We're a month into lockdown level 4, with another week to go – and it sucks ay.

If you're up to your eyeballs in loaves of stale banana bread, if you've got a permanent hangover from nightly drinking sessions on HouseParty, if you see another home workout video on Instagram you're going to scream and you're experiencing sporadic bursts of crying – don't worry, I've got you.

You, my friend, may be experiencing what the internet has dubbed the lockdown "hell zone".

Social Distancing in The City - how to survive lockdown if you can't bear your flatmates
Social Distancing in The City - How to sex up your long-distance relationship during lockdown
Social Distancing in The City - How to maintain a long-distance relationship during lockdown
Covid-19 coronavirus: The Wiggles release 'Social Distancing' song


It's when, after a couple of days of feeling pretty well-adjusted and stable, you have a sudden unexpected dip into feeling overwhelmed, helpless and downright miserable.

If even getting out of your trackpants and going for short walks sounds too much effort and if you've resorted to eating packets of mi goreng for breakfast even though you haven't been a university student for more than a decade, I get it.

Although I'm no professional, I promise you're not alone because I too plummet into the hell zone at least once a week – and I'm here to help.

1. Keep talking to your mates and then talk some more

I know, I know – the novelty of having nightly Facetime wines with your mates wore off in week one, and I bet you no longer even have the energy for it because you don't feel sparkly enough to chat and you have nothing new to tell them anyway because all you've done all day is rewatch Grey's Anatomy.

That's okay though. Just keep calling them anyway even if you feel like a boring, slobby, depresso sloth, and tell them how boring, slobby and depresso you feel.

Because I bet they're feeling the exact same, and you love them just the same right? Heck, I bet you love them even more for trusting you with their worst selves.

As Barney as it sounds, that's what friends are for – they're there to love you even when you're a greasy miserable rat who's wallowing in the hell-zone sewer, and they'll pull you out.

Go on, call them right now, tell them I sent you.


2. Go outside, even if it's just for a couple of minutes

Don't worry, I'm in no position to tell you to go for a run or even a walk for that matter – the only exercise I've been doing is bicep curls between tubes of Pringles and my mouth.

What I would recommend however, is going outside even if it's just to sit on your front doorstep with a cup of tea. I simply cannot stress enough the importance of getting out of your air-conditioned prison and breathing in some circulating air.

If you want to be melodramatic (as I always do), I also highly recommend sitting outside when it's raining and listening to Adele and pretending you're in a very sad but beautiful music video.

3. Lean into the pit

In my hell-zone experience (and I have a lot), I've found the fastest and most effective way to climb out of it is to lean into it. It sounds counter-intuitive I know, but trust me.

Have a hot bath (or if you're like me and hate baths, a shower), put on your snuggliest pyjamas, crawl into bed and watch stuff on YouTube that you know will make you cry your eyeballs out.

My personal go-to is the golden buzzer X Factor auditions – you know the ones, where people dedicate their songs to their husbands who died in the war, or something equally devastating.

Sob your little lungs out until you are a dehydrated husk, and when you're all done and have no tears left to cry a la Ariana Grande, put something cosy on to watch.

Now is not the time for scary Netflix true-crime series, now is the time for Disney+ where everyone lives happily ever after and dogs share spaghetti because restaurants are still open - and forget about Covid until tomorrow, because let's just get through today my friend.