Lockdown Day 11
Today is day 11 in Quarantine for me. I’ve had a couple of blah days and moments when I’ve felt like Carrie in SATC exasperatedly saying “I need to feel the weight of a man on me”, but generally I’ve settled in quite well.
I have to hold my hands up and admit that I’ve recently become a workaholic and have let my self-care fall to the way side a bit, I have slept very little, not eaten as well as I normally do, had a drink with dinner too often, and have been powering myself mainly on adrenaline and caffeine. Suddenly dropping from a 50 hour working week to nothing sent me into shock and I spent the first couple of days just sleeping and crying as I tried to get my head around it all.
My living situation is actually the best I could possibly hope for at the moment. Although I am technically still living with my dad, I do have my own self-contained space with a living area, bathroom and kitchen as well as my bedroom, so I can choose if I want to interact with my mad family or stay safe and cosy in my own little haven. I also don’t have the stress of what if I can’t pay the rent? Yes, I want to contribute to the costs where I can but if I need to reduce my rent for a while it’s not going to be anywhere near as stressful as going to a landlord or agent would be.
Lockdown is giving me the time I need to do some proper healing, the biggest wound being the one I have distracted myself from for 4 years, but that is not the only one. As amazing as this opportunity to work through everything is, I am very conscious that over thinking is just as bad as ignoring the issue so it’s important to balance the time in the past with making sure I have things to look forward to such as The Running Awards and London Marathon where I will get to see Eric for our annual meet up, possibilities of taking commissions for paintings as I have already agreed to do one for a friend as a way to break through the mental block of getting it perfect, and spending a summer of hugs and long walks in nature with my friends.
This is also a great opportunity to learn where the best places to focus my love and energy are. I have already, sadly, realised that some of my friendships have not been healthy for me while others that have been growing steadily for a while are exploding with the fun and laughter we all need to help us through these unprecedented times. On the note of friendships, I highly recommend getting a friend with the same name as you, it heightens the quarantine craziness when you feel like you’re just thinking out loud and someone replies. When things are normal I’m a hugger, I crave physical contact and am very touchy feely with my friends, and I am finding the lack of physical contact quite tough, so, dear friends, as soon as lockdown is over I will be holding you all tighter and longer to make up for this time. While the majority of the journey to learning about what I want and need is going to be emotional and mental, a good chunk of it will be physical. There is no shame in exploring your own body and getting comfortable in your skin, in fact, there is great power in knowing what you enjoy and how to get it, whether that means just hugging yourself, looking at your naked body in the mirror and being able to appreciate it, or something more intimate.
While technology has become essential for helping stay connected it is also important to carefully select the kind of influences you are exposing yourself to. My social media is full of REAL people who are honest about the challenges they face but don’t get bogged down by them. I’m very proud and lucky that Grace is my friend in real life, she has a couple of invisible illnesses and is properly isolated following NHS guidance due to being at higher risk, she holds daily dance parties in her pants to give herself and all her followers something fun to do every day. Laura and James are both running bloggers, Laura is always a ray of sunshine, searching for the silver lining in every cloud, and James has just sent the nation crazy with a virtual mountain climb from yourstairs. Both of them are great examples of how shifting your focus makes such a difference in a crisis. If, like me, you get a bit overwhelmed by the news, following a page like Simple Politics on Instagram gives you a breakdown of all the key point in an easy to digest way. And, finally, if you work in Hospitality then check out Key and Quill, Pilot Light and Healthy Hospo who are all valuable resources for the industry at the best of times and their focus on supporting us all right now is incredibly comforting and helps us hang on to the tiny shred of sanity we had (we chose this career in the first place, our “sanity” is questionable).
Lockdown may feel tough at times but remember, it will not last forever. Keep talking to each other, reach out to each other, make new friends, make plans to meet those new friends in person when this is all over, find something to be grateful for every day and if you need to have a duvet day, that’s okay, but most importantly, support our key workers, stay home and stay safe.