Coronavirus: how I made the most of lockdown

Young NCB’s Catherine, aged 10, shares some tips for navigating the highs and lows of lockdown.

Life in lockdown is happy, stressful, sad, depressing and exciting.

I sometimes feel hopeless, but then I do exciting activities that use my full attention, and this makes me feel hopeful and happy again.

I have ups and downs.

Image removed.We have to stick together and we shouldn’t give up. It’s not just about the Coronavirus it’s important that we look after ourselves because our mental health matters and if you’re not mentally happy you can’t be fully happy or emotionally happy. To find out more about mental health click here.

My typical day starts with PE with Joe. I like it because I am much better at it than my older brother, who is rubbish at exercise. He can’t do push-ups or lunges; he can’t do duck-walks, or star jumps. At the moment he has sore knee. I have a sore knee but it doesn’t stop me. I can do all of the exercises better now than I could when I started. At the end of every week I get a certificate and a Lego trophy made by my mum.

I have been baking a lot. I have made things like: Chocolate crispy cakes, coffee and walnut cupcakes, choux pastry, Nutella brownies, monkey bread, rocky road, a loaf of white bread, chocolate shortbread, donuts, double layer chocolate cake, vanilla and chocolate spiral cookies, cheese scones, Yorkshire pudding, pancakes and pizza.

Milk cartons are great because you can use the milk for Yorkshire puddings, donuts, coffee, and cheese scones.  But also, you can use the cap if you want to make a cardboard car. They can be the wheels. Or you can use the bottom half of the carton to make a planter. And you can make a bird feeder. But you need a whole carton for that so you would need another one.

I made my first ever pencil case, and it was the first time I have ever used a zip in sewing.  And then I made a pencil case with a zip and a lining. I used a sewing machine to make the pencil cases and a rainbow cushion.  But I hand sewed a pincushion and some hexagons to make a beanbag for me. I then went on to make some bunting, because I was making my very own Hay Festival. We called it ‘Hay-on-DIY’.

Most people go on holiday, like I do. I go to Wales every year to go to the Hay Festival, but I couldn’t go this year because we are all stuck at home because of the coronavirus. We had to make do at home.

So, me and my family put deck chairs in our garden. We made some bunting and we brought some books down to the garden to share our favourite reads and our love of reading.

If you don’t live with any of your family members you can Zoom friends or family to talk to them.  And if you don’t have any cones for ice cream you can make them out of biscuit dough and make little biscuit cups. I like cones and biscuit cups because they are edible. We had ice cream every day during the week when Hay always occurs, just like I would have done if I were there.

We climbed the stairs 260 times which is the height of Hay Bluff, a mountain I climb annually.  If you climb a mountain on your holiday you can calculate how many times you would have to climb the stairs and make sure you do the same exercise at home. And you can make a checkbox to keep track of how many times you climb the stairs.  And if there is a statue at the top of your mountain or hill you can make one and you can recreate photos that you took before on holiday but this time at home.

I stay in touch with my friends by going on Zoom and doing drawing together. We do quizzes, we watch movies. We do scavenger hunts and play dough Pictionary. This helps because I am keeping up with my school work and connecting with my friends, so that when we go back to school we don’t have to catch up for ages and so we don’t forget each other and we’re not friends anymore.

Other ways that people can stay happy including adults.

  1. Have fun
  2. Do some exercise
  3. Keep yourself busy
  4. Draw your feelings
  5. Write to a friend or do a Zoom call with them
  6. Play a board game with someone in your household or online
  7. I do painting and art, and all that stuff.  I have also been making planters and drawing.

Some people will look back on this and say it was a horrible traumatic time, but that is not the full truth, because I have had a lot of fun staying indoors. We have had time to bring out the sewing machine, and time to wait for the oven to heat up. Normally we can’t do those things because we’re at school or work.

Most people think that having lots of time on our hands will mean we’ll get bored easily and have nothing to do, and we’ll have loads of time and it will be wasted. But doing lots of fun things, you might have such a busy schedule that you have to cancel some things because you’re having so much fun.

Make sure you don’t put too much in your schedule so you can fit in the fun things as well as your school stuff. Then you won’t have time to be bored and you won’t be sad.

Catherine, Age 10 (Young NCB member)