Taking Back Control

Hello new world,

This weekend marks the first of which the Saturday outing to a UK pub, club, theatre or restaurant will not be the norm for an unknown period of time. So too has the Sunday morning or after work workout in the gym gone; relocated to dining rooms and garages across the country.

As this global pandemic continues to be the main news item, feelings of anxiousness, overwhelm and lack of control featured heavily this weekend as I stuggled to comprehend the impact this may have on my life and the lives of those I care about. Many of us will not have seen this kind of whole world event before, and, with luck, we may never see it again. Never before have I had to wonder whether there will be food on the shelves when the time comes to venture out to the supermarket. We are assured that supply chains are working well, but unfortunately the panic of a population who are influenced by the mass of media on the subject may continue to have an adverse impact on both the retailers who work hard to stock shelves and fulfill the demand, and those customers who are unable or unwilling to beat the rush.

When we can return to the life that, perhaps, we took for granted until now, we do not know. There are signs that China may be recovering but Italy still sees numerous deaths everyday.

What we do know is that we have to try our best to deal with this situation and, to paraphrase the US President James Garfield, be prepared to face the war at our door. In this case, we need to continue to be mentally strong so that we can be physically strong. So, before I have a minor breakdown I’m going to be focusing on the small things that are still within my control and learning to live with those that are not.

If you’re needing to regain a little composure, here are a few ways I’ll be taking charge and maintaing some elements of ordinariness that you might also like to consider introducing into your life, now and in the future, whenever you feel stress no matter what is happening outside.

Organising the sock draw

I’m going to start with something small. It might seem a bit too much to be folding socks but believe me, opening a draw that contains socks in uniform lines makes me smile every time. I’ve gotten a bit behind recently and have neglected that space.

A tidy draw is a tidy mind

I won’t be limiting it to socks either, all my underwear is getting organised.

Cleaning out the closet

If you’ve got a bit more time on your hands – and may be spending more time in your loungewear – how about sorting out that wardrobe? I’ve been trying to get around to having a clear out since the start of February and now there are no excuses.

Unwanted clothes or those that don’t fit just shouldn’t be in there so I’m going to be taking steps to see what I can remove and look to donate when I finally get back out into the world.

I’ve also been considering Courtney Carver’s Project333. Now might not be the best time to implement it as I pretty much won’t be going anywhere but it might be a good place to start.

Clearing Surfaces

My systems for keeping clutter at bay needs a revamp so I’m going to be spending some time creating a clutter-free maintainance plan that will work. You can be sure I will be sharing it here when it’s done! In the meantime, I’m going to get to work on those visible surfaces that can create a cloud in my mind when I walk in the room.

Unsubscribing from mailing lists

I seem to spend a lot of time deleting emails and often without reading them. There seems to be a reluctance to unsubscribe due to the FOMO effect – I might miss out on a really good discount. Yet, I rarely take the time to look at them in the first place so I’m clearly not in the market for buying. I’m sure you can relate to this, too, am I right?

The current saga is also creating a lot more email from companies who I didn’t even realise I was on the distribution list for. Mostly they are advising on the precautions they are taking to safeguard staff and customers, which is wholly appreciated, but do I need to be on that list?

Cleaning the sink

There’s nothing like waking up in the morning to clean sinks in the bathroom and kitchen. Getting rid of the day’s grime before going to bed just makes the next day seem so much fresher.

Saying No

If you have a tendency to always agree to volunter, attend events and generally fill your calendar with time commitments to things you don’t want to do or enjoy and that leave you without time for the things you do want to do, start saying no.

You don’t need an excuse just a polite “no” or “I can’t commit to that right now” should do it. There is no better time than right now to practice this – without even having to mention why – but I’ll say it again that you don’t need an excuse. Unless it’s a ticketed or limited access event, it is easier to say no and then go back later and say you’ve changed your mind than to say yes in the first place and say no later. Way too much excess baggage on that one.

Right now, some of this might seem trivial, but that’s the point. I’m hoping that this will help ground me, make life a little more simple and set me up for the coming weeks.

How about you? What will you be doing to maintain normality in your day? What resources have you found to help?

Best wishes and stay safe,

Don’t forget to catch up with me on my Facebook page, or find me on Twitter and Instagram (@redheadresolve).

Ear worm: Livin’ on the Edge, Aerosmith


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