For many of us, life has gone back to normal in many ways. The kids have gone back to school, places are slowly starting to reopen and there’s a sense that things are getting better. People are learning how to stop worrying about the future. However, when I say “many of us”, I don’t actually mean me! Both kids are still home from school; in fact neither has been since 12th March 2020 and we’re homeschooling Sausage permanently from now on. Lockdown stress is still looming large!

We still don’t leave the house for anything other than shopping and medical appointments, we still wash all groceries and parcels that come into the house, still wear masks, distance ourselves from other people. We’re missing family like mad, but we just don’t feel like it’s worth letting our guards down just yet. Imagine isolating ALL THIS TIME and then catching COVID at the eleventh hour? I doesn’t bear thinking about.

Being indoors all this time means we’ve all needed to find our own ways to entertain ourselves and cope with the situation so that the lockdown stress doesn’t completely engulf us. For Sausage, it’s been all about anime, reading fan fiction, drawing and chatting to her friends. Burrito Baby has found happiness in reading Harry Potter and creating some epic worlds in Minecraft. Husband plays Call of Duty online and I’ve been listening to audiobooks, cross-stitching and baking to keep my mind off of everything.

With this in mind, I thought I’d share some tips for you to follow if you need help with avoiding stress, decompressing when you feel overwhelmed or just generally helping to pass the time if you’re still isolating at home:

Try a New Hobby

If you’re anything like me, there’s a list of things as long as your arm that you’ve said you’d like to try, but always punctuate it with “…but I never have the time!”. Well, I’ve never had MORE time than in the last 12 months and it shows – as well as the cross stitch and baking I mentioned above, I’ve done quilling, card making, sewing and a few other things besides. If there’s something you’ve been wanting to get into, there’s no time like the present!

Audiobooks

As well as taking full advantage of my free trial of Audible (which I promptly cancelled when my trial ran out!), my good friend Jeni recommended an app to me called BorrowBox. It’s available to anyone with a library card and allows you to borrow e-books and audiobooks, just like you would from your library, except it’s all digital. The app is absolutely free and there are no in-app purchases. The range of books can sometimes be limited, but I’ve managed HOURS of free audiobook listening with this app and I do love the escapism from lockdown stress that a good book can provide.

Declutter Your Life

Something I find INCREDIBLY cathartic and stress-relieving is decluttering, and this is one of those things that you can apply to various parts of your life. Whether it’s clearing out your kitchen drawers, tidying those cupboards that are just used for storing stuff you no longer use, organising the shed or garage or even going through your inbox and unsubscribing from all the newsletters and emails you never read. Clearing physical space is a really good way to help clear headspace and the knock-on effect of a declutter is huge for me.

Have you found something in the last year that has helped you through the isolation of lockdown? Are you like us and still doing your best to distance yourself from the world? Have you decided to permanently homeschool your kids once this is all over?

Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!