Not being with my Mum for Easter was tough this year. I had sent her an Easter egg a couple of weeks ago and designed a card featuring photos of my nieces and nephew to send to her through Moonpig. My back up for birthdays and special occasions. I wanted to let her know we were all thinking of her, even though we couldn’t be with her personally.
Staying in and living in lockdown has become the new normal. Everyone I took to is in a virtual world, apart from my housemates. Even getting to know everyone at work has been in a virtual way! Zoom, Google Hangouts, FaceTime have replaced texts as we all want to see people. I think that our need for connection is great. I am talking to friends who I haven’t talked to in ages and have a little group of people who check in on each other daily, if not weekly. I do feel that this experience will shape us. Things that seemed so important yesterday, are no longer. Our needs are basic. Our wants have been redefined.
Easter Sunday with Laura Whitmore
BBC Radio 5 Live invited me on to the Easter Sunday show to discuss money with Laura Whitmore. As I couldn’t go into the studio. I took over the lounge in my house, making it into a studio for the morning. I stuck a sign saying ‘Live On-air’ outside, not that anyone was awake apart from my housemate Grant who was at work this weekend. The NHS had cancelled Easter for many of their workers this year. I had bought him a Vegan Easter Egg to surprise him, which didn’t arrive in time but hoping it will still come this week. My thoughts were with everyone working this weekend.
Talking about money, which I feel is still a taboo, is more important than ever. It’s important to ask for help, remember your networks and if you’re alone, reach out to the networks that are offering help. You can read my write up of the show here.
Sukki Singapora is a friend of mine. A burlesque artist and star of Netflix show Singapore Social. #CreateForCorona is a hash-tag she uses to showcase all of the great work creatives and artists are doing around the globe. You should check out #Createforcorona on Instagram.
Lockdown is the new normal
It’s funny how quickly you can get used to a different way of living in a very short space of time. Lockdown is the new normal. I work in a virtual way. Speak to friends in a virtual way. Fortunately, I live with housemates but I am mindful of the fact that I can’t just chill out anymore talking to people for hours in communal areas. I have to keep my distance and isolate myself as much as possible. June is looking a very long way off still to be living like this.
It was a beautiful start to the weekend. Sun shining and so I managed to do all of my washing (exciting update I know). Media is quite overwhelming right now. So I have taken to listening to the daily news update and limiting my time on social media. Writing my blog is my creative outlet right now.
My Top 3 Tips for lockdown: Week 3
1. KEEP A CHECK ON YOUR WORK-LIFE BALANCE
As you don’t have to commute into work. Your daily routine isn’t broken up by travel. So you can start earlier and finish work later, without stopping for breaks when you work from home. Next week I plan to follow a daily routine. Sitting by your computer for hours at a time isn’t healthy and I finished the week with headaches as I hadn’t spent any time outside. I intend to block out lunch breaks which include getting outside into the garden even if it is just for 5mins at a time. I have a skipping rope donated by one of my housemates, which I am going to use in the garden next time during my breaks.
2. PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH IS KEY
My brother has been recommending an app called Cronometer for ages, which I have been using for over a week now. I track everything I eat to look at its nutritional value, rather than calories. Whilst I appreciate my diet isn’t the norm as I can’t pop out to my local Aldi to top up supplies. I have bought additional Vitamin D Tablets from eBay this week. I went for lots of blood tests before Christmas, which showed that this was the one vitamin I was lacking. Focussing on my physical health is key to get through the next couple of months.
I have noticed that anxiety has been affecting so many of us in different ways. You only have to look at insomnia trending every night to see the impact on us all. With so much going on. It’s important to have some downtime and let your mind rest. I watched Killing Eve Series 3 this morning and am going to spend the next few evenings doing nothing for once. This is a chance to really connect with ourselves once again. For many of us, our default setting is in autopilot. We are busy with work, life, with constant demands on our time and energy. Use this time to reconnect with yourself and reflect on what’s really important to you.
3. START A FINANCIAL SPRING-CLEAN
With the start of the new financial year. I have started a new budget planner, which runs April 2020-March 2021. Go through your finances and have a financial spring-clean. This means looking at your credit card statements, current accounts, savings and cutting back anything which you no longer need. I have everything documented in a spreadsheet for the forthcoming year. You can budget not only for the short-term but for the long-term too. Banks, credit card companies all are in a position to help if you need it. Minimise what you can and get help if you need it.