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Another Year Another Lockdown - Survival Guide

Well a week in to a new year and here we have it. Crazytown! A week ago we were shouting Happy New Year to all and sundry and now we are all commiserating with each other (on social media) about the new development in our country's history.

Lockdown 3 is here and we all have an opinion on it. Some of us are taking it very seriously as the government says we should. Others of us, not so much. We'll fist bump or elbow rub with strangers, breathe on unsuspecting shoppers in Tesco and lick perspex screens for the show. And in between is everyone else. From exasperated homeschoolers to their parents hitting the prosecco at midday. Stay at home workers battling broadband with the teenage Netflix binges in the house. Well if there's anything left to be seen after all this free time!!!

The struggle is real.

However there is hope on the horizon. A saviour in the form of a vaccine.

I have come to a personal conclusion that I shall be taking each week, nay, each day at a time. So much has changed so often that no wonder people are confused with the rules. Are we in a bubble? Can I be in support with these 2 families or is it 6 people indoors? I jest but again the struggle is real. To stay on top of all the regulations requires a statisticians PhD.

As a Christian trying to keep the faith in the midst of all of this I've found some things that have helped me cope. I d like to share them with you. Bear in mind though I have had the awesome privilege of still working as a postman in a rural area which has helped immensely. But aside from that here are some ideas.

1. Daily bible reading. I realise this is an obvious entry but it really does help. When you spend time prayerfully reading God's word it allows Him to speak directly to you. To give you encouragement and a hope. Also to give you something to think about that's not covid related.

2. Daily prayer time. Especially during the first lockdown I found doing a Facebook live prayer time immensely encouraging. A chance to pray for others was a huge honour. Also it made me think outside of myself and turn my attention to conversations I have with others and pick up on their struggles and concerns. Even now the habit continues. Stop thinking about you and start praying for your neighbour.

3. Talk to people. I deliberately sought out conversations with people all year. As a postie I was blessed to be a person on the doorstep that didn't belong to the family members people were stuck with all day long. But even going to the supermarket the cashiers seemed to appreciate a brief chat about something that wasn't about their work or covid. Steer the chat to their lives and don't be creepy. It's only for 5 minutes but can make a huge difference to your outlook on the world.

4. Get out of the house. Even when your job is outdoors, getting out is really important. That vitamin D hit is a huge boost. Being in nature without rush, busy or worry to distract us allows us to appreciate all that is free to us. The natural world is a beautiful part of God's creation that He always intended us to be in awe of. The colours through the seasons, the smells and the feel of the air. Whether warm or snappy cold makes you feel alive just enough to know your living.

5. Keep consistent habits. It eliminates the need to think too hard and be innovative. When your day is familiar it becomes easy to follow through with premade plans. No more will you wonder 'what shall I do today?' or to get depressed and realise you cant do anything much.

6. Learn a new skill. This could seen be as contrary to point 5 but hear me out. When you have decided on what new skill you're going to conquer make it a part of your consistent daily habit. For me it's been video editing. I've found so much joy in learning and discovering better practices to take these new skills to a higher level. Just a bit each day or every other day is enough to keep your brains creativity flowing. Who knows what this may prepare you for. Or it might just be fun.

7. Keep bedtime consistent. So so important. Once bedtime becomes flexible your sleep habits change and the quality of sleep becomes affected. Sleep is part of the holy trinity of health. Along with exercise and eating right. These factors can make or break your mental health. Physical though they are, the impact on your brain is massive. Please don't slip into eating too much rubbish and poor sleep cycles. Not only will you feel rubbish and sluggish but your future self won't thank you.

I hope these things help you somewhat. They helped me. Take care of yourselves and if you can someone else too. God bless you.


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