The previous lockdown post on how to get through a lockdown summer we were hoping would be all that was required… how to deal with a lockdown summer. Yet here we are with Lockdown 2.0 The Winter Edition.
Depending where you live the restrictions may vary differently this time, but some things that will change for everyone in the same way are the issues due to the change of season for this lockdown.
Things that are different and not so fun: shorter days, dark by mid afternoon, colder weather, people had just got used to meeting at cafes/bars again and now that option’s removed again.
Things that are different, and good!: days might be shorter but it’s definitely easier to catch the sunset now! Kids are back at school so this lockdown won’t be centred around home schooling lessons, we can exercise outdoors without that constantly sticky feeling of combined suncream and sweat on us, no risk of sunburn or exhaustion from those 30°C days where walking was an effort never mind running… and everyone has mastered banana bread by now so there will be other things to look at on Instagram this time round.
Perhaps most importantly though, the majority of us set idealistic goals and ambitions for a summer lockdown lifestyle and whether these were successful or not, now is the perfect opportunity to continue them (or restart them) while the usual winter distractions have been taken away.
If things went well with your lockdown food/exercise/keeping motivate plans, that’s great! Keep to that routine… If you were not able to get into a routine that you enjoyed, or worked, or even any sort of routine at all, try to think why not? What were the difficulties in this? Was it finding time because the kids were a priority? The excellent sunny weather was too good a distraction for drinks in the garden or it was just too hot to function properly. Maybe it was just nice to finally have some time off and a break from juggling everything. Whatever the reason, don’t feel disappointed in yourself, no one knew exactly what to expect and it’s prepared you in avoiding these things this time round.
Regarding eating habits, similar advice to before will apply – keep to fairly regular set meal times to ensure you’re getting enough proper nutrition in you and not accidentally grazing the day away on snacks. Cold weather means cosy food – cheap, easy, tasty. Bags of ‘wonky’ veg, tins of chickpeas, tomatoes and seasonings are going to be your allies for the coming months. Again, pre chopping and freezing veg to throw in a pot when necessary will help for the days where motivation isn’t as high for spending time cooking. If you’re furloughed from work and don’t ‘need’ to get up in the morning, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t, still keep your day structure as best you can by getting up, getting dressed and having breakfast each day; it’ll be easier to then carry on your day productively if it starts well.
Of course when it comes to exercise it’s important for everybody year round to stay active for physical, mental and social benefits, but it’s especially important to remember this in winter as it’s easier to let routine slip. Thankfully Burn It sessions still run, and so classes are available for everyone to attend and join in again.
One of the numerous benefits of outdoor exercise in autumn/winter is getting those extra daylight hours in to help combat the potential symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It may be hard at the moment with everything going on to pinpoint exactly what is causing any low moods, restless sleep, irritability and lack of enthusiasm and energy you may be experiencing – but whether these are caused by SAD or otherwise, the benefits of fresh air, exercise, socialising, and feeling of achievement from an outdoor session will be invaluable regardless.
To end on an extra positive note – something to be thankful for is a lot of pyramid schemes pushing bogus health product bundles with ridiculous claims didn’t survive the first lockdown (social distancing benefits!) so less of those pests to deal with now!