I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’m beginning to adjust to lockdown life. I feel a little more sense of routine, and despite the obvious fact that we’re living through a nightmare, I’ve kind of adapted to this new way of living. I realised that part of the reason for creating The Corona Diaries series was so I can look back and remember the real-life details of my life in lockdown, yet I’ve never actually recorded anything about my routine! So 7 weeks in, I figured it’s about time to reflect on the day-to-day. Hold on to your hats – it’s an exciting ride! OK – maybe exciting isn’t quite how I’d describe it.
It’s clear that everybody’s lockdown experiences are very different. People are at home with their kids, some people are trying to work whilst at home with their kids, some people have lost jobs and others aren’t seeing any chance because they’re still out working. The volume of people struggling right now is a little difficult for me to comprehend, and I commend you all for dealing with this however you are managing to. There’s no right or wrong here, we’re all just finding our own way to get through.
Monday to Friday
During the week, I wake up naturally despite setting an alarm. This is probably the biggest change to my routine, and I’ve discovered that my natural body clock seems to get me up between 7 – 7.30am. In the real world, I’d be on my way to work by then! I take Riley for a walk around a field by my house – where there is now the addition of two lovely horses – or I play with her in the garden if it’s a day that I want to use my one permitted daily exercise for a run. I’ve always considered my morning dog walk a chore, and I always seem to wake up late so have to rush to cram it in before work. I’m really enjoying these walks and being able to go at a time that suits me due to there no longer being a mammoth commute to make. I make and actually enjoy a coffee and eat breakfast, before logging on to start my workday for my full-time job.
Honestly, work is a bit of a mixture. Some days I feel semi-productive, most days I don’t. Work is probably the most difficult part of my week, and I’m hugely aware of the plummet of productivity level right now across the board, so I’m trying not to be too hard on myself. Internet issues, working with new technologies and trying not to lose my temper when things don’t work properly from home are a struggle, but I remind myself daily that I am fortunate to still be in a job right now. I’d be reporting a very different story if I were to be without my two jobs during lockdown, having work has enabled me to cultivate a sense of normalcy and I am hugely grateful for this.
Another giant change to my routine is that I’m pretty much free to do whatever I like as soon as I finish, again due to the lack of commute home. My commute before lockdown was an hour and a half each way due to roadworks on a stretch of the main road leading to the city centre. The whole journey should take around 45 minutes in ordinary circumstances! However, now, with all the extra time on my hands, I either go for a run, work on my part-time writing job, have a call with friends or family, or have an evening to myself actually sitting down and doing something I want to do. I take the time to cook meals and try new things because I have the time and energy.
Saturday and Sunday
Saturdays and Sundays are different because there’s no full-time job to do. I feel very lucky to be able to spend weekends as I do, and these days are my favourite. I can laze about in bed until 9am if I want to, get up and go for a run and enjoy my morning coffee whilst watching and listening to the birds in my garden. Weekends are when I work on my writing job, so my days are usually taken with this and interspersed with household chores and something new to me – a bit of relaxation. I’m enjoying this newfound ability to relax and I like my weekend routine. Of course, I’d love to be able to go out with my family and friends, maybe go to a gig, for food or just do anything social, but wouldn’t we all right now?
I really struggled with everything at the start of lockdown, but with the glorious weather we’ve had, I found real solace in gardening (yes, I’m aware that I’ve aged 60 years!). Since the start, it’s really helped me ground myself and I find it cathartic. Also at the start of lockdown, we hired a skip and spent the first few weekends completely clearing out the shed, the out-house and the living room cupboards, getting rid of 60,000 tonnes of junk that we’d somehow amassed over the years. You’d think there was 10 of us living here with the amount of junk – either that or that we’re serial hoarders, which I suppose we kind of were. Well not anymore! It’s something we’d been intending to do ever since we watched a documentary on Netflix called Minimalism a few years ago, and I really underestimated the mental effects doing a huge clearout would have. Again, it was very therapeutic (also if you haven’t see that documentary, I would really recommend!)
You may notice there’s no mention to the death rate, the general state of the country or the devastation this virus has brought to so many lives. That’s because in my day-to-day life, I’m not watching the news and I’m trying to stay away from negativity. I know it’s all going on, but it is not helpful to focus on this all day every day, when trying to keep your mental wellbeing nurtured. I try and make the best of this situation or else I’d lose my mind.
As always, I am grateful with what I have – and that includes the ability to stay at home safe, like so many of people can’t do. I do think it’s important to be grateful for things, especially those taken-for-granted things that other people don’t have right now, and that’s why I’m finding beauty in staying in my house day in day out.
So wherever you are reading this, I really hope that you are able to find a sense of peace and calmness during this quarantine period, however that may be, and that you and your loved ones keep safe and well.
See you next week!