Being stuck in Lockdown can be tough for any travel lover, however, here’s an inspiring Survival Guide to support you through it.
Come summer we all thought that COVID-19 would be a thing of the past, however as we have it, it is very much still with us. In fact, for most parts of Europe, we’ve now entered our second wave and into our second national lockdown. This is the new normal they say.
The Psychological Effects Of COVID-19 Lockdown
As I woke up on the first Monday of the second national lockdown here in London, I had a great feeling of anxiety and a deep sense of entrapment.
I know that staying home is the right thing. I have been doing it just fine for the last 7 months, why is this feeling so hard now?– Noor
Luckily that same morning, I had the honour of attending the ‘Missing Travel’ segment at the virtual World Travel Market London. And amongst the panelist, was Clinical Psychologist Linda Blair.
Stage 1 – Shock
When something sudden happens like the Coronavirus pandemic, we go into shock. We don’t feel anything. Instead, we start preserving ourselves and helping others because that’s what makes human beings survive.
Does clapping for the NHS every Thursday, stockpiling toilet roll, and making a long list of DIY plans sound familiar?
After a relenting period of this, we get tired, and we start to react.
Stage 2 – React
Now, in Lockdown 2, is when we are starting to see people react. We are seeing higher levels of anxiety, depression, and even an increase in suicides. Which explains the sudden onset of anxious feelings that morning.
It’s going to take time to mentally repair ourselves (and even physically for those of us that’s been binge-eating), but do remember that you are not alone.
If you are looking for advice or just someone to talk to, the NHS has a fantastic list of Mental Health Helplines to help support you. If you’re looking for a travel community to talk about your travels, or lack thereof, The Solo Female Traveler Network is a personal favourite of mine.
What Happens When You Cannot Travel?
When we can’t travel, we experience the CHC.
Change: During this change, our brains have been sensory deprived. We have become desperate to see new things and think of new fresh thoughts like we would experience when we travel. We want more mental stimulation.
Habits: We have both good and bad habits, and a part of our good habits is to travel. Whether its annual summers in Greece or a new destination every three months, we have been deprived of these habits. Instead, we are being exposed to the same routine over and over again, which starts looking unattractive after a while. This leads to boredom and the feelings of the missing our old habits.
Control: We have well and truly lost control of the surrounding situation, which can be distressing. Not that we ever had control anyways. But we are accustomed to making plans and seeing them through. And now, we no longer have any travel plans to look forward to. However, whilst we can’t make any immediate plans, we can most certainly dream about future ones.
The Cure To Wanderlust In Lockdown, Dream
There has been a lot of solid research to prove that travel planning is one of the happiest parts of travelling. But, instead of calling it travel planning let’s call it dreaming.
Dreaming allows us to enjoy the joy of travelling whilst we are at home in lockdown, without having to plan any actual dates. This gives us a glimmer of hope and something to look forward to. Something to keep us going. Not to mention that it allows our brain to be stimulated as well.
Lockdown Survival Guide For The Stay Home Travel Lover
7 Things To Appease Your Wanderlust
As mentioned above, the best cure for a travel-lover with a bad case of wanderlust is to dream. So, how to dream?
Make A Travel Scrapbook
Remember the gazillion pictures that you have taken over the years, that you vowed you will look back on one day? Well, now’s your chance. Swipe through your pictures and pick out your favourite ones and get them printed out for your travel scrapbook.
When you are in a constant cycle of travelling, it can be easy to overlook at all that you have achieved. But by scrapbooking, you’ll be reliving the experiences you’ve had. You’ll find yourself looking back on the fond memories, acknowledging the strength and struggle it took to make some things happen and laughing at the mishaps along the way.
And you never know, you may find yourself appreciating all that you’ve done and realising that you’ve achieved more than you thought. In return, this may just give you the permission to feel that its okay to not be travelling and achieving new goals at the moment.
Shop your scrapbook essentials:
If you’re in need of a scrapbook, you can purchase the ones above which are a personal favourite of mine. Not to mention that they have room to grow with you over the years.
