I'm adding this section while the UK is in lockdown due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. I'm writing this from my own perspective (a flight attendant who is currently not flying and is self-isolating at home) but I want to be compassionate and recognise that everyone's day-to-day life is completely different during this time. Thank you so much to the NHS and key workers for everything that you're doing during this time to keep our country running.
- First things first - adhere to the government guidelines. To recap, we should only be leaving home for one of four reasons - shopping for basic necessities (as infrequently as possible), one form of exercise a day (alone or with people you live with, including dog walking), medical needs (your own or for a vulnerable person you care for, including donating blood) and travel to/from work (but only when you cannot work from home).
- Try to live in the moment. I know, this is a difficult one. At the beginning of the lockdown, I was like "Ugh, I just want this to be over and for life to go back to normal!" But I personally find that this way of thinking didn't serve me. None of us know how long this lockdown could go on for. I find it more helpful to sink into the acceptance of thinking "This is my new reality - I choose to accept this and make the best of it."
- Stay in touch with friends and family. I've been contacting my entire family asking if they want to FaceTime and it's been so lovely to catch up with everyone! I think this is especially important for people who live alone like myself.
- Work out. I'm committed to keep exercising while my gym is closed - it took me a while to find a decent YouTube channel with a good variety of workouts and I find that POPSUGAR Fitness is the best one so far. I did a hip-hop routine yesterday and I'm doing a Victoria's Secret model routine tomorrow (I work out every other day). Also endorphins + cold shower after a sweaty workout = best feeling!!
- Keep a reasonably healthy diet. I'm all for treating yourself when you want to, especially during this difficult, uncertain time (I ate a lot of chocolate when we were first put into lockdown). But having said that, I find that taking care of my physical health helps my mental health. When I go to Asda, I stock up on fresh fruit and veggies and I've also started drinking hot water with lemon every morning.
- Choose gratitude. I'm grateful for my cosy little flat to self-isolate in and having a regular sleep pattern (considering that I spend most of my life jet-lagged under normal circumstances)!
- Be grateful for the extra spare time. Yes I miss flying but I'm choosing to make the most of the time I have at home. I love to declutter so I'm doing plenty of that plus I'm finally getting round to reading books that have been on my shelves for years but I hadn't had time to read them yet!
- Stick to your skincare routine. I admit that sometimes I skip out on my skincare at night because I've had a busy day or I'm super tired. I find that now I have no excuse to not do my skincare routine properly and I love to take the time to do it - may this continue after we come out of lockdown!
- Create some kind of schedule if you want. This might not be for everyone but I like having a bit of structure to my day. My schedule consists of working out, tidying my flat, clearing e-mails, reading, calling family, listening to podcasts and last but not least, working on Sky High Wellbeing.
- Sleep when you need to. I wasn't sure of the best way to word this because I don't want it to sound like I'm encouraging people to just sleep all the time. As a long-haul flight attendant, I've previously talked about how I listen to my body and sleep when I need to. The last few days, I've found that I wake up at 6am, and then I want take a nap around 2pm. I used to feel guilty about taking daytime naps but now my attitude is "My body is telling me that it needs to sleep for a while, so I'm going to sleep." Then I wake up from my nap and I feel refreshed and ready to get on with the rest of my day!
- Wash your hands regularly and carry hand sanitiser. Probably a good idea to invest in some nice hand cream during this time too!
- Wear masks and gloves if you have them and if it gives you extra peace of mind. There are a lot of conflicting opinions about whether we should wear masks and whether they are actually beneficial, and I'm not able to say much more on this as I'm not a health professional. I had masks left over from dental implant surgery a couple of years ago and because I happen to have them anyway, I now wear them when I go to Asda.
- Listen to podcasts. I LOVE podcasts and I used to designate my travel time (any time I was on a bus or train) to listen to them. Since the lockdown, I now dedicate one hour a day to listening to them.
- Show compassion for others. When I go to Asda, I say thank you to the staff there for everything they are doing and for keeping us safe.
- Keep a window open at home so fresh air can circulate.
- If you're really struggling during this time, reach out. I'm more than happy for people to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll do what I can to help.