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Wednesday 30 September 2020

How to be Positive About a Second Lockdown - and Link Up


Is This Mutton blogger Gail Hanlon with Molly the cat

The UK scientific advisors Vallance and Whitty (which sounds like a 1950s department store) are warning that more draconian pandemic measures could be on their way, including a second national lockdown.  Half of the UK is already in various forms of lockdown.  

I could go on for many pages about the lack of common sense in the government, personified best by two recent debacles, the "world beating" track and trace system, which couldn't recognize NHS Covid tests, and Michael Gove's decision to impose a 10pm curfew on bars and restaurants. As we've seen, this has led to over crowding in the tubes and on buses when people are thrown onto the streets at 10pm precisely, and people carrying on drinking in the roads or in their houses with no social distancing. Well done Michael.

I'm personally behind Rishi Sunak's "Live without fear" mantra.  We have to start to learn to live alongside the virus. We have to let young people live their lives, and the economy needs to recover. I am in favour of the over-50s being "shielded" if they have underlying health conditions. We can't keep discriminating against the young.

But, if we assume the worst, and Johnson wanting a second national lockdown, then this is a horrific prospect for many. Even without a lockdown, autumn and winter often trigger SAD for some people. We can't even look ahead to Christmas in the normal sense, with family gatherings in England currently reduced to six people.

But let's see if we can put a more positive spin around what may lie ahead. Let's, to use corporate  psycho babble, try to "reframe" more restrictions. 

Try not to think about how long it could go on

Experts tell us that if we approach a lock down one day at a time, rather than wringing our hands and thinking how it could go on for six months, we'll feel better about it.

Think about what we actually enjoyed 

Lockdown is different for everyone and for some people it was terrible, particularly if you don't have access to a garden or park, you had children to look after and educate, or you were on your own and lonely.

But for all of us there were parts of lockdown we found positive.  For me, it was the quietness of the roads which in turn led to a reduction in pollution; seeing how many people took up walking or running and discovered  the cycles of nature, and the disappearance of pressure to go out.  I am naturally a loner so I found it quite liberating that I could spend time at home cleaning, reading and relaxing, without any guilt or "FOMO."

What would we do differently next time?

I wasn't one of those who took up a new pursuit - learning a new language, making sour dough or organizing my bookshelves by color. But I did spend more time cleaning and I find it very relaxing and satisfying. In a second lockdown I might try to revive my school time French, and add an online yoga class to my exercise schedule.

Avoid giving ourselves stress

When lockdown first happened, my mum and I were constantly listening to the news and watching the government press conference every day.  After a while I stopped. Now I have a daily update during breakfast TV and from my online paper.  Mum started to do the same.  The govt's incompetence at times, plus the behaviour of "Covidiots," was giving us unnecessary stress. 

Think about what winter can offer 
Girl in winter fur outfit  in the snow

Winter isn't all bad news and stormy weather.  It's a great time for nesting and snuggling.  We'll have a new series of Strictly Come Dancing (!) to look forward to.  The occasional crisp, blue sky frosty day is something to celebrate when it happens. 

I've made sure I have the right clothing for winter walks, with a proper hiker's rain jacket, bobble hat, waterproof gloves and rucksack, so I can carry on with my walks and see for myself the tiny buds of spring and hope early in January. I look forward to my "Christmas tree walks," where, when it's dark, I can delight in people's decorations.

I hope we get some snow this year - it hardly ever happens in London. I remember how in 2010, there was a massive drop during the morning and I went straight out in my moon boots revelling at the pristine snow and how my feet were sinking into it. 

Halloween is fun for kids and they haven't had much fun this year, so I'll be leaving a pumpkin outside the house to show we're "receptive" and I've already bought the sweets to hand out. 

Christmas may not be such a big family event for many if we're restricted to six people indoors, but it's still a beacon of light with all the traditions we love and value. On Christmas Day it's usually just me and John but we still have a lovely time.

Couple pull wry faces over their Christmas Day crackers in Is This Mutton's post about staying positive during a second lockdown

For the blogger, I find winter is an easier time to take photos - during summer, there are only certain times of the day when the sun makes it possible.  And winter clothes are so much better, so much more varied, than their summer counterparts.  All those woollies, boots of all lengths, velvets and cashmeres! The beautiful coats, the lovely hats, the patterned and plain tights!

Our beauty routines are also simplified in winter.  You certainly need effective serum and moisturizer to cope with central heating and cold weather, but you won't need to worry about sun screen in northern Europe, pedicures or leg shaving  (although I still do, because I wouldn't want to expose Mr Mutton to a hirsute monster with cracked scaly feet!). 

We can still interact as social animals 

I have enough Zoom and Microsoft Teams calls at work so I didn't embrace that particular social trend. If we have a second lockdown it's better to focus on real interactions. We can still shout cheerily to neighbours at a distance or in the supermarket queue. Even a hello or good morning with a smile, while on a walk or run, can make a difference. We can make sure any elderly people in the neighbourhood are looked after.  We can even write letters or send postcards.  I may do this with my mum, to surprise her and give her something to look forward to.  Just buy your stamps in advance!

Penny over at Frugal Fashion Shopper has also written a post today about the Covid restrictions and how she's staying positive. Some great suggestions. 

What ideas do you have for making a second lockdown a more positive experience? 

Now it's time for the #WowOnWednesday link-up,  featuring posts on fashion, beauty, travel and fitness from bloggers around the world. Please click on a few of the posts and leave comments - you'll make the writers incredibly happy.

Last Week's Most Popular Posts

Drum roll!  Your favourite (most clicked) posts were by Amber from The Hungry Mountaineer, and Tatiana from My Fab Fifties.

Amber's travel writing is a joy to read - no holds barred, honest, amusing and descriptive. In her post "Social Distance Some Outdoor Fun in the Eastern Sierras during the Pandemic," she describes the horrendous mess and carnage left by day tourists at her resort  town of Big Bear Lake and how she manages to find some hiking freeedom in her motor home and enjoys kayaking (below) and fishing.

Tatiana talks about her one and only trip to the ocean this summer . Tatiana, you're one trip ahead of me.  Sadly I've had no trips to the seaside this year. I can't remember a time when that last happened. Here she is looking as glamorous as always on her day trip to Cape May. 
Sharing this post with Top of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Chic & Stylish at Mummabstylish, #LinkupOnTheEdge  at Shelbee on the Edge, Anna at Muttonstyle, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings, Thursday Moda at Elegance and Mommyhood, Turning Heads Tuesday at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish,  Style with a Smile at StylesplashAnna at the GlamAdventure, Style Six at Coast to CoastTFF at Doused in Pink, Fancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style, Fabulous Fridays at Lucy Bertoldi, Beauty by Miss L Link UpStyle Wise at North West Mountain Living#iwillwearwhatilike at Not Dressed as Lamb 

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1 comment

  1. The rules here are slightly more restricted. But I don't think we should let young people out of the wind. Here it is proven the last 5 weeks that more young people are infected then older ones. I am all for wearing masks everywhere. That aside, I'm not looking forward to this season at all, and I am feeling a bit blue sometimes. But.... I bought a good warm winter coat and planning on cycling and walking a lot!


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