the devil finds work for idle hands
If you are unlucky enough to find yourself in lockdown / quarantine / self-isolation, then you will know just how boring, enervating, and soul-destroying the long, long days can be. Unless you are so ill that all you want to do is sleep, you will probably be tempted to do three things; drink too much, eat too much junk food, watch too much mindless TV. If you are so inclined you may also be tempted to smoke too many cigarettes, and over-indulge in your other drugs of choice.
None of the above activities are such a good idea. May I make some alternative suggestions;
- Make a plan. With your partner, friend, long-distance friend(s) make a plan for how you are going to survive and thrive during this present coronavirus crisis. Make a plan for what you are going to do after lockdown is over. Make a plan for what you are going to do with the rest of this year / next year / next 3 years. Me, as soon as air travel is allowed I’m flying to the USA to visit a friend, and we are going to take a long road trip.
- If you are well enough take yourself for a walk in the fresh air and sunshine. Just stay at least 6 feet away from any other people you may meet. Take your dog if you have one.
- Exercise at home. There are hundreds of exercise sites on the internet. If you’re not feeling so good then try learning yoga, which is an excellent form of exercise. If you’re not well enough for that then look for exercises you can do sitting down.
- If you are lucky enough to have a garden, get out there and get your hands dirty.
- If you aren’t well enough for that, then sit on your balcony, in your garden, outside your apartment. Take no notice of any officious neighbours, and assume that the police are too busy to be jerks on your behalf.
- If your mind is working well enough, then read something challenging, preferably while you are sitting out of doors.
- Even if you don’t feel much like eating, then just make yourself cook something you will eat. Use whatever ingredients you have in the larder, refrigerator, freezer. Or find a recipe and go to the store, and that will also get you out of your place. (or order on-line, or get a friend to go to the store for you)
- If you’ve been very unwell then you probably look like hell. Get yourself clean and tidy, put on some cool clothes, and launder all the dirty stuff. Change your bedding and launder that too.
- If you’re anything like me, not doing anything much for 10 days or so, then your place is most likely a hell of a mess. Clean it all, including your kitchen and bathroom ~ and I mean really clean it. Me, I did the garret in half-hour stints, because after a half hour I had to sit down and rest a while.
- Work on your relationships. If you live with a partner, then give them some TLC. If you live with your kids then find some fun things for them to do with you. Repair any damage you may have done when you were depressed, angry, and insane.
- If, like me, you have long-distance relationships, then use the internet and telephone. Or even write your to your friend(s) in an old-fashioned pen and ink letter or card.
- Learn something new. There are innumerable on-line courses. A friend of mine is studying Late Medieval Devotional Art through a free Harvard course. Me? I’ve reading all about how to survive the end of the world….
The thing is you can be utterly depressed and miserable during this period of enforced self-isolation. Or, you can make the most of this time so that you emerge from lockdown a better, fitter, healthier, more grounded person than you were in March this year. I know which one I’ve chosen. I’ve tried the insane misery route, trust me, it doesn’t work.
all of the above applies if you’re working from home