Currently, we are in lockdown level 4 in New Zealand. I have been watching the news (I normally do not watch it at all). It is easy to spend time worrying about businesses trying to pay staff during the lockdown, all the overworked essential workers, and our healthcare system under pressure. You feel for the parents working from home, especially the solo parents, those with small children, the lonely old folk, and the teachers trying to teach online. It is not an easy time. However, I have noticed a heartening difference in the way people in my neighbourhood behave. The first time we went into Level 4 lockdown in 2020, when out walking, other walkers and runners would look down or away while crossing the street to avoid you. This time around we are still keeping our distance, but the other people out exercising have looked at me and waved, calling cheery hellos, and smiling behind their masks. I think there is a collective understanding that we have been through this before, and we will get through it again given the right attitude.
There also seems to be a realization we need each other, and we are more aware that we miss those human interactions when we are confined to our bubbles.

A lot of people get swept up by the fear and stressed out. I rang the doctor this morning, and the receptionist said Kia ora like she would bite my head off in one gulp. The stress is real. We have to find coping mechanisms that work for us. I always tell my friends to shut off all the devices in the house and pick up a good book. Looking back, I realized that apart from taking long breaks from the news, it was writing and reading that really helped me through the lockdown in 2020. The same coping mechanisms will help get me through the lockdowns in 2021. I have a few excellent books on the go at the moment. I’m reading, Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman, Spirit Animals Fire, and Ice, by Shannon Hale, and The Witch of Blackbird Pond, by Elizabeth George Speare (thanks to fellow writer Susan Baury Rouchard for sending me that one).

If I find myself panicking, I turn off the devices, then do something I love, whether it be reading, gardening, walking, painting, or just watching a movie eating bon-bons.

Yesterday, a friend said, It looks like things are going to be turbulent for a while. I replied, We have to hold onto our joy more tightly. There is nothing we can do to alter what is going on out there. But we do have control over how we react and act while we are in isolation. There are a few tricks I have learned since 2020 about how to keep my family’s spirits up while we’re in isolation.
My Top Tips:
Limit news updates/turn off your devices
Paint your toenails (and your kids’ toenails – my boys think it is hilarious)
Sleep in! (For a lifelong early riser like myself, this has been a revelation!)
Wear bright colours. (I have shelved all the grey and black in my wardrobe. It is a simple trick, but it makes me feel happier to wear all the brightest clothes I own)
Bake!

Read! (Maybe I will make progress through my tower of to-be-read novels)
Coloured lights! (Drag out your fairy lights, or any twinkle lights and have them on all day as well as at night)
Flowers. (I pick flowers daily on my morning walk along the verges and alleyways and set out mini posies around the house)
Music! (Play your favourite tunes, sing-along, and dance like nobody is watching)
Talk! (Phone your loved ones. Talk across the fence to your neighbours. Sit and talk with the family members in your household). Check on the people you know.
Work in the garden
Dress up in crazy clothes (it makes the boys and I laugh to wear silly hats)

Exercise
Do something creative (my friend said she has started writing limericks because they make her think and make her laugh)
Do a jigsaw (My father’s favourite pastime is fun and calming)
Meditate
Write a gratitude journal
Be kind
We will get through this, just like we have done before. Stay calm and carry on and remember to hold onto your joy tightly!
What are your top tips for staying positive during lockdown?

Talk to you later.
Keep creating!
Yvette Carol
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As we traverse this very unstable time, it is so important that we keep track of our real joy and our vitality. ~ Jai Dev Singh
 


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Comments
  1. Great share and stay safe.Have a nice day.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello, Yvette! I am feeling so sorry, for your situation. Here in Germany we have growing incidencies, and over 50 percent of citizens not willing to be vaccinated. A horrible situation, but your tips are wonderful to overcome these things. Be well, stay save, and – as your title says – dont forget having fun. Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Thanks so much, Michael. One’s state of mind is key as to whether the current worldwide situation is bearable or not. I’m really happy to see you have reblogged this post as I hope the message reaches as many people as possible. Thank you! Warm wishes.

      Like

  3. I am the UK where we have been under 3 lockdowns and it was really hard to stay positive as it felt never ending. Hopefully we are past the worst of it now in the UK. Thanks for sharing!

    Feel free to read some of my blogs 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      I know what you mean, Niraj. The first time we were under lockdown it lasted over 6 weeks. Then it becomes harder and yet more important than ever to seek out the spirit lifters that work best for you. I’ll pop over to your blog and say hi.

