How To: Keep Apart & Carry On

For the next few weeks, we’re all having to adapt to a new way of living. Jack’s with you every step of the way. Here are some of our suggested ways to stay sane, happy and healthy...because there’s a lot more than streaming TV...

Firstly - it’s ok to be anxious. It’s ok to be scared, to cry or generally feel like the world’s not the place you thought you knew. We’re not going to sugarcoat it. These are trying times. But the way to get through them is to stay focussed on the end game. To turn a challenge into an opportunity, and to treat these next 12 weeks or more as a gift. Because, viewed from the right angle, that’s exactly what they are.

We’ve always talked, at Urban Jack, about the importance of finding time to stop the world, recalibrate and claw back that most precious commodity - time - for yourself. Well, here it is.

For the next three - possibly longer - weeks, we’ve all got to create a new schedule to get through the days. A new way of interacting with loved ones, and a whole new set of rules to live by.

If you’re working from home, that’s - at least - some of the time taken care of. If you’re furloughed or laid off, you’re going to want to keep busy, stay focused and stay sharp. Because, trust us, normal life will return, and you’re gonna be ready for it.

Most importantly, according to psychologists, getting through all this is about staying in control. It’s about not feeling you’re a hostage to the situation, but that you’re in charge of it.

Control is a mindset that says ‘I’ve got this amazing gift of time, and I’m going to use it to my advantage’, rather than ‘I’ve been imprisoned in my house, and I’m going to climb the walls and lose it’.

So, to achieve it, start thinking about the here and now, not the indefinite, unseeable future. Start working on a project, goal or series of tasks you want to complete. Neurologically speaking, we’re at our happiest when we have purpose. A schedule. Things to be doing.

We all need to be living in our bodies, and not in our heads. Less thinking and ruminating, more doing and acting.

So here are seven ways to make these next few weeks as happy, healthy and productive as possible.

  • Start each day with a purpose. Get out of bed and make a promise with yourself: today is the day I’m going to...paint the garden shed, learn how to bake bread, sort out my wardrobe… whatever it is, plan it and execute it. Tick it off your list at the end of the day, and give yourself a little reward for doing it!
  • Keep in touch with loved ones. Set up synchronized movie watching evenings, virtual beer sessions with mates over FaceTime or Skype (Skype’s best for group video catch-ups), write more letters. Remember letters? Jog to the post box and send someone a letter. It would make their day! But email’s fine too.
  • Exercise more. It’s the easiest way to release all those endorphins and make you feel instantly better. No gym? No problem, there are plenty of isometric regimes you can try (using your own body weight). Hit YouTube and tuck in! Or take a few tips from our exclusive video below. Do it outside, and you’ll feel even better. No garden? No problem do it next to an open window, and the fresh air will power you on.
  • Garden! And, as above, if you’ve no garden, no problem. Grow herbs on your window sill, and you’ll be enjoying the fruits of your labour in weeks. But if you have a garden, order some plants online and start creating a beautiful border. Getting up close to nature really is the best medicine. Get your bird-feeders stocked up and enjoy your own Springwatch show.
  • Get crafty. Always wanted to create, but never had the time? Here it is. There is no shortage of courses to try online. Whether it’s watercolours, clay modelling, sewing (yes, real men do sew), stained glass making or bookshelf building, there’s never been a better time to unleash your inner artisan!
  • Cook! Whatever you do, don’t make this period of time an excuse to become a coach potato and be best friends with the takeout delivery guy. You see all those cookbooks on your shelves? They’re filled with actual recipes! Did you know that? Get one down, and start learning how to fricasse, flambé and ferment! You’ll come out the other side of this healthier and fitter too!
  • Go on holiday. Ok, not actually, but virtually. The internet’s awash with inspiring tales of adventures and immersive videos of far distant lands. If your holiday’s been cancelled or postponed, put your flip flops on and go on an adventure in your own living room. We love this incredible night-time walks through the world’s most fascinating cities. Start with this one hour stroll through Tokyo and we bet you’ll be booking your ticket before it’s over.

 Stay busy. Stay brilliant. Stay happy. And we’ll all get through this together.


In these times of national lock down, the gym might be closed but you can still keep looking and feeling your best at home. This helpful home workout video provided by qualified Personal Trainer Sam offers some helpful inspiration. Remember, if it's been a while since you exercised, you need to ensure any exercise you do is appropriate to your current level of fitness and general health. Have fun and stay safe.