I'm not sure where you are in the world, but I think the majority of us are in lockdown, or at least with higher restrictions than in recent months. The numbers have been climbing, and as much as many people dreaded another lockdown (I'm not one of them by the way - I feel safer in lockdown), there isn't really any alternative - especially if we want any sort of Christmas that we are used to. It won't be like last year or previous Christmases, for that matter, due to the nature of how the virus spreads, but we have to make the best of it and stick to the rules or we could still be in the same position, this time next year - perish the thought! So here's what I'm doing in lockdown....
First of all, I think everyone should do what suits them, so what I say/do may not fit with your life and that's completely fine.
There is a lot of pressure on people to shop local - great in theory, but it can sometimes be more expensive and if money is tight, you are going to want to get the best deal you can, even if it is from a big company. I don't think people should feel bad about that. Do what suits you and your budget.
If you are worried about the expense of Christmas, try to add a few things to your trolley each week, so that the big Christmas shop, doesn't have to be so big - I've started this already. Also, if you have children and are worried about buying gifts for the adults in your life - don't. Santa need to take priority. Suggest skipping gifts this year, doing Secret Santa or having a celebration, when this is finally over and you can exchange gifts then (my family has done Christmas in July before, for a variety of reasons - mainly because we're Christmas mad!). Remember that the people who matter, don't mind and the people who mind, don't matter. It's nice to exchange gifts, but it's never worth putting yourself under pressure for.
If you can, get your Christmas shopping done now, before the frenzy of when the stores open again! I will try to update you as often as I can when I find discounts (LYMIN saves you 20% on most brands/items at the checkout on Look Fantastic). I firmly believe in searching for discounts before I buy anything! I have a highlight saved on my Instagram, which I update as I find code (here).
I'm planning on having my tree up and gifts wrapped before December 1st, if possible, so that the following few weeks will be free for Christmas filmS, relaxing and just enjoying the run up to Christmas, without any unnecessary stress - some stresses, we can't escape. I am also going to write my cards and post them just before December 1st - I know some people think they are old fashioned and bad for the environment (you can recycle them into gift tags the following year), but I think this year, more than ever, people will appreciate a card in the post, to brighten their day!
I've already done my Christmas baking - I don't eat cake, pudding etc but bake for all of my family and the earlier, the better apparently, in terms of flavour. I'm also 'feeding' the cakes weekly, but will leave decorating them until closer to the big day!
Okay, enough of the Christmas prep! Lockdown isn't as long this time around, so hopefully it isn't as overwhelming. Personally, I find having a morning ritual works well for me (although it generally happens later at the weekends, when I find myself having a blissful second sleep, due to less traffic on the roads). I think introducing some sort of ritual sets you up well for the day - for me, I have to take some medication, then I meditate, look at my to-do list for the day (or write it, if I slacked off the night before), and get my supplements for the day ready, then I have a green smoothie, which I am very lucky that my husband makes for me daily, after that, it's my skincare routine and I make my bed. I may end up back in bed during the day (my meds make me sleep a lot), but I find that making it gives my day a good start. This might all sound quite elaborate, but it doesn't take very long and, mentally if nothing else, it's a good routine for me. Because I'm very ill, I can't incorporate any exercise, whereas my husband is straight out of bed, does his exercise, shower, breakfast and at his desk. A routine will really help you if you struggle mentally - I think having structure in your life helps everyone.
One thing that I do every day, is either watch something that will make me laugh out loud, or listen to some music that I love - preferably both, as it really lifts my spirits and I find it healing.
If Instagram/the news on tv/any form of newsfeed, or social media, is getting you down, delete the app. Anything that doesn't make you feel good, doesn't belong in your life (and that includes people - mute them, leave Whatsapp groups etc, if they stress you).
Use this time to possibly try something you've wanted to do for ages, but have kept putting off - almost like starting your New Year's Resolution early - read more, maybe try playing a musical instrument, start writing that book that's inside you.
Check in on your friends and family - a phone call is nice, but maybe even just a text - you never know - it could be at the exact time they need to hear from someone who cares.
I'm sure you've done loads of decluttering during the first lockdown, but I bet you could do some more and you could get bags ready to donate to charity, set up a swap group with your pals, or maybe even sell a few things to get some money together.
Whatever you do, stick to the rules - it's your Civic duty, plus believe me, as someone who has suffered very badly as a result of Covid, you do not want to catch it and I can't imagine the guilt I would feel if my negligence lead to anybody catching it.
Finally, reach out if you need help or a chat. My DMs are always open, if you don't feel like you want to chat to someone close to you. I may not have answers, but am always here to listen and try to help.
As a final note, I have to say, that it's important to count your blessings and be grateful. My oldest friend's Dad died from Covid recently and there will be so many more people who will have an empty space at their table this year - please spare a thought for them, rather than moan about your lack of social life or what you're missing out on - hopefully that's just short-term, for others, what they are missing is for eternity.
How are you coping with lockdown this time around?
Thanks for reading!
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