Written by Claire Weston
Okay guys, so that’s it. D day has arrived, or so it feels. As we enter our second round our lockdown this year, many of us will be feeling anxious and upset, maybe even angry at where we are as a country in this moment. But whatever we feel, what really matters right now is how we intend on coping positively through these next few weeks. As a nation we need to be there for each other and be there for ourselves. Below you’ll see a few tips on managing ourselves for our new lockdown.
Keep connected to others – create family or friend WhatsApp groups, send funny pictures, have a laugh with each other. Small messages can brighten someone's day. Check in with each other routinely, don’t let yourself fall out of the circle, really try to see everyone is doing well and reach out if you yourself are not. Catch up with a socially distanced coffee or cuppa on a local walk with your household bubble. Send letters and cards to parents or grandparents, get the kids to draw pictures, personal touches are always wanted and appreciated. Lots of local nursing homes are happy to receive the piles and piles of colouring and crafts your kids will be accumulating over the next few weeks, so pop them in an envelope and mail them over.
Keep connected to yourself – You might be working, studying, or out of work during lockdown, but whatever it is you are doing, it is so important to take a moment each day and really check in with your feelings. Have a cup of tea, indulge in a biccy, sit on the sofa and close your eyes. Pay attention to what's going on in your heart and your head and write it down. What are you feeling, is it anxiety, is it sadness, happiness? Give permission to yourself to acknowledge any so called negative or ‘down’ feelings, and then let them go. It will be so normal over the next few weeks, even outside of lockdown to feel up and down, it happens to everyone. If we have a bad day, don’t feel guilty and turn it into a bad week. Accept that the rain happens, but the clouds always clear and tomorrow is a new day.
Keep moving – Exercise is an imperative part of keeping sound both body and mind, so don’t let that cold weather stop you! Start each day by stretching out and becoming aware of our body. For this, I really enjoy taking a YouTube yoga session (Yoga with Adrienne is my fav!), you can do 10 minutes or 60 minutes at any level, whatever you feel like doing. It’s so refreshing to wake up and wind down with. Keep an eye on local yoga studios, many will be running zoom sessions for a reduced fee, it’ll be a great way to stay connected with others too!
You can also set yourself goals, be it weight loss or getting in them gains! Stores like Mr. Price will be staying open and stock a range of affordable at home gym equipment, such as bands and kettlebells. Create a timetable for yourself, or even hire an online coach and take advantage of the next few weeks away from pubs and restaurants to really focus on where you want to be. When in doubt, YouTube classes and routines for motivation! (HAsfit are my go-to guys). Again, keep an eye on local gyms and studios. Many will be running zoom classes or challenges throughout lockdown, keep connected with your peers and local businesses.
Make #FitFam great again. If my child is anything like yours, she will need to be ran up and down the paths daily to keep us all sane. So, get out there. The weather at this time of year can be a bit dreary, so maybe invest in some rain suits for the little ones and go jump in puddles like you’re training for the Olympics. A blog we will be posting soon will list walks within each county for exploring with your family, or even solo, so keep tuned in for our suggestions! (we would also love to hear yours).
Keep upskilling - Take up knew skills or brush up on old ones! Knitting is known to be meditative, relaxing and time consuming, start a family quilt or donate little cardigans to your local special baby unit for preemies. In the words of the painter Bob Ross, ‘It’s important to do something each day that will make you happy.’ So do a deep dive on this guy, he is one of the most wholesome people on the planet, get a glass of vino and sit down and do some painting with one of his tutorials that can be found on
(yes, you guessed it) YouTube! You can also start to cook more, paint the house, upcycle the crap out of everything you own, whatever it is, try and keep busy.
Lookout online for courses to further your education or even just your own enjoyment. Shaw Academy is offering 4 weeks free for their courses, so check them out. They have a variety of topics from photography, marketing, to health and wellness. My favourite course they are offering is wine appreciation, which I may or may not already be well versed in. And by well versed I mean a weekly skimming through Supervalu's half priced plonk (who’s with me?).
This new lockdown may be different to the last, there won’t be any paddling pool BBQs, painting the fences for hours on end, and you may not be able to face the thoughts of the weekly zoom family quiz just yet, but doesn’t mean it can’t be just as productive or that’s it going to be worse this time around. It may feel harder, it may look harder, but sometimes things are as hard as we make them. Use your time to invest in yourself and invest in your family. Don’t get caught up in negativity, make sure you take a break from social media, the news and telly and get outside for 30 minutes minimum daily.
Our message from us here at Lakeland Kayaks is to keep your hands busy and your heart happy and wishing the best to all our customers across Ireland over the next few weeks.
Here are some numbers you may find useful for anyone struggling during lockdown:
Community Call Nation Response Forum for local authorities, managed by Alone - 0818 222 024
Samaritans - Free-phone 116 123 (any time, day or night), or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a response within 24hrs
Pieta House -Free-phone 1800 247 247 (any time, day or night) or text HELP to 51444 (standard rates apply)
Crisis Text Line Ireland - Text TALK to 086 1800 280 (standard rates may apply).
An Post – Register an elderly or vulnerable person with an post for a daily check in with the postal service worker on their route at https://www.anpost.com/Community/Request-a-Check-In
For a full list of services and helplines available during lockdown, visit
Written by Claire Weston