Staying Sane While Stuck in Lockdown
In case you’ve been living under a rock (or just aren’t familiar with BC news) British Columbia’s Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry implemented provincial health orders midway through November that paused social gatherings and many businesses, programs, and activities. Or, as the cool kids call it, “lockdown.”
We’ve been in official Covid-19 second-wave lockdown for, give or take, three months at the time of writing. For me, that has meant a lot of time in my house, Zoom classes from my kitchen table, and having to force myself to find ways to get outside.
I was laid off for the second time in 2020 when the provincial health orders shut my workplace, a movie theatre, down again. Online school for UVic, and now no work or social interactions outside my family has made “lockdown” feel more like isolation.
If you’re in a position similar to mine, you know how challenging this BC lockdown can feel. The longer it goes on, the more difficult and boring it becomes! You are not alone.
I’ve been working hard to try and focus on the positive and get through these provincial health orders one day at a time. So here are my tips for staying sane while stuck in lockdown:
Facetime a Friend
I get it — sometimes it feels like with all the Zoom classes the last thing you want to do is spend more time on a screen virtually talking to someone. But with not being able to see my friends face-to-face, I found I was unknowingly isolating myself from them completely until I started scheduling set times to Facetime or video chat with them.
It’s important to be able to vent about how you’re feeling with the people that are close to you, and above all else, LAUGH with them. I can’t tell you how good I felt after just picking up the phone for a call. Your friends are still there, even if not physically.
Document Each Day
Currently, I’m finding it really easy to feel like the days are moulding together, especially when they all feel quite similar.
To combat this, I started keeping track of my favourite moments of the day in a private Instagram journal.
I’m horrible at keeping a written journal, so an online version is what I chose, but pick whatever format works best for you.
I’ll include my favourite TikToks that inspired me or gave me a laugh that day, any happy or unique moments, and any photos I take that remind me there was a little good during that specific day.
It’s Okay to Take a Break
When online school feels like the only thing you actually have to do, it’s easy to get caught up in how much you have to do and get stressed out.
It’s important to remember that online school isn’t your whole entire life, and that it’s okay to take a break. None of us are used to this format, and we’re all adapting.
When I’m really struggling with finding my focus or motivation, I recognize that it’s probably because I’m burnt out from spending the last few days focusing on school and school alone.
In these moments, I give myself permission to take a day off and spend it doing a hobby, working on a project I love, or even just relaxing and watching Grey’s Anatomy.
Set Goals for Each Day
As noted above, it’s important to distinguish each day as its own. I try to do this while also staying productive by using to-do lists to write down my goals for the day—and I don’t just mean school related ones.
I’ll write down even small goals like sending an email or putting in a load of laundry to help me feel like getting things done, as well as more fun tasks like connecting with a friend or watching a Youtube video.
Goals that make you smile are just as important as goals like studying or completing an assignment, and in lockdown, they are more than ever!
Most Importantly: Get Outside
I’ll admit, sometimes I have to force myself to do this one. However, I’m finding it’s now more important than ever to get fresh air when I can, even if it’s just a five-minute walk around the neighborhood.
Spending time outside makes it easier for me to focus and be productive on schoolwork. On the weekends, or when I have a little extra time between Zoom classes, I try to explore new local beaches, areas, or trails.
Your house can start to feel a bit suffocating when there’s no plans to leave it, so spending a bit of time in the sunshine can make all the difference.