I thought it might be helpful if I shared some of my key strategies that I’ve used to cope with the lockdown and restrictions.  Maybe they will help you.

Take Time to Relax
I’ve found this quiet time a great opportunity to watch movies, read books and study subjects I may not have had time to do before. So every night after dinner, I decide if it’s a night for Netflix or Something Else. If it’s “Something Else” I don’t turn on the TV. I leave my phone where I can’t hear or see it, and I turn off my computer. Then I put on some relaxing music and sit and meditate. Or I take a bath. Sometimes I read a different book. Often I go for a walk. Since the new year I’ve been writing in a new journal. Occasionally I will go to bed early. I’ve decided that this time I am being given is a gift. Figure out what this “quiet time” will be for you, and revel in it. Who knows how long it will last.

Keep in Touch With Family & Friends
The need to stay at home has forced me to make contact with people in new ways. So I schedule regular phone calls with girlfriends, and my family. I put the times in my calendar so I don’t forget and I bring my tea with me to each call. It’s not the same as a coffee at Starbucks or breakfast at Coras, but for now, it’s a good second best.

I love to eat, and this lockdown has encouraged me to experiment with cooking, especially with my daughter who enjoys the same food as me. So we shop, cook and eat together. Every once in a while we invite my older daughter to join us (she does her own cooking). Even if we’re not eating the same things, we try to have lunch and dinner at the same times together during the week as we go about our day.

I’ve never had so many video calls with people as I have since last March. I love to use Zoom, WhatsApp, and now Telegram to connect with people. And it’s a bonus that wearing a mask isn’t necessary for this.

Whatever way you keep in touch is great, just keep at it. We are all feeling the lack of socialization and your family and friends will appreciate your efforts to stay connected.

Getting Stuff in Order
My house is going through a spring clean even though it’s January and there’s snow on the ground. I’ve sorted photographs, clothes, files and dishes. I’ve given boxes away to Value Village (when it was open), and sold bigger items on Facebook Marketplace really easily. I’m finding the time to clean out cupboards and sort through my belongings very therapeutic. This is a great opportunity to really minimize your “stuff”. Take it from me you’ll feel a whole lot lighter. It’s a known fact that clutter brings you down.

Manage Food and Alcohol
Talking about feeling lighter, as I said above I love to eat but I knew early on that if I didn’t keep track, I’d be gaining the quarantine 15, so I have made it a point to limit my consumption of sugar, alcohol and rich food. I make sure I don’t feel deprived (by only eating healthy, delicious and filling food) and I have been following a 16/8 Intermittent Fasting regime since last April. It has worked a charm. I don’t eat before 12 noon, and I only eat 2 main meals each day, with one snack. This has kept me focused on my goal of maintaining a great weight. In fact, I even lost weight … what a bonus! Make sure you know what result you want, and tailor your intake accordingly, or your shorts won’t fit you when we get to Spring!

Schedule Activity
I have been able to find some great online teachers to help me stay fit. I like goals that have a finite timeline so many times I have signed up for 30 day challenges. These keep me motivated as I like to see if I can keep the schedule. I’m pretty competitive with myself so I generally do all 30 days and then find something different. I’ve tried two different kinds of yoga, Instagram workouts, breathing lessons, dance classes and regular walking. Find whatever works for you, and just keep your body moving.

I really like to keep a routine. It helps me know what’s going on, and what to expect. So I generally journal morning and night, eat at the same times each day, and exercise in the morning. I also use Google Calendar faithfully and put almost everything in there whether it’s a client meeting, medical appointment or workout. I also use a lot of reminders on my phone, as well as pieces of paper beside my computer to keep me on track. If you are constantly forgetting things or need some structure, try these ideas to bring order every day. It works for me.

I hope this has been useful in part to give you an idea of ways to “enjoy” this time we are having right now.

Next time, I will write about some of the spiritual practices I use to keep me connected and grounded when stress comes my way.