Oh my word the last few months have been weird. In the weeks preceding lockdown I had come to the realisation that my mental health was really suffering and I needed some help, but then of course it became a lot harder to come by.
The initial few weeks of lockdown were just what I needed, something to focus my energy and my mind on, then as it became the new normal things started to slip again. So I focused on the smaller things I could do to make everything a little bit better.
Here are just a few little things I used or did to help me get through it all. Nothing major or life changing, just little things that helped.
Harder to come by than hens teeth at the start of things, we were lucky and had some at home and I found some old soaps and hand scrubs that had never been used from old Christmas gifts. Sorted. But when it was possible to get a choice in things I found that a really find a nice handwash made a difference, afterall we were using it a lot. We were very luckily sent a bottle of Moss & Adams and I loved it, so we have carried on using it. The Balmoral Glenn scent is lovely!
So lockdown changed a lot at work, supermarkets changed overnight and my role changed drastically too. I’ve been outside helping with the queues and counting customers in and out.
I’ve been outside in bitter cold, rain, hail, a touch of snow, viciously strong winds, heat, humidity and pretty much everything really. My poor face has suffered and at a point it was painful, then I remembered Kalme my little tube of winter saviour. It’s for so much more than winter though, it soaks in beautifully, prevents redness, heals and lasts all day. I can even use it as a mask. It’s not exciting, not at all, but it stopped me bringing work home just a little bit. I wasn’t being constantly reminded of the day through my skin.
The first thing I did, as soon as there were mutterings of school closures was arrange to change my hours at work. Thankfully my manager has been incredibly accommodating and even though I’m temporarily not in her team she’s still been helping.
From a childcare point of view it’s been fabulous. I’ve been able to be home all day and occupy L whilst husb has cracked on with his work, then as soon as he’s finished work I head out the door for my shift, get home late, sleep and repeat.
A few weeks in I realised I was getting no time at all for me, so I decided it was the perfect time to finish Schitt’s Creek. A little time, in the middle of the night, just to decompress and watch something funny. So funny actually, it’s one of the best shows I’ve watched in ages and it’s strangely comforting too. It made the world of difference, until it ended, but I’ve got plenty of other things to watch so that’s ok.
During lockdown I’ve loved Sweet Magnolias, watched all of Cuckoo and of course Tiger King, though I’m still not sure what that was all about!
None of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for my friends.
From virtual gin nights to care packages on the doorstep I have been so incredibly lucky.
I remember early on sending my friend a message saying how glad I was we worked together because I knew that meant I could get through it. Just the knowledge that I’d get to see her, even if only for a minute as she left and I started would make all the difference.
Then I’ve got my oldest friend in the world who I haven’t been able to see, but we’ve checked in on each other and she always knows just what I need to hear.
I’ve got my mum friends, all in the village, we’ve sorted out collecting food for each other, finding random household objects for craft projects, sent ridiculous things we’ve seen and heard to each other and just generally been there as a smiling face on the doorstep, or across the road on a walk, or by message and video chat.
After a particularly hideous night at work when I was yelled at until I cried and had a disability wished upon me one of my dearest friends drove over to say hi and leave me cream cakes and face masks.
I cannot even begin to express how much these gestures have meant and I have no idea how to repay them.
Not just L but all his friends. They have been a shining ray of light throughout all of this.
Freaking hard work, but a ray of light nonetheless.
I’ve enjoyed teaching L at home for the most part, learning new things together, exploring and just having all this extra time.
Watching how the children have dealt with lockdown has been equal part fascinating and inspiring.
The children have been writing each other letters and posting them on their walks. L made me paint rocks for his friends to drop round and he wanted to share some of his gifts from the blog with them.
He’s had friends leave him chalk messages and pictures on the path. He’s had cakes baked for him and dropped off. It’s all been done by the children, for each other and with no thought of getting anything in return, it’s purely been just to brighten the days of their friends.
They’ve loved video chatting with each other, who knew Messenger came with games you could play, they’re better with phones than we are! It’s been so sweet to watch.
We’re lucky to all live in the same village so they’ve been able to see each other from a distance. Even his friend from nursery lives close enough we’ve been able to cycle by and drop off little gifts and crafts.
It’s been great for them and also given us something to do and a reason to get out.
We have discovered so much, right on our doorstep and it’s been wonderful.
Exploring footpaths old and new, finding smaller details in familiar settings and brand new areas.
We’ve found streams, rivers, bridges. Hollowed out trees and ancient forts.
We’ve got lost, had adventures and covered miles and miles. Between walking and cycling we kept a sense of freedom and it has always been something I’ve loved, so to have all this extra time to do it has been marvellous.
We’ve seen so much nature, even a mole bottom disappearing into it’s mole hole! It’s been fascinating and we’ve learnt a lot.
I hope it’s something we keep up, no rushing around, just a drink and a few hours of walking. It’s been one of my favourite things about lockdown, so it would be a shame for it to end.
Disclosure – my handwash and face cream were both gifted items, that I found to be genuinely helpful and couldn’t have come at a better time. All thoughts, opinions and images are my own.