A few weeks ago, izzy and Matt wrote about what they have been up to and what they have been doing to try to stay positive during lockdown.
This week, Grant and I are going to fill you in on what we have been doing.
I think we are now into week 12 of lockdown. It’s easy to lose track.
Overall, I think we are managing to focus on the positive changes that lockdown has brought us. Like everyone, we have had lots of difficult days.
My husband is also a GP so we have both been working in our practices. The kids have been going to the local keyworkers school hub on days when we both work.
While it’s been challenging for them at times, i think they can all see some positives. They have company, have made new friends and have had a pretty unique experience of school life during a pandemic.
It’s a long day for them though. They are in before 9 in the morning and usually till 6 at night so they have had to find ways of keeping themselves occupied. They have spent loads of time outdoors and play lots of ‘old fashioned’ games (as my saughter refers to them) like skipping and hopskotch.
None of my kids are big fans of Zoom or Facetime and I think they would have had little ‘chat time’ with other kids had they not been at school.
My eldest plays games on his games console and ‘chats’ to his friends on that but most of the chat is game related. The other 2 aren’t really interested in gaming at all.
They have all enjoyed discovering more of the area we live in. We have gone on loads of wee walks round about and found some great wee places along the way.
I’m really proud of how well they are coping and it’s made me more determined to stay positive as a result.
Homeschooling. Well, this is a blog about how I’m trying to stay positive.
Like lots of parents and caters, we have found the transition to home schooling challenging.
I think it took me about 4 weeks to actually finally work out the passwords for all the things they needed to long into and get a reasonable grip on how things were working.
The first few weeks, in particular, were super busy at work and I really felt like I was just about holding on.
Now, twelve weeks in and 2 weeks before the end of the school year, I feel I’ve finally found my stride!
We aren’t managing all the work.
We still have tantrums and days where at least one of us in in bad form (grown ups included).
I still feel I don’t quite know where they should all be in terms of their learning.
BUT I’m positive that they are happier than they were a few weeks ago when I was feeling stressed about how to access the work and having to complete it all.
My top tip for staying positive is to focus on the kids doing a wee bit of everything but ultimately trying to ensure they aren’t stressed by all of this.
I’m sure they have benefitted as much from the baking, exploring and general time spent together as they have done from any actual school work.
I know from asking them that the things they like most from school are the virtual meetings with their teachers or the wee videos their teachers post-anything really that lets them see the person they trust is still there. So, we make sure we get those bits done each week and scatter some other learning in around it.
Changes at work
So, my main focus has been to try to see more of the kids while I can but, at the same time, take the opportunity to do things that I wouldn’t normally have time to do with all the usual commitments of pre-covid life.
I always said I would go back to do some out of hours GP work once the kids were at school. I think I under estimated how busy life with 3 kids would be and didn’t ever get round to this.
So, over the last few months I’ve done some work covering the NHS COVID hotline.
While challenging, it’s been really good to work at part of another team in the NHS and I’ve got massive respect for the doctors who work in the out of hours service, particularly those who do it day in, day out.
Since I was little, I have loved to bake. I have really been able to get back into baking over the last few months and the kids have really enjoyed getting involved.
At the start of lockdown, I decided I wanted to learn how to make sourdough bread. In week 2 of lockdown I started the process of making my first starter and, after a few teething problems, I’m now enjoying making my own bread.
If you fancy giving this a go check out this website for tips:
The garden really needed some attention. A few weeks in, I ordered some plants and seeds and, 8 weeks on am enjoying the results. I have really found my time in the garden to be one of the things that has really helped me get through the crappy days.
I can just go out and get some peace. If it’s been a good day i can potter around and do some planting and, if it’s been a rotten day I can always find something to dig up!
Like Izzy, I’ve been trying to attract some wee birds into the garden. I’ve got a bird feeding sation set up in the back garden and a wee window feeder at the front. I’ve only has this set up for a week and we already have a couple of frequent visitors.
I’ve also found a bit more time to play the piano and love belting out a few songs (with the windows shut). I’m trying to learn some chords on the guitar but it definitely doesn’t come naturally to me.
Loads of people I know have re discovered their love of painting or drawing.
While I enjoy painting, it’s not something I’ve ever been very good at. A good few months ago I ordered a big paint by numbers and just never got round to even opening the box. Now I take it out every few days and do a wee half hour while I’m waiting for the kids to go to sleep. Not sure I’ll ever finish it as it takes so much longer than I thought it would!
One of the other things that helps after a hard day at work (or at home school) is to get out for a walk or a run.
Running is far, far from my favourite thing. I find it really hard going and having to focus on just actually getting through it helps to distract me from whatever has brought me down that day. I also have to admit that I LOVE the feeling at the end when it’s all over!
A walk gives me much the same boost without the hard bit in the middle. I love just sticking on a podcast and getting lost in whatever they are talking about.
