Newcastle Photographer and Content Creator, Mandy Charlton, Always on a quest for adventure, often seen on buses, trains and planes. On a quest to be happier and healthier. Lives in Newcastle with her 3 cats, Iris, Maggie and Arthur. Loves good vibes, musicals and cakes. Full time professional wedding photographer in the north east of england alongside content creator on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook

Sunday, March 29, 2020

How to survive lockdown - 8 tips from a former agoraphobic

From around 2004 to 2006ish I had a really bad time with agoraphobia, I'd been attacked in Heaton Park and with already having shaky mental health I just stopped going out. If I did go out I had to have someone with me and it was so bad that I ended up on disability living allowance, finally, in 2007 I got better and went from agoraphobic to a professional photographer, writer and blogger, I found my freedom though I'm still a natural hermit and do have flareups when I get anxious and depressed.  In all of that time when I didn't go out I don't want you to think that it was always awful, yes, sometimes it was but I survived and for the most part, I found my happy right from home.
Cat and dog sit together during coronavirus lockdown uk, how to survive lockdown from a former agoraphobic, mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger

Lockdown is hard for many of us, it feels so unnatural not to go out, like all of our liberties have been taken away and you might feel like you are losing the plot more than once or twice but I've come up with some tips of things I used to do when I was not the person who I am now.

  1. Reading, I used to consume books and magazines, you'll be surprised how much easier it is to read when you have no other distractions.
  2. Learn a new skill, my entry into photography was born from me being at home, I used my children who were just wee at the time and I practised on them, the cats, things I found around the home and I taught myself all about this art which later became my whole escape, my healing and my entire life.  Now photography is at the heart of everything I do.
  3. Craft - in 2004 I decided to make my own Christmas cards and it lead to me eventually working as a buyer for an online scrapbooking company, it also lead to blogging and I started this blog, my second one, in February 2006.
  4. Writing - Now is a great time to start a blog, write a diary,  or get to grips with that book you always wanted to write,  there's literally never been a better time.
  5. Cooking - Still, to this day I find that if I am particularly stressed out I cook or bake and it makes me feel more relaxed and less anxious
  6. Gardening - the art of gardening, to help to create new life, it's one of the most healing things you will ever do, it doesn't matter how big or small your garden is, creating a space that feels like a haven from the world is more necessary than it's ever been.
  7. Redecorating - have some decorating supplies or a list of DIY jobs that you have never got time to do, now is that time, you can create a whole new world for yourself, order supplies online though, don't go to the shops, even if they're open, the point here is to stay at home.
  8. Planning, there's never been a better time to plan ahead, book that future holiday, schedule your wedding for 2021/2022, make a list of all of the places you want to visit when you can get outdoors, looking to the future is the most positive thing you can do.
cooking and baking are good for surviving the coronavirus lockdown, mandy charlton, photographer, writer,blogger

You'll notice from this list that it's all about creating things or planning things and growing things, they're all positive actions which will help your health, your mental health and directly, how happy and content that you feel about life. I, myself have had a very tumultuous time in work, life and business lately and I'm hanging onto my sanity by my nail ends but I believe my inner resilience will kick in when I do all of these things.  I guess we have to find our groove and we have to get through the part where you kind of go stir crazy, it takes a few weeks but as we get further and further into this, you will find it easier as the human brain adapts to its situations remarkably well.

Also, remember that whilst we are indoors, we are quite literally saving the world and not only that, we're actually healing the world from all of the bad things that have happened to it, maybe we're lessening the effects of climate change as well as actively stopping a virus which is indiscriminate and kills our favourite people.

By staying at home, it is possible to thrive more than survive so hang on in there because your time is coming I promise.

If you've loved this article or got any value from it, I would love you to buy me a virtual coffee 

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