I suspect my strongest advantage in lockdown has been that my family enjoy being insular. It has meant that we have rarely felt limited or hemmed in by the requirement to stay home and avoid personal contact. I have not tackled food shopping – my husband deals with that.
Life felt rather pressured at the beginning of lockdown, trying to do my job remotely was intense and impractical. Once I was furloughed, I had plenty of time and opportunity to try writing. I set up this blog intending to populate it with the fruits of my labours. It’s seemed a good time to record family stories, lockdown caused me to look fondly back on times that were simpler. I don’t think that I’m the only one, television shows, music and sports have had to embrace ‘old favourites’. There’s a category for reminiscences on my site.
Reading – my number 1 tip! I’ve always found fiction a great ‘escape valve’. Any time in my life when I have been stressed or needing distraction, reading fiction provides a healing activity. When my world is small, a book can take me somewhere else. Now I cannot mix with other people, I meet instead characters within a novel. If being in my own head is unsettling, sad or stifling then reading a book which is in the first person puts me in someone else’s headspace and takes their problems to a solution, which is a calming concept.
Exercise, this I let slide, but it’s necessary for surviving lockdown! Firstly I gave up my regular class. Despite on-line sessions, I lost the inclination to do them. My flesh now looks more spongy, less toned. I also lost my 2 daily walks with our dog, because he fell ill. My negative experience here was twofold: a combination of feeling ‘wrong’ walking without him and guilt, because he howled his frustration if I left the house without him. Knowing he was distressed resulted in me furtively taking 2 brief walks a week, a significant reduction in my regime.
While my family are quite introverted, I enjoy talking. I’ve used Whatsapp to catch up with friends, which provides a refreshing influx of news; using instant message or having a face to face chat. I have a book group of sorts with two friends, one is very busy so she listens rather than reads. We take it in turn to pick the books, concluding with a Whatsapp meeting to discuss the books once we’ve all finished. This has given my reading a productive outlet and pushed me to immerse myself in books I would not have chosen. It’s fun discussing different viewpoints, why we have/haven’t enjoyed a novel, comparing/ contrasting it with another our group has read.
When lockdown restrictions eased, I joined my neighbour for walks. We’ve also had coffee together in the back garden, in the past we would have popped to a local coffee shop. I have also been able to gradually resume walking my dog, who is on the road to recovery.
While I don’t miss eating out, or clothes shopping, I do miss having the occasion to dress nicely. I’ve tried to maintain a normal routine, but it’s too easy to wear leggings or tracksuits. I was despondent to have to defer our holiday and it’s frustrating being unable to plan ahead. Although I want to meet up with people, still feel wary, I value my family members’ health above the UK economy. I know it’s pessimistic but I’m braced for a second wave of the pandemic.
This post is linked to a meme I recently discovered where the topic is personal growth. It’s host, May More is a fascinating blogger but if you wish to follow the link, be warned that her site is very frank and often #NSFW
Yes it does seem like ages since I have even put any makeup on let alone a nice frock lol
TY for linking up
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Thank you May – yes! And I have come to realise (in the absence of doing these things) that they boost my MH/self esteem. This was a great prompt.
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One of the things that my husband and I spent a good deal of time laughing about was that once the lockdown restrictions were put in place confining people to their homes and restricting exercise to neighborhood walks, there were suddenly dozens of people we’d never seen before out walking (or dragging) their out-of-shape dogs in a fury. One lady with a tiny dog was walking so far ahead of the poor thing – it was sprinting on its four itty-bitty legs, but she was speed-walking on two very long ones – that if the leash had been attached to her collar, it would appear the dog was walking the lady.
I’m glad your walks with your dog have resumed. But I have to admit, after seeing the dog-walking in my neighborhood over the past few months, whenever someone says they are walking their dog, I start to wonder who is walking whom. 😛
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How funny – I know what you mean! Seen some folk I’ve never before spotted with a dog – made me wonder if they usually employ walkers while they are at work!
I expect on our first few forays, while his legs were still wobbly, it may well have looked as if the human was seeking the exercise more than the dog, but we’re getting there.