Equally, I’m enjoying going for more walks and cycles with my family. Usually the kids are so busy at their clubs that we often don’t have time to go for long walks or bike rides together.
For me, this has been the biggest positive of lockdown.
It’s getting easier
Thankfully, since Izzy and Grant wrote their blogs, the restrictions have eased off. We now meet up with another family outdoors or in our gardens.
Staying positive will hopefully become easier for most of us.
I have really loved being able to go for a walk WITH a friend or just sit and enjoy time together in the garden. It’s as if you can feel the stress lifting a little as you sit and chat.
Lockdown has not been easy for any of us. It’s been a whirlwind of emotions… uncertainty, anxiety, confusion,anger, frustration to name a few of them.
However there has been many positives that I have personally found too.
My mentality is that I know that this is not forever. Yes….it’s been a lot longer than any of us could have imagined but we will come out of this. I keep planning all the adventures that I want to go on next year and you know what……. next year isn’t that far away in the grand scheme of things. My 2020 plans are just on delay and I’ve got to try and make the best of this situation.
This is coming from an eternal optimist so you have every right to tell me to shut up at this point in the blog if you’re not feeling that upbeat today. This (hopefully) is a once in a lifetime event, there is no right or wrong answers to how you’ve been feeling or reacting.
WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?! / PANIC STATIONS / DO EVERYTHING APART FROM EAT AND SLEEP NORMALLY. IS THE WORLD ENDING?! CALL EVERYONE I KNOW NOW! WHY ARE MY HANDS FEELING LIKE THERE IS ONLY NERVE ENDINGS LEFT AFTER WASHING MY HANDS FOR THE 374189461864189 TODAY.
Okay….. this isn’t soon bad. It’s kind of like a wee holiday.Guess that means I can have a few drinks tonight and tomorrow night. OHHH yeah, I’m 35 and my head doesn’t agree. Got to keep positive as it surely can’t be that much longer until we’re back to normal. Planning out my week ……. ohhhhh I’ve finished my daily tasks by 10am….. damn. What do I do now?
I have now fully converted into Bill Murray from Groundhog Day. I have no idea what day it is, Is it still April? Remember human contact? Nah I don’t think that’sactually ever happened. My routine is fairly normal,staying positive most days but there is an occasional ‘hell day’ that happens. You know the one where you have just lost all will and you would get in an argument with your reflection? Yeah that’s almost a given once a week.
Groundhog continues but now I’m beginning to see the light a little bit. Hell day has pretty much gone and I’mactually embracing the positives. I’m working on new projects and keeping busy most days. The days are disappearing the weeks are beginning to fly by. How on earth is it almost June?! I’m sorry, I’m pretty sure that I just blinked and 6 months have passed by! I have no idea what normal clothes feel like, I’m very unsure if I would be able have the skill set to button up a shirt as I now permanently live in an assortment of comfy clothes.
I have mentioned positives, right?! Well here are some of the bright spots that Lockdown has provided.
Being able to catch up with friends and family over zoom.
Living in a bubble is something that I’m an expert in. I’m a little bit of a workaholic because I love my job, am I guilty of not being balanced? ABSOLUTELY! Lockdown has been a great time for me to catch up with so many friends and family online. Video calls have become incredibly useful and important to connect with more people than ever before. I have had some amazing chats with friends that I haven’t seen in years. It’s been one absolute bright spot and I’m really thankful for that.
As I mentioned above, I’m sometimes very guilty of over working. I am self-employed and really have a passion for what I do but it does come at a price of not having a very balanced life. I know that once we go back to some sort of normality that I’ve got to create a better balance. It’s been a foreign feeling to not have to wake up at 5am every day and work till 9pm at night. Initially I was constantly looking for work to keep me going and I was feeling guilty if hadn’t been productive. I quickly realised that it’s okay to relax! I know that the clearer my head is, the more mindful Ibecome.
Enjoying the outdoors
When I lived in Austria, I practically lived outdoors. I loved walking and cycling, not for the exercise but more for the head space. Even though I’ve been restricted to how far I can go, I’ve found some really nice local spots that I never even knew were there. Going out as the sun is coming down and finding a trail near water is a great way for my mind to relax. I can shut my brain off from social media and the news and let my mind wonder and decompress.
I have really enjoyed working on some new projects. I’m in the midst of writing an eBook and I have already completed two other projects. Now for me, this is my version of being creative. I’m certainly not an artist or a singer but using my expertise in health and fitness to be creative is my version of having a hobby. I have really enjoyed having the time to work on things that I would never ever normally have time to do and not treat it like work or a chore.
I think that we can all be a little bit guilty of taking things for granted. Being able to spend time and reflect with what I have to also know how important the little things in life has been invaluable. I think that’s something that we can all relate too and hopefully once everything has returned back to normal that we don’t take for granted again.Making time for your family, for yourself and for your friends is something that we should all be incredibly grateful to do.