With the memory of the first nationwide lockdown fresh in the memory, people across the country will be steeling themselves for weeks of the isolation and boredom associated with working from home and remaining cut off from family, friends and loved ones.
With this in mind, professional storyteller and CEO of biography-writing service StoryTerrace – Rutger Bruining – is helping people to make the most of lockdown, by taking the time to practice invaluable self-care, and to tap into their creativity:
“This mass retreat back into lockdown for several weeks represents a considerable challenge, especially with the short winter days and lack of sunlight, which were not factors we had to face in the first nationwide lockdown.
It’s very easy to withdraw into oneself and suffer the effects of isolation at a time like this, and that is why it is essential to find methods of coping with lockdown. However, we also know that the lockdown is set to end in early December, which gives us a target to strive for. This can be extremely useful, as it helps to devise a clear plan to invest in self-care, and dedicate time to a creative outlet to bring joy and occupy the mind.
Self-isolation can open up time for us to truly appreciate the little things – and allow us to draw inspiration from simple interactions and moments shared. Reflection and self-contemplation will be inevitable during this period, but these are also fantastic opportunities for creativity to thrive.”
Now, Rutger shares tips for building a self-care routine and exploring your creativity to make the most of lockdown:
Create a daily schedule
It’s all too easy to withdraw and become isolated without any clear structure or goals for your day. Creating your own daily (or weekly) schedule, even a simple an easily achievable one, will help you to develop a structure and find better balance during your days. This can also be really helpful in maintaining a distinction between work and home life whilst working from home.
There’s more spare time – take some for yourself!
There’s no doubt we all have a lot more time on our hands for the next few weeks – use it to indulge in some ‘me’ time and revel in activities you wouldn’t usually have the time for. Take a soak in the bath, get buried into a good book, or even get sucked into the Netflix series you haven’t got around to watching.
If the thought of all this extra time feels overwhelming, consider dedicating it to developing a skill – or better yet, learning something new! Anything creative, such as painting, singing, drawing, writing, crafting, etc., will allow you to engage your mind and switch off from the pressure of the pandemic.
Write, write, and write some more
This time poses an opportunity to dial back and tune into one of the most cathartic creative outlets – writing – which is one of the most beneficial activities for those struggling with isolation or negative thoughts during lockdown. There are many different ways to do it – some people prefer to keep a journal or diary to record their thoughts and feelings, whilst others prefer to write stories and create new ideas – but the mental health benefits are numerous.
If you’re not sure where to start, pick up a pen and paper and just start writing whatever comes into your head. It doesn’t have to be anything specific – just setting pen to paper is a start, and you will likely find that you have a lot more to say than you initially thought!
The novelty of online zoom quizzes might have worn off, but it is still essential to maintain as much connection with family and friends as possible. Sharing your experiences is going to help you make sense of what you’re going through and ensure you feel supported and connected.
Making plans to share in activities together, such as film watch parties or online games, is one way to remain connected, but just getting on the phone for a good old fashion chinwag will do the trick!
Start writing your life story
StoryTerrace help people to document their life stories, and the stories of their loved ones, by connecting you with a worldwide network of professional ghostwriters.
Over the course of the first lockdown, they recorded hundreds of people’s life stories, and the process of documenting your journey through life can be one of the most rewarding and beneficial activities – especially during lockdown.
Whether you want to write your own memoir or work with one of their writers – taking the time to look back and examine your life’s experiences, hardships and triumphs, is extremely beneficial and can bring about a real sense of satisfaction and achievement. It also represents an opportunity to reconnect with friends and family, trading stories and talking about time spent together.