More scrapbook options here, and if you’re looking for inspiration, here’s a Pinboard to inspire you.
TIP: Get your photos printed off at Snapfish, you can even get an entire Photobook printed off here.
Clear Out Your Travel Junk
Out with the old, in with the new. Every traveller has a natural talent for collecting many things on their travels. Whether it’s old masses of receipts, itineraries or boarding passes, if you’re not going to scrapbook them or display them in another manner, get rid of them.
Refresh Your Bucket List
List experiences you want to experience, sights you want to see, things you want to capture, foods you want to eat, and everything else to make your bucket list complete. Although we can’t travel right now, we can most certainly dream.
Shop your bucketlist journal:
Your bucket list can be in an entire different place to your scrapbook. Personally I like to use a smaller journal that I can take with me on my travels.
If you’re looking for travel inspiration, be sure to check out the blog.
Research Your Bucket list
Now that you have your bucket list, let’s start dreaming and turning your list into goals. Even goals with a potential 2021 date. Here are some good pointers to help you get started.
The Ultimate Guide To Travel Budget: This will help you fantasises about what your estimated budget would look like.
The Ultimate Guide To Travel Destinations: This will give you all the pointers that you will need to pick out your perfect dream destination.
The Essential Guide To Pre Booking Your Travel: This will help you plan out all the potential activities, hotels, and many more things that you would like to do at your chosen destination. When we finally get out of lockdown that is.
Cook Up A Global Sensation
I don’t know about you, but discovering new cuisines on my travels, is a large part of me getting to know a new culture. Although we can’t travel at the moment, it doesn’t mean that we have to stop discovering new dishes.
If you’re into Thai food like I am, Pailin from Hot Thai Kitchen is demystifying Thai food one cuisine at a time. In fact, her recipes and supporting YouTube videos are so fantastic that a complete novice like me, was able to produce a scrumptious Pad Thai.
If you haven’t tried it before, be sure to whip up a batch of Sweet Potato Doughnuts. These things are so bouncy and addictive that I promise you’ll be back for some more.
Shop your new favourite munchies:
If you’re looking for something a bit more instant, do try the Kimchi Ramyun by Nongshim. Or go for a Dagashi box consisting of an assortment of Japanese snacks.
TIP: Kimchi Ramyun – Reduce the amount of water, add a dash of Soya Sauce and a couple dashes of Siracha Sauce and you will really have something.
Redecorate With A Travel Theme
Whilst we are not able to run around and collect memorabilia, we can purchase some travel themed items to change up our scenery.
Shop your new decor:
This is your time to clean out your digital storage space and polish up your camera equipment. But don’t just stop there and allow your photography skills to go rusty.
Take your camera out for a spot of photography, whether it’s on your high street or your local park. Go even further and take up a photography course, and reward yourself with a new camera and supporting equipment, so that you’ll be ready for your post-COVID-19 Lockdown getaway.
5 Things To Overcome Any Feelings of Anxiety
Become At One With Nature
Whilst we are home, we are all being glued to our devices. So, be sure to give your eyes (and mind) a rest and reconnect with nature. Now, this doesn’t have to be anything too extravagant, it could be a walk in the park, to a local lake or pond to feed the ducks or to a local green space for some forest bathing.
If this is the first time that you’ve heard about forest bathing, well let me introduce you to the Japanese concept of shinrin-yoki i.e. forest-bathing. This involves bathing in the forest atmosphere or taking in the forest ambiance through our senses.
For those not looking for anything strenuous, this is perfect for you. It simply involves walking or sitting in nature and connecting with it via our sense of sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch.
TIP: A two-hour forest bath can help you to de-stress and unwind.
During lockdown 1, when all the gyms were closed, and I was looking for some normality to survive, I came across Yoga With Adriene. Well got reaccustomed to it at least, and this time I was actually able to commit to her 30 days yoga program.
Did I mention that Adriene’s kind heart uploads free yoga workouts on YouTube? Despite being one of if not the most successful yoga instructor on YouTube!? She even has a free 30-day calendar listing out the daily workouts for that month.
