Mike is a Dyslexia Scotland volunteer. He’s currently living in Australia.
“Mike, why are you such an optimist?”, people ask me. “That’s just the way I am.” I usually chirp back (while silently thinking “because the opposite is too hideous to contemplate!)
Nobody likes to be told what to do or where they can go. And nobody ever has begged to stay at home. It’s horrible, frustrating and even depressing and nobody would choose it unless for very good reason.
As I watch the international news, I’m hearing more and more about ‘Lockdown Fatigue”. It’s usually a combination of fear, anxiety and helplessness and it corrodes the soul. Well, it doesn’t need to be that way.
Firstly, we can put things in perspective and banish fear and anxiety. Secondly, there’s lots we can do to make our situation much better. Here are a few tips I’ve developed while working with my coaching clients and in my own lockdown.
- Live for today
- Anxiety lives in the past and is usually based on what we believe we have lost. We only have today and what is gone is gone, it’s not coming back today and there’s no point dwelling upon it
- Fear lives in the future. Again, that’s not today and it’s pretty much out of our control, for now. So, live in the now and let’s cross those future bridges when they come. We’re all amazingly resilient and we know we’ll cope with whatever tomorrow brings in due course.
- Helplessness lives in the now, but is based on a false understanding of ourselves. It’s all too easy to forget how truly amazing and capable we really are. So, ‘gonnae no dae that’!
- Acceptance: ”Grant the ability to accept what we can’t change; courage to change what we can change, and the wisdom to know the difference.” We can’t control this virus right now but we can take major steps to stay safe and well.
- Be an island: Shut the borders and stop the virus getting into your home
- Protect ourselves: We know covid spreads person to person, through coughs, sneezes and hard surfaces. So take four easy precautions that are completely in our control.
- Don’t go out if we don’t need to.
- Stay 6ft apart from others.
- Wear a mask. Use hand sanitizer/soap regularly.
- Keep the house surfaces clean.
- Have routine and stick to it.
- Start by getting up on time and making the bed.
- Share meals together.
- Timetable working/study at home, plan exercise/hobbies, mealtimes, housework, TV/Computer times and work the plan.
- Cook together, from scratch with fresh ingredients. We now have the time.
- Have a sensible bedtime and get enough sleep.
- Stick to the timetable
- Learn something new. There are so many online free services out there. YouTube and Google are bursting with ideas and many are completely free. Just dream of something, pick one and do it. We’ve got more time now that we’ve ever had.
- Be grateful: We’re alive, we have a roof over our heads and food on the table… and much more. So, let’s write a list at the end of each day and meditate on how lucky we are.
Covid19 and lockdown may not be in our direct control but they don’t need to define us or control us. There is so much we can do for ourselves. We can all survive and thrive through this period and all it takes is our determination to do it. I hope these simple ideas can find a place in your home and can be shared with your nearest and dearest. Please stay safe and we’ll come through this together.
MIKE GORDON is a life coach and volunteer with Dyslexia Scotland. Although dyslexic, Mike has earned 3 degrees in science and business and has had two best-selling self-help books published. Mike believes his dyslexia has been a genuine enabler in his life: Isolation opens up imagination and creativity to him; while struggles with words have driven a sense of ‘rightness’ in what he says and does. Words are a blessing.
Scotland’s stay at home guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/