I am incredibly lucky to be able to work from home at the moment. I live with someone who is considered particularly vulnerable, so to have this opportunity to minimise the risk to their health is something I am so grateful for.
However, I used to get a lot out of going to work – the miles of exercise I would walk effortlessly every day, the varied and unpredictable nature of human interaction. As someone who sometimes struggles with anxiety, going out to work is a way of pushing myself every day, and good days would see my comfort zone and confidence grow just a little more.
So, staying at home has been difficult in that sense, but I’ve never had as much free time as I do right now. I feel like a teenager again – a lot of time spent inside with the boyfriend, and a lot of time spent playing video games (haha).
So, being inside has been emotional and challenging at times, but I am also trying to take this chance to enjoy my ridiculous amount of leisure time for the first time since… I started my adult life?
Here are some ways I am using my lockdown to get stuck into some new habits and hobbies…
1.) I finally have an exercise routine – thank you RingFit!
For the past five years I have had to commute an hour to work. I have a love-hate relationship with this commute… sometimes I am grateful for that precious ‘me’ time of reading or people-watching out the window, other times I am exhausted after 8 hours at work, and knowing it is another 1 hour until I can just sit down really hurts. Neil also commutes to work – we realised that as a household we are currently spending about 22 hours a week commuting, plus around £200 between us in travel money a month… yikes. That’s like a whole day a week lost getting to the place that makes us money so we can spend the money made getting to the place that makes us money, hmm wait a minute…
The juggling of a commute, mental health, and a long shift means that some days I get back from work and I am so exhausted that I make dinner and then go to bed. I don’t know how people go for a run after work or put an hour into writing a novel. Lockdown seems to have given my body the rest it really needed, and I finally have the energy to work productively all day and then cook a meal from scratch, do a bit of tidying, play some Animal Crossing, phone my Mum or sister. And… do an hour of RingFit!
I am completely hooked on the RingFit, I sometimes do a few stages of the main story (which, I have to say, is so ridiculous and I have no idea what the plot is anymore but I am living for it), sometimes I just play a load of mini-games, and other times I do a whole handful of the rhythm workouts. It is something I just haven’t had the energy to do before now on a regular basis, but I’m forming a great habit of doing it daily that I really hope will be a set part of my routine by the time I’m back to work. I keep telling people to buy a Switch immediately and jump on this bandwagon, but there doesn’t seem to be a single Switch available to buy on the planet at the moment.
2.) I have 300+ hours on Animal Crossing
That’s right. I said it out loud. While a ridiculous amount of screen time is usually something I’m not proud of, I think Animal Crossing has been such a source of relief and distraction for so many people during these weird times. Checking Nook’s Cranny when it opens at 8am is just as much motivation to get out of bed than starting work! I mentioned in my A Month on Hrothgar post that playing the game has been a really fun way to stay in touch with friends while we have been kept apart – many of those 250 hours have been creating moments with people I care about, so it’s become a really special part of my lockdown experience.
I will say it again: I keep telling people to buy a Switch immediately and jump on this bandwagon, but there doesn’t seem to be a single Switch available to buy on the planet at the moment.
I will absolutely be doing an island tour for this blog, it’s just I’m not time-travelling and I decided only the other day that I wanted to terraform everything…
3.) I started baking
Who hasn’t, right? My Facebook newsfeed is mostly homemade bread and cookies. So far I have made jam tarts, rock cakes, fairy cakes, cookies and a banana loaf. I have a recipe for banoffee shortbread lined up for this weekend. Neil made bread for the first time the other day too. I came in from the garden and he was just stood there in the kitchen kneading away. The results were delicious.
4.) I started online Rockfit classes
I have wanted to attend a Rockfit class since I heard it was even a thing, but my work schedule never allowed for it. Like many things, the classes had to stop a few months ago, so the instructors have been pushed to make online content. I am so, so glad they did. I signed up for a month of videos, and have been really enjoying jumping about to the music. It’s probably a little heavier than my usual rock tastes, but it’s still so fun to dance to! Check out the Rockfit online classes here: https://rockfit.org.uk/
5.) I have been working from home. A lot.
I’m a bit of a workaholic, and get sooo much out of my job. I know, I’ve read all those articles about home-working, and I completed an online course which taught me that boundaries are important etc, but I’m still checking my emails out of hours and sneaking an extra half an hour here and there… I don’t really have an issue with it because during lockdown I think working has kept me sane. It is one way I know I can make a positive impact to people’s lives at this time, because my skill set is so well suited to our new work practices. I have created work that I am so proud of, and it feels good to be developing so many new skills whilst stuck at home.
5.) I have started appreciating every single second of fresh air
It’s so easy to say these things in retrospect, but gosh, I really did take the outside world for granted. I used to walk five miles a day for work, much of that outside in that glorious, glorious thing we call fresh air, yet I spent most of the time staring at my phone screen! When I take walks now, I don’t even look at my phone, I just take in every tiny detail and smell and sound. The birds are so noisy! The sun is so bright! That seagull is eyeing me suspiciously! I see it all…
How are you all doing? I hope you’re keeping healthy and happy and sane at the moment! ♥