Oh, my word. Has there ever been anything as frankly bizarre as the last week in the UK? It really doesn’t matter who you are, it seems, the Coronavirus has you in its sights and the only thing between us and a mass pandemic that will cause mayhem in the Health Service and potentially decimate our pensioners is the simple act of STAYING HOME.
Yes, really, at last something useful that we can all do for society. Stay home, don’t go out unless you really have to, find things to do at home and in the garden and really just DON’T GO OUT WHERE YOU MIGHT MEET OTHER PEOPLE.
That’s my superskill, of course. Being prepped and ready to spend every available minute at home doing all those little bits of puttering round is very much my favourite hobby. I’m basically being ordered by the Government to do my favourite things. Well, it would be rude to resist, wouldn’t it….?
So, for the first time ever in a long time, this week’s blogposts will be coming to you from my very own little home office. No, you don’t get to see pictures (yet) since tidying up the house is very much on my list of things to do.
Instead, a welcome return to normal service. If we are truly Not Going Out for the foreseeable then reading, and reading magazines specifically, will be important to us more than ever. Why magazines? Because the short articles will be just enough to occupy a full mind but not too long that our distracted minds lose concentration halfway through. The nature of magazine writing means that they will very soon be producing articles to suit the Coronavirus crisis. It’s entirely possible that we might be in and out of isolation for quite a while, so getting a stock of crafts, activities or ideas to pass the time will be necessary. Health advice will need to be disseminated to all people and articles on keeping well and avoiding cross-contamination will appear.
For the moment, though, the next couple of editions of our favourite magazines will be like a window into a past when walking on the street in a group of friends wasn’t a life-threatening experience, when gyms and yoga studios were sources of goodness not germs, and when leaning over the fence and having a chat was looked on as something weirdos did, not a necessary and vital link in checking on neighbours’ wellbeing.
This month’s In The Moment did actually arrive at an opportune moment, just as the stress of life and the implications of future actions was being spelled out by the UK government. It’s a sleep special, and I think a lot of people I know have found sleep is easily lost the last couple of weeks. Sleep is going to be a vital component in the Nation’s health, now and in the future, so it’s worth taking time to check out what we have been doing, what we are doing now and what we should be doing to ensure that, as far as possible, our bodies are receiving the rest they need to cope with the demands of modern (corona-filled) life.
The edition has a stress test at the beginning… I’m sure we could all do with knowing whether we respond well to stress at the moment. I know I was having nightmares and waking up in the middle of the night for a few days last week/week before. I’ve settled back down now, but only after setting up some workable systems that put my mind at rest regarding my parents and children.
The majority of the magazine is about sleep, though… how to tackle insomnia, how to create a peaceful mind that lets us sleep and how to use gentle yoga and breathing exercises to help our bodies relax for a better night’s sleep.
I found this article, on using Ayurvedan principles to create rituals designed to boost sleep, particularly interesting. Using lights to create a cosy atmosphere, avoiding active stimulants like caffeine and alcohol, meditating, taking an evening walk and bathing are among the ideas that will work for most people in most situations to calm them down and create better sleep. The usual excuse, that we don’t have time to spend on our sleep routine, is no longer viable, is it? What do we have but time?
Time, and the lack of it, was a common excuse for why we weren’t as creative as we wanted to be. I think sometimes time was used as a cover for lacking in creative confidence. If it takes a lot of practise to be good at painting, knitting or chiselling wood, then that’s time we sometimes feel guilty putting into something like a hobby instead of cleaning, visiting relatives or just vegging out after a day at work.
This month’s advice is to write a memoir. Speaking as one who read Nella Last’s War and Nella Last’s Peace and really enjoyed the look into daily life in the Second World War and the immediate aftermath, it would be good to think that the ordinary lives of so many people during this crisis were being recorded for posterity. Write about your past, write about your present, but sometimes it is so revealing just to yourself to write about the situation you are in.
I found a couple of really apt articles that were obviously planned and written before Covid-19 hit these shores but have resonance for us now. Selina Lake’s advice on setting up an outside sanctuary will prove invaluable as the sun strengthens and the time we spend outside increases. while the article on keeping in touch with Far-Away Friends has extra poignancy now the girl next door might as well be a Far Away Friend. Keep in touch often seems to be the best advice available. Email, record voice messages and send small gifts. Who knew, when Alison Goldie wrote those words that we’d be looking at using them for the besties we used to see everyday?
I hope In The Moment keeps its positive and happy outlook on life. It will get harder as the next few months go on. I think the lack of certainty about the future is really unsettling, the fact that nobody can promise you that we are all going to come out of this alive, that we have no guarantee that ordinary life will return as soon as possible. Keeping strong and handling life one day at a time will have to be our way forward.
If you’re anxious and need a Coronavirus free space to escape to, The Hygge Nook has a new sister group: The Hygge Nook for Positive Posts. It’s guaranteed virus-free, so only filled with escapist happiness. We all need some escapist happiness now and again.
Hygge In the Time of Coronavirus is the complete opposite. This group is learning to live with a virus that looks set to be with us for a while now. It’s full of advice, pictures of what people are doing to get through and jokes about the life we find ourselves living now. Jokes and laughter are a very human response even to the deepest, darkest moments of life.
And of course the Mothership group, The Hygge Nook, is still there sharing hygge and happy small moments of life. Fortunately, a family meal is still a family meal, and an afternoon out in the garden is still an afternoon in the garden. Life has a habit of going on, in altered situations, but still pushing forward. There are still birthdays to celebrate, sick relatives to contact, shopping to be done, houses to clean. Life has a habit of keeping going on, even if current situation seems as bad as can be.
***Would you like to support me?***
Information on my books and how you could help me to keep my blog going in the current climate is available on this page. Every little helps, and will be used to support resources and items that I review.