Recovering from covid stay at home restrictions: Tips with A-Ali
Covid changed our day to day lifestyle. Here's some hot tips to get through it.'
Covid is a bummer, especially around Christmas. Two years straight with a lockdown to open the new year, lucky us.
Covid was horrendous in its first year. I’m so sorry for those who lost their loved ones and for those who’ve suffered. Thankfully it’s not so bad this year, for people who got double vaccinated and got their booster. Thank you, scientists! Now politicians, please help support vaccination campaigns in developing countries. There’s still work to do. You can help today by supporting VaccinAid, an international charity ensuring the vaccine is accessible to all communities across the globe.
Some people still manage to have good lush holidays. Others, me included, are too freaked out to step outside London in case they end up stuck in quarantine. Maybe we need to do a Will Smith and break the fear. In fact, we really should. Even though I’m too scared to bungee jump and I can’t swim. Side note: Asian mums and dads, give your kids proper swimming lessons - try and start at age 2. They can grow up to take big sea adventures like surfing the Caribbean waves, and dive in the River Nile!
Foster a pet
A lot of us have got pets - cats are pretty popular these days. Plenty of animals are still looking for safe and responsible homes. If you feel ready to take care of a furry, scaly, or feathery creature, there are plenty of refuge shelters with animals in need of loving homes. Even temporarily, you could be the ideal foster parent. Refuge4Pets are always looking for volunteers and foster parents. There are a few ways you can help animals in need while also helping yourself.
There are so many ways you can nurture yourself despite the emotional impact these last few years of the pandemic have been.
Writing is so cathartic. And that leads to my first survival tip… Write!
If you can put a pen to paper or put words on your computer screen, then you can write. Have a quiet 10 - 30 minutes each day or once a week and just write. Eventually, the story will just pour out of your head and onto the screen or paper. Then absorb how you feel during that time and compare the before and after. It chills you out.
Anxiety is a major constraint that has multiplied through the pandemic. You’re not alone! If you feel your anxiety levels rising, contact your GP or check out some local support groups run by Anxiety UK.
If you see your loved ones struggling, that’s the hardest. It’s really tough. See what support and advice you can get and just do what you can to help your loved one. Thankfully most of us can get vaccinated so we can sit in the same room as them which means they can stay with us for a while over the holiday period. Trust me, they’ll appreciate it and it’ll help.
But make sure you take time out for yourself as well. Self-care leads to love and care for others. Put yourself on that higher playing field, people! Also, check out top comedians to lighten the mood. One I follow on the insta circuit is @zarnagarg - proper talent!
Get out and get moving
Take a leap out of Rebel Wilson’s book maybe - great name by the way. Gyms are open so you can hit the gym when it’s not a bank holiday. Maybe even get some base layers from sportshoes.com and start jogging? Or jog/walk up the main road and back?
Join a band and jam 2 metres apart maybe? Please note this is a shot in the dark kind of advice from someone who has no skills for any type of showbiz related life - cannot sing, dodgy dance moves and cannot act, or in fact, wishes to. Singing like Whitney Houston though would be a dream come true. People, if you can belt it out or scratch those vinyl discs, do it! There are people out there waiting for you to book that gig! Even if it’s in your back garden to your local neighbourhood. Spread the joy!
Art and photography. You can do that in your free time, at 2 metres apart. Then post it on a social media account and start selling! Trust me, it can happen to you too!
Another thought.. write for community bridges!
Spend time with your loved ones.
A brilliant one - your grandparent or elderly parent! Get them a disguise and team them up with their grandkid (if they have one), and tik tok the floss like a boss and get that thrill. Make sure the grandkid is disguised too and their site is managed by a responsible adult. Just spend some family bonding time with them, invite them to have dinner with you, encourage their creativity, and help break up their day, especially with Covid limiting their lifestyle.
Get creative and take time to think about what direction you want your life to go in and what you can do to get it there.
It’s difficult to think freely when you know you could go into quarantine but try. Start journaling and clear your mind so you can focus on what you want out of life, what makes you happy.
Nurture a healthy work-life balance.
Try not to do overtime at work especially if it’s not acknowledged. Keep that time for yourself and destress!
The moment you start to relax is the moment your creativity awakes and you can almost meditate on your goals and identify what you really want to do next.
It’s about honing in on what you really want and what’s really possible for you. Think deep.
Remember, the unthinkable has happened so time to live for yourself and build a life that means something to you and gives you positive vibes, whatever that can be. It’s not easy at all but try.
Want to help others? Try NHS volunteers and register on the Goodsmapp app. If it’s covid safe, that’s another option. Check what’s out there that will open your mind while we’re kind of restrained by covid life. Unless you’ve defied that feeling and you’re already doing it. Then tell us how - I’d love to know your secrets.
And if worse comes to worst, believe you’ll get through it. If Britney Spears can get free, we can turn it around too. I know this is a general statement but you know what I mean. You never know what life will bring you, you just don’t.
Words by A-aliya Ali and Illustration by Ellis Brown