Escapism: finding the balance
While we’ve all been shut in our homes due to lockdown, a lot of us have probably been indulging in quite a lot of escapism. Despite the PM’s speech last night, it is likely that we still have many weeks more of staying indoors to brace ourselves for, and so it’s only natural that we want to find ways of running away, even when we can’t. However, it’s important that we don’t shut ourselves off completely. Here are a few of the best ways to mentally ‘escape’ the lockdown, and a few tips to stop you going too far.
1) Books, Films and Music
Since lockdown began I’ve read A LOT of books. Reading has always been my favourite way to escape reality, and that’s really been coming in handy recently. My spotify playlist has also expanded a lot as I’ve been using up time trying to find new artists and genres that I like. These activities can be quite solitary, so my family have been doing a film night about once a week so we can show each other films we love and re-watch old favourites together.
2) Creative projects
I’m not much of an artist, but a lot of my talented friends have been using this time to hone their painting or drawing skills. Even if art isn’t your forte, perhaps engage in a friendly portrait drawing contest within your house, or pick up a musical instrument. The internet is full of people singing, dancing, sewing and so much else, so you don’t need to look far to find inspiration.
3) Find inner peace
Corny, I know, but taking a few minutes each day to sit quietly and shut yourself off from everything can really help ease the claustrophobia of lockdown. Be that with yoga, a home gym or even gentle meditation, it’s never a bad idea to have ‘you’ time. However, always make sure to limit this seclusion so that you don’t end up completely locking yourself away.
4) Become a chef
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been seeing rather a lot of banana bread in the last few weeks… But that’s OK! Cooking is a skill that no-one can say isn’t useful. We all need it at university, and it’s a great way of taking your mind off the outside world for a short space of time. It’s even better at keeping you connected to the people you love, by sharing recipes with friends, bringing your family together around the dinner table, and surprising your neighbours with some cupcakes on the doorstep.
5) Talk to different people
We’ve all been stuck in the same houses with the same people (or no people at all) for quite some time now. A great way of escaping this monotony can be a change of routine, and a change of address book. Why not drop a message to an old school friend, or give a distant family member a call. Get chatting to someone you miss, or someone that you’ve always wanted to know more about. I imagine everyone is getting bored of the same old conversations with the same old people, so switching it up a bit can be a real help, without stopping you from shutting yourself off altogether.
6) Take a new route
Finally, now that the restrictions on exercise are being reduced we can take the opportunity to find new places in our surroundings. Branch out a bit more on your daily walks, shake the cobwebs off our bike, or drag out your old roller blades. It’s quite amazing how much we think we can know about our local area, when there’s really so much more to discover. Fresh air can be a real life saver when you’ve been shut in too much.
Hopefully this has given you a few ideas on how to escape lockdown a little without breaking any social distancing rules, and without completely shutting yourself off from people. Stay safe all, and stay happy.