21 Ways to Stay Joyful during a Global Pandemic...
Here’s some ideas on how to keep your chin up during lockdown
1 Get up earlier than you might be tempted to. Even if that’s later than usual. Use your favourite soap, brush your now rather long unruly hair, put on clean clothes. It’ll feel like a 1:0 victory over the virus even if no-one else will get to see you for weeks.
2 Don’t have too much coffee. Even if in the absence of access to Starbucks you’ve perfected the art of espresso-making, having gallons of the stuff will interfere with point 1 above.
3 Grow flowers. It’s almost impossible not to enjoy a burst of white, dusky pink and purple sweet peas.
4 Smile. There might not be much to smile about or anyone to smile at. Do it anyway.
5 Try out new stuff. Now’s your chance. It doesn’t have to be sourdough bread making.
6 Make sure you have a small but steady supply of snacks. Eat Real’s sour cream and chives flavour hummus chips are my new favourite.
7 Don't stand on the bathroom scales after an evening of overindulgence in sour cream and chives flavour hummus chips.
8 Meditate. Make friends with the uncomfortable feeling that results from the realisation that an overindulgence in sour cream and chives flavour hummus chips might not be the answer to all your woes.
9 Sunbathe. If you carefully watch the sensation of the warmth of the sun on your skin, you might get away with calling it meditation. Lama will disagree.
10 Read. Tackle that bookshelf of yours with a vengeance. If the lockdown ends up long enough you might even finally finish The Jewel Ornament of Liberation.
11 Listen. Rather than snatching rushed bits of conversation with mum or best friend on a crowded tube train, you now have these precious extra minutes in the comfort of your own home. It’s a joy to really be able to listen to what is on your loved ones’ minds.
12 Listen some more. For example to Gyalton Rinpoche’s talk “Transforming Obstacles into Opportunities” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CY6-w0RSjgs&feature=youtu.be). 2020 will be known as the year Dharma went digital.
13 Write emails or (if you happen to have a stash of stamps in the house) even letters. Forget Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They are the communication tools for the time poor. You are now time rich. Check on aunty Ursula and tell her about your flower growing. She’ll love it. Win win.
14 Run. Nobody has ever regretted going for a run. Except perhaps KSD London’s builder-in-chief Colin in the late stages of preparing for the Brighton marathon. But what are a pair of swollen knees when it means lots of donations for Rokpa?
15 Clean. That difficult-to-reach-corner between fridge and stove – it’ll nag you right through lockdown. The windows haven’t been done since the last global pandemic? Well if you’re going to be stuck inside at least it’d be nice to be able to look out.
16 DIY. I believe this might help some people be joyful. Each to their own.
17 Discover new places. There are all kinds of lovely corners within an hours’ walk from your house. Hyperlocal holidays are the latest trend.
18 Wash your hands. Boris will be so disappointed if you don’t.
19 Find space. It can be difficult with the whole family cooped up together. Just five minutes walking round the block might make all the difference.
20 Don’t read the news.
21 Don’t consume disinfectant.