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Staying sane when your normal routine has gone out the window!

Over the past three weeks, I've seen a lot of posts on social media around how we can all 'make the most of the lockdown' and the sheer amount of time which is now available to us.

While I completely agree that it's great to stay productive and motivated, the current situation is unprecedented - it came without warning and escalated massively over a matter of months. It was something very few people could have anticipated or planned for, and has pretty much thrown all our normal routines out of the window. Whether you are a key worker dealing with increased demand and longer hours, adapting to working from home or getting a crash course in home-schooling, chances are what was 'normal' for you has changed, and a lot of the things you enjoyed before the lockdown are no longer available.

By nature, I'm not a creature of habit. I like trying new things and finding ways to adapt to new situations, but this has been interesting for me. My biggest outlet - being able to train at my school - has been taken away without warning and the simple things I took for granted before are no longer there. Things like stopping off at Costa for a quick coffee after doing the school run, or having a few hours of quiet in the middle of the day while everyone else is out. Things that I've always been able to do without realising what the impact would be to my stress levels if they were removed from my daily routine are now gone, and I've had to find different outlets to replace them with.

As for extra time available to me now that I'm not having to travel anywhere or work as normal...I've actually have ended up with even less time on my hands now than I did before! In between trying to find ways of helping my students to train while it's not possible to hold classes as normal at the Dojo, keeping on top of the kids school work and maintaining a reasonably tidy house, I barely have a few hours at the end of the day to sit down, breathe and try to relax before I have to get up the following morning and do it all again!

So what have I been doing to keep sane? Well first off, I've been playing a lot of Mortal Kombat! It's something I can spend short bursts of time on and helps to clear my mind when I'm starting to feel stressed. I've also been setting myself some goals, working on my fitness, improving classes for my students and striving to make this situation as enjoyable as possible for my children. That's my way of coping and I do the best I can, but I don't beat myself either up if I don't finish what I had set for the day or miss a deadline because I have to break up a punch up between my kids over who's turn it is to share whatever random toy they are both fighting over that day (usually a toy which has sat untouched in the toy box for months)! Part of adapting is being flexible, and if you're trying to do something but finding you're about to blow a fuse - the chances are it's just better to call it a day and come back to it when you're in a better headspace.

I think the key thing to remember is that we're not all the same; this situation has affected us all differently. Be kind. Be considerate to others. If during lockdown you've managed to teach yourself a new language, undertaken a total body transformation or sorted out a 5 year plan - that's an awesome achievement. If you've made some quality memories with your family, maintained a positive mindset or discovered a new hobby then that's a win as well. We're all going through our own individual struggles, and as long as you know deep down that you've done your best, then that's something you can be proud of.

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