Whilst in the shower this afternoon, I had an idea for some new blog posts which will help to document life during lockdown in response to COVID-19. I want to record how life is currently different from the perspective of different people in my life as everyone’s experience is unique and some individuals are coping with the situation much better than others. So, for this series of posts, I’m going to record how things are for me right now and then ask some of my family and friends how the lockdown has changed things for them and how they feel about it. I haven’t asked them yet, but I’m thinking of featuring guest posts from my husband, my mum, my eight year old niece, a friend who is at uni (or rather not at uni right now!) and one of my teacher friends who is mainly working from home).
I hope this idea appeals to you as much as it does to me and more importantly, fingers crossed the aforementioned family and friends are up for a bit of writing. I’ll start with me and hopefully everyone else will oblige me!
How have my week days changed?
As I run my own online business on Etsy (and this blog), I’m used to mainly being at home during the day, but also popping out to different places such as the post office, the shops and to my different classes at my local college and my yoga sessions at a wellbeing centre in the city centre. So, during the week, I’m usually mainly on my own between the hours of 8am – 5pm but do make sure I have some face to face interaction with others each day such as chatting to someone I see regularly in the park, catching up with the ladies who work in the shop which contains a post office where I hand in my shop orders, or talking to fellow students at my classes.
Now, I’m no longer home alone during the day, as my husband, Michael is working from home. I’ve lost my desk in my craft room as he needs to use it and I have to work either on the dining room table, or in the living room on the sofa with my laptop on my laptop tray. It’s nice to have him at home as I enjoy the company at lunchtime but most of the day, he’s hard at work on his laptop and I try to do things super quietly downstairs to avoid disturbing him.
As my classes at college, my access to the college gym and my yoga classes are all cancelled, I’m making sure I do at workout at home and go for a daily walk. I usually drive to a local park but we’ve been advised to avoid using our cars to go out for exercise, so I’m now walking around the block with my iPod playing some of my favourite tunes. I used to find my daily walk really relaxing and a great chance to get in touch with nature, but now, my walks are more stressful as I’m always on the look out for people coming towards me on the pavement so we can try to keep the recommended two metres distance. I’m also trying to interact with a range of people online in my Facebook groups and other online communities that I belong to. There’s lots of talk about how the virus is impacting on our lives but I try to avoid too many of these discussions as some of them can be quite negative and I’d rather focus on the positives of the situation.
Another of my social outlets which I’m really missing is my weekly choir session. As I’ve mentioned before, singing is really great for your wellbeing, but as well as this, I also miss the chance to interact with others which these times brought. I did sign up for Gareth Malone’s online choir but unfortunately the rehearsals are at 5.30pm when I’m usually making dinner for my husband and I.
How have my weekends changed?
My husband and I used to arrange at least one day out over the weekend which invariably included a picnic (sometimes in the car!) or a meal out, plus a trip to a different town (either for sightseeing or shopping), the seaside or a local nature spot. Now, we no longer do this and as the lockdown becomes stricter to ensure public safety, we are tending to stay at home almost all day. This has meant lots of time for DIY projects, gardening and housework. In the beginning we were going out for a walk somewhere different but now, as I mentioned before, we’ve been advised not to use our cars for leisure activities as popular tourist spots were getting too crowded and individuals were unable to maintain the safe distance.
What’s one of the worst things about the current lockdown?
I think one of the worst bits for me is the lack of real life social contact and interaction with others. Even when I was depressed and anxious, I still tried to make sure I spent time each day with other people. Luckily, I’ve come out of my bad patch and my mental health is much better. I’m just grateful that I am no longer struggling day-to-day as I think I would be finding this situation we find ourselves in a lot harder if I was like I have been for the last 5 months or so.
What have you found to be one of the positive things about the lockdown?
I’m loving seeing and hearing about how people are going out of their way to help and support others during this difficult time. It was so heart-warming when we and so many of our neighbours took to our door steps and front gardens to clap for the NHS and to show our thanks for their hard work. Also, lots of children in my local area have made beautiful rainbow pictures and displayed them in their windows with messages thanking NHS staff or reminding people to stay safe.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about my life during lockdown. All that remains for me to say is – stay safe, keep washing your hands, remain at home as much as you can and try to find little things to celebrate about the situation, even if there are lots of sad, worrying and negative aspects.