Living in Lockdown

2020 started wonderfully. I was feeling relaxed, motivated and excited to get back to my PhD. However, as we all soon found out, life as we knew it changed (possibly forever). Once the lockdown was announced, the nice weekly routine I had developed for my now part-time PhD was changed. Every day felt like a weekend, and I didn’t have any structure to the day anymore. I was finding it really difficult to motivate myself to get up every day at a reasonable time. It was worrying times and it was scary.

I really tried not to beat myself up over it all and just went with it. Everything was so uncertain, and I couldn’t plan anything. I spent a lot of time sleeping, eating, and thinking. Although some might think this is a waste of time and is not productive, this was exactly what I needed to do at the time and helped me to get through. I did a lot of thinking about what was bothering me, what was positive about the situation and what I was and wasn’t able to control.

At first, I was fine with not going out, not going to see people or worrying about bumping into people, my social anxiety was pretty much non-existent. But it took a while to get used to being home all day, every day.

The past couple of weeks things have felt a little bit more ‘normal’ now the uniqueness of this situation has worn off. However, I am really missing my friends and family. I really miss chatting about things other than Covid-19 and giving people hugs just because.

Recently, I’ve been getting more work done and have found a bit more of a routine for my week. I’ve found it really helps having a to-do list for each day and setting myself goals of what I want to achieve. Completing smaller tasks, such as admin and forms, has been so much easier than the huge task of ANALYSIS though! But, some days are definitely easier than others. I still have days where I just don’t want to think or do anything – and that is OK!

To help me get through this time and continue my mental health recovery journey, I have been keeping myself busy by:

  • Reading, a lot! Check out my Goodreads page.
  • Cross-stitching – currently working on a cute bunny picture.
  • Drawing and getting creative each week with Arty-Folks ‘homework’. Check out my poem – Lockdown.
  • Journaling – at first, my face-to-face counselling was cancelled, so I found journaling really useful to get my thoughts out and process what was going on.
  • Yoga everyday using videos from YouTube by YogaWithAdriene.
  • And of course, working on my PhD.

There’s a lot of sadness, negativity and uncertainty in the world at the moment and that’s understandable. I am anxious about what is going to happen in the future and what the new normal is going to look like, but at the moment I’m just trying to take each day/week/month as it comes. Also, I’ve been thinking of a few positive things to come out this situation:

  • My social anxiety has reduced significantly.
  • I am (surprisingly) feeling more connected to my friends who live further away.
  • My little bunny, Hiccup, has become much more friendly and chilled being around us all day, every day.
  • Hubby is doing all housework and DIY, taking some of the pressure and anxiety off.
  • I’ve felt less stressed and pressured to work all the time and be super productive.
  • I’ve been more appreciative of the smaller things in life like the sun shining, birds singing, and having a lovely home and a garden.

Thank you for reading! What are you doing to help you through? What positive things have happened to you during this time? Get in touch or comment below! I would love to hear from you.

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