• Written by Jessica Collins
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So, it’s been over a month now of being at home, only going out for essentials and no pubs.

Before the health crisis had us all in lockdown, I would sometimes find myself wishing I could press pause on everything and just have some time to do things there wasn’t time to devote myself to in everyday life: painting, skating, reading. Small things like cooking from scratch, spring cleaning and doing a ‘big shop’, etc.

In fairy tales and folklore, a granted wish always comes at a price – with some horrible consequence – and so too in this case.

Like a lot of others, at first I struggled with the new order of things. I felt guilty that I had all this free time (the cost of which was too much) and frankly, I was no longer interested in it.

Thankfully this slump didn’t last too long. Worries about my job and flat were eased by my managers that were always only the other side of a video call. Our Castle Rock Family page on Facebook didn’t just provide information and support but kept me laughing, too.

I am still getting used to this weird new trade-off: free time for freedom. BUT I have picked up a few tips for staying positive over the last month and just in case they can help anyone else, I’ll share them here.

TIP #1 – Do what you can when you can.
Yes, it would be wonderful if by the time we were back at work I had managed to improve my fitness, skills, number of books read, paintings painted and so on.
But this isn’t a test.
It’s okay to just get through it – for me that means some days will be spent watching Bob’s Burgers in bed, while on others I’ll manage to ring everyone in my family, work out in the lounge, go to Asda, return looking like a pack mule, make tea AND a Victoria sponge for afters.
Both are fine.

TIP #2 – Get creative.
If you read Our Favourite Things blog last Sunday, you’ll have seen we mentioned Grayson Perry’s Art Club. Something Grayson Perry said really struck a chord with me. Basically, don’t put yourself under any pressure just relax, explore and experiment. See what happens! This also applies in the kitchen and is really fun.

TIP #3 – Embrace TV & film.
I was lucky enough to be amongst the few people that hadn’t seen Stranger Things yet. I already want to watch it again. The Great British Sewing Bee is back on and I love it.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Gifted and Peanut Butter Falcon are three amazing films to make you feel warm and fuzzy (but also cry. Totally worth it).

And that’s it really!

Take it easy. Snuggle up with a homecooked meal/ pencil and pad/ good book/ film. If you have a child, pet, housemate or significant other then scooch along.

One thing’s for sure: we’ve got time. Don’t worry too much about doing everything today.

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