Nigel Holland
Nigel Holland

” It is a very difficult time for most of us. Here are a few tips on how we can cope during the pandemic.”

Nigel Holland

How to cope during the crisis and stay sane

The big question is how to comply with the lockdown rules without going completely stir crazy!

We could all do with some tips to help get through the day with our sanity intact.

1. Create a routine

Try to get up at the same time. Get dressed properly before you begin. Begin a routine which you stick to and change it at weekends.

Children will adapt to their own new routines surprisingly well. That’s good for their sanity. My other top tip is this – try not to check your work emails in the evening. It helps give you a bit more space, which is good for your mental wellbeing.

2. Get outdoors – exercise

If it’s not a sunny day, it’s tempting to not get outside and exercise. But do make time to get some fresh air. At the moment, we can go outdoors to walk, run or cycle and are advised to do it near home – and for no more than about an hour. Even so, it’s enough to blow away the cobwebs, lift our mood and remind us that we’ll be able to enjoy the outdoors even more when the pandemic is over.

3. Socialise virtually

Lots of my friends are being very creative and are using all sorts of online tools to socialise virtually. What’s app groups are great. I keep in touch with family, friends, business associates by using different what’s app groups. Zoom is definitely the video app of choice for chatting to friends, keeping clubs and societies running, checking in with parents and relatives – and much more.

Also messaging, texting, phone calls and all the rest are great ways to keep connected. If you’re lonely, don’t be afraid to reach out. And if you need help, ask for it.

4. Learn something new

I am an avid chess player. I have learnt various gambits which I was not familiar with the Danish Gambit, the Scotch gambit, the Italian gambit. There are plenty of videos on You Tube which teach you.

But if chess is not your thing, there’s so much else you can learn – from sewing to baking, woodworking to painting, gardening to top-notch cookery. Get on YouTube and elsewhere to find lots of tutorials, how-to’s and all sorts of inspiration.

5. Follow the news but not all the time

I don’t know about you, but the sheer volume of negative COVID-19 news stories can really make my mood plummet like a brick falling down a well. Yes, we all need to know what’s going on – especially when it comes to learning about new rules we have to adhere to, or finding out about financial help. But it’s just as important to take a break from coronavirus news. I catch up on the latest each morning, then check in briefly again during the evening. For the rest of the time, I resist the temptation to read the news – and it works well for me.

6. Take up a new hobby

I have taken up gardening and have built an irrigation system in my garden. Its not expensive. I collect the rain water from the roof in a water butt and then pipe it to hanging baskets at the front. The water falls into the first hanging basket, passes through to 3 more baskets underneath. It is then collected in a large plastic dish at the bottom and then passes through to a further pipe on the flower beds

7. Be kind – think of others

It can be frustrating being stuck at home, but that doesn’t stop us from being kind. Check other people are okay, offer help when you can and be patient – some people adapt to change better than others. At times like this, helping each other is more important than ever and gives us a sense of purpose too.

There are lots of ways you can keep yourself occupied and positive during this pandemic. Some days will be better than others, and that’s normal. But if you have good tips for how to cope with the lockdown and for keeping happy, healthy and sane, then please do share them.