We're coming into our fourth week of lockdown here in the UK, and many people have probably been self-isolating for a lot longer. Almost everybody that I have spoken to lately has said that they are starting to get those waves of despondency, impatience, loneliness, avolition or anxiety.
So I have made a list of things that have brought me a little joy over the past few weeks and I hope that they help at least someone feel a little better.
1. Keeping up some sort of routine
Even if it's just setting an alarm every day, or putting on 'regular clothes'. Small accomplishments like this can be a real mood-booster. I have found that getting up and setting up my 'workspace' every day has made me feel a little more sane during the lockdown.
2. Having a break from the news
It's OK to pretend for a little while that this isn't happening, for the sake of your mental health. I noticed early on a pretty strong correlation between my mood and the amount of time that I had spent refreshing my newsfeed; checking the coronavirus stats to see how many people had died etc. Now, I check the news once before bed and then don't look again.
3. Making a to-do list for the week
Even if you just fill it with books that you want to read, or shows that you want to watch. Ticking something off a to-do list can really give you a little hit of dopamine, in my opinion. I organise my to-do list each week by priority and fill it with things like commissions, videos for my patrons, social media posts etc. I have personally found that prioritising my tasks and ticking things off one-by one makes jobs seem a lot less daunting!
4. Going for a long walk every day
Going for a long walk each day has found itself fitting quite comfortably into my daily schedule lately. I like to mix it up by changing my route each day and I have started taking notice of the smaller things, like the changing colours of the leaves and the blossom starting to appear.
5. Bringing the outside in
I'm a huge fan of house-plants and flowers. They brighten spaces, clean up the air and remind you that there is a world out there. I have also started to try my hand at painting 'en plein air', which took a little getting used to, but the weather has been so beautiful, I just couldn't resist.
6. Listening to podcasts
I like to listen to music whilst I paint, or have a TV show or film playing in the background; usually something that I have seen before don't need to concentrate too much on. I have recently discovered podcasts, however. I personally love a crime podcast, like Redhanded or Crime Junkie and have been binging on these non-stop whilst working on commissions.
Stay safe everybody!
Whatever you do to pass the time, stay safe, happy and healthy. Try not to let this crazy world eat you up. I would love to see any pieces of artwork that you create whilst you are in lockdown, so feel free to email them to me, or send them to me on any of my social media pages by clicking on the icons below!