Hi everyone, long time no speak, eh?
During this prolonged period of difficulty, I have decided to try and make a bit more of this blog. The reason I set it up was to help readers out there who were feeling lost under the strain of everyday life. This has never been so needed as we enter the 14th week of the Covid-19 epidemic.
I wanted to share with you what I have been doing to keep myself sane while I have been furloughed. I teach gymnastics skills to under 5s so goodness knows when I will be able to return to work. They are already talking about September at the earliest. This would mean that I could potentially have had 6 months to myself.
I was scared that having such a span of time where I could have very little to do may have felt overwhelming. Therefore, I started the first week by getting the biggest piece of paper I could find and writing down all those jobs I have always said: ‘I will do that when I have time.’ I found this really helpful as it gave me a focus. I am able to consult the list each evening and decide what I am going to do the next day. When the morning comes, it gives me a purpose to get up and get dressed.
Next, I made a list of things that I needed to do each day. Things like: take exercise, spend some time outdoors, do something towards my mental well being. This might be reading a few chapters of a book, doing some colouring, or tending to my vegetable plot. I looked at the picture above about self care for ideas and inspiration.
I think the key to surviving this difficult time is to keep yourself busy and to be kind to yourself. It is a crazy time, which is nothing like anything we have experienced before. Therefore, we have no idea how we are supposed to feel. So if you are feeling tearful about it one day, have a good cry. If you want to go round your house, chucking out the dead wood, do it! If you want to spend the day watching films while snuggled in your duvet, do that too. As long as you are slotting in something positive to keep yourself motivated and keep yourself healthy, allow yourself to enjoy this free time.
At first I was caught up in trying to match what my friends were doing with their time off. I was panicked that I hadn’t redecorated the whole house. I hadn’t baked cakes and taken them to all the neighbours (trust me, no one wants that food parcel!), and I certainly hadn’t learnt a new language.
At that point, I looked back at the list I had made and I thought to myself, I don’t want to spend all this time decorating and there are loads of things I would rather do than learn a new language. And that is OK! I vowed not to be distracted by what my friends were doing and stick to my own ideas.
Hopefully this stressful time will be over soon, but in the meantime, allow yourself time to happy, time to be scared, time to be sad, but most importantly, allow yourself time to look after yourself, whatever form that takes.
Stay safe out there.