TIP: Grab a mat and start with her HOME – A 30 Day Yoga Journey
Shop your yoga mat:
At Home Workouts
If you’re looking for an at-home workout alternative to a gym, check out the Sweat App. If you’ve heard of the BBG workout program, well this is its home, and If you time it just right, you can purchase an annual membership for under £70.
Other than the BBG program which is aimed at fat burning, there are many more programs aimed at muscle building or strength training. Each of these programs are run by women who have recently released equipment-free versions of their workout programs as well.
TIP: Your membership gives you access to all the programs and you can switch between the programs or pull in individual workouts from various programs as often as you like.
Whilst we have extensively talked about scrapbooking and dreaming whilst looking to the future, it’s also important to acknowledge how we are feeling in the present.
Shop your new personal journal:
One way of doing this, is by journaling. There’s not much to this, you simply write down how you feel every day. If you are feeling particularly anxious or low one day, this can help you to identify what triggered it. And the best part, this will only be for your eyes. So you can be as raw and honest as you like.
Pick Up A New Hobby
If like me, you can’t sit still and your mind needs to be frequently stimulated, well pick up a new hobby. I mean, after all, it’s how this blog was born.
If there was a musical instrument that you’ve always wanted to try, why don’t you finally do it using YouTube or another virtual teacher to guide you?
If being a music prodigy isn’t quite your thing, why don’t you pick up a new technical skill? It doesn’t have to be hardcore programming, but there are many free courses that you can undertake to take you from non-techie or to somewhat techie.
Shop your new hobby:
Knitting, painting, or any other creative craft could be a perfect hobby for anyone looking to get some time away from their tech screens. And the healthiest hobby of all, reading.
Shop the best-selling reading list:
Here’s Amazon’s list of its 2020 Best Selling Books.
Are you in a lockdown where you are? How are you doing? I would love to hear how you’re surviving the lockdown and the general new normal.
This is a great and insightful post thanks for sharing
Thank you, I’m glad you found it handy xx
I am having some serious wanderlust and I love this post. Full of ideas to soothe missing travel so much. They are selling Christmas trees already. I am heading out to grab one and decorate my tree full of travel ornaments.
That is such a fantastic idea! Do let us know what you find, I would love to see some travel themed christmas ornaments xx
Great ideas! Thanks so much!
Glad you enjoyed it xx
Very good ideas. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one feeling restless and having a hard time curing Wonderlust.
You’re definitely not alone in this, I hope you find something to keep you going. Here’s to better days xx
I love that you included Yoga with Adrienne! She’s my favorite online workout when I travel.
Her workout are just fantastic and doable from anywhere right!? I’m glad to meet a fellow member of the community xx
I will find that travel group you suggested. Since this lockdown started and traveling is on pause I did everything, from cooking, to decorating, exercising, dieting, writing, planning future holidays and watching a long list of series on Netflix. Is not easy but we all need to keep going. Hopefully 2021 will be better, open for travel again.
Absolutely do it, the travel group is fantastic. I’m glad to hear you’ve been productive, definitely wishing for a better 2021 xx
Great article, lots of good ideas. I have been learning photography and set up my blog back in April. That seems so long ago! I have been enjoying having time to be creative but would really like to get some work again now.
April does seem like a lifetime ago now, but I’m glad you’ve been keeping yourself busy with your photography and blog. I’ve recently started to do the same, but I still feel like I need more. I know exactly how you feel, hang in there xx
Love your post! Very nice and useful tips!
Stay safe and don’t worry, everything will be good! ♥
Thank you, I’m glad you found it useful. Absolutely, positive thoughts all the way ♥
Awesome tips! I have been loving adding more to my bucket list. I will definitely have to try creating a travel scrapbook as well. I think that has great potential for a Christmas gift for a loved one! Thank you for sharing!
Absolutely, I know I would love a few travel-related gifts this year! Definitely do the scrapbook, mine has been growing with me over the past 5 years, and it’s perfect to flip through when I’m feeling a little mehh about being at home.
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