As I sat beside James last night, a glass of red in my hand, to watch Boris relay the news we all knew was coming I expected to be frustrated, angry, upset, worried, anxious. Yet, as I heard him say the words ‘Stay At Home’ honestly…I just felt a bit emotionless. There’s just an overwhelming tide of emotions that comes over you in a circumstance like this that just seems to blanket out your exact feelings. I felt vacant in my reaction. I closed off the news app, popped Insidious on the telly and just thought ‘ey, what can you do’.
I think what’s so unbelievably tricky to navigate yourself through understanding with Covid is that you just have no control. No matter the individual sacrifices you may make, it just comes down to you still being carried along and having to follow the words of people much higher. At this point we’re all ‘used to’, well as ‘used to’ as possible, to the lack of spontaneity within our lives. God how I miss being able to just go or do whatever I wanted with such ease. The darkness blanketing the skies at much earlier hours makes this next lockdown seem rather foreboding. The prospect of being held inside without the relief of stretching out in the garden or evenings spent sat out with a drink like we had in the Summer makes the months ahead of us seem much grimmer. Much harder.
I’m writing this on the first of november, the morning after the news. I do feel anxious. I feel anxious for my family and friends. I know so many people in precarious situations currently. It’s terrifying. My heart aches for those in our country that are in completely devastating circumstances. It’s something my mind flicks to several times a day. I, however, do not feel that this platform is the place to dwell on complete doom and gloom. You are all completely aware of the crap we’re wading through right now, I don’t need to remind you anymore of it.
So, find below, some little messages of motivation and ideas from myself to help you pull through the following month. I am sending you all love and care.
things you need to hear…
This way of life is not forever. In the summer we saw some flicker of normality, albeit that may not have placed us into the best situation, that gave us hope. Hope that by the following summer we’ll be able to hold all the ones we call dear close to us. Hope that there will be a time where we can freely eat where we want, travel, see loved ones. This next month is going to be tricky, there is no doubt about that. In times where it feels really dark, repeat to yourself: this is a temporary way of life.
You cannot be against yourself, you need to be an ally to yourself. These are times are crap enough, the last thing you need is to be harsh on yourself. Take time for you. Oh gosh the pressure the first lockdown brought to be productive. To take up a new skill, take on a weight loss plan, become a star baker of banana bread. Do not bow down to those pressures over these next four weeks. Take it easy, do what feels right for you. I, for one, have a lot more work to be doing over the next four weeks. University work will keep me busy during my days but, it seems important to make sure my days fit in a lot of me-time.
I’ll hold my hands up to admit that in the winter months I become a hermit. I take one look at the rain or the frosty air outside the window and retreat back to a cosy corner of my bedroom. I enjoy snuggling up with a book, or having a study session with a candle-lit and a blanket draped over my knee. It’s often the temptation of a Sunday dinner out or a coffee trip with friends that drags me out of the warmth of my home during the winter. However, it seems important that during the next four weeks I make the effort to get a healthy dose of fresh air whenever I can. Whether that’s a walk exploring round where we live or, wrapping up in a bundle of coats and reading in the garden. Equally it seems important to ensure you move your body each day. Whether that’s a dance party in the kitchen or a morning yoga session- stretch your muscles out, don’t let the tempation of laying on the sofa each day win you over.
Keep in touch with your family and friends. Do so more than you did back in March to June. Everyone is facing different extremities of this situation and, so many people are about to feel more alone than ever before. Text, ring, facetime, zoom, send letters or care-packages. Reach out to those you live and ensure they’re okay, equally let them know how you’re feeling. Now more than ever it seems important to not mask how we feel. Own up to if you’re feeling crap, pick others up and let them pick you up in return.
If you need to- delete the news apps. Take your eyes away from social media. At the moment there seems to be an endless tide of posts speculating, debating and circulating covid anxiety. It isn’t healthy to be looking at that constantly, it’s precisely those outlets that will make the next four weeks unbearable. Be kind to yourself, don’t put yourself through it.
Look after yourself and look after those around you.