Many people in the UK are likely to agree that the third lockdown we currently find ourselves in has been the hardest to deal with, not least of all because of the winter weather. While the rules currently allow us to meet one other person outside for a walk, in the cold, rain or snow, that might not be quite as appealing as it was in the spring and summer.
So, what can you do to help yourself get through this lockdown as we wait for spring to arrive and (hopefully) a gradual easing of the restrictions.
The BBC recently spoke to people from other parts of the world who have already survived a winter lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic to get their top tips on coping at this time of the year.
Yilang Zeng, who works as cabin crew for Emirates Airlines, was in Wuhan, China, visiting her parents when the city went into lockdown in the early stages of the pandemic. She said that one of the most important ways to keep everyone happy is to make sure you always compliment the person who cooks.
Another of her top tips is to buy fruit and vegetables that have long shelf life to help reduce the number of trips you have to make to the grocery store.
Of course, you could always shop for cheap bulk food online if you want to cut the number of shopping trips you make, not to mention save a bit of money during what might be a challenging time.
Anna Turkina, a teacher who lives with her family in Russia’s Murmansk, told the news provider that baking bread became a staple lockdown activity for her family during March.
She also recommended picking up some new houseplants to help keep the air in your home fresher and to make the space look nice.
Meanwhile, Gillian and Rowan, who both endured a lockdown during Australia’s winter, said that they found one of the keys was to include winter treats as part of their weekly routines, whether that was enjoying a hot bath with a glass of wine or indulging in a pizza night with the family.
Of course, the longer these periods of lockdown go on, the harder it can be to keep coming up with new ideas to keep yourself and the others in your household occupied, especially if you’re also home schooling your children.
Principal lecturer in psychology at Liverpool Hope University Dr Lorna Bourke recently offered parents some advice on how to make home schooling more fun for both themselves and their kids.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, among her top tips was to combine learning with everyday activities, such as taking a walk outside. As well as giving kids a chance to get some exercise, this can be a great way to start conversations about nature and other items that you spot or find while you’re out and about.
She also suggested giving your children plenty of opportunities to be creative away from screens and digital devices, such as by encouraging them to create their own quizzes for their parents, or to make their own versions of classic board games.