#AtHomeWithF24: Viewers share tips on how to cope with lockdown

FRANCE 24 asked viewers to share tips on how to better cope with the lockdown.
FRANCE 24 asked viewers to share tips on how to better cope with the lockdown. © FRANCE 24

Get up, work, eat, sleep, repeat. With half of the world's population under some form of lockdown, humanity is being confronted with new challenges. So why not inspire others, bridge the distance and get away from routine? FRANCE 24 asked viewers to share tips on how to better cope with the lockdown. Here are some of the best answers.

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The lockdown is not easy on anyone, especially for people who are living alone. According to a new study from King’s College London, life in quarantine can negatively affect our mental health. “It is ok not to be ok […] some days are going to be good days, some days are going to be bad days, and we just got to do whatever it takes to get through it,“ says FRANCE 24 viewer Jen Wilkinson on a video posted on her facebook page @mylifeinlanguedoc that she shared with us. Her medicine for better days, she says, is making a list with everything you want to do when “all of this is over … so that we can look forward to it.”

Reasons to be cheerful

Didn't have a good night, what about you - so, looking for reasons to be cheerful Here's an idea we are going to do #lovewhereyoulive #camerafacingotherwayonnextone

Publiée par My life in Languedoc sur Vendredi 27 mars 2020

Reaching out to family, neighbours and friends can also be a good way to keep from feeling blue. Instagram user Ava Rojhalat, who lives in the Kurdistan province of Iran, made a photo collage with family members to “motivate people to stay home”.

Instagram user Ava Rojhalat, who lives in the Kurdistan province of Iran, made a photo collage with family members to “motivate people to stay home”.
Instagram user Ava Rojhalat, who lives in the Kurdistan province of Iran, made a photo collage with family members to “motivate people to stay home”. © Ava Rojhalat, Instagram

And while some people use apps such as Zoom and Skype to stay connected, others have said that taking to their balconies to share some music with neighbours or clap for health workers every evening are emotional moments of solidarity and connection. 

Culture is just one click away

We know that working from home can be difficult when your kids are running wild, as illustrated by this video we received from our Encore presenter Eve Jackson, but there are plenty of online materials to help desperate parents with home-schooling, or just entertaining their kids. Many museums like Paris’s Louvre, Russia’s Hermitage, and the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, are offering virtual tours and sneak peeks. 

If, however, you have a can-do attitude, this is your chance to get creative. A great idea sent by our anchor Genie Godula: taking part in the #gettymuseumchallenge, in which you use objects available at home to recreate a work of art. Genie used the opportunity to teach her daughter about painter Manet and art history in a fun way. We give her a 10 for mise en scène!

Facebook user Andy Zemel also reminds us that although libraries are physically closed, “there are a lot of e-books, audio books and movies/documents to be checked out,” so “read, read, read”! And if you don’t know what to read or have already binged all of the shows on your list, don’t worry. FRANCE 24’s culture programme Encore continues to give tips on books, museums, tv shows, movies and other cultural gems you can access from the comfort of your couch.

Brush up on a skill

Maybe this lockdown is “the chance for each person to discover a hidden talent", says Frank, from Cameroon, on Twitter. Talent or hobby, now is the perfect time to brush up on a skill, be that painting, writing, dancing, carving, playing an instrument or even learning a foreign language. Sheila Gwynn-Adams says she has joined a Facebook group about cooking. “It means trying new food, exchanging recipes and making meals to use everything in your fridge,” she explains, saying that cooking and exercising keep her busy during the lockdown.

While many are honing their skills, others with not-so-hidden talents are also taking the time to do what they love. Professional musicians are connecting with the fans through live concerts on social media, while chefs are taking to the web to share recipes, with some even going the extra mile and making meals for the needy. 

Healthy body, healthy mind

Many viewers have said that the best way to endure this lockdown is to stay healthy and active. A number of people have recently shared their exercise routines on social media, while many gyms and private teachers have given Internet users free access to full classes. Yoga, crossfit, dance or meditation… trying out new classes has never been easier. “I attended an online Yoga lesson. My first. Taught by my step-daughter to her clients through Zoom. The studio is shut down for the moment.  She lives 1200 km away. It was "formidable", said Judith Ramseier through Twitter. 

It is also important to keep your mind healthy, so if you are working from home, don’t forget this precious tip from our Europe editor Catherine Nicholson and her kitties: take regular screen breaks. “Always take a breath of fresh air, don’t just sit inside,” says viewer Richard C Langlais.

And why not do like Dev Chatterjee, who follows FRANCE 24 from Mumbai, and spend some time laughing and reading positive news? “When we smile we produce endorphins, which causes a feeling of happiness,” says Nama on Twitter. So stay home, stay safe, keep smiling and washing your hands. And remember, we are all in this together. 

How about you? What are your tips for staying healthy during this lockdown? Share your thoughts on TwitterInstagram and Facebook through the hashtag #athomewithf24.

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