DIARY OF A DEMENTED HOME WORKER - Tips on surviving lockdown like a pro

November 1st, 2020 6:25 PM

By Emma Connolly

It can be tricky finding alone time during lockdown, so do whatever it takes including hiding in the bath!

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It’s Week 33 and I’m setting myself mini challenges to get to December 1st, including not getting into my PJs until at least 5pm

• THE change in time has me rightly in a heap. Who knew 60 minutes could throw you so out of kilter? Well actually I did, because the same thing happens to me every year. Just as well, I suppose, that there’s no chance I’ll be dealing with jetlag any time soon or I’d be a pity altogether. I’ll find my stride again in a few days and shouldn’t complain I know. The poor dog got 14 teeth out in a single swoop last week (old age) and is being a right trooper. Truth be told she’s probably in better nick than I am this far into 2020. That’s why I’ve come up with some do’s and don’ts to help us get through the next six weeks, which we might all find helpful (or not). Here goes …

• Do listen to music. The first tune Ryan Tubridy plays after his opening gambit is usually my lifesaver. The other day it was Sugar, Sugar and I’ll be forever grateful for his inspired choice. Anything by Neil Diamond (except maybe Love on the Rocks) is also a guaranteed funk buster. Same for Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ (hold on to that feeling!). Basically, whatever you need, blast it out but maybe hold off on the likes of David Gray or Radiohead until we have the vaccine.

• If you can at all, do switch off from the wall-to-wall Covid news from time to time. It’s good to be informed, but not bombarded. You’ll catch up again in a jiffy, don’t worry (a bit like when you miss Fair City for six months). Spare a thought for those who can’t, such as Miriam O’Callaghan. I often wonder what she thinks when she reads the Prime Time running order and sees Sam McConkey down as the first guest – again. Their off-camera chat must be pretty buddy-ish at this stage. ‘Not sure about that tie Sam…,’ ‘Well, that leather skirt is borderline dodge Mir’ sort of stuff.

• Don’t think too far ahead. Lockdown Two is just six weeks, and depending on when you’re reading this, we’ve already got one down. What would most of us be doing at this time of the year anyway? I’d love to say partying in New York or holidaying in St Bart’s, but realistically my life is far more routine. I know we’ve had to shrink things down to fit inside 5km, but at least the schools are open. And at least at this time of year it’s pretty acceptable to light the fire and get into your PJs really early, especially now that no one can call. Silver linings and all the rest. Bunker down and cosy up.

• Speaking of schools, do spare a thought for all our teachers, and especially our principals. They’ve put in tremendous work to get us this far, and, for the most part they are exhausted. They need to recharge their batteries over mid-term as we need them firing on all cylinders to get us to Christmas.

• Do get a bit of time alone if you can at all. It’s essential for all the obvious reasons, sanity being the main one. Preferably, avail of your alone time in the open air. Although I find this makes it harder to lie down and scroll on social media. That’s why I’ve built up a bank of really good hiding spots in my house since March which I obviously won’t be disclosing here.

• Don’t let yourself entirely off the hook because of the global pandemic. Jokes aside, we’re all feeling it: a bit flat, fatigued, bored and fed-up, right up to being lonely, miserable and depressed. But as tempting as it might be, don’t use Covid-19 as an excuse for not showing up (even 80% of the time anyway). It’s kind of like where you pretend that Mercury being in retrograde was the reason you were being a bit of a b****, when that’s your regular personality. Won’t wash. Be accountable and know when to step away from the fridge/remote control/children’s leftovers.

• It might help to set yourself a challenge of some kind. Forget about the cleaning and sorting which we all launched ourselves at back in March. Guess what? It all needs to be done again. Life’s too short, even during lockdown. I was going to aim towards having the dishwasher, tumble dryer and washing machine all empty at same time, at some point over the next few weeks. But then I remembered that it’s important that challenges are realistic and achievable. Scratch that. I’ll come up with something else like not getting into my PJs until at least 5pm.

• Do remember to have a laugh. I find Tadhg Fleming and his family really funny (also a bit cracked, but in a good way) on social media, but whatever gets you giggling, seek it out and try to keep things as light as you can.

• Do create occasions where you mightn’t have before. So if you normally eat at your kitchen island, dine at the table and pull out the good wear. If you’re having a G&T, give it the full bells and whistles treatment with your choice of glass and botanicals. Make a bath a bit of an ‘event’ and use the towels you normally reserve for visitors, because there won’t be any for a while. Just don’t post any of it on social media, which can turn into a bit of a #puke-fest during lockdown.

• Do avail of An Post’s offer to send things free of charge to nursing and care homes. That’s really sound of them. Even if it’s only a box of chocolates, send something off.

• Finally, and most importantly, do keep your distance, do follow the rules, do wash your hands and do wear your mask. And don’t be a twat and think none of these apply to you.

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