With the whole world going into global lockdown amid the Covid-19 pandemic and being told to put away our motorbikes, leave our jobs, keep our physical distance from people and stay at home for at least 4 weeks (New Zealand), it almost feels like the apocalypse.
I know some fellow bikers are freaking out somewhat about going out riding and there has been speculation whether or not we can still go out on solo rides during this time? I personally have strong view on ‘stay the fuck home’ especially with some of my closest family in the UK, working on the front line in hospitals, supermarkets and schools. Surely it can’t be that hard to just stay home for a few weeks unless you have to go out for essentials?
Although keeping your bike idle for a month isn’t going to be great news for your battery. If it’s a sunny day and I need to go to the supermarket then I’ll take the bike (I’ve only used it once in the 12 days that I have been in lockdown). I also tick the bike over regularly if it’s not in use. If you’re not going to use your bike at all, then you could save a few bob by putting you rego on hold and removing the battery (just make sure it’s fully charged before putting back in, lol).
So how do we find calm and kindness amongst the chaos and confusion of locking ourselves away from the rest of the world, not riding our beloved motorbikes and not going crazy in the process? Here are just a few things I’ll be doing over the next few weeks which you may or may not find useful…
Keep things as normal as possible
This may sound a little crazy considering this is probably the most abnormal thing any of us have or will experience during our lifetime. But keeping things as normal as you can ready for when normal comes back around may help it not be so much of a shock to the system when it does. I’m not usually one for routine and I often work evening and weekends but some kind of routine will help keep us from going totally bonkers…
- Setting our alarms for when we would usually get up for work and saving our lying in bed for the weekends
- Keeping busy Monday – Friday and doing more fun or chilled out stuff during the weekend (unless you’re my husband and can’t sit still all week long) e.g. do the housework, paperwork, kids schooling etc. during the week. At the weekends have a movie day/night, make your own ‘takeaway’, play games and have fun with the family, organise a virtual pub get together with your mates, camping in your backyard, or have a dinner date night, whether it’s just the two of you or the whole family. Or if you get really bored you could make your own Sombrero with an Austrailan twist….
- Break your day down in chunks, an hour doing this, an hour doing that or finish tasks at certain times, this will help keep you motivated and have a variety of things to do
- Having regular sit-down meal breaks at the times you would usually have them at work (as my shifts are all over the place, I go off my husbands working day)
- Keeping the TV switched off until at least 5.30pm to avoid the “couch potato” effect (although this is allowed at weekends) and understandable if you have kids (god help you, lol)
- Watch the news just once a day (good to know what’s going on but can add more stress and worry if you obsess over it)
- Planning weekly meals and writing a food plan. This is something we would usually do to help saves costs when shopping for the week ahead. The only difference as we are not doing our weekly shop, is being a little more organised. We’re cooking meals in batches and freezing them down as individual meals and ensuring we are savvy on food wastage. Planning what needs using 1st and what will last us longer so we have plenty of food for a couple of weeks. Not a fan of cooking? Get googling, there are lots of recipes online
Kindness, a great tool for your mental health!
You’re probably sick of hearing about people saying to be kind but unfortunately in this imperfect world, there are quite frankly, a few arseholes!
Everyone is going through their own stuff, especially at the moment and you never know what goes on behind closed doors, there’s no need to be a dick. Plus kindess is great for your own mental health. Check out The Kindness Pandemic group on FB, full of acts of kindness across the world to make you feel all warm and fuzzy, lol.
One way I went about this was starting my 10 days of compassion on FB. 10 days where I would do something for others. I have posted a postcard to my Nan stuck in a care home in the UK, wrote letters to my nieces and nephews, offered to do shopping for others in my community, left apples for our postie and stocked up on chocolate for my hubby. Just little everyday gestures to help brighten other peoples day. A little goes a long way.
Be kind to yourself
It’s understandable to be feeling anxious, upset and maybe a little scared right now but don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re not in this alone and there are some great free groups and classes to help you get through….
Personally with my own anxiety levels through the roof, I have been trying to stick to a regular morning routine of meditation and yoga. Check out these free meditation and yoga sessions available online…
- 20 days of Meditation with Jay Shetty
- Ten Percent Happier Daily Meditation
- Home – A 30 Day Yoga Journey with Adreine
- Namaste Yoga (regular live 9am morning yoga session with Ali)
If you are really struggling, then ask for help. There are some great support groups out that are mostly free and are available 24/7….
New Zealand helplines
- Battered Woman’s Trust: 0800 733 843 family violence helpline 24/7
- Are you OK: 0800 356 450 family violence helpline 24/7
- Shine: 0508 744 633 Domestic violence helpline 24/7
- Anxiety phone line: 0800 269 4389
- Need to Talk: 1737 free call or text anytime
- Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 or text 4202
- Alcohol & drug helpline: 0800 787 797
We’ve all been told to stay at home within our ‘bubble’ whether it be just with a partner or family. But that doesn’t mean you can’t connect to friends and family outside that bubble. Having a good support bubble is just as important during this time and with technology as it is, it’s even easier to stay connected to loved ones. If you’re not so saavy on the technology side then good old fashioned pen to paper is another great way to connect!
I have regular virtual coffee mornings with friends and try to speak to family as much as I can back in the UK on Facebook chat.
Have something to look forward to
It may seem like a while before we get back to ‘normal’ but that doesn’t stop you from looking forward.
What’s the one thing your are looking forward to once this is over? Why not plan that motorbike ride you’ve been wanting to do, visit that place you’ve been thinking of or visit that person you haven’t managed to catch up with yet.
Having something to look forward to, think about and plan will make it easy to push through and divert some of the craziness.
These are scary and unpredictable times but just remember we’re all in the same boat. Let’s look out for each other, be kind and make the most of this opportunity to have this precious time to spend with our loved ones. We will get through this together.
If you have any other suggestions or things you are doing to get through the lockdown, I would love to hear them. Feel free to write your ideas in the comments.
Stay safe, stay at home and stay connected xxx