How We Cope: 11 Small Things That Have Helped Us Through Lockdown

In a weekly series, the HuffPost UK team have been sharing what's making the long days more bearable.
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At the beginning of the pandemic, many of us struggled with how to cope. We were anxious about what was happening, confused what it meant, uncertain how long it would last. And keeping our anxieties at bay was a struggle.

It was easy to get caught up in the panic, not knowing when, or if, it would ever be over. To help, in our team meetings we started asking each other what we were doing to keep afloat and stay as positive as we could.

And so, our How I Cope series was born. Reporters, producers and editors across the HuffPost UK newsroom have opened up about how they’ve managed during this time. And we found sharing our strategies helped.

So if you’re in need of a little inspiration, here are 11 things that are keeping us going through these past few months. You can see a little bit of everyone’s stories here – simply click through to read more.

Rachel Moss, Life reporter

“There’s the tree blossom, obliviously starting its spring parade. Then tulips, proudly standing in my neighbour’s garden. Next, the abandoned packet of prawn cocktail crips, blowing across the street like tumbleweed. And finally, a child’s coat as she toddles alongside her family – across the road, of course, at a strict distance of at least two metres. What do all four have in common? They’re pink: my colour of the day.”

Angela Hui, freelance Life reporter

“Similar to baking, fermenting and pickling is a great, therapeutic way to take your mind off things, focus on the task at hand and create something from scratch using your own two hands. Working with live bacteria serves as a humbling reminder that the world is still turning, even in the midst of so much uncertainty.”

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Adam Bloodworth, life and entertainment reporter

“I’d always been fascinated by the feeling of intimacy between myself, in my flat, and the humans that live in the flats across the road – but lockdown has magnified and intensified that interest. With endless days stretching anonymously into one another, I’ve naturally found myself staring out at the familiar figures opposite in moments of procrastination, or when I’ve been sat outside loading up on vitamin D during the long lockdown evenings.”

Jacqui Housden, news editor

“There is a saying, ‘if the children are happy, we’re happy’. And the thing that appears to make mine beam with delight is flying down steep hills horribly fast. ‘I like stunt ditch because it is stunty,’ Louis, my five-year-old, wrote in his journal one night. They burn off steam, while I drip with the clammy sweat of fear. But we have found what makes us (mostly) happy.”

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Charlie Lindlar, commissioning editor, HuffPost UK Personal

“If you haven’t already, I can wholeheartedly recommend picking up a PS4, a Nintendo Switch, even firing up something free on your smartphone, just to escape and move yourself into a hitherto unexplored galaxy. There are infinite options – no matter your interest or skill, there will be one out there for you in these trying times. Just as there have been so many for me.”

Tasha Hinde, life reporter

“Baking, while I’m not very good at it, takes my mind off everything. When I’m measuring out ingredients or winging it and pouring them in freehand, I’m thinking about the task in hand. When I’m watching them in the oven, I’m thinking about how good they smell, or why they’re not rising, or what they’ll taste like. And once they’re out, I’m thinking about how long it’ll take to cool down so I can scoff them. Either that, or how awful they look – a skill in itself.”

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Daniel Welsh, entertainment reporter

“By the end of the first stream, the official Eurovision Again page had 500 followers on Twitter, a number which had more than doubled by its second week. Almost two months later, and more than 9,000 people are following the account, with each stream racking up thousands of views on YouTube (many of whom are catching up later in the week, rather than tuning in live every Saturday night). #EurovisionAgain has even becoming the top UK trending topic on more than one occasion, above mainstream shows like Britain’s Got Talent.”

Nancy Groves, head of Life

“I have a theme each week – songs about light, for example, or ones that feature France or the French – and pick 12 tracks that speak to this theme in title, lyrics or essence. Like most internet wormholes, it’s a mix of search and browse, a careful balancing of the old and new and unexpected. In the process, I’ve found loads more unwitting Covid-19 anthems.”

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Jayson Mansaray, video producer

“A private view, but not like the ones you remember. Ours took place in our home and we were the artists and the only guests. Two weeks of colouring with pencils and paintbrushes had culminated in the “Blooming In The Frames” exhibition opening – a lockdown event just for us. Canapés, wines and beers were laid out, atmospheric music played and assorted lights illuminated our hard work. A total of 33 pieces framed and hung in our gallery space, also known as our corridor.”

Rachael Revesz, acting Opinion editor

“During the pandemic, reading is no longer performative – for me at least. I am not posting book stack pics on Instagram, or tweeting about them. This is pure escapism. We are all figuring out how to not get lost in a haze of days and weeks during lockdown. It might be months. And alongside my online (half-hearted) workouts and a daily walk, a book a week draws a solid line between Sunday night and Monday morning.”

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Sarah Turnnidge, news reporter

“As my world became narrower, cycling out into the countryside – however slowly and nervously I did it – felt like an adventure in itself. My plans for the spring, then the summer, and who-knows-how-far-ahead had crumbled, but this was one thing I was free to do as I pleased. The roads and paths were so quiet in those first weeks that I finally felt I had enough space to explore without constantly worrying about a car pulling out in front of me or a van brushing past too closely.”