What a weird 7 days it’s been.
Whilst last week was spent making sure we were all able to work from home effectively, the start of this week has felt different.
It’s taken a few days, but I seem to be adjusting to a new way of working, and have found a working pattern that seems to work for me.
My head spent much of last week in a spin. I think I was trying too hard to have a ‘normal’ working day by working my usual 10am-6pm with very few breaks. This really wasn’t working for me. Trying to be ‘normal’ full stop wasn’t working for me. It was impossible to ignore what was going on and to continue to work ‘normally’.
So today I took a slightly more relaxed approach. I had a list of things I wanted to get done, as well as a couple of conference calls. In order to break the day up and make it more bearable, I focused on one item on my to do list at a time, and after each task had been completed, I gave myself a break to go and do something else, whether that was to check in with family and friends, to do some housework, or to just give my cat some much needed attention. This proved to be much more effective. Not only did I get most things completed on my to do list, I also got some jobs done around the flat, had the time to make a nice lunch, and dinner, and to do some food shopping. Overall, today has been much more productive than most of last week turned out to be, and I feel much more mentally prepared to deal with the days and weeks ahead.
New Government measures have been brought in this evening, placing further restrictions on the UK. These measures include not spending time with family members whom you do not live with. I am feeling grateful that I took the risk on Friday to drive back home to Northampton to spend 36 hours with my family. We always knew that restrictions would tighten, and despite the fact part of me knows I should’nt have gone…I’m glad I did. Knowing that I probably won’t see them face to face now until some sort of ‘normality’ has resumed, is hard, but incredibly grateful that we got to enjoy some family time on Friday and Saturday.
Although I knew it was a risk going home, we tried to social distance as much as possible. I drove up, so as not to get close to people on public transport. The only time we left the house was when me and mum walked to our local farmshop on Saturday morning to get some fresh air and to get some essential groceries for me to bring back to London. The shops back home seemed to still have quite a lot of fresh produce unlike the shops back in London.
The hardest thing was making sure we didn’t hug each other when I arrived and when I left. Never again will I take hugging for granted!
Sunday was a different story however! Back in London and after enjoying a rare sleep in, I decided to go for a walk to one of our local parks. What I hadn’t expected was for the whole of London to be doing the same thing! The most frustrating thing was that I seemed to be the only person in the park trying to social distance myself from others. Not only did I go there alone, I also tried to keep my distance from others. Everyone else meanwhile, seemed to have different ideas. There were so many families out, as well as small groups of friends. And I felt like people were deliberately trying to invade my 2 metre radius! One family even laughed when their son coughed and I crossed to the other side of the walkway to avoid them. I mean, come on people! Let’s be sensible about this! I hate social distancing as much as the next person, but if we don’t listen to our Government sooner rather than later, not only will we end up with tighter restrictions being placed on us, restrictions will go on for much longer and our death rates will continue to rise.
In order to help my own mental wellbeing during this challenging time, I’m also trying to be more mindful. Sometimes in the everyday, we forget to just be present. But as we start to adjust to ‘the new norm’, I have been appreciating things so much more and taking the time to be present. In between being angry at people for not social distancing, I really tried to feel present during my walk on Sunday. It was a beautiful spring day, and to just appreciate feeling the sun on my skin and the smell of the blossom on the trees, made me feel calm and peaceful after a week of uncertainty and change. I’m also trying to make sure I’m being more mindful when I eat. After being in a situation whereby I couldn’t buy much food last week, now I have half full cupboards again, I want to appreciate every mouthful.
I am also feeling really grateful to my friends right now. So many of them have reached out to make sure I am ok. Despite being in a relationship, living on my own has it’s challenges especially during times of social distancing, so knowing that they are there and only a video call or Facetime away, makes things a little bit more bearable. In some ways it may even bring us all closer together again.
I’m also feeling grateful for my neighbours. I only knew Joseph by name because of the mail that comes through for him or the packages I take in on his behalf. We have often bumped into each other in the corridor, but it’s never more than the usual niceities. That was until a couple of evenings ago, when we heard a thump against the front door to the flat. When my boyfriend went to the door later that evening to collect our Deliveroo order, we found a roll of toilet paper and a note from Joseph and his girlfriend Sara. The note included their phone number and said to call or let them know if we needed anything from the shops etc. if we were self isolating. Joseph had also included a roll of toilet roll which he had spare from work! I sent them a message the following evening to thank them for their kind gesture along with an offer to return the favour should they need anything. Funny how you can live next to someone for so long, but be brought together by an apocalyptic virus!
Anyway, enough of my musings for now. I’m off to contemplate what Boris’ new measurers mean for me and my loved ones.
I hope when you read this post, that you are feeling fit and healthy. I would love to hear from you all. How are you coping with the virus? What measures are you taking to stay on top of your mental health and wellbeing?