Hey everyone, my name is Chloe I blog over at (note from Pete – I can’t get Chloe’s link to change colour but click) chloechats.com. I thought I would talk about my lockdown experience, how I have coped with my mental health, and how I feel about trying to return to a new normal.
Beginning of lockdown – my thoughts, feelings and anxiety
At the beginning of lockdown, I definitely felt like my anxiety was going to be much worse than what it actually was. Before it began, I had a routine in place that I was used to, I knew what I was doing from the time I woke up until the evening. Well, lockdown kind of changed everything. I’ve suffered with anxiety all of my life, obviously with some years, months or days being more difficult. Like most people, I feel most comfortable when I have a routine and there’s not much change involved. I can see both the benefits of having a routine and also of changing things up too.
I started working from home in March a few weeks before the Government announced lockdown and I wasn’t too worried about doing it. My job involves different shifts and working some weekends, and when I did work weekends, I would work from home anyway. I knew my boyfriend would be working from home too, so I wasn’t stuck inside by my self for the past 5 months.
The hardest part for me was switching off after finishing work. Usually being in the office, as soon as I walked out of the doors and made my way home my work mode was completely switched off. However, working in my living room just meant moving away from my desk and sitting on the sofa. No change in surroundings whatsoever.
Trying to look after my mental health
At the start of lockdown my anxiety wasn’t great. The main reason being that I was constantly watching the news, googling the numbers of Covid-19 cases and watching it go up every single day. Even at the point where we could go outside for up to an hour of exercise, I couldn’t bring myself to go outside. Being stuck indoors all day for most of March definitely wasn’t the best for me. The other downside is that I live in a flat, so the only outdoor space I have is a small balcony.
At that point my boyfriend was telling me to stop googling the numbers and try to switch my focus elsewhere, to working on my blog for an example! It’s not that I wanted to be ignorant to what was (and still is) going on in the world, I just needed to stop looking into the news daily.
My silver linings of lockdown
I have definitely got some positives out of being stuck inside for the last few months, and I have really worked hard to look after my mental wellbeing.
Getting back into blogging
I stopped blogging for a little while at the end of 2019, my mental health wasn’t in a good place and I felt very uninterested in pretty much everything. However, a positive from being in lockdown was that I started working on my blog again and I am loving it. My blog has always been amazing for my mental health and is one of the big reasons to why I even started it. It’s been so refreshing getting back into it and I have the motivation of being at home all the time to thank for that. I have still been working full time all the way through lockdown but cutting out the travel time to and from work has definitely helped with giving me more time.
Exercise – looking after my mental and physical health
I have been working out pretty much every single day whilst being at home all the time and I have loved how it has made me feel. My mood is great, I am sleeping a lot better, and I feel proud of myself for doing it. I mentioned above about how I found it difficult to step out of ‘work mode’ as I have been working from home, well home workouts have been extremely helpful for that. I tend to do my 30 minutes of intense exercise straight after I finish work. The tiredness I feel after working all day disappears after I do my workout, and I get a rush of energy for the evening.
Learning new skills – working on my drawing
With the tiny bit of extra time I have been working on my drawing. When I was younger, I loved drawing, I did art at school for GCSE’s and I was pretty good at it. Forward to 10 years later I had stopped doing art completely. During lockdown I ordered in some ‘how to draw’ books and I have been trying to work on that skill again. I have been really enjoying it, and maybe one day when I’m feeling more confident with it, I can put my drawings on my blog!
Spending quality time with my other half
We always seem to go through life at a hundred miles an hour and barely just stop to take in our surroundings. One of my favourite things has been sitting on my balcony with my boyfriend in the evenings just chatting and watching nature. I’m sure its been quite a test for many who live with their partners as usually we do get that break of being at work, so we only see each other in the mornings, evenings and weekends. Or those that live with family, I can imagine it could have got quite difficult at times if the whole household was working from home at the same time. However, its also a good time to spend some quality time with them. Its been fun getting creative with moving outdoor activities inside, things like indoor picnics!
How do I feel about lockdown being no more?
I definitely don’t want to be somewhere with crowds of people still. I have ventured out since things have started opening, however if I go into any shops or anywhere that’s enclosed then I will always wear my mask. I have travelled by train too recently so I could see my family, it’s been very strange not being able to see my parents in person for almost 5 months.
I am a little bit weary about going back into my office, it’s a pretty big office but there’s a lot of people. I also have gotten quite used to getting up just in time to start work… it’s going to take a little bit of getting used to having to head out earlier to get to work in time.
When I have been out it is quite upsetting to see a lot of people not really caring about being social distanced. I understand that you only have to be 1m away from people now but there’s still hundreds of cases each day so until there’s a vaccine I won’t be too comfortable being out and about and being close to other people.
All in all, through a very terrible time in the world I feel like I have managed to get through it as calmly as possible. I definitely will need to work on my anxiety when I do go outside a bit more, I have yet to go outside by myself since the beginning of lockdown. I am constantly trying to work on my anxiety one day at a time.
I hope you have all been safe and well and continue to do so. If you want to read more about mental wellbeing, check out my blog (note from Pete – I can’t get Chloe’s link to change colour but click) chloechats.com!