I can’t believe another month has flown by, and that we are still in lockdown after 3 months. May was a funny old month where a lot happened but yet didn’t. As it’s a strange time, I thought I’d reflect on my current thoughts and feelings, while utilising the June linkup party prompts from A Chronic Voice for some inspiration.
Last month, I completed my twopointsix challenge to help raise awareness and funds for the Scoliosis Campaign Fund. This month I’m hoping to continue raising awareness of scoliosis. Mainly as June is scoliosis awareness month and 27th June is International Scoliosis Awareness Day.
I have been utilising some of my extra “time” during lockdown to focus on my blog, which is a positive to come out of all this. I find writing incredibly therapeutic, and so writing down my thoughts and feelings really helps.
During the lockdown period, I have also achieved quite a bit technically on my blog. These are things I was aware of but just never had the time to do,including:
- Changed the domain name from helpformyscoliosis to lifewithscoliosis.com
- Changed the hosting to an improved provider
- Fixed security issues
- Fixed broken links
- Removed unneeded plugins
- Optimised Images
- Updated old blog posts and fixed broken/missing images
- Updated the category structure, which is good for SEO and navigation for readers
- Upgraded the theme
- Improved the site speed massively
- Launched a new logo and branding
I also wrote more posts than I have done for a while in April and May, and I’m hoping I can continue this momentum post lockdown. I was feeling a bit bad that I haven’t done more, but now I’ve written it all down, I’ve realised I have achieved quite a bit over the last couple of months. I doubt I would have had the time if it wasn’t for lockdown!
This month, as it is scoliosis awareness month, I’m also hoping to conquer my fear of talking on video and create a YouTube video and maybe even a TikTok video, with the aim of raising scoliosis awareness. I have practised a bit with video on my Instagram, but I’d like to venture into some new channels for June. Any tips or ideas would be appreciated!
I’m also hoping to get a little bit of normality back in June and try to meet up with a few friends for a socially distanced run.
After the lockdown rules were relaxed, I did run to my parents house for a socially distanced chat in their garden, which was nice as I hadn’t seen them in person for 2 months. I also had a walk with a close friend somewhere which wasn’t just a housing estate! It’s been so nice to walk in different places again, but the downside to this is, places are busy at the moment, especially as the weather has been so nice in May and there are limited other things for people to do.
Getting out in nature is so important for mental health though and I hope to venture a bit further for runs and walks this month now we are able – this gives me something to be hopeful for again.
I think overall. I found May quite traumatising and anxiety provoking if I’m honest. For the first part of May, we were still in full lockdown and although it was tough at times, I preferred it to what we are in now.
Half way through May, the government changed the messaging in the UK from “Stay Home” to “Stay Alert,” businesses were urged to open if safe to do so, and people were told to go back to work if they were unable to work from home. The restrictions around only exercising once a day were also lifted, so we could exercise as much as we wanted to outside and could also travel to exercise.
We still had to maintain 2m from others that were not in our household though. After being in full lockdown for 6 weeks or so, the prospect of this was scary and to be honest, I didn’t sleep the night after the government update. It was worrying as it felt like it was too soon to be relaxing rules and many people found the new rules rather confusing. I was worrying about whether I would be expected to go back to work (I have been working from home since March) and just the implications of everything.
Later on in the month the rules were relaxed further, so that we could meet with one person from another household outside as long as we were 2m away, and then last week, this was extended to 6 people and schools have started re-opening. Whilst it’s good that we have a bit more freedom again, I’m finding it all quite stressful.
There are now more people around, more cars on the road and in general it feels like things are almost normal. What stresses me out though is the uncertainty. We still don’t have a vaccine and whilst I appreciate the economy and smaller businesses are struggling, I can’t help feeling like all this is too soon. Will there be a second wave? Will I need to go back to the office and when? Is it safe?
It also stresses me out how busy it is now places are re-opening. This week pictures have been circulating on social media of huge crowds on beaches and 2 mile queues for Ikea and McDonalds. Aswell as pictures of all the rubbish left by people in parks etc.
If I do venture to the park or a want to go somewhere scenic for a walk or run, there are so many people that it becomes hard to social distance and just becomes a stressful experience.
All this causes me great anxiety and even after all this over for good, I can’t see myself wanting to go to places where there are large groups of people for a while.
I think another thing that has been stressing me out during lockdown is people not honouring the government rules. Just before lockdown, I entered a new relationship. When lockdown was announced, I made the decision to abandon my own flat and basically move in with my new partner. It was a quick decision, and to be fair, this is a lot of pressure to put on a new relationship, a real test for sure!
At the time, we thought if we didn’t do this, we wouldn’t technically be able to see each other for months, or longer. It was a sacrifice we made to stay safe and follow the rules. It stresses me out though, just how many people I know of that are carrying on like normal, going to see partners and family, just like before. Making no sacrifices and putting themselves and others at risk.
Additionally, at the supermarkets, there is a one way system for a reason, but the amount of people that ignore this and do what they want. If we want to rid this virus, we all need to honour the rules and although the majority are, it seems that sadly many people are not. I worry that this will just continue to get worse as restrictions ease.
I think what’s worrying me a bit at the moment is how I’m responding to lockdown.
At the start, I was feeling quite motivated and had a list of things I wanted to achieve during lockdown with all my “extra time.” But the last few weeks have triggered my anxiety badly and turned me into a different person at times. I feel on edge, I can’t sleep and I’m finding it difficult to focus and concentrate. It’s taken me a week to write this post. I’ve always struggled with anxiety, but I think this week, the reality of what is happening has hit me.
Before lockdown, I had a very busy social life mostly revolving around running as I was marathon training. Now we’ve been in lockdown for months and I’ve stepped off the treadmill so to speak, I’ve had more time to think and for negative thoughts to creep in and circulate round and round.
It’s stupid, but I feel like I’ve had all this extra time, and haven’t achieved as much as I’d like to have. I started doing 30 days of Yoga but didn’t manage to complete it. I also thought I’d be fitter and stronger with all the running I’ve been doing but I feel like my running has actually got worse and feels harder than it did before lockdown, which makes me feel like a failure.
I know I’m also missing my old life a bit, especially the social parts and running with others, as before lockdown, I never ran alone. It can be hard to motivate yourself and keep going when you are alone, plus the lockdown routes have become somewhat boring now. I keep reminding myself that I am lucky to be able to get out and run, as I know many cannot.
Despite this though, running has helped me to manage my thoughts and in May and I’m proud that I managed to run 75 miles for Miles For Mind. I find I tend to need a challenge to keep myself going. I’ve also been reading more and hope to continue this in June to help my mind relax.
In June I think I’m going to stop putting so much pressure on myself though and just try to focus on getting through this pandemic safe and well, mentally and physically.
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How are you getting on with lockdown life? Let me know in the comments below!
Stay safe everyone,
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.