Quarantine has messed with routines for everyone. I’ve fallen back into really old patterns of anxiety and insecurities after three months of not going out.
My daily routine has changed from April to now as well, but my anxiety has sky rocketed lately with the need to go back out and do things.
In April it went a bit like this… morning coffee in the hot tub followed by playing WoW, reading, or watching telly. I did some cooking some days and I would cut the grass once a week.
In May I was so tired of it already. The morning coffee in the hot tub turned into later dips in early afternoon maybe. I found some personal and professional development stuff to work on and started online classes (more on that in a post to come). More reading, more playing WoW. I started binging Schitt’s Creek on Netflix (best show ever).
June is dragging. I’m still doing my online classes. I finished one and started another and still have the main one going, so I have two “live” classes a week per course and spread out over the week so I have one a day Mon-Thu. It gets me out of bed at a reasonable time (9am so I’m awake by 10).
I don’t spend mornings in the hot tub anymore, but I tend to go in late afternoon now while Hubby is still working. I’m still reading – I caught up with the Outlander series now. I didn’t watch television at all last week Mon-Fri. I didn’t even turn it on. I’ve been writing more. I’m playing a lot less WoW. I’m still keeping up with gardening. I’ve been sunbathing a lot too, wishing I was at the beach.
We go for walks, but haven’t for the last week as I slipped down the stairs and my leg has been in a lot of pain. It’s feeling better so maybe we can get out tonight for one before the rain comes this week.
Pros and cons
It’s difficult staying positive for so long with nothing to really do. I hate being furloughed, working was the one thing I had to focus on whilst being stuck at home. There is a part of me that is okay with not having to deal with work stress though.
Everyone is all “I bet you’re enjoying the hot tub”, “It must be so nice not having to work and having all that free time”, etc, etc and it reminds me of people with children talking about how nice it must be not to have them, which can be infuriating.
I didn’t choose this. I didn’t want this and while I can see some of the perks of it, it doesn’t mean I enjoy it.
The biggest downside from all of this is I’ve retreated back into a lot of the anxious feelings I used to have about going out and, specifically, going out alone.
When I first lived on my own it took me a really long time to get comfortable with having to do adulting – buy food, get petrol, go shopping, alone. I forced myself to do it, I had no choice back then. There wasn’t online ordering like there is today.
Being home so long, granted not alone this time thankfully, has brought a lot of those feelings back. Mainly because of the differences in how it was before this started. It makes me nervous thinking of going to Tesco to buy food because I don’t know the way it works now. For most people this isn’t a big deal, but for me it’s daunting. So I don’t go, Hubby goes.
I was supposed to go to the optician today for an eye test. I was due to go in February but put it off and then lockdown started and everything closed so I had to wait. It’s not something I can put off any longer unfortunately. I’ve been so anxious about it! Then they rang this morning and said the optician I was scheduled with has called in sick so needed to reschedule. I’m so relieved. I have another week before I go now.
I’ll be clear: my anxiety is not about the virus. I’m actually not as worried about that as I was at the start of the lockdown. I keep my distance and will wear a mask and gloves when I need to. My anxiety is about different routines out in public and being on my own. I’m not so nervous when I’m with other people.
I have been to a couple of places, of course. The local shop across the road, to visit friends and family, we’ve had friends here in the garden. This weekend I’m going to the hairdresser – which interestingly, I’m not anxious about.
My lack of anxiety about going to the hairdresser is mostly because they’ve told us what the changes are so we know what to expect. Also, I’m pretty comfortable with the place and the people there so I’m not nervous about it.
With my optician appointment rescheduled I’ve decided this week I need to actually go out. With shops open it won’t be too weird, right? I don’t intend on shopping, but I need to get my independence back and force myself out of this bubble of anxiety. Getting out and walking around where I’ll need to go will help re-familiarise myself with the outside world and how things work now.
There are people who are so happy to be out and about and there are people like me, who are anxious about it for a plethora of reasons. I think the main thing we can do right now is show compassion and not judge others for not feeling the same way you are.