Life at the moment is far from normal. Even if you are still going out to work some of the time, the rest of your life is bound to be vastly different as you spend all of your free time at home, or very close to your home. If you are working from home for the first time or furloughed, then chances are you’ve spent more time at home over the past 12 weeks than you ever have before.
You might not have seen some of the people that you love the most in-person for over three months while spending far more time than usual with the people in your household. You might have started to look forward to your weekly trip to the supermarket, and even household chores might have become a highlight. For most of us, this is about as far from ordinary as life could be.
But why does normal matter? What’s the point in trying to find ways to add normality to our lockdown lives? Why shouldn’t we just get on with things doing our best? Well, a few normal touches could help you get through. You might even start to enjoy yourself.
Why You Should Add Normality
Normality helps us to cope with the stresses of these strange times. Finding ways to feel more normal can improve your mood and help you to feel connected to your real life. It will make the transition back to real life less of a shock, and even help time to pass faster. Even small, normal touches can give you a great mental health boost and help you to look on the brighter side of lockdown. But, how do you do it when life is upside down?
Make Tentative Plans for the Future
Plans are very normal. Most of us have plans all of the time, whether they are for holidays or big events in the distant future, or things that we’re doing in the coming days. They give us something to look forward to and help us to manage our time.
Not being able to make plans has probably been one of the strangest things about lockdown life. Instead, all of our previously made plans have been cancelled, and we’re left unable to look forward because we don’t know when we’ll be allowed to go anywhere again.
Making some tentative plans, and pencilling some things in, however, can be a good idea. You might want to start planning for your future, thinking about your finances and looking at Guarantor Loans, or starting to brainstorm ideas for starting a business or trying new hobbies.
You can also think about things that you want to do when you can, maybe even making an end of lockdown Wishlist. Having things to look forward to can always help your mood, even if there aren’t any specific dates or bookings in place.
Get Back Into Healthy Routines
Routines are good. They keep us going and help us to manage our time. At the moment you might not think that you need a routine, seen as you are spending more time at home. You might just be getting by, doing things when you need to, and taking your time. But, a routine can help you to stay healthy and happy. It also helps you to keep track of time and gives you things to look forward to.
Your routine doesn’t have to be the same as it used to be. You certainly don’t have to set your alarm for your early start if you don’t need to. But, a routine of sorts will help. Try to get into a good sleep routine and eat meals at the same time. Do your chores on the same days, and get into a routine for checking in with family. It’ll help this to seem more like real life and give you focus, as well as improving your health and wellbeing.
Make the Most of Extra Time Outdoors
How often have you wished that you had the time to sit in the garden with a good book? Or take a long walk in the countryside? How often have you sat in a hot, stuffy office, wishing that you could get some fresh air or even work outdoors? Well, now you’ve got the time and the opportunity. You might not be able to sit in beer gardens or gather with large groups, but you can enjoy more time outside, getting more fresh air and vitamin D, and improving your fitness.
Start working in your garden if you are working from home, spend time planting, eat outdoors, and go for walks. These are all perfectly normal things, but perhaps things that you don’t usually have the time for.
Get Dressed Up for a Date Night
Many couples are spending far more time alone at home than they usually would. With work and other responsibilities, the time that we spend with our partner is typically something to be cherished. But, now, they are there all of the time. You might find that you’ve started to take each other for granted and that romance has become a thing of the past.
Getting dressed up for a date night is such a small gesture, but it can help things to feel more normal, and remind you of how special your relationship is. If you have been eating on the sofa, sit at the table for this special night. If you typically watch TV with one eye on your phone, ban devices for the night. Give each other your full attention.
Walk with a Friend
We have finally reached the point when it’s ok to meet with a friend for a walk outdoors. You’ll have to remain distant, but being together in person, even two metres apart is often much nicer than communicating only by phone.
We don’t know when life will return to normal, or even what that normal will look like. But, we do know that life won’t be like this forever. So, until then, why not try injecting a few little bits of normality wherever you can?