Tips for dealing with anxiety and depression while in lockdown

Depression and anxiety are difficult to handle at the best of times, but during a global pandemic and lockdown, it can be a million times harder.

If you are anything like me being locked in and feeling trapped can be a trigger for bad spells with mental health - I know I have certainly been struggling some days, but I've been working really hard on keeping it in check and here are the things I've been working on to help me stay on the best path possible.

1. Exercise - Please please please make the most of your one trip out a day. I have made a real effort to get out for almost every day. There have of course been some days that it hasn't happened but I've really been trying. I love to go out for a walk with Sam and Harry, or if Sam is working Harry and I take a wander. I have also been trying to get some sort of work out in at home. Not much mind but Harry is really loving PE with Joe Wicks and I'm getting better too!

2. Eat right - I have been making a real effort to make better choices with my food. I'm not saying I'm eating salad for every meal but thinking about what I eat is helping and the more fruit and veg I am eating is supposed to help with mental health - Hell I'll try anything honestly.

3. Keep busy - It's so important for me to be busy. I find if I have nothing to do my mind creeps towards the dark place so I have lots of things that keep me busy, even when I'm having some me-time, whether that be reading a book, listening to a book, knitting (my granny hobby) or adult colouring-in books, which are brilliant for stress relief.

4. Keep in touch with family and friends - Thank goodness for Facetime!! I don't think I would be able to cope as well as I have been if it hadn't been for Facetime conversations with everyone! We have been doing great quizzes and if I need to talk I know I can call any one of them up just to talk through whatever is going through my mind and that I think has been the biggest help through all of this. When I'm struggling with parenting or just having a bad day I have a whole support system just at the end of the phone!

5. Be honest with yourself and everyone else - This one kind of follows on from number 4 but if you aren't honest and admit when you are struggling you won't be in a position to help yourself. It's okay to struggle, I'm pretty sure that every single person has struggled during this lockdown so please believe you are not alone in this!

Stay safe!

Our Lockdown routine

We've been in lockdown in the UK for almost two weeks now and honestly when it was first announced I had no idea what I was going to do with Harry. Sam is a key worker and so still going to work, meaning that for even more of the time it's just me at home with a very bored Harry, not the ideal situation but after a few days of letting chaos reign I decided we needed some kind of routine. So here is how our days have been looking

6:00 am roughly is wake up time. Harry will wake up any time between 5:30 and 7:00am. 6:00 am has been the norm in our house lately and I will usually try and stretch it out until 6:30, it doesn't always work. The TV in my room is usually on by 10 past with one of Harry's current favourite shows on. 

6:30 am is when I've woken up properly and we venture off downstairs. Harry's nappy comes off and he gets a drink and carries on watching his shows until around 8:00am when we get breakfast started. It varies from day to day what we have for breakfast depending on what we have in and what we fancy. Some days it's just a bowl of cereal, other days we have eggs on toast or fruit and yoghurt. 

After breakfast, we both get dressed. While potty training Harry hasn't been wearing anything on his bottom half and we are taking full advantage of being home to let him get used to it! However, getting dressed makes us both feel better and more productive. 

Then at 9:00am we start with some educational stuff. Harry is due to start school in September and I worry that being home will make him seriously behind, so I jumped on Amazon and ordered two wipe clean workbooks. The fact that they are Peppa Pig definitely helps him concentrate.

We try and do educational activities until around 10:30 am when Harry is ready for a snack. This is usually something small, then at 11:00 am its nap time. This doesn't happen every day but it definitely helps us get through the day when it does happen. If Harry doesn't nap we tend to have some downtime. Usually back in bed for a snuggle and rest, with either the TV on or reading some books. This tends to be for around an hour when we get up and get lunch. Lunch again varies, but lately, Harry has been loving carrot, cucumber and hummus.

After lunch we try to do something fun, could be baking, drawing and colouring, crafts or playing in the garden.

We tend to have our main evening meal (we call it tea in our house but whatever you want to call it) around 5:30/6pm. Its what works for us. Then once that is finished we have some chill-out time before Harry is off to bed around 7pm!

What are your lockdown days looking like? 

Lockdown check in

Hello everybody!

What a strange and unusual time we are having here. Lockdown has now been in place for three weeks and honestly, even though I really like to pretend I'm doing just fine the real truth is, I'm not.

