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Lockdown: How I’m keeping (just about) sane

A dubious Rich getting to grips with recording a video

‘Hey, Rich,’ says Lois. ‘How about a few words for the website for Carers Week? How about you answer one simple question: What’s lockdown and working from home been like for you?’

So many words race into my head: weird, lonely, isolated, empty but also busy, routine, communication, ‘tech dinosaur’ (see below)…

My work colleagues are awesome and so supportive and they were particularly great in the first few weeks when I was getting my head around all that was happening in Kendal and the world.

I am a self-confessed tech dinosaur so moving my workspace from the Cadas office in Kendal to my flat was epic. Focussing on my self-belief, communicating with everyone and going with the flow, rather than swimming frantically against it, really helped.

But we got there in the end and now, after a fast learning curve on using video calls, I run two weekly support groups from home via Zoom. These are Parent Carer Family Support (PCFS) and Adult Support Drop-in groups. I also do 1-2-1 support with individual clients.

I thought it might be helpful to share the things that help me focus and relax in these strange times:

Us? Mad? Don’t know what he’s talking about, Darling.
  • Walking (helps me reflect on my day, enjoying wide views of Kendal and beyond, and energises me)
  • Communicating (with friends or colleagues – it’s good to vent or just chat – I really don’t want to isolate myself as this is when negativity creeps in for me)
  • Music (jumping around like I just don’t care – I can get lost in it and disconnect from my day – it’s a great distraction from any unhelpful thoughts).
  • Mindfulness (just being in this present moment, being with my feelings and thoughts)
  • Yoga (good to have a good stretch and notice my breathing)
  • Exercise (helps build routine and keep me motivated – and it just feels good).
  • Helping others (staying connected to other people and doing what I love – so lucky to be able to do that)
  • Watching Boris and Angel (the moggies) running round the flat and ambushing each other in their mad half hours – love ’em to bits!

I hope you’re finding ways to be kind to yourself, too, while we wait to see what happens next. You’re all worth it!

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