The World’s Gone Mad (or How To Stay Sane In An Apocalypse)

Good afternoon all!

As I write this, the country is experiencing a lockdown (that’s not being called a lockdown) in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These are historic times, as we live on the frontline of history and our actions now could dictate how the human race (or at least Britain’s communities) looks in the coming years. I’ve never seen anything like it – at thirty years old I’ve lived through wars on terror, wars for oil, and make no mistake, this is a war.

I hope that everyone reading this is doing so within the confines of their homes. There’s something that truly riles me up about footballers and celebrities telling people to stay indoors when they likely have so many rooms to their homes that they haven’t even seen them all, but here I am in our two-bedroom apartment. We’re off for a walk shortly to get our one chance at exercise in, but the fact that the sun is shining definitely lulls us into a false sense of security.

So, you’re stuck indoors, and if you’re anything like us, you’re going a little bit mad already. I’ve been working at home since late January (working in digital content seems to be as safe as things get in our current scenario), so here are a handful of suggestions to get you through the next three weeks (and let’s be honest, it could be more).

Binge All The Content

If you’re anything like us, your Netflix ‘Watch List’ is ridiculous. We’ve got enough on just that list alone to be able to not need to watch anything else.

If that’s not enough, Disney Plus finally launched in the UK today – I’ve already subjected Jackson to the excellent Spiderman Animated Series I grew up with. Then there’s Prime Video, Apple TV, and much, much more.

Aside from movies, now is a great time to find new music. Check out new artists, or scour Spotify or Apple Music for music that your friends recommend (I’ve been getting back into Fall Out Boy).

You know I love podcasts, and now is as good a time as any to jump into the medium if you haven’t already.

Make The Most Of The Outside World

We’re on ‘lockdown’, sure, but as long you’re staying two metres from other people, you can head outside for one of the following reasons:

  • Shopping for essentials
  • Exercise
  • Helping a vulnerable person
  • Travelling to work

In terms of exercise, we’ve taken to using Ring Fit Adventure to get a decent full-body workout in the lounge, but as of tomorrow, I’ll be hitting the seafront nice and early to run.

Grab your earphones, and go for a walk accompanied by music or podcasts. Even if it’s just for ten minutes, a breath of fresh air can ‘reset your system’ entirely.

On the subject of travelling to work, I’d like to point out that while the majority of people having to commute in are likely to wish they could work from home, I’ve seen some corners of the internet pointing fingers at those who do so. Aside from key workers, it seems pretty obvious we’d all rather be home with our loved ones. If someone is going into work and they aren’t a key worker, that likely comes down to a fear of losing their job if they don’t. Be kind.

Home Exercise

As I mentioned, Ring Fit Adventure offers a great home workout, but there are plenty of things you can do around your home to stay active.

A morning workout, consisting of basic press-ups, squats, calf-raises or bicep curls with tins of beans will get your blood pumping, but you can spread it throughout the day.

Waiting for the kettle to boil? Do some squats or callisthenics. Microwaving some food? Grab some tins and get lifting. It’s not going to get you ‘swole’, but it’ll help stave off the aches and pains of being sat down for much of the day.

Work Hard, Play Hard

I love working from home, but it took a while to nail that sense of focus. It’s not easy at first – your mind defaults to ‘hey, I’m home, what’s on TV?’.

Here are a handful of tips that might help:

  • Use earphones/headphones. Even without sound playing, you’ll deaden the outside world and get just a little more focus.
  • If you have a laptop, move when you can. It isn’t uncommon for me to start working at my desk, then move to the kitchen for a conference call (so I can stretch my legs!) and then the sofa and back again.
  • Spend your ‘lunch break’ watching something – don’t eat and work. It’s tempting to do so, but it makes a huge difference to disconnect, even for the length of a short YouTube video.
  • Talk often. If you can Skype or FaceTime colleagues, do so, or just keep chatting in group conversations. We’re all in this together.

Obviously, some of these don’t work so well when you have a little one. Jackson is a really good boy, but at 10 months old, crawling rapidly and with almost six teeth to his name, it’s not always easy for Frankie to be a full-time Mum while I’m sat in the corner hammering a keyboard for sometimes 16 hours a day. It’d be a lot trickier if he was walking, mind you.