By Joan Ebsworth, guest writer for sense* and mother of sense* Founder, Jonathan explains what it is like living alone at 81 in lock down.
We are just entering our seventh week of lock down in Spain. I think that I am still sane and the six weeks seem to have passed by quite quickly.
How do I get through living alone in lock down? Well I take each day at a time as a starter.
It is what it is and I have no control over what is going on out there –but I do have control over myself.
Positive Thinking whilst living alone in lock down
I also have a history for the way in which I think about issues and that has helped a lot. I think that I am a pretty positive person in the way that I think generally.
I try to smile a lot –it changes my brain chemistry. I could write a book on that alone.
I have lived alone for 86 weeks, since my husband died. I had never lived alone for the previous 79 years of my life —so being without him was a steep learning curve!
I am not sure how I would have coped living alone in lock down had it happened 12 months ago.
Food & Nutrition
I am a biologist and I have studied nutrition at some level or another since I was 17 years old. I am a life long learner too.
I believe that food is medicine and that you become what you eat.
Pharma, industrialised food and vaccines
I have survived measles, mumps, and chicken pox over the years as there were few vaccines way back then. I am eternally grateful for that.
I am now a sceptic about vaccines in this modern age. I feel that the whole topic needs a fresh approach and that the pharmaceutical industry has a lot to answer for –together with the industrialised food industry. .
As a young girl I survived living alongside an older sister who had diphtheria aged 10 years old (she survived), then she had polio at 15 years old (and survived that too) and finally at the age of 19 she died of TB.
My point is that my large family lived alongside these highly infectious diseases in extremely cramped and unhygienic conditions and only my sister, Jean succumbed to any of these infections.
All of this has coloured my thinking on this this “pandemic” and the world reaction to it. The fear, the panic.
I am not afraid – fear does not enter my daily thinking. Fear is all about control and I remain in control of myself, by informing myself.
Fear is a killer in its own right –affecting the body and the brain via the “fight or flight” hormone cortisol .
I am a Darwinian in that I believe in natural selection, survival of the fittest and therefore having a strong gene pool. I don’t believe that in the West we have a strong gene pool. Depleted because of all the medications handed out unnecessarily and the poor quality of a lot of the food being produced.
I feel that the way in which I think, being positive and not scared, has helped me to cope with these weeks of home imprisonment. If I get the infection, then I get it but I will give it a pretty good run for its money!
Spain has been much more stringent in its management of the population – but it doesn’t seem to have helped that much in dropping the number of those infected or dying. But most of this is in Madrid many miles away.
I can’t just go for a walk due to the restrictions in Spain. Any journey has to have a proven purpose. The police are enforcing this by road blocks.
Only one driver is allowed in each vehicle unless there is proof that the other person has to be there—being taken to an appointment or something similar.
How I cope living alone- a daily routine
So, how have I coped? How do I remain sane?
My day always has a routine set out every morning and I try to follow it but I don’t always succeed.
My two dogs get me up at 7am every day and I let them out to spend a penny. They are my family and we love each other.
I then communicate with friends and family for the first hour or so of the day, by email, FB or Messenger. Drinking 2 cups of hot Matcha tea as I do it.
Those communications are a lifeline for me. I am so so lucky to have as many friends and family to share my thoughts with.
I continue to communicate throughout the day. Mostly we all try to have a laugh –but we all know that we are there for each other when we don’t feel like laughing.
I take 10g of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) during that first hour of the day after my teas in warm water with freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Then at about 10am I make my breakfast smoothie –and into that go many things that I know will be good for my brain and my immune system. I always have ashwaghanda –an adaptogenic herb proven to be excellent for anxiety.
Don’t ask how many superfood powders and other supplements I take in this smoothie. They are all taken with a purpose –they have been researched by me. Here are my smoothie ingredients and recipe.
Magnesium is so important and I take various magnesium salts each day – again to help with brain health – and calmness.
Then I prepare foods which will last me for 2-3 days. Things like hummus with different beans adding turmeric and other herbs and spices; chia seed pudding; fat or phat bombs and many more. I have passed some of these recipes on to sense*.
Very little is cooked as heating foods can destroy important phytochemicals. Also it is all plant based since I am a vegan now after trying being a vegetarian for 50 years or so.
I walk a lot too – around my swimming pool (see how lucky I am?). Now that the evenings are lighter I usually get in 2 hours walking a day. I try to carry things too so I keep my muscle mass up.
I practice Pilates too. Exercise is vital for a healthy body and mind.
I fill my house with music. From Rap to Rachmaninoff. Also good for the brain.
Other brain work
I keep a journal every day — my happenings, thoughts and views.
I study a wide variety of issues – every day. This week it has been the immune system amongst other things.
I read for my book club – this month the novel is historical and then we shall all write a review and post it online. Normally we meet to discuss it on the last Friday of every month..
I garden and I belong to an online gardening club organised by the local U3A (University of the 3rd Age).
Then there are all of the usual chores that need to be done. I do all my own shopping, cleaning and whatever comes up.
When I walk I say my gratitude’s—because I have so many things to be grateful for.
I do go outside my home and do my food shopping—usually twice a week. I can drive to my bank or my health food shop (making sure that I keep my receipt for any police check point). I have been interrogated (I use that word advisedly).
I do watch some TV –but at the moment it is so negative –I prefer not to be contaminated by it.
I have become addicted to Grace & Frankie on Netflix –just one episode an evening. I also like Eastenders and Neighbours (but don’t tell, they are my guilty pleasures). My days are full though so I don’t do a lot of sitting. I am so grateful not to be taking any medications. So grateful that I have no chronic conditions such as diabetes or the like.
I would love to have company of course –but I can’t –so I accept that fact. I can’t change it. I just feel for those cooped up in an apartment with young families.
You are what you think.
If you think positive thoughts then you will be happy – which will help when living alone in lock down – and the converse is also true.
It will end –it has to end –as we can’t go on living like this for ever –it isn’t normal .
This virus isn’t going to go away — we just have to accept that fact and do the best to maintain a healthy mind and body that can deal with whatever comes its way .
This is not a sense* article. The views expressed in this article are those of the author so there may be opinions or statements in this article that are not approved by sense* and do not represent the views and opinions of the company.