Coronavirus, social distancing & what I’m doing to keep busy

This post was going to be a March update about what I got up to this month but as the last couple of weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind, I thought I’d share my thoughts on what’s been happening in the world.

I have to admit, at the beginning of March and throughout February, I was in complete denial that Coronavirus would ever have an effect on my life. Every time it was mentioned at work by a worried colleague, I would laugh it off and tell them to chill out, stop over reacting, we’re all going to be fine and nothing’s going to change.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and the country is effectively in lockdown. Everything has changed in a matter of days and it’s hard to comprehend that I can no longer meet up with friends down the pub, I can no longer see my grandparents or take a day trip at the weekends and I can no longer see my boyfriend as we don’t live together.

It’s all a bit of a shock and is going to take a bit of time to adjust to. However, I’ve been lucky in many ways that staying at home hasn’t affected me as much as others. I’m able to work from home for one thing. I really feel for all those people who have lost their jobs due to the spread of this virus. It seems massively unfair and unjust that businesses aren’t supporting their colleagues in this difficult time.

Working from home isn’t a new way of working for me so again, I’ve been lucky enough to slip into it without much trouble but previously, I was only used to spending one day at home. Five is a little more challenging and being away from the noise and conversations of the office can sometimes feel a bit isolating. My dad also works from home though so we share the dining room table as our makeshift office.

I’m sure, like me, if you watched the news on Monday night, you sat there as I did in silence, trying to process what this new guidance meant for your life. I felt a bit empty watching Boris Johnson deliver his speech. Of course I understand it’s for the best and I am complying with the rules so we can protect our community but I felt scared and alone.

It’s all a bit surreal. It seems strange that this could even be happening to the world but it’s great to see communities pulling together to help and offering support for each other’s mental health.

There’s so much positivity in the world which is defying the black cloud hanging over us. People are caring for their elderly neighbours, the NHS are being given priority shopping hours and companies are offering services for free. Here’s just some of the things I’ve noticed and have been doing to keep positive.

Exercising

I know that without doing some form of exercise, my mental health would really suffer so I’m making sure that each day, I keep moving. I have a dog so I’ve been taking him for long walks in our local area. The weather has been perfect recently and there’s lots of green, open spaces where I live which makes it easy to keep my distance from others.

Other exercise I’ve been enjoying is this workout on YouTube. Aimed at beginners, this full body workout can be done inside with no equipment needed and is only 20 minutes long. I’ve also got a yoga mat so I’m looking forward to following along with some of Adrienne’s great workouts.

Remember the Ninentdo Wii? I used to love this games console when I was younger and I’m so glad we kept it. We have lots of games on there to keep us (me, my sister and dad) active including Wii Sports, Just Dance and Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games. Games nights are a great way to keep busy and spend time with your family.

Arts & crafts

I know arts and crafts aren’t for everyone but I find it really therapeutic to make or paint something. I managed to raid Hobbycraft a couple of weeks ago for a foil art picture and a paint your own vase kit. Hobbycraft has loads of great DIY ideas for all ages so it’s worth looking online if that’s your sort of thing. I’ve also got an adult colouring book of animals to keep me busy.

Watch TV/ films

I don’t watch much TV so I didn’t think I’d be turning to Netflix and iPlayer much during my time at home. I’ve actually watched a lot more than I thought though. My favourite at the moment has got to be The Crown. I’ve got about 5 episodes left and every one of them has me hooked. The Queen has led such a fascinating life and the episodes delve into her relationship with Prince Phillip, her family and politics. The acting is brilliant, with the Queen having been played by Claire Foy and Olivia Coleman. I can’t wait for season 4.

Last night I watched a good episode of GBBO for Stand up to Cancer. I don’t usually watch GBBO but Tan France from Queer Eye was on it so I gave it a go. So funny, it definitely brightened up my evening.

I’ve made a list of TV series that will have you hooked below. I also wrote about my 10 favourite films which I’m sure I’ll be rewatching at some point soon.

  • The Crown
  • Homeland
  • Breaking Bad
  • House of Cards
  • The Good Place
  • Stranger Things
  • Black Mirror
  • Queer Eye
  • You
  • Making a Murderer
  • Bodyguard
  • Killing Eve
  • Fleabag

Reading

I went out and bought 6 books before shops started shutting as I knew how quickly I would get through my two at home. I’m currently reading Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty which is a light bit of chick lit and the gossip filled lives of triplets, Cat, Lyn and Gemma make for perfect escapism.

Some of my favourite books that I recommend are:

  • To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  • Truly Madly Guilty – Liane Moriarty
  • Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
  • Mad Girl – Bryony Gordon
  • Becoming – Michelle Obama
  • All I know About Love – Dolly Alderton
  • Conversations with Friends – Sally Rooney
  • Daisy Jones & The Six – Taylor – Reid Jenkins
  • Beside Myself – Ann Morgan
  • Nineteen Minutes – Jodi Picoult
  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman

Writing

With all my free evenings and weekends, I can now give my blog more attention and start posting content again. Writing always makes me feel calmer and like I’m in control so I’ll be trying to write a little something every day whether that’s a blog post, a diary entry or a piece of creative writing.

Noting down your thoughts in a diary is a great way to release all of the negative thoughts from your head. It’s also a good to have a record of what was happening as I’m sure I’ll want to look back on this time in a few years.

Singing

I’ve mentioned music as one of my favourite ways to unwind and it definitely helps in uncertain situations. I listen to music sometimes on my walks especially as there’s barely any road noise now that no one’s out. We also have SingStar and Wii Sing so I can’t wait to start some singing to my favourite tunes. Lucky Voice (karaoke rooms) are offering free online karaoke for a month too so I’ll definitely be taking advantage of that!

Online quizzes

There’s lots of virtual quizzes going round on Facebook right now and I’ll be joining this one tomorrow night. It’s a great way to bring the pub quiz to you and keep your mind busy. Spectacular pub quizzes also run similar competitions and I’m looking forward to joining the Friends one this Sunday.

These are just some of the things I’ve been doing but there’s lots of other ways to get involved with activities from home such as watch live streams of gigs and Broadway shows, podcasts and virtual museum tours.

What have you been up to?

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