Madeleine Olausson, a marketing manager from Sweden, tells us how she is staying sane during lockdown. It might inspire you or you might identify with her. All pictures are Madeline’s.
Now we have reached week four of lockdown and there does not seem to be any end in sight. I am not a psychologist and do not claim to have found a magic elixir for coping with being stuck in a small flat. I only know this: to keep sane I just have to make the best out of a bad situation.
We’re allowed one outing of exercise a day. I make use of it every day, without fail. I have discovered parts of the small town I live in that I did not know existed. On every walk, I see something new, sometimes just a sign on a building, or a sculpture I had somehow never noticed before. Walking, as opposed to being in a car, does change your perspectives greatly.
It has been a great year for bluebells! I have seen so many bluebells in some small woodlands I would not normally even think to walk through. I have enjoyed being lured onto small paths by a completely blue carpet of flowers.
Some people are getting friendlier. More people than normal say hello or at least acknowledge with a nod that you have crossed the road in an attempt to keep up the social distancing.
It is usually easier to cross the road with very few cars around. With less traffic about, there is also more birdsong than ever before. And for a cat lover like me, out of a sudden there are many more felines wandering around to say hello to.
Another unexpected side effect is the baking. There is only so much reading (although my favourite past time) one can do before feeling the urge to be a bit more active. With a bit of internet browsing, I could find a banana bread recipe I had all the ingredients for. After the success of the banana bread, followed the bread rolls. Great joy to eat homemade bread!
And how wonderful to keep in touch with friends on WhatsApp (other applications are of course available). This morning I spoke to one of my best friends while she was out in her garden. As we have not seen each other in person for a long time, we made it a video call. Very relaxed, no make-up, but who cares?
All this being said, I do hope that we are reaching the end of the lockdown soon. I am fortunate to have stayed well so far and I know there are many people much worse off than me. After four weeks in a small flat with no outdoor space, I will certainly be enjoying the day I can go back to somewhat more flexibility in my daily life.