So it's official. We're on lock down for the next two weeks. This means staying at home, and only going out for essential trips, like food shopping and caring for the vulnerable. For most of us, this means spending as much time at home as possible and avoiding all contact with others. This raises so many challenges. If you're locked down with someone, you have company but no space to yourself. If you're alone, you might go a few days without seeing anyone and that can cause loneliness and anxiety.
Having freelanced from home for a year or so now, I am used to spending a lot of time in one place so I've put together some of my tips to survive the next few weeks.
1. Use technology
Just because you're home alone, doesn't mean you can't talk to anyone. Phone a friend, send GIFs on WhatsApp and keep up to date with friends online. Needless to say, with some people off work, and some working from home, everyone is spending a lot more time online!
2. Do some exercise
Just because you're at home, it doesn't mean you can't move. The guidelines make allowances for personal exercise, so feel free to go out for a run (make sure you fill in the form that can be found on our Facebook page, the French government website and just about every social network). If you want to stay at home, there is still a lot you can do. YouTube has millions of exercise videos that you can follow without any equipment. Failing that, there's plenty you can do in the garden if you have one. Sprints, body weight exercises or even walking if your garden is big enough.
3. Host cyber events
With group video calls available on Skype, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, there's no reason not to have an apero with your friends. You're all in the same position, so there's plenty to talk about! I can guarantee that when it's 5pm (or midday for one lovely Unfrench that will remain nameless), someone on the admin group will call #wine'o'clock. Enjoying that glass together really makes me feel part of a social group.
4. Start that project
If you're like me, you've got something you want to do, but haven't got round to it yet. It could be reading a book, painting a room or learning a school. For me, it's developing my sewing. As a petite lady, I need to take up skirts, dresses and trousers. So far, I've been using a mixture of tailors (expensive), Wonderweb (unreliable) and hand stitching (uneven). My lovely mother-in-law gave me a sewing machine for Christmas but I've been busy since. Now it's time for me to learn how to use it and make some items. I learnt to make clothes in convent school (obviously!), so I'm hoping it's like learning to ride a bike. We'll find out if that's true!
5. Enjoy the outdoors
Going outdoors might not be possible, but make sure you don't forget it's there. Look out of the window, sit on the balcony or go into the garden as much as possible. I've got a balcony that overlooks the Alps. Every time I go out there, I feel much more positive, but it's often easy to stay in front of the TV. My partner and I had our lunch out there and enjoyed the sun. It's definitely a mood-booster!