The reason for doing this
I decided to write this piece because life is so tough right now, and some people will be struggling more than others. I have had to learn to adapt to the ‘new life’ so if by writing this I can help at least 1 person cope that little bit better with lockdown then it’s all worth it.
I am 37 and live on my own in a 1 bedroom apartment, and as much as I love my own company and love being at home, I am an affectionate peoples person so I knew this lockdown was going to be a mental challenge for me.
Monday 23rd March when lockdown was announced, that first week the struggle was real. I was trying to pretend in my head I was fine and could cope as I am a positive happy person. But, by the Friday (5 days later) I had a meltdown, I cried, and I felt panicky. I was missing being around people and having that daily affection. I have lived in Hitchin my whole life so every lunch time (if I am in the office) I would go for a walk around town for a break and I would always bump into someone I know, and this was what I was starting to crave and miss.
I have been seeing a therapist weekly for the last 6 months to help me deal with certain situations in my personal life. I see my therapist every Friday so by Friday 27th March, 5 days into lockdown I was so grateful to have a professional to talk to about my emotions, and to talk through why I was feeling like I was. Since lockdown we have had to do it via face time which I’ll be honest, I was very hesitant about when he first told me and actually felt a bit panicky at the thought of it, however it’s been really cool and I get exactly the same out of it as I would in person.
I knew to get through lockdown I had to put a plan together otherwise I would be an emotional wreck crying every day (and most importantly I needed my fake lashes to last as long as possible!)
So, after my first therapy session I felt positive and ready to attack this lockdown! So, I sat down and made a plan. I wrote down what makes me feel good, what gives me energy and a positive feel as I knew this is what would get me through Lockdown. I knew I needed to give my days structure, otherwise I would achieve nothing which in turn would stress me out. Exercise is a huge part of my life and always has been – I go to the gym most evenings, it makes me feel so good and gives me such a happy adrenaline so I knew this was an absolute must for my daily routine.
I connected with a lady on Instagram via friends of friends, and I joined her fitness squad where we do a 1 hour HITT session 6 days a week ( she kills us every day) For me, in order to cope with working from home not feeling ‘trapped’ I needed to also be outside in the fresh air regularly. I have always been an outdoors person, I crave the fresh air and the outside, it helps clear my mind mentally – which right now was the most important thing. I take full advantage of the 1 hour outside exercise break, and I either go running, – I’ll run anywhere, I just go with the flow with loud music blasting on my headphones or I’ll go for a walk and explore different routes. For me, it’s all about being outside come rain or sun I am out there getting the fresh air. I use this time not to talk to friends / family, it’s me time so I whack music on and just have an hour being in my own little world.
Every Friday before my therapy session at 16:30pm I make sure I have made my plan for the following week so when I start Monday morning, I have a day to day plan of what I want to achieve. Each day, I will have a morning and afternoon plan drawn out on a bit of paper so I can visually see It – I am a very visual person!
Every evening I am very well connected to lots of friends and my family which is a huge part of me, we all face time now instead of just calling so its extra special. Even though it is not the same as seeing them face to face, it’s the next best thing. I have also had to learn to cook a few more meals other than stir-fry or pasta which keeps me entertained! I have even finished a book too which I loved getting lost In – I have probably read about 10 books in my whole life!
Since putting all of that structure into place – having a routine for exercise, having a schedule for work and having my therapist to talk to every Friday I can now say I am coping well with lockdown. I still have the odd ‘dip’ which I know is normal, but I have also learnt how to deal with it. Whether it be embracing having a good cry or getting my trainers on and going for a run.
I love social media for connecting people and sharing each other’s experiences. I know since lockdown I have helped others with encouraging them to do exercise whether it be joining my HITT sessions, doing certain walks that I have done or getting them to go out running – and for me that’s all that counts. You really cannot beat having a positive impact on someone else’s life, it literally gives me the best feeling!
There is no denying that life is really tough right now for every one of us, we are all functioned differently, so I would love to know what structure has helped you cope with the ‘new life’ ? What positive changes have you had to make?
My daily routine
07:00am: Alarm goes off, I do something that makes me feel good and sets me up for the day. Whether it be a 3-mile run, some stretching in my lounge or sitting in my garden in the fresh air with a coffee.
08:30am – 12:00pm: Work
12:00pm – 13:00pm: A live HITT session on Instagram
13:00pm – 18:00pm: Work
18:30pm – 19:30pm: Some form of exercise depending on what I did at 7am.
19:30pm – 22:30pm: Connecting with friends and family, reading, watching some kind of Netflix or just chilling listening to music.