Global Pandemic

My 5 Lockdown Essentials

Lockdown is a challenging experience for everyone in various ways which makes some lockdown essentials all the more important – for many of us, it means spending many hours together a day with loved ones that we’re not used to spending so much time with on a day-to-day basis.

For others, it means more time alone. And for most of us it means complete disruption to our normal daily lives and routines and can leave us feeling overstretched and frustrated.

Below I share my 5 lockdown essentials, some of the techniques I’m using to look after myself (and my family) during lockdown.

Lockdown Essentials

For connection

For those living alone, they may now feel cut off from many people they previously had a lot of contact with. Even for those of us who are not alone but are maybe not with people who ‘get’ our online business world it can feel like a lonely time.

This is where finding your tribe online is so important. For me, I run the Inspiring Women Society Facebook group and we’ve just kicked off our Action April Challenge so it’s great to have a place to go online to hang out with like-minded people and share in the inspiration of what others are up to.

For mental health

Positive Psychology seeks to understand the traits and habits of people who report high levels of wellbeing and learn how this can be applied in others to help others. I find this a fascinating area of study and have an ICF accredited certificate in Positive Psychology for Coaching.

To put my knowledge into practice, my husband and I are having daily rituals inspired by research from positive psychology which we use to help us foster healthy minds.

With breakfast, we share one thing we feel grateful for and then over dinner we ask each other to list 3 good things that have happened that day.

We also added in ‘one thing that didn’t go well and what we learned from it’ as a way to normalise mistakes, discourage perfectionism and help us reframe negativity. (You can get a copy of these prompts in the Action April Challenge)

For Productivity

A few years ago I read The Miracle Morning and was inspired to start my day bright and early and have more hours in the day.

However, I quickly departed the 5 am Get Up Club once pregnant as it just didn’t feel like it served my energy in the same way.

But now I find myself at home every day with an 11-month-old baby and my husband is still working full-time from home. I no longer have the 3-4 days of childcare that I relied on to run my business so I’ve had to get creative.

I now start my day at 5 am so that I get some time to myself before the rest of the house get up at 7 am.

This is roughly what a typical day looks like for me:

5 am walk the dog
6 am work
7 am breakfast with the family
8 am playtime & housework
12.30 pm family lunch
2 pm work (husband looks after the baby for 2 hours)
4 pm playtime
5.30 pm family dinner
6.30 pm work (husband does baby’s bedtime routine)
10 pm bedtime!

On weekends we have a schedule worked out so we know who is looking after the baby at what times so that the other one can work/relax/sort out the house.

It’s a busy day but getting up early has been a game-changer for me – instead of being frustrated about my day feeling like it never really gets started, now I have more energy, feel happier and can still make progress on my business.

Having a schedule also keeps things fair – we keep it on the wall so we always know who’s doing what and it helps support communication.

If you haven’t read The Miracle Morning it’s worth checking out as it also lays out the key activities that help set you up for a productive day – I can’t quite manage it all just yet but it’s a work in progress.

Running the Home

So luckily for me, I recently read The Organised Mum Method which is a daily system for housework where you follow a specific structure to do a little bit every day (Monday-Friday) so that you’re always keeping on top of things and don’t have those dreaded weekends filled with catching up on all the housework.

We have a laminated printed version of the weekly tasks so that we can tick them off as we go each day. It means that either myself or my husband can look at the list and see if anything still needs doing throughout the day (it’s displayed in the hallway!).

I won’t pretend I manage it 100% of the time and still have to catch up sometimes on weekends but it feels so much calmer to me to have it all planned out for me and I don’t have to think about what needs doing.

Relationships & Communication

Another important element for me is making sure my husband and I are communicating effectively – we are polar opposites in many ways (I’m a planner and an introvert, he’s a ‘live in the moment’ extrovert) and it’s easy for us to misunderstand each other or not realise what the other person needs in a given moment.

So I’m eternally grateful that we both listened to the episode of Emily William’s podcast episode “When Business is Personal: Entrepreneurs in Relationships with Marla Mattenson”.

Two of the key ideas that we use from this is ‘Exquisite Honesty’ – that we value being truthful above keeping the peace and that this ultimately helps us both feel heard and valued and the ‘Re-do’, where we get a second chance to say something that maybe didn’t come out the way we wanted.
These techniques help us keep communicating effectively and growing as a couple – especially important when we are stuck in the same house together for almost 24 hours a day!

I hope that my 5 lockdown essentials give you some ideas of ways you can regain some control over your life during coronavirus lockdown and move from surviving to thriving – at least some of the time!

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