How members of SAG have dealt with Lockdown
The impact of Lockdown on members of SAG has been varied: for some, there has been little change to their daily lives, for others it has had a significant effect, being apart from friends and family, even confined to the house, they have felt isolated and lonely. However, all have found different ways of coping with the situation and you can read about our strategies below. You may identify with some of them, others may be something you may be encouraged to try for yourselves.
Learning new skills - learning:
- to play chess
- a language
- to play a musical instrument
- music theory
- to use new technology
- Zentangling - more of this soon
- to play "Go"
- reading - for escapism, for knowledge, the classics
- listening to music
- answering emails
- engaging with technology
- enjoying nature
- bird watching, taking part in the RSPB garden bird watch for the first time
- doing jigsaws
- chatting to friends, old and new, online
- painting and drawing
- enjoying simple pleasures e.g. a cup of tea/coffee in the garden
Lifting our spirits
As well as all of the above, our members commented on their improvement in mood from simple acts of kindness or thoughtfulness e.g. gifts/ cards/pictures from grandchildren and friends, loans of jigsaws and books. This works both ways, often being kind to others enriches the giver as much as the recipient. One member gives her time in talking on the phone with isolated people.
The satisfaction of finishing a job, even if it is merely hanging up clothes or tidying a cupboard can be beneficial, as can enjoying a hot bath - all ways of lifting spirits.
Having a routine
One member sets aside a specific time each day to relax - she lights a candle, sits in her favourite reclining chair, plays music or watches TV, whilst sipping a glass of wine.
Adopting mindfulness techniques
This is a practice which is not a quick fix but something that needs to be practised over time. To begin with, why not try these 2 activities:
Before going to sleep, think of three good things that have happened during the day - they can be seemingly inconsequential, but it is a positive thing to do e.g. noticing a flower coming into bloom, watching your favourite TV programme, a chat with a friend, the feeling of satisfaction after tidying a drawer or a room, baking a cake, and so on.
5 senses Grounding exercise - to quickly ground yourself in the present when you only have a moment. The goal of this exercise is to notice something you are currently experiencing through each of the senses. Make yourself comfortable and take a few deep breaths.
- What are 5 things you can see? Look around and notice 5 things you hadn't noticed before.
- What are 4 things you can feel? eg temperature of your skin, pressure of your feet on the floor, texture of an object etc.
- What are 3 things you can hear? Notice all the background sounds you had been filtering out.
- What are 2 things you can taste? Sip a drink, , eat a snack, "taste" the air to see how it feels on your tongue.
- What is 1 thing you can smell? eg. coffee, flowers, rubbish etc.
The numbers are only a guideline, feel free to do more or less. You can also do this exercise while doing an activity like listening to music, washing up, going for a walk
Breathing techniques, often learned through yoga, can help reduce panic and instill calm.
One member, when facing an unpleasant situation, projects himself forward in time to think of something more pleasurable.
Lockdown may soon, hopefully, be a thing of the past, but we all face difficult situations throughout our lives, and these strategies may help in "normal" times too.