the beginning of December. The media keep throwing the word unprecedented out there – it simply means something that’s never been known before. I’m sure many of you have found yourselves in one of these situations somewhere along your own journey; it’s scary, frightening and you don’t know which way to turn.

Picture of Hannah in the WILD office

Photo credit: Lisa Bretherick

I have very quickly had to discover to batter my own pride down, push my embarrassment away and realise that the whole family’s needs come way above things like pride and embarrassment which have always stopped me accepting help before.

So what was this situation that has put us ahead of the game when it comes to ‘Life in Lockdown’?

Our Son was diagnosed with Cancer – pretty much out of the blue and life has changed completely BUT it hasn’t crumbled around us like we thought it would on the day we first heard ‘Cancer’. We have found ourselves in isolation due to a complete lack of immune system once chemotherapy started.

Here are the things we have learned:

Accept help – We have HAD to accept help – not easy for me, I’m normally the 1st one to give but not someone that likes everyone to know what’s going on. However, there’s no way we could have managed without the support of people around us. Social workers, family support workers (yes, even Wild workers get professional support, we’re not immune!), friends who have shopped for the most personal things, cooked meals and cleaned.

We have had to reach out and ask too, and as you are in lock down now, you might have to step out of your comfort zone and ask for the help people might normally give on face-to-face contact. There is no shame in asking for help.

Routine – Establish a routine and try to stick to it. It would be all too easy to lie around in pyjamas when no one is seeing you but getting up, having a shower and putting on some bright clothes does wonders for your mood!

Exercise – Use the time designated to go out and get some fresh air, notice the birds singing, the flowers blooming and smile at someone…..but make sure they’re across the street!

Then try out some of the excellent online exercise offerings, these are ones we have enjoyed as a family more recently:

PE with Joe Wicks

Dance with Oti Mabuse

30 days of Yoga

These activities will really help keep you energised and as no-one is watching it doesn’t matter how daft you look, it’s just a chance to enjoy some time as a family.

Eat well – It’s easy to think we’re hungry when in fact we’re bored or thirsty – keep hydrated and make sure your diet is colourful. If you are bored there are lots of opportunities for free courses at the moment online, The Open University has an exciting wide range that will look good on your C.V.

Don’t Google! – It’s really easy to get lost in an online news world at the moment but that won’t help you. Instead, use trusted Social media sites to meet with your friends. Make plans for regular video chats with them. This is one of the things that kept us together despite being 200 miles apart for 6 weeks and ensured that the children didn’t feel they were missing out too much with their friends; it was literally a mental health lifesaver!

Lower your expectations – accept the current circumstances without question or blame. I found this ridiculously hard – my self-expectations have always been sky high but the minute I lived in each day without trying to plan, organise and change things that were out of my control, stress levels reduced massively and we started to find things to enjoy.

Finally – find AT LEAST 1 positive in every day. It doesn’t matter how big or small but please share it! I’d love to see a new hashtag trending #wilddailydelights

Photo credit: Lisa Bretherick

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