Emma Copland

The world is in a scary place right now. A place that no person alive has ever been in before; a place that will leave lasting effects on every single one of us. And there is simply no right or wrong way to be dealing with this apart from staying at home, unless absolutely essential. So whether you want to use your time at home to invest in a side hustle, learn a new skill or simply make it through each day in one piece, that's ok. You're not on a sabbatical, we're in the middle of a worldwide pandemic!
So whilst I've been doing jigsaw after jigsaw, making my way through my TBR pile and cleaning the house from top to bottom, there are a few things I've come to realise. And no, they're not all brand new information that I've only just learnt, but more so things that have been reinforced in this time of reflection. (Like how selfish people can be, going to sunbathe in parks and have BBQs with their friends!!)

1. Appreciate the small things in life
Being able to go for a walk in the fresh air, having a new book and the time to read it, or being able to call your grandparents and tell them how much you love them. This time of isolation is really enforcing the everyday things that we've all been taking for granted. And I just hope we all remember that moving forwards!

2. Routine is key 
Everyone's different in this one, but we all have certain things that makes us feel ourselves, and for me that's having A) a daily routine and B) a nice outfit. I've always liked routine to some extent and this lockdown is no different, I'm still getting up, showered and dressed first thing, before reading whilst eating breakfast and then getting on with whatever tasks are to be done and going for an afternoon walk. And unlike most, I've not been living in loungewear (only the odd day here and there) because I need to get properly dressed in order to feel put together. 

3. Setting tasks and goals for each day will get you through
I guess this is a bit similar to liking a routine, but if every night when you go to bed, instead of reading more news and getting upset or in a state of panic, turn your phone off and instead make a list for what you want to achieve the next day. Focus on the things you can control! Whether it's simply to water the plants or make your bed, or something more complex, it's something to tick off! Set the goal and you'll feel better when you can tick it complete!

4. Exercise is essential
I've always known that going to the gym, for a swim or a big long walk was good for my mental health. But now not being able to just pop to the gym for an hour, it's hitting home just how good it was. So instead I've been trying to get back into yoga (Yoga with Adrienne of course) and have been trying Joe Wicks daily workouts too. Everyone always says 'you never regret a workout' and it couldn't be more true right now. It doesn't have to be everyday and it doesn't have to push you to the limits, but making the effort will change your mindset.

5. It's ok to do nothing!
As I mentioned before, you don't have to be using this extra time at home to be productive. Great if you are, but not everybody can and that's ok. If you're able to volunteer for the NHS right now, fantastic! If you're studying an online course, great! If your new business is ready to flourish, go you! Not all of us are able to do these things, whether due to health conditions/tearing your hair out home-schooling/grieving/whatever else it might be, and that is perfectly fine. As long as you're not out and about socialising, you're doing good.

6. A sense of community is important
Whether it be checking in on relatives/neighbours who can't get out or simply keeping in touch with friends, now is the time for people coming together and it is something that none of us will forget. Personally I've not been on Facetime/Zoom/HouseParty to anyone except family because I couldn't think of anything worse, but if it's helping you right now then that's great. I'll stick to WhatsApp messages!! But also social media; I participated in the #isolatedwardrobechallenge on Instagram last week and as well as giving me a little task each day, it provided a sense of community with others who have similar interests and it was just lovely and much-needed.

7. It's never been more important to use the unfollow/mute buttons
There's many points I could make about this, and I've said before how important it is not to follow people on social media who make you feel bad about anything and that really is essential right now. Whether it's people pushing everyone to use their time wisely and be their most productive or someone sharing negative opinions that affect you, just get rid of them. Unfollow them, mute them, block them, whatever! And limit your intake of news everyday whilst you're at it. It's not healthy to be taking it all in 24/7.

8. Everything is political right now
I had to come off Facebook 2 weeks ago and I've since had to limit my time on Twitter too because everyone has an opinion, and yes that's valid and fair, but some of them are just uneducated, ill-judged and plain wrong. When hundreds of people are losing their lives everyday? It's political! When NHS workers are losing their lives through a lack of protective equipment? It's political!

And to every single key worker out there doing their best right now, thank you.

Loves. Emma.