Hello November – Link up with A Chronic Voice

November

Every month, I try to take part in the link up party with A Chronic Voice, where we get given writing prompts for a blog post.

This months’ prompts are: Incorporating, Experimenting, Sanitising, Launching and Writing.

I like to take part, as it’s a chance to reflect on my life, which I find therapeutic, whilst linking up with others’ with chronic illnesses and discovering new blogs in the process.


Incorporating

It’s been a strange year for us all, and I can’t believe we are nearly at the end of it. As we enter November. the UK enters its second national lockdown of the year and so things remain uneasy and difficult.

Although for me, the second lockdown feels very different from the first. In the first lockdown, there was an air of panic and fear, but for the second lockdown there seems to be an air of acceptance as I think people kind of expected it. We have lived with this virus and the restrictions that come with it for almost a year now. Changes that we expected to be temporary, such as social distancing, wearing masks and working from home have sadly been incorporated into our daily lives. We have adapted to a new way of life and although most days I feel like I’m living in a surreal dream, I’m in awe at how people have adapted and how resilient we are. A second lockdown doesn’t really change much for a lot of people, including myself, as in the North West, we were already in a local lockdown before the national restrictions came into effect anyway.

We are mentally exhausted, but mentally prepared and in many ways have learnt from the last lockdown and how to deal with it. I really feel for the small businesses who have had to close just as they were getting back on their feet, and the people who live alone and cannot see friends and family. But if anything, we got through the first lockdown so we can get certainly through a second.

I do feel sad about how much we are all missing out on though. I love this time of year and the build up to Christmas and potentially not seeing family this year is going to be very different that’s for sure.


Experimenting

As we will be in lockdown in the UK in November, I will be experimenting with different forms of exercise. Running is usually my go-to exercise but I have been unable to run for the last 5 weeks or so due to an injury.

I have been looking at what else I can do from home (especially as the gyms are now closed) and have been focusing on cycling, yoga and body weight strength exercises with my resistance band. Nothing gives me the same high as running though and as it really really helped me to manage my anxiety during the first lockdown, it feels tough that I’m unable to do it.

The problem is, running is high impact, and as much as I love it, it does cause me issues and pain due to the muscle inbalances I have from my scoliosis. The injury I have now is because I have weaker muscles on one side and in my right leg, which has caused an ankle injury making it painful to run and even walk. Although it is starting to feel better, I need to build up my leg and glute strength as otherwise it will no doubt keep happening when I try to run.

This is frustrating, especially at the moment, but I am going to try and focus on my cycling, yoga and glute training and when I do get back to running again, I’m going to take it easier and mix in other forms of exercise too.

Most people do have muscle inbalances and weaknesses but in scoliosis these are more pronounced and running really does expose these.

I know I am lucky that I can do any exercise, as there was a time that I couldn’t do anything, let alone run! I know that there are people so much worse off than me. So for November, I am focusing on the positives and on what I can do, rather than what I can’t.


Sanitising

This has definitely been a word for 2020 and I can’t look at this word without thinking about hand sanitiser *shudder*. I don’t think anyone has ever used hand sanitiser as much as they have this year. At the start of the year, amidst the pre-lockdown panic, people started panic buying it and you couldn’t find it in the supermarkets for love nor money, shelves were empty.

It then appeared on sites like Amazon and eBay for ridiculous amounts of money, alongside toilet paper. We really couldn’t have predicted anything like this at the start of this year.

We then adapted to pandemic life and as shops and public places started to open up, hand sanitiser was EVERYWHERE. Going shopping on the high street over the summer became a new and surreal experience. Having to hand sanitise before going into every shop, after touching anything and when leaving was strange at first.

Pretty much everywhere now has hand sanitiser all over the place, which is great but it still feels surreal sometimes. To start with, it was a little scary and I felt paranoid about touching anything. In many ways now though, it feels normal and I just tend to sanitise my hands and put on my mask without even thinking, which goes back to how all this has been incorporated into our daily lives.

I do wonder whether places like supermarkets, offices etc will keep hand sanitiser stations post-covid. Working in a busy office (usually) where germs spread fast, I personally think it’s a good thing to be more mindful and hygienic and hopefully some of these (less extreme) measures will be long lasting to help keep everyone happy and healthy.


Launching

I have spent a lot of time in lockdown thinking about what is next for my blog and my brand. I feel like I have achieved quite a bit this year on my blog including re-branding, launching my YouTube channel and improving my site speed. I also now have a content plan and a blog strategy for the next few months which helps me a lot with direction. I have also been taking an online Adobe photo-shop course, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a while and is a lot of fun! My marketing background certainly helps me with the blog strategy side of things, which is something that I am grateful for.

I have plans to hopefully launch a shop on my site in the coming months, to help spread awareness of my condition and in the long term I would love to launch a book. Having my own book has always been a dream of mine from a little girl as I have always loved reading and writing. I have struggled over the years with what to write about though, but what better than to write about your own experiences, which will also hopefully help and inspire many others.


Writing

Writing has helped me immensely this year. The two ways I cope with anxiety and stress are: exercise and writing. Writing helps me to get my thoughts and feelings down and I find it incredibly therapeutic. This is why I have turned to my blog to help get me through a strange and difficult year. Hopefully, in years to come I can look back at my posts from this year and remember what I was feeling living during a pandemic!

Aside from the pandemic, I have always loved writing about my scoliosis as it is a way to get across how I feel, which can be isolating and frustrating sometimes. It is also a good way to connect with others who understand and also help and inspire them too.

I’m quite lucky in the sense that writing comes naturally to me, and writing about a topic I’m passionate about and helping others in the process is very satisfying, so I enjoy doing it.

In terms of writing plans, for the first time ever I have put together a content plan and I’m making it my aim to provide regular and useful content on my blog. As I allude to above, I would love to eventually turn my blog into a book, although that would be a very long way into the future! 🙂

I would also like to start doing guest posting, and have others guest posting on my blog. So if anyone is interested in this, please do get in touch.


Thank you for reading my November thoughts, I hope you enjoyed them! If you’d like to take part in the November link-up or read other posts in the link-up then you can do so here.

I hope that you stay safe and well, and although it is a difficult time for us all, we can get through this. Keep going and never give up.

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Bye for now,

Louise


Photo by Boris Pavlikovsky from Pexels

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6 thoughts on “Hello November – Link up with A Chronic Voice

  1. Writing has helped me a lot this year too, and I am using my “downtime” to revisit old blog posts and consider the direction of my blog. It’s great that we have these avenues to keep us cheerful, isn’t it? I’m in the North West (Cheshire), and am feeling very cut-off from my friends due to lockdown and the tier system, but I’m trying to find other ways to keep mine and my daughters’ spirits up.

  2. I think writing helps a lot of people, when you are not so physically able you have to keep the brain engaged. Good luck with your new ventures. I’ve never been brave enough for YouTube.

  3. Hello again Louise, thank you once again for sharing your thoughts and insights with us all. It’s great being able to sit with a cup of tea and catching up with what everyone has been up to and their experiences of living with a chronic illness. In a time of isolation and loneliness, it is a reminder that we are not alone. Like you, writing has also helped me massively, helping me to cope with and process my feelings and emotions. I hope you find time to write your book; it has always been a dream of mine too. Stay safe and wishing you all the best for the rest of the month!

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