I was locked in my one bed flat for nearly four months. Other than direct trips to the hospital, I had to learn to live within these four walls. Can you imagine how that impacted my mental health?
One day I was working full time, attending theatre, going for adventures around the world, spending time with family and friends, and then one day it just stopped. I was told I was too high risk to even step foot outside my front door.
In honour of World Mental Health Day I wanted to be open about my experience and how I coped.
Read about my how coronavirus is going to affect my passion for travel
Coronavirus threw my world upside down.
As someone in the vulnerable category, it’s been really hard. I may look young and healthy but don’t let that fool you. I have many chronic illnesses that I try to live with and we do not get on a lot of the time.
Doing very little indoors was ironically exhausting. The whole experience was physically and mentally draining.
I couldn’t be bothered to clean the house or cook, I struggled to concentrate and a lot of the time I didn’t have the energy to shower.
Some days guilt crept in that I was furloughed, which is ridiculous when you have no control over a pandemic changing your life.
Some days I didn’t want to do anything but scroll through social media and get angry at those breaking rules or jealous of those taking walks – a luxury I was denied.
Some days I didn’t leave my sofa for 12 hours as I binged Netflix.
Some days I felt a burst of energy and decided to exercise.
I never knew how I was going to feel one day to the next.
Staying indoors was not easy, being chronically ill is difficult and furlough is no holiday. To effectively become a prisoner in your own home, whilst being unwell and at higher risk to a deadly virus is f*cking hard.
But I tried to make the best of the situation.
I found passions both old and new to keep me occupied. I didn’t set a routine, I didn’t pressurise myself to stay busy and I took the opportunity to rest for the first time in a decade.
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It’s #worldmentalhealthday ❤️ Everyone has mental health and we need to take care of it. . Life isn’t all rosey like Instagram seems but there are ways to cope. Being outdoors is proven to improve your well-being and it certainly helps me. Dancing and spending time with my family also helps my mental health. . You don’t know what fight others are battling so be caring and sensitive. And if you’re suffering please reach out and talk to someone you trust. My DMs are always open too. . . . #mentalhealthmatters #mentalhealthday #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealthsupport
11 things that helped me survive lockdown
- Video calling family and friends. This was the biggest lifesaver. We’re incredibly privileged to have this technology at hand.
- Cross Stitching. A new skill that calmed me and would sweep away hours of the day.
- Exercising. I joined some of Joe Wicks PE Sessions but mainly did weights along with Alice Liveing on instagram.
- Lots of puzzle books. I love most word puzzles and this became a great way to keep exercising my brain.
- Tiktok Dancing. Never ever thought I’d be a tiktoker but lockdown made me do it. I don’t post for views or to boost my social media. It’s just for fun!
- Zoom Quizzes. I know we all ended up getting sick of them but honestly, this was such a enjoying way to spend time with friends and family.
- GRUB MCR. They are absolute heroes. They started street food kit deliveries so I could have scrummy food at home. I treated myself weekly to their changing vendor menu.
- The sun. The weather dramatically affects my mood and we were very lucky to experience beautiful weather during lockdown. Thankfully I have a balcony so I could soak up some essential vitamin D.
- My balcony garden. Tending to the plants every day kept me busy and gave me some responsibility. It also made my balcony look super pretty.
- Netflix and Disney + binges. So many fantastic shows were released throughout lockdown. Remember Tiger King?
- Online Theatre. I can not thank people enough for streaming shows and performing on social media. I always marked performances in my calendar and made a real date of it.
If anything has been proven this lockdown, it’s that the arts are crucial to our mental and physical wellbeing. I plan to support the industry as much as I can whilst staying safe, and hope you do too. Check out these shows coming to Manchester in 2021 that you should buy tickets for.
I’ve also been enjoying more time outdoors as restrictions have eased for the high risk. You can read about my first walk outside after 3 months indoors!
Honestly, I can’t imagine enduring another few months locked inside. Instead, my lifestyle has dramatically changed for what seems the long term. But let’s hope in a year or so we can look back on this time as a huge challenge we overcame and one that we are more equipped for if it was to repeat.
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Real talk. Instagram is just a highlight reel of the best parts of someone’s life. Please don’t take it that they are in a permanent state of happiness. Life is really really hard. I’m mentally and physically in a low place, which I rarely admit online. But it’s true. So don’t take social media as fact. Take care of each other and be kind. Let’s get through this rollercoaster we call ‘living’ together. . . . . #realtalks #lifeishard #spoonielife #chronicillness #chroniclife #youdontlooksick #behonest #itsokaynottobeokay #itsok #thingswillgetbetter #lovenothate #takecareofyou #listentoyourbody #chronicillnesswarrior #honestcaptions #supporteachother #discoverunder1k #mcrbloggers #winterwalks #getoutdoorsmore #visitengland #instaengland #prettylittleengland #northumberland_pics #lovenorthumberland #embletonbeach #castles #visitnorthumberland #dunstanburghcastle
How did you cope with lockdown? Did you see a change in your mental and physical health?