How to stop your kids driving you mad in lockdown: 26th April to 1st May 2020

This 2020 Coronavirus lockdown is really tough for everyone, restricting us to our homes, limiting us to accessing nature in our gardens or during walks. For many people, we have a garden we can sit in and leafy roads we can walk along whilst taking our daily one hour allowance of freedom.

Visible Minority Ethnic people living in the inner city have told me that they can not go out for walks because the pavements are too narrow and people are not social distancing, just bumping into one another as they walk past.

Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig on a Lockdown Walk
Copyright Mya-Rose Craig
Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig with Chris Packham on Colledge Green, Bristol
Copyright Mya-Rose Craig

However, for many people, life under lockdown is even more difficult. Now think about children living in deprivation in our inner cities, especially those who are Visible Minority Ethnic (VME).  Parents waiting for universal credit to come through so children living off ‘free school meal’ food hampers.

At home with a number of siblings in overcrowded homes, with no space for any kind of quiet contemplation or even just your own space. Parents without the skills to home school, no computers, no printers, no paper, no paint, no felt tips or crayons.  No garden, concreted drive at the front of the house, broken washing machines left on the pavements, only built up roads to walk along and now banned from entering parks. It is really important for everyone especially primary age children to get outside daily, to take in the air, watch the clouds,  to absorb nature – the trees, grass and flowers. As humans were are part of nature and have developed to live as part of it. It is really important for your physical and mental health to relax, calm and reduce anxiety & fears and that is exactly what connecting with nature helps us do. There are ways that you and your children can connect with nature, in any small green space, balcony or even out of the window.

Day Twenty-six – 26th April 2020
For day twenty-six, if you are fasting for Ramadan, then have your Iftar (evening meal when you break your fast) outside. Normally Iftar would be with large groups of the family but instead, break your fast with the people you live with in a modest way outside. Either in your garden, if you have one or find a quiet green space you can try. If you have a park nearby, you might find it empty at that time but make sure it’s safe.  Do your prayers outside as well and feel the beauty of our earth.
Notice how it makes you feel and absorb what is before you.

 

Day Twenty-seven – 27th April 2020
For day twenty-seven, if you are fasting for Ramadan, then in the hour before Iftar (evening meal when you break your fast) go outside and spend it meditating, focussing on the positive things that you have to be grateful for, whilst using tosbe if you would like. Otherwise, go outside and do some mindfulness to end the day positively.

Notice how it makes you feel and absorb what is before you.

 

Day Twenty-eight – 28th April 2020

For day twenty-eight, we are now five weeks into Covid-19 Lockdown in the UK and also in Bangladesh. Our lives have totally changed and we are all suffering from stress whether we are like it or realise it or not. Have you adapted to things? Have to allowed nature into your life?

This is a BBC2 programme that I recorded for Front Row  Late presented by the amazing Mary Beard which was put online on 24 April 2020.

Have a watch and look for the ideas on BBC2 Front Row Late

 

Day Twenty-nine – 29th April 2020
For day twenty-nine, try to do some gardening, whether it’s in your garden, balcony or reclaiming a bit of verge side or green space. Plant some seeds, or just make it wild for nature. If you can see it from your home, put some food out for birds or wildlife such as cooked rice or sunflower seeds and some water, especially as it’s been hot, then enjoy the view.

 

 

Day Thirty – 30th April 2020
For day thirty, I am going back to day one. Were you able to go on a different walk each day of the week? Did you adopt them so that your route is through a greener road or one with trees? Have to manage to avoid people knocking into you on narrow pavements? If not, have you tried to change the time that you go for a walk? If your small children are awake by 7 am, that may be the best time of day to go outside before others are on their way out. Have to allowed nature into your life?

Try looking on Google Earth to find some different routes, that are out of the way, green, with wide footpaths and interesting. Once you are managing to go for walks lookout for things that are alive, anything. You don’t have to know what they are, just that they are alive and part of nature, part of you.

 


 

Day Thirty-one – 1st May 2020

For day thirty-one of my tips for connecting with nature during Covid-19 Lockdown, I suggest you change the whole structure of your life if you haven’t already so that nature is a focus all day.

Are you sleeping in much later than in your previous normal life? Re-tune your life with nature’s clock. Get up as early as you can, but at least by 7 am, especially if you have children waking up early.  Once you are dressed, fling open all the windows and let the outdoors in. Hear the dawn chorus and try to differentiate the different birds singing. You can try to identify them if you want to, but there is no need, just hear their life.

Then go for a walk with your children and look out for nature, birds, bees and butterflies above and around you. Look into the nature area that you have created and pause in any green space outside your home.

Back home, look and listen through your windows and just be aware of what you can see or hear. This spring has been full of wildlife, not having to fight to be heard by mates above the traffic. Make the most of it, as I imagine that nature may never be happier unless you fight for this thing that has happened. This positive nature has fought back and made itself heard and seen to us all.

Watch the sunset and then later, watch the stars and the moon, which are much brighter at the moment due to the reduced light pollution.

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