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The Unreliable Guide to…Home

By Nat Shepherd on August 26, 2021 in Other

Make sure no one’s watching. Photo: Paul Brickman

Being forced to stay at home for months on end due to the COVID lockdown has really made The Unreliable Guide think about what we mean by the word ‘home’. A simple definition suggests that home is ‘the place where one lives permanently’, which is all well and good, but there’s definitely more to it than that.
A more refined definition suggests home is ‘a place where something flourishes’. I think this more profound meaning is where this latest, mega lockdown is really challenging a great number of us. Until now, our home was just somewhere where we washed and slept. We went out to work, to eat and drink, to socialise, to go on holiday… We ‘flourished’ outside. Home didn’t have to achieve much other than keep us warm and dry. But now that we can’t go out, home has become our whole world. It’s where we spend all day and all night, every day and every night.
Right now, The Unreliable Guide is forced to admit that ‘home’ and ‘ flourishing’ are not synonymous. If you feel the same about your four walls, never fear, The Unreliable Guide is here to offer you some tips and tricks on how to flourish at home.

I know I’ve written about this before, but I don’t think we’ve ever been in such need of mental strength and serenity. When you find yourself getting into a state listening to the endlessly dire statistics on the news, switch off all your devices. If your home is noisy with other people, put in some earplugs. Sit somewhere out of the way (behind a locked toilet door can work!) and take ten minutes to relax. Close your eyes, focus on your breathing, and be in the moment.
Don’t mourn for the past, don’t fret about the future. Just inhabit the moment right now. Science suggests a count of four on the inbreath and six on the outbreath can be very calming. I have actually given it a go and I reckon it’s a genuine game changer.

We’re not allowed to sing in public right now, but there is no law (as yet) to say you can’t let rip in the privacy of your own home. Put on your favourite tunes, open your mouth and join in. It does lift the mood. If you really get into it, YouTube channel Sing King will give you the backing track and the lyrics to tons of songs from all kinds of genres. They even have an app, so sing yourself free!

This is currently another banned group activity, but if you have a space in your place where you can jump around to your favourite kind of music, then there is nothing better to put you in a good mood. You really can dance like no one is watching because, unless you post your jazzy moves on TikTok, no one is watching you. Shake your tail feather, baby!

Finally, The Unreliable Guide sends you all a huge virtual hug. We can get through this people, we can. Be kind to yourself.