Lockdown: Idleness it is not!

There are some advantages to lockdown, but I guess it depends on your circumstances and your temperament. Here's a video that sums up the dilemma, although apparently not much of a dilemma for the guy in question.


In Myers Briggs terms I am an 'E' for Extrovert, so I'm craving more human interaction than the digital world can offer, although it is of course better than nothing. Through the wonders of Zoom, we met friends on Friday evening for drinks and nibbles. I suspect most of you reading this are either on the frontline, or are in roles where you can work reasonably effectively from home, so whilst your working day may be quite different from normal, which at some point we will have to redefine, you are still doing what amounts to a day's work, and in some cases more. On the other hand, for some of you, work may have dried up or you may be unlucky enough to have experienced the virus in some form or other, or be caring for someone who has it, or who is at risk. So, how full are your days? If you have children at home, there's no need to answer. There is a romanticised view of the lockdown as a period of enforced idleness, which

arguably we all need as a balance to the busy lives we lead. But for those of you trying to carry on with the day job, whatever that has morphed into, and assuming it still exists, idleness probably isn't a concept you can relate to; in fact the pressures are probably greater as you try to work or manage the financial stresses, entertain the family, put food on the table, and stay in touch with loved ones. A period of idleness it is not. However, if you are used to having an active social life, seeing family, engaged in sport, spending time at the gym, aside from the pressures I've mentioned above, you may just find yourself with a bit of discretionary time. You could fritter it away getting more depressed as you binge on every news bulletin, and there's only so many boxed sets you can take in. Can I suggest trying to learn something new? I've re-ignited my interest in making bread, although my supply of flour will not last for ever. It could be a bigger project, such as learning a language. Have you tried Duolingo? Is there a musical instrument up in the loft? Or it could be something more active, just for the fun of doing so, such as learning to juggle. There's plenty of help with that on YouTube. If I succeed with my more active challenge without ending up in hospital, I'll post a video. If you fancy something a little more demanding, it might be worth looking through the Open University's free courses which include some programmes on coaching and mentoring. Also, if you want to venture further into academia, many universities, including Harvard, Oxford and Imperial College, offer some of their courses for free through edX. You could use the comments below to commit to something as way of securing some accountability. Finally, if you are a key worker, thanks for what you are doing, and even if you do not fall within the government's definition, what you are doing will be 'key' to someone; don't sell yourself short, and keep safe and sane.

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