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Surviving lockdown

Mother with daughter

This content reflects the views of the individual blogger and is not intended to advise you about your health. Always seek advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare professionals.

As lockdown is extended and millions around the country are staying home to help protect the NHS and to save lives, here are a couple of things you can try to make life as manageable and positive as possible and to hopefully keep your psoriasis under control.

Working from Home

Get dressed – a simple trick to getting yourself into a positive mindset is to get up, shower, get dressed and make your bed like you would if you were going to work. You instantly feel productive and ready for the day ahead, you’ll also be less likely to crawl back in for a wee nap.

Workstation – have a bag/basket/box where you can keep everything you need for your working day; if all your work things are kept in the one place you’ll be less likely to lose anything and it will be easier to put work away when you’re done, especially if you’re having to work at a communal space like a dining table. If you are lucky enough to have a home office or designated space, try to keep it free from clutter and distractions. Things like magazines, social media and snacks can be your reward and be used as a distraction from your workstation after you’ve been productive. Simply opening your laptop does not count as productive.

Be realistic – we all find ourselves in these strange times so be kind to yourself and manage your expectations. Be realistic with what you can achieve in a day. Write a list for the day or for your week and tick things off no matter how small to make a note of things you have accomplished. Speak to your employer or a colleague you trust if you are struggling or needing support, we are all in this together.

Stop – set yourself an end time for your working day. Working from home is not the same as being in an office, you have no commute, no distinct break/lunch times. Know when you are done for the day and tidy your work stuff away so you are less likely to go back to it later. You still need down time and time to switch off and relax.

Kids at Home

Try a flexible schedule – your household and your kids may thrive on routine and a strict timetable, or you may find you and yours need more freedom. Do what feels right for your family and try not to compare your situation or experiences to those shared online, we are all muddling through together, do what works best for you.

Try life skills – do not feel that your home now needs to double up as a school with a lunch bell and set curricular periods. My advice as a teacher is that if your child is interested in a particular subject and wants to focus all their attention on that, then allow them this uninterrupted time to engage in their passions. On the other hand, if your child is struggling to focus and has no interest in school work, now is the time to engage with them in some life skills. Involves them in organising spaces in the house, cooking family meals, baking for loved ones or doing a spot of gardening or upcycling. Include them in your work or passions where possible.

Try a recognisable routine – even if your house doesn’t relish a colour coded timetable or a weekly meal planner, it is still important that children have a routine they recognise. Keeping your morning breakfast and activity time the exact same or keeping bath and bedtime the same every night will help their little brains from overloading and will allow you to feel a level of control. The caution to that advice is if your kids are sleeping in longer each morning or have no set bedtime at the moment, do not stress, that is okay too. We are all doing what we can. Just remember when it comes to children, a routine is your friend.

Try down time – adults and kids alike are finding this situation tough, missing our friends and loved ones, missing our hobbies and places of interest, missing new things and adventures so if you can, try and set time aside to play with your kids, no matter what age, to play a board game, role play, do a quiz, a treasure hunt, some painting, building a den, having a tea party or a simple game of hide and seek. The more fun and laughter, the less squabbles the better!

Looking After Yourself

Give your skin the time it deserves. Try and keep up with your normal skincare regime whatever that may be. Set an alarm on your phone as a reminder if that helps to remind you whilst you are not in your normal routine. Look out for letters or emails regarding upcoming appointments, they may be changed to a phone call rather than face to face or they may be postponed.

Keeping active – exercise and fresh air are more important than ever, especially when so many of us are spending longer in front of screens and with fewer reasons to move. Exercise doesn’t have to be anything fancy, simply take a walk around your block or try a free online HIIT session or yoga class and it will no doubt work wonders for your mood.

Keeping healthy – it can be all too tempting to turn to destructive habits or unhealthy patterns when things get crazy but your body is counting on you to make the right choices by drinking lots of water, limiting your caffeine and alcohol intake, eating a balanced diet with as much variety and colour as you can get your hands on. With more time in the house now is maybe the time to get creative in the kitchen, watch some cookery shows to inspire you, have a look at some new recipes online or recreate dishes you’re missing from your favourite restaurant.

Shift your perspective – if we dwell on the daily news and barrage of social media posts then it could be a quick downward spiral. Try to focus on all the things you still have and feel grateful for; shelter, running water, access to the internet and the technology to stay connected to loved ones. If you look for things there is still a lot to be positive about. By changing your focus it may help to change your mindset. Recognise this as a time to record and reflect. Take daily photographs or videos of the “normal” and mundane; work you are doing, things you are making, generally how you are spending your time. Keep a journal or a diary each day to document the madness and collate all of these small daily tasks as a legacy to pass down through the generations, a snapshot of a crazy time when the world stopped and found themselves apart and together at the same time.

Blog post developed in partnership with LEO Pharma.

UK/IE MAT-34172 Date of Preparation: April 2020

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