Last Friday night’s announcement was not all that surprising when it came, we had been well conditioned. The time period was the unknown and now we know. We need to stay in our houses until at least Easter Sunday to stem the tide of this virus. An Taoiseach has said that he doesn’t want to use the word “lockdown”, as it means different things in different jurisdictions. We have our own restrictions that differ from elsewhere and comparisons with other countries will do nothing for our mental state. Social media was in agreement with an Taoiseach and decided that we should go with something more positive and more Irish to describe our hopefully temporary incarceration – a lock-in.
You can be lonelier in a tower block amongst thousands, than you might be in the most sparsely populated parts of our country, if nobody calls
Social isolation is something that is often mentioned when the challenges that impact on rural Ireland are discussed. Mairead Lavery had commented to me in the past that she thought that this was a fallacy. Her point was that you can be lonelier in a tower block amongst thousands, than you might be in the most sparsely populated parts of our country, if nobody calls. Before COVID-19, loneliness may have been dismissed by the younger generation as a cross carried by the old. Now the burden is on all our shoulders as we pine for our friends and loved ones. And minding our mental health must be a priority. The Irish Men’s Sheds Association have launched their #CallThemForACuppa campaign. Let’s extend that to anyone that might need a friend.
The challenge I am struggling most with (thankfully we are all healthy), is the loss of my independence and routine
Last week, we focused on protecting your mental health while cocooning. This week Dr Mark Rowe gives advice on how to boost your resilience should you be in a stressful situation such as having lost your job. These are very different issues, but the advice is consistent. Our mental health needs exercise (preferably outdoors but within 2km of your house), a sense of connection, a healthy diet, limited negative news intake and routine.
The challenge I am struggling most with (thankfully we are all healthy), is the loss of my independence and routine. To follow some of the advice and maintain some level of normality, we rubbed out the “inspirational quote” that usually adorns the kitchen blackboard and replaced it with a really simply schedule. Maybe it’s just the guilt of wandering into the kitchen after the designated time but writing down “6.30am get up/exercise” has helped.
I am also getting dressed appropriately. I appreciate that this activity doesn’t merit any medals, but when image consultant Maria Macklin’s piece landed on my desk, it made me think. She says that whether you are working from home or not, dressing appropriately for your work can assist with big picture thinking and attention. A bit like the kitchen blackboard being a wagging finger for oversleeping, I also decided that I would post proof of my “dressing for work” on my Instagram (@amiimck) and guilt myself into a routine.
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For todays #ootdworkingfromhome - #swingdress. Bought this one in @klassyladyboutiquecahir . Sandra the owner is a great advisor & hasnt put me wrong. Reader feedback shows they want more fashion in the paper (never thought that would be the problem when I took on the job but it’s not an easy one to do well for all tastes, shapes & events) so we @irishcountryliving @any_hooo had come up with a great plan for a fashion series with Sandra which was to run over the Summer but COVID-19 has delayed it. We will get back to that as soon as we can. Have a safe & good day ??
This week, two of my favourite things feature strongly, equines and food. As horses fall within the scope of animal care, breeding can continue and our annual sport horse breeding supplement. Janine Kennedy, our food specialist, has created a feast for the eyes on the pages of our Easter food magazine. Meals may be smaller this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t share the love. Send pictures if you create a feast for the taste buds.