Making schedules, reviewing our days and getting stuff done!

Topic for Today - Making schedules, reviewing our days and getting stuff done!

“Lock Down” is a very strange term.  More something we would associate with a 1990’s police and prison drama than to us, our house and our street.

We are in uncharted territory. 

None of us have ever had to manage these kinds of conditions before.  We might have chosen not to go out, we might have been unable to go out, but we have never been instructed to stay in before.  And for some of us we will be staying in alone for the first time or perhaps in a group or family unit that has never had to deal with these kinds of restrictions. 

So how can we best manage the situation, keep ourselves occupied and achieving, and, if with others, avoid too many arguments.

Here are some suggestions to think about

Create a basic routine and, more-or-less, stick to it!

It’s great to have a get up time and good if you can get washed and dressed.  Even if we will not see anyone else during the day it seems to help us feel better and be more prepared to get on with other things.

It’s really good to have a similar routine at the other end of the day too.  A regular bedtime and bed time routine which avoids too much stimulus before settling down, steer clear of computer screens and telephones as their light acts to keep us awake.  We would also suggest avoiding late night news.  We can do very little about most of it and it can become a backdrop for worry during the night.

Next question - how might we spend our waking time?

Let’s start with meals.  Hopefully you are managing to get the food you need and enjoy (see our home page for help with this if it is a problem) so plotting in your meal times and what you will eat gives a basic structure and involved different activities to get things done.  Eating well is really important right now so do try to balance your diet if you can, and get plenty fresh fruit and vegetables.  This helps keep you well and boosts your immune system.

There’s loads of on-line cookery support and recipes at the moment, including the Bootstrap Cook who has a new series on TV so maybe use this time to extend your cookery skills.  Definitely worth a thought -  I know my family would appreciate it!

 But while making meals and being healthy, we are all allowed a little treat now and then, so why not plan that in as well, maybe a Movie Night with popcorn would work for you? Or create your own best version.

Next think about the things that you really need to do. These might be on-going work tasks or house cleaning jobs or maybe those jobs you’ve been putting off for ages.  I asked around and for people at Hartlepool Mind these were things like, cleaning out the cupboard under the stairs, clearing rubbish from the garage, painting the back bedroom, emptying the last boxes from moving house.  You could make a list and decide you will do one thing off it each morning, or just tackle one thing each week (we have time).

But if that is the work, we also need some nice things to do.

Maybe think about those things you love but don’t normally get chance to do - drawing or colouring in, knitting or embroidery, playing an instrument or singing.  You can do these things alone but if you have access to the internet there are lots of on-line groups to join or sharing events.  See what you can find….  You could even think about learning to do something new - bagpipes anyone?

You can mix this in with speaking to friends, neighbours or colleagues, watching TV, playing games in the real world or on a computer or your phone.

Then maybe think about your exercise.  No matter what your limitations there will be something you can do, and again, on line there are a lot of options.  Now I know Jo Wickes isn’t for everyone (and he’s definitely not for me) but there’s gentle exercise, yoga and even armchair versions.  If you are going out to exercise aim for at least half an hour, if indoors you could break that into 10 or 15 minute blocks! 

Now I know this is obvious, but probably best said anyway, please do not take up any new or wild exercise regimes while in Lock Down and without good medical advice.  Now is not the time to be bothering doctors with questions about star jumps or rocking up to Accident and Emergency because you’ve strained something unusual!

This whole thing does get a bit more tricky when you are dealing with lots of people in the house or keeping small children occupied. Again, structure is really helpful - do design activities for little ones to help them engage and learn, but it’s also ok to have quiet time, watch a movie or let them play on the computer (it’s all about balance).  They can help with jobs and they can walk outside for exercise too - maybe have them running, hopping and jumping to use some extra energy!  But no matter the age and profile of the people in your house do remember to talk to each other, even young children can contribute, and with the older ones, encourage them to talk and support you and each other.  You can look at some of our other posts for suggestions on relationships.

 Your whole day could be arranged in any way that works for you, but if you want to see an example - here you go:

8am     Alarm and wake up

9am     Dressed and ready


10am   Cleaning (it’s kitchen cupboard time)

12pm   Make Lunch


3pm     On line knitting group

4pm     Exercise

5pm     Tea Time

6pm     Clear around, put rubbish out, etc.

7pm     Writing Letters


11pm   Bed

Ok, well those are our thoughts for today, take care, stay safe, well, kind, creative and connected!

Don’t go out if we don’t absolutely need to (i.e. for food basics), keep a safe distance (2 meters) from the other people around us. Keep smiling, waving and talking. Wash hands and avoid touching faces when out and about. 

Anything we can do to stop and slow the virus is keeping more of us safe and literally saving lives. 

If you have symptoms, stay inside and contact 111 or the website to get more advice.

Look forward to speaking again soon (tomorrow we will be looking at how we can all help each other, street by street)

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