Thursday, March 19, 2020

Real Feels

I started and have mostly drafted a post that is all about things you can do that might be beneficial or enjoyable if you’re stuck at home more than usual in the current circumstances. Tips you’ve probably already seen circulated around the internet a lot lately, a bit like those tips for working from home also doing the rounds. But as the situation from a health, economic and personal perspective has become steadily more uncertain, I couldn’t bring myself to post something that is such a poor representation of my own circumstance. Narcissistic? Maybe. But I’ve always used my blog as a bit of a personal outlet, and since I can only document from my perspective, that’s what you’re getting, so here’s a few things I’ve noticed, learned and am taking comfort in right now…

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You might have all the time in the world, but you still might not want to do one of a hundred different productive things. So far today I’ve put off:
Mopping the floor
Going for a run of any kind
Tidying my wardrobe
I’ve been stuck at home a lot of the time since 3rd January, because I was made redundant. Between trying to eek out my last pay packet and also needing to deal with a whole load of house renovation stuff, I had a routine. I took a couple of free courses, I had a plan and structure to my week and I feel like I’ve suddenly take a huge backward step, right back to square one trying to find my way through this constantly changing situation.

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'Productive' or something

Even if you’re not engaging with panic buying (please only take what you need), then it’s entirely possible to feel a bit freaked out by it all. I find myself wondering if I will be able to purchase food I actually need when I do come to need something. I’m painfully aware that there are people who rely on items being available to them to survive because of their financial situation and I’m so incredibly fortunate that if I can’t get something, it’s not the end of the world for me, but I find myself wondering how long it will be before you can go to get groceries and be confident you’ll be able to pick up a sensible shop for your family as opposed to whatever is left, if anything at all.

I have a new found appreciation (and by that I mean horror) for how much money I spend even though I’ve been on a strict budget since losing my job. A lot of that is transport- I’ve not been as committed to my bike between storms and ‘not feeling like it’ in the late winter, and one coffee a week still adds up, and I’m also noticing that as a household, that we really should do our grocery shopping less often because those smaller shops are adding the hell up. Too soon to mention silver linings?

I take comfort in the known. I think this is most people, but for me, it’s familiar tv (rewatch a zillion and 4 of Spooks currently underway), it’s cooking things I love and sometimes that’s marmite on toast. It’s wearing my favourite 2 jumpers on rotation for reasons I can’t quite explain. And it's drinking my favourite squash hot or cold.

The underlying fear of what might be coming has also helped me to appreciate small things. The question as to whether we will be eligible for mortgage relief or if I will be able to find a job this side of Christmas is cut through by the simple joy of being able to hang laundry outside again or finding a scented candle that smells exactly like sugared nuts and reminds me so vividly of a summer night in London with Tom a few years back.

Eating a variety of coloured foods is good for us. We all know that a variety of fruit and vegetables is a solid start on healthy eating. But if it feels like your world as well as the world is falling apart, then feel free to make those colours up with Midget Gems and debate whether bread and cheese constitute two different colours rather than 50 shades of beige. Give yourself some time and space and embark back upon a routine. And don’t be guilted or shamed by all those people who are doing 3 virtual workouts and a yoga session each day, moving your body is great, but it might not be right for you, right now. Go for the Grey’s Anatomy series catch-up or go forth and finish your book or whatever.

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Life for lots of people has been turned upside down- self isolation, jobs and businesses on the brink of extinction or already lost, and we have no idea what the next few weeks hold. The above are just a few of the personal moments of my own. If it seems superficial, that’s cool. They’re just one part of a snap-shot, and all I want to do is say to you:

If it feels like everything is imploding in on you right now, it’s ok to feel like that right now, however you are affected.

If you don’t want to be constructive and ‘use your time’ right now, that’s cool. You’ll work out what is productive and constructive for you when you’re ready.

If you need to reach out to your friends or your family but you don’t know or can’t put into words why you feel like you need them, tell them that so they can continue to be there for you. You don’t need a reason, it’s what we do for those that we love.

Above all else, remember to adhere to the most recent guidelines on social distancing and self-isolation. If you need groceries, take only what you need and if you are able to help your family and neighbours, please do so.


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1 comment

Unknown said...

Well done, Chloe, I agree with so much you've said. It's all scary at the moment because so much is the unknown, but I'm sure we'll get out the other side - eventually!

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