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Sam’s Blog: How I’ve been coping during the lockdown

When Coronavirus was first mentioned in the news, I didn’t take my mums worried face very seriously. I told her it won’t come here and she should stop being glued to every news report as I was still making plans to see my friends and go out. I have now said sorry and was very grateful for her foresight in buying a 9 pack of toilet rolls before every store was ransacked, I thought it was a respiratory illness so confused as to why all the loo roll was selling out but I was grateful all the same.
I am so glad to be working still as the structure is invaluable and have a good place to work from home in the conservatory but if any of you have video called me you’ll see I flit around the house and most usually will be found in my bedroom. This is the place I feel most comfortable as, although there are only 3 of us, my conservatory can still get loud with noises from the kitchen and my dad singing as I’m trying to have a Teams catch up!
Associating work where I sleep has impacted on my ability to rest as I struggle to cut off, especially as this role is still quite new to me and I’m a natural worrier. It is a double-edged sword of feeling comfortable in the day but restless in the night so I do try to move around my house and change the scenery. I’m also disturbed a lot by my cat who loves to sit on the laptop keyboard as it’s warm which is cute but kind of frustrating when he accidentally types igdfngrhieg into an important spreadsheet.
I will be honest; I have struggled a lot with guilt about ‘surviving quarantine’ correctly and the pressure to learn a new skill or ten. I feel I should come out of this a weightlifting, dog grooming (I don’t even have a dog), culinary extraordinaire origami master but it just isn’t realistic and I have had to remind myself that we aren’t only as valuable as our output, we are enough simply by existing. Some days for me that has meant I’m pleased that I’ve eaten vegetables that day and washed my hair and had to remember that I went for a jog only yesterday as I’m sat in my pyjamas with a tub of ice cream and wine.
I have been mindful about exercise and have started running (or sad jogging as I call it to my colleagues) as a form of sleep aid and it helps me focus on the here and now even though it’s usually the last thing I want to do I know it makes me feel better. Something I’ve noticed is everyone is so friendly and observing the social distancing out on their daily exercises, I have gotten to know my neighbours and love the sense of community that is growing.
When Boris announced our lockdown, I felt I had just experienced a piece of history but felt positive still. My boyfriend then had to be taken into hospital by an ambulance with Coronavirus it looked like he caught in work on a building site but he was allowed home to get better. Being unable to be there with him as he fought the virus for two weeks and a chest infection was really hard but thankfully, he has completely recovered.
I am grateful that this time and experience has allowed me to reflect on what is really valuable and, although a cliché, I miss my friends and family above everything. I worry how we will mix again before a vaccine is released but the safety of everyone is a priority. This, amongst other things, has affected my sleep and my motivation to get out of bed but I am riding the Coronacoaster (I must thank a colleague for this term!) and taking each day as it comes.
As tough and impossible this situation has felt at times, there are some things I truly hope continue going forward. The birds in the garden seem to have tripled overnight, children are spending invaluable time with their families and the connectivity and stories of hope and love I have read have been so uplifting. The planet has less pollution, animals are returning to tourist areas and the world seems to have slowed down enough for us to appreciate it all. It is easy to get lost in the terror that is the BBC news and want to bathe in hand sanitiser but taking it a day as it comes, being kind to yourself and reaching out to friends/ family/ colleagues are some tips that get me through the bad days.
As most people know, I love a chat and if anyone is struggling and wants to vent/ cry/ catch up or even see Jerry the laptop loving cat then please always know I’m only an email or Microsoft Teams chat away.

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