Lockdown Diaries: Weeks 1-2
As we enter week 3 of “Lockdown” in the UK, I thought I would write down my thoughts as it helps with my anxiety and stress, but also I thought it might be interesting to look back on years from now.
So this post may be a bit jumbled and there may not be much point to it, but I just needed to get all my thoughts down somewhere.
At the moment we have had two full weeks of lockdown, which essentially means that we must stay at home. We are only allowed to go outside for food, exercise or work (but only if we cannot work from home). Currently we can go out once a day for exercise outside, something which I am so grateful for and which is keeping me sane at the moment.
It feels like we are living in a film, although I don’t feel as bad as I did a few weeks ago. I feel like now, I’m gradually settling into a kind of “lockdown routine ” and the “new normal.”
An average day at the moment involves getting out of bed and moving into the home office. Then after working from home all day, I will do some form of exercise, then in the evenings, I’m either video chatting with friends/family or working on my blog.
As we are (for now) still allowed to exercise outside, I am trying to keep to my pre-corona training schedule, albeit it is slightly relaxed due to the fact that I am no longer marathon training. I did feel a bit reflective this weekend, as it would have been the Manchester Marathon, which is what I have been training for since the end of December last year. It’s strange to think about what I would have been doing if the coronavirus hadn’t happened. At the minute all the days roll into one and I forget what day it even is. It’s like a strange holiday but you can’t do anything or see anyone.
I would like to keep my running and fitness up though, so that when I eventually start marathon training again, I will have a solid base. I also think it’s important to keep as fit and healthy as possible, and enjoy time exercising outside as much as we can, given the current circumstances. Currently, I am also still hoping to complete my Machu Picchu challenge as planned in October.
So, I am currently keeping myself motivated and running about 4 times a week for an hour or less at a time. I don’t want to run longer than an hour because I’d be putting my immune system at risk and also, I’m out of the house for longer which puts me at risk of contracting coronavirus. In between the running, I am doing Yoga and strength exercises on YouTube.
Generally, apart from the fact that I cannot see / run with my running club friends, and that I have to avoid people when I go out, there’s not much difference to my running routine to be honest. I’m finding that I’m enjoying running for “fun” and stress relief, rather than training for something. I’m also finding that as a result (and also as my legs seem to have now recovered from the pain of marathon training) that my pace has improved massively over the last few weeks.
In many ways, running is helping me to deal with all of this as it’s something I normally do, so it’s a part of my routine that has stayed relatively constant. However, the past few runs I have found quite stressful as it can be difficult to avoid people, especially on narrow paths. I have found that on certain routes, I’m having to stop a lot or cross the road regularly to avoid people.
What I have been trying to do, is plan routes that I know will be isolated, such as down country lanes which is more relaxing but also helps me to avoid people and explore the local area and find new routes I didn’t even know existed.
To be honest, when in the bubble of working from home and going out running, things don’t seem that all that strange (apart from trying to avoid people). It’s only when you go to the supermarkets that things feel a bit eerie and the seriousness of the situation really hits home. Last week, a trip to Tesco felt very surreal and a few months ago it would have all seemed like madness.
When you enter the store, they have an area to clean your trolley. Then the whole store has a one way system to try and help shoppers comply with social distancing. It was quite stressful trying to shop and keep 2m away from people, especially when some people were going the wrong way down the aisles and not really complying with the 2m rule. Which is a bit ironic when you see the same people wearing gloves and masks… When it came to paying, there was a queuing system, where you had to queue 2m apart to wait for a till to become available so only one person could be at a till at any one time.
I think it’s good that supermarkets are doing this kind of thing to help stop the spread of coronavirus and comply with social distancing, but the whole thing is scary and I found the shopping experience very stressful. It would be preferable to order online, but unfortunately, there are no delivery slots available for weeks on end and the ones that are available are (rightly so) prioritised for high risk/vulnerable people. So at the moment, I’m really trying to avoid the supermarket as much as possible and only go when it’s essential.
One good thing to come of all this, is that I have been talking more regularly with friends and family via webchat.
We’ve been having weekly chats on Zoom and it’s a lot of fun. I think we are chatting more than we usually do! This Friday I’m having a cocktail party via Zoom with some friends, which I’m looking forward to!
Another thing I’ve gotten into over the last few weeks is Yoga.
I did Yoga here and there before lockdown but I’ve been making a conscious effort to do it everyday.
On Saturday just gone, I did a virtual Yoga for Sports workshop via The Ministry of Yoga which lasted 3 hours. It was a good way to pass the time and gave me something to look forward to. It was also very good and will benefit me with my running going forwards. It was a class I was thinking of going to anyway before the coronavirus happened, and I’m so glad for technology and that they made it virtual so that people could still attend.
I’m in absolute awe of how many businesses have adapted and innovated to survive these strange and unexpected times.
I’ve also been doing the 30 days of Yoga from Adrienne on YouTube which I am enjoying. It’s something different everyday and the classes are between 15 and 30 minutes on average. I’m hoping I’ll be a Yoga expert after this is all over!
Overall, the way I’m feeling at the moment is: lockdown isn’t so bad.
Yes, the supermarket experience sucks but at least we can still get food. Yes, it’s crap that we are stuck inside all day but at least most of us are lucky enough to have technology and home comforts. I feel bad for those in lockdown in India and other poor countries.
As a true introvert, I’m actually quite enjoying the peace and quiet and the general slowing down of life. It’s nice to actually not have to be anywhere, there’s no pressure, which is quite freeing.
I’m fortunate in the sense that I can still work from home and my role is quite busy, which means I still have some structure and the days fly by. But it’s like this weekend, it’s bank holiday and it’s going to be sunny. Normally, I would feel pressure to get out and do something, to make the most of the sunshine. The reality being sitting in traffic for hours trying to get somewhere and then, not being able to enjoy said place due to too many people and crowds. I’m actually looking forward to having some time off this weekend without the pressure to go out and do something for once, and I can just chill out, run or work on my blog without feeling guilty or experiencing the dreaded FOMO.
I was thinking the other day that now I’m used to it, I don’t really want lockdown to end. It may sound like a strange thing to say and of course I want this virus to disappear and for people to stop dying but I am enjoying many aspects of lockdown life.
Although, it has to be said….I can’t wait to get back to Parkrun! I did a #notparkrun fake solo Parkrun on Saturday, but it just wasn’t the same!
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I had scoliosis surgery in 2010 and blog about my experiences living with scoliosis. My aim is to raise awareness of scoliosis and help and inspire others with the condition.