26 on lockdown

I asked you to share your lockdown tips, advice and inspiration. As always, the 26 community did not disappoint! It’s been genuinely lovely hearing from so many of you this month.

Fiona Thompson shared her blog on ‘Managing your mind during a pandemic’. Thoughtful and hugely useful – think of it as a first aid kit for being kind to ourselves at the moment.

Jill Hopper got in touch about a podcast and an online course which both sound perfect for our current situation:

I have discovered a new podcast, The Stubborn Light of Things, created by novelist and nature writer Melissa Harrison. She lives in rural Suffolk and each week meanders round the woods and fields, talking about what she sees. There are also guest slots from other writers and poets, and extracts from Gilbert White’s diary. It’s a relaxing listen, full of pauses and birdsong, so I really recommend it if you are feeling stressed, or missing being outside.

I’ve also signed up for a free online course on happiness. It was the most popular course ever given at Yale and the professor behind it, Laurie Santos, has now given open access. Who knows if I’ll actually find the time to do it – I think it’s two or three hours a week – but I’m going to give it a go.

Sana Iqbal’s mini project has brightened my week:

I’ve started a mini project sharing inspiring stories of how people and business are transforming to keep our communities safe and uplift spirits. I’m sharing them every day on my instagram and Linkedin to cheer everyone up during these difficult times.

Sue Burge has quickly adapted so she can continue her work in lockdown:

As a freelance creative writing tutor the sudden onset of lockdown was a shock.  I rapidly devised two online offerings which proved very popular: creative journaling -–30 prompts in 30 days for £30 and a poetry course which uses websites and virtual tours of the world’s museums as inspiration.

John Simmons is flying the flag for 26 projects. Take a look at our projects pages or get in touch to find out more. 

I’d recommend joining in 26 projects – there are lots at the moment, deliberately more than usual as our way of keeping spirits and creativity of our members high during isolation. All our projects will run safely despite lockdown and restrictions: Wildlife, Fine Cell Work, 26 Flashes, Bloomsbury Festival and a new one coming soon from New Zealand.

As for me, I’ve been feeling the need to *create* something while on lockdown, but making time has been a struggle. I eventually decided to stop beating myself up about it and set myself a project that I can dip into (and actually enjoy) when possible, but which I can also leave for days when work’s eating into my evenings. I’m writing lockdown haikus, inspired by the little mundanities of the new normal. I might compile and share them when this is all over, or maybe they’ll just be for me. And that’s OK! But here’s a little taster…

A sour taste today
Is it isolation? No.
I think the milk’s off.

Take care everyone.

– Sophie Gordon

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