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How to survive a lockdown

· lockdown,coronavirus,family,self help,pandemic

With an uncertain future and the Coronavirus seemingly having no immediate end in sight, you may be feeling overwhelmed, alone, and afraid. Many people are worried about their financial situation and their health, creating mass panic and fear. In any typical given day, we may worry about these, but the general state of the world has these feelings tremendously amplified. Many people still have to work from home, along with homeschooling their children and take care of necessary preventative measures to keep their family health, all during a lockdown.

Here are ways in which you can survive a lockdown.

Keep a structure
Considering that you are not actively fighting illness, there are two ways to look at downtime. You can let it define and control you, or you can see it as an opportunity to finally slay that list you've been procrastinating. Creating a structure will lend some organization to your day. Humans are structure/routine-oriented by nature. This significant disruption to your usual schedule may have you feeling overwhelmed. Create a list of things you'd like to accomplish in the next 30 days that you can do from home. Grab that day planner you've never really used, or even a blank piece of paper and schedule out your day. Consider working during the morning hours when you are likely to be most productive, pencil in a break time (where you give yourself permission to scroll social media or go for a walk if possible).

Schedule time for self-care
It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the to-do list that's been haunting you that you can no longer avoid being at home. Make sure you maintain meal times. Consider creating meals that are healthier than usual to boost immunity, don't skip vitamins, and try to pass on the alcohol, have a glass of water before every meal.

Consider taking an online yoga class or workout like Tae Bo. Pencil in time for meditation. Find a tennis ball, or similar and roll your muscles out, releasing yucky toxins that may have been stored in your muscles.

Call friends/family
Especially consider any elderly family you may have who may be feeling exceptionally alone at this time. Don't just text, dial the phone, Facetime or Skype if you are able. Humans are social creatures by nature, and maintaining our social relationships is essential even when we cannot be together.

Make fun at home
There's no better time to reconnect with family and get back to human roots than being sequestered at home. Just because you are home doesn't mean you can't create fun activities. Pinterest has tons of cool projects, crafts, and ideas. Consider a movie night complete with a blanket fort and popcorn, or finger painting using food coloring. Perhaps a card game night or reminiscing on family photos.

Avoid the news
If you must set yourself a window for watching. Give yourself 30 minutes a day to catch up on the news, and then opt for something different like reading a book, listening to a podcast, or even watching an old comedy movie.

Have a walk away zone
Being cooped up for days on end is not something we're used to in our modern world, especially with tight living spaces. Create a safe zone in the house where people can go to get a break and not be bothered (this should apply to kids too) it can be helpful to set it up with headphone, books, etc. You can even have fun creating a temporary sign "NO MADNESS ZONE KEEP OUT."

Face fear
Fear is a natural response to the things happening in the world around us right now. Do not be afraid to share your worries with someone you trust, or consider talking with a therapist, many sites offer online counseling, and most therapists provide telehealth services. It's vital to separate rational fear from irrational fear, using a journal to identify the difference can help, and meet all fear with RATIONAL action.

Michaela Renee Johnson is a licensed psychotherapist and award winning published author.

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