I have been struggling really badly this week. Not being able to leave the house like I used to has had a massive effect on my depression. I have never been an 'outdoor' person so honestly going for a walk has never really appealed to me - much to Sam's disappointment.

It was Harry's 4th birthday on the 31st of March and I'm pretty sure he had a fab day but I felt terrible about the fact that I couldn't even get him a Mcdonalds for his birthday tea. It honestly felt like the biggest failure, not that we had been expecting to celebrate his birthday as he was supposed to be 12 days post-open-heart surgery, but he would have at least had his chicken nuggets.

There was nothing I could do about it though, doesn't mean it didn't get to me.

However, I have made a real effort with Harry. We have painted and baked (far far far too much for any single household. Sam has been doorstep delivering cupcakes and banana bread to family) and played games and Harry has even been potty trained - Almost, he's not a fan of pants apparently. I have both loved and struggled with being home with Harry 24/7. I have never spent this much time at home with him and while it is lovely, I wish I could take him to the park, out for lunch, hell I'd even take him to soft play - My most hated place in the world. Harry is frustrated with being locked in and is still completely out of sorts with the change in routine making him act out, but it's getting better.

I have even started exercising! I heard somewhere that exercise is good for your mental health so thought I would give it a go. Harry is loving the Joe Wicks P.E sessions and asks for them about 500 times a day, I've also got my bike out and some days - If I'm very lucky - get to use my one allowed trip out for a nice bike ride, which is one of the only forms of exercise that I have ever actually enjoyed!

Facetime has been big in our house too. We have been having two 'pub quiz' type calls a week - one with Sam's family and one with mine. Honestly, that has been a mood lifter - along with the wine that Sam provides with it. its almost like being with people which is something when this is all over I will never take for granted again.

Lockdown has been difficult that's for sure but I'm trying to make the most of it and not let my depression get the better of me.

Stay safe. Stay at home!

How to make the most of Lock down

I'm sure everyone is so sick of hearing, reading, and even thinking about the lockdown, I know that two weeks in, I certainly am!

However, I have started to really think about lockdown as a gift. I would never have been able to take this time with Harry and have all of this spare time without the lockdown so I want to make the most of it and thought I would give a list of things that I am doing to make the most of it!

1. Tackle that job! I can pretty much guarantee that every single person reading this has at least one job they have been saying they don't have time to do and putting it off and putting it off. Well, what better time to tackle it now! Obviously people with children this still may be difficult but it's well worth giving it a go. Sam and I have cleared the junk out of our spare room while I've been off and honestly, it took about a day and a half of hard work but now that it is done it feels amazing!

2. Start a new hobby or get back to a much-neglected one. This one for me has been a lifesaver! I have now baked multiple recipes, something I rarely have time for normally. My next project is to dig out my knitting needles and try and get a blanket or scarf or even a cushion cover done - something I have never been able to complete.

3. Exercise. Probably the most common thing you have found on your list but YouTube is full of at-home work out videos and what a great time to get started! Exercise is also a great way to help if you are struggling with your mental health.

4. Read - I cannot stress this one enough! I love reading and have honestly loved having more time to read more books!

5. Relax. This one is the most important. The time we are living in at the moment is stressful enough so please take to time to look after yourself. Don't put too much pressure on yourself to get everything done. You will never have this 'free time' again so why not take some time to relax and have some 'me time'  you will honestly feel so much better for it

Stay safe everyone.

Dear Harry... Today you are 4! 31/03/2020

My dearest darling Harry,

Today you turned 4! I find it hard to believe that today is your 4th birthday!

I feel like I have blinked and suddenly you aren't a baby anymore. You have grown so much from that first day, but not only that you have fought against every single misconception that has come with having your diagnosis, and I am so proud baby.

This year you have started to speak, you are getting so much more confident with you walking and movements, you experienced new things and made me prouder every day!

Today has been a very different day then we had planned. Lockdown is in full swing and we arent able to have anybody over or go and see anybody or do anything to celebrate your special day but we made the most of it. You played in the garden and loved all the ballons. We even ventured out for a 5 minute walk.

It wasn't the birthday we wanted for you pickle, but once all of this is over Daddy and I have big plans to really celebrate your birthday.

Happy Birthday my big boy. Love you to the moon and back.

Mummy x

Where It All Started

Birth Story

Harry's birth story seemed like a fitting first post on here. Bear with me because it was written months ago. More posts to follow ever...