      Like

  4. Keith says:

    Yvette, great piece and thanks for the tips. Here is one I like – watch old movies, especially the film noir genre. We have this old time video store that has movies you just cannot get access to online. It is a step back in time. We just watched one called “Lovely, still” last night with Martin L:andau and Ellen Burstyn, who we both adore. Quite good. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Yes! Thanks for the comment and the extra tip. Brilliant input, Keith. You’re so lucky to have that video store. I used to walk a long way with the kids once a week to visit our old-time video store. We did the same ritual for years until they closed it down to make way for a laundromat. It was a real loss. I love watching old movies!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Keith says:

        Yvette, that sounds like a wonderful old ritual. What is lost is the browsing of old movies. We watched one just last night with Russel Crowe and Amanda Seyfried called “Fathers and Daughters.” It was terrific.

        Your being an author, the browsing is like going in an old book store. I love asking the owner for recommendations, as often they are in a book club. That is how we picked up “A Man Called Ove,” a great read about the many layers of curmudgeon. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

      • yvettecarol says:

        Exactly. It’s the browsing in a real store that is lost. I remember my nephew protesting while at university that they were closing down the campus libraries. Apparently, students were told all the books would be at another facility (off campus) and they could find them by ordering online. But, the point my nephew made was that it was looking through the architecture library for books that he would often discover two or three other books that were perfect for the project he was doing. As he said, he wouldn’t have found all those books online. It was only by being there in person that he was able to stumble upon them. His concern, quite rightly, was for the students in the future, whose prospects were greatly diminished by the loss of the physical libraries on campus. Don’t even get me started on the loss of bookstores!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Keith says:

        Yvette, well said and that is fantastic example of your nephew. I read online for news and small research, but I love the feel of a book in my hands for fiction or non-fiction reading. I remember the scene from “You’ve got mail,” where Meg Ryan’s character ran a small book store that was being run out of business by a chain store. She was sitting in the chain store as she wanted to be around books and heard a sales person unable to direct a customer to a series of books based on different kinds of shoes. She showed in thirty seconds her value by stepping in to help the chain store customer. Keith

        Liked by 2 people

      • yvettecarol says:

        Wow. I haven’t seen that movie, but now, I will have to! Thanks for the good conversation, Keith.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. davidprosser says:

    Even before this testing time you brought joy to your readers, joy to fellow bloggers and I know you brought joy to your boys. You surround yourself in it. It’s no surprise therefore to find that peaople smile at you when you’re out walking. Keep doing what you do so well but look after yourself too.
    I still try to do virtually what I’ve always done. send out Huge Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Well, I’m sending out virtual hugs to you too, David, for that comment. You’ve brought tears to my eyes (happy tears). You’ve made my day! Keep on doing the good work you do with your Huge Hugs. I love your intention!

      Like

  6. Thank you Yvette for your contagious “joie de vivre”….. looks like we’re headed the same way in Europe. Received your letter, calendar cards yesterday….what a treat ! I am reading The invention of Nature, biography on Alexander Von Humboldt, first nature preserver-explorer, born 1769, who warned about human activity damaging the planet and saw Nature as a whole interconnected world; Winter by Ali Smith; another 44Scotland Street story by Alexander McCall Smith….a laugh and smile at every turn. Enjoying the last of summer, watching the leaves starting to turn crisp and fall, smell the pears ripening; enjoying my youngest before he goes back to University……being very lazy about blog hopping and sending off….Preparing my answer to your missive. Wishing you an enjoyable weekend with friends and family.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Hi, Susan. I’m glad to be of service. To spread “joie de vivre” is exactly what I hope for! Wow, your reading books at the moment sound fascinating. Don’t ever apologize for being lazy – I think we need to relax more. Enjoy the lazy days of summer for as long as they last.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. When I returned to Canada on the 11th, I was forced to go off the grid because we didn’t have a phone or internet. It wasn’t until I was hooked up almost a week later that I realized how truly blessed I’d been being offline. It was so peaceful. I had to ask myself some hard questions about whether it’s all worth it, confronting the world head-on. I’m still not sure. Blessings to you, Yvette.

    Liked by 2 people

    • yvettecarol says:

      How fantastic to be able to step back (I LOVE going off the grid!) and gain a new perspective. When you were out in the wilds of Canada, I’m sure you could feel the earth is still turning, the birds still sing, the insects’ buzz, the sun rises, all is well with the world. That’s what vacations are all about, especially when the rest of the world is “going to hell in a handbasket” as my father was fond of saying.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. […] half the people I know live on anti-depressants as a way of life. In my post a couple of weeks ago, Hold Onto Your Joy, I shared various fun things I do with my kids to keep our spirits up. Hearing people discuss their […]

    Liked by 1 person

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