Lockdown love! Bringing book joy to worn down friends
How are we all in lockdown (if you are in lockdown)?
Everyone’s experience is so different, right? While for some it’s good, nice even, for others it can be very mentally eroding and testing.
Like those of us trying to homeschool while also working, for instance … face palm and pressure cooker emoji!
For me, I would say my experience has changed.
The first time around I was the mum with the bright ideas to make the most of things. I enjoyed the quiet family time and we even planted a vegetable garden. But I’ve got lockdown fatigue this third time (thank you Avalon cluster) and I don’t even live in Melbourne where they are up to their fifth (sending strength!).
I am just so worn down by the twenty four seven-ness of it all. The mumming. The nagging. The sameness of each day. The screen time battles with my kids. The home schooling (which I struggle to keep on task with myself).
As such, I’m snapping at my family, I’m barely parenting (“Eat whatever you like. But when it’s gone it’s gone”) and I feel like I am dropping lots of balls, including the work one, because my brain feels broken and also, how hard is it to do ANY with kids around? Then if you can at night when they’re asleep, how hard is it to stay awake?
I also just feel generally fuzzy in the head. Unfocused, uninspired and perhaps a little unhinged (I’ve had to stop drinking wine of a night because one glass was turning into three).
Are we OK?
So yeah, I know I’m not in a great place this lockdown. I feel weighed down and maybe even mildly depressed?
But I also know there are many who are struggling far more than me. Everybody is impacted by the pandemic in different ways. I get that. I truly do.
But I think it’s Ok to say, “I’m not OK,” even if you think you should be coping better than you are.
Give some love
I think what we need to lift us all a bit from our collective lockdown funk, is some kind of virtual group hug.
We need to remind our friends and loved ones, who might also be feeling over it, low, anxious or just stressed to their eyeballs, that we love them and share their frustration and fatigue.
Then we need to help each other to feel lighter. To laugh a little, even if we cry at other times (which is a release. Have a good cry!) and to think about something other than the frightening news.
We need a little escapism.
We need entertaining BOOKS! Reads that are addictive page-turners, so we can forget the world’s worries because we are blissfully distracted and engrossed. But these also need to be light and breezy, because no one wants to feel more heavy than they already are. They also need to be able to be put down and picked up again without feeling like we’ll forget the plot, when we inevitably get interrupted. Our brains are struggling enough as it is to keep focused.
Here are some recent grown up titles which Megan feels fit this description. You can buy for yourself, of course, but why not gift one (and have it delivered) to someone you know who really needs a lockdown lift too? Even just having a surprise parcel appear on their doorstep will turn their day around!
It’s the lockdown group hug we all need.
See also Megan’s favourite reads for each age and stage here. if you want to show some lockdown book love to younger readers.
Light and breezy adult reads to gift in lockdown
Note from Megan: these are some of my fav ‘light and breezy but still clever’ reads of the last little while (‘More Than a Woman’ had me in stitches). Sending so much love and good health and gin and time to read …
‘The Comfort Book’
By Matt Haig
‘More than a Woman’
By Caitlin Moran
‘Where’d you go, Bernadette’
By Maria Semple
‘Crazy Rich Asians’
By Kevin Kwan
‘The View Was Exhausting’
By Mikaella Clements, Onjuli Datta
‘Fleishman Is in Trouble’
By Taffy Brodesser-Akner
By Sally Rooney
‘We are Never Meeting in Real Life’
By Samantha Irby
‘The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart’
By Holly Ringland
‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’
By Gail Honeyman
‘Redhead by the Side of the Road’
By Anne Tyler
Lana Hallowes is an online writer and mum of two boys. She recently adopted a rescue puppy, so feels like there's also a wayward toddler living in her house. When she isn't mumming or working, she's ignoring the housework and reading a good book.