Lockdown & Mental Health. Part 1

It seemed like now was the right time to dust off my laptop and see if I can’t find a way to put this madness into words. As always my writing is 90% for me, to help me empty out the thoughts in my head, but also if it can to help others. But if you find yourself eye rolling and wondering who I think I am, that’s fine too, we all gotta do lockdown our own way.

So I’ve broken down this experience into four sections to try to give each one the time it deserves and split them over two articles so it don’t bore you straight to sleep. (Although if you’re struggling to sleep and this helps – I won’t judge!) Before I start rambling, please remember you are not alone in this and whether you’re loving the extra time off or feeling super alone there are plenty of people out there willing to listen and help – including me.

So here goes…

Being social:

For those of us with years of therapy under our belt, not going out at all is a complex minefield. After all, the majority of advice I have been given was about how to push through anxiety and depression to get out – whether that’s for a meal, heading to the shops or just not cancelling on a friend again.  However now, everyone (including your therapist) is advising staying in as much as possible. It’s a complex one for the brain to suddenly understand.

I must admit I am finding it easier than I thought I would. I think because my anxiety knows that I am doing the right thing and not staying in because ‘I’m lazy or scared’. Once this is over I’ll be back to work, back to visiting family and annoying the girls over drinks. This time isn’t a reflection on your mental health, even if you are scared, you are following the guidance. Sometimes I feel like I should be doing more, maybe taking up jogging, but I wouldn’t do that even if there were free nachos at the end so I doubt I’ll start now.

Plus there are so many ways to stay social, suddenly I’m going to virtual pub quizzes and face timing pals I haven’t seen in months. It’s been pretty nice.

However I definitely assumed lockdown would do wonders for my skin, boy was I wrong. You never realise how awkward you are until you’re staring at a live action picture of yourself on Zoom. I’m starting to understand why that woman turned herself into a potato at the start of the meeting.

So to all my friends and family who have to look at giant facetimes of my face, I do own more clothes and not just my dressing gown, I have washed my hair and yes, I will put on some fake tan when this is all over so I don’t look like Casper the lockdown ghost.

Food:

Boy oh boy. You don’t realise how much you love food until you’re in lockdown do you.

I’ve been having a big box of fresh fruit and veg delivered so that I can avoid the shops and it’s been a lifesaver. Suddenly I am the new Gordon Ramsay, whipping up soups and sauces like there’s no tomorrow. My poor Dad has had to see every variation of the same Carrot soup that I’ve made and is doing a great job at not just blocking me on whatsapp.

At the beginning of lockdown I found everyone’s panic buying was making me really anxious and suddenly, despite having a fridge full I was really worried I didn’t have enough food. So after a few deep breaths and a brew, I made a list of every possible meal I could make with what I had in. Turns out I could feed a small army for a few weeks so was probably going to be fine.

Food is, as we have established, incredible and this time of uncertainty is a real kicker for those who may struggle with food based mental health concerns. My heart goes out to you because I know how much routine and access to the foods you like (or maybe just fear least) can help. But you are doing amazingly. I have loved watching my friends bake all sorts of new and exciting treats and even try new foods – mainly because it’s all that was left on the shelf but still!

When this is all over, I’m heading straight to Mum’s for takeaway tea and sending my stepdad to the shop for all the snacks. Like crumpets, crisps, nachos, donuts, cheese twists, custard…

Sorry where was I?

I think that might be enough rambling for today (and now I’m really hungry, so off to eat one of the 7000 apples from my Veg box) but thank you for taking the time out of your day to stop by and have a read. The other half of this post will be with you in a few days, so until then:

Stay safe and stay at home x

 

 

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