As I said before, I have been isolating slightly longer than most people, having entered a self-imposed lockdown shortly after returning from my relaxing holiday in Cambridge. It was about 10 days later that the UK Government’s lockdown was put in place. So, what can I say? I am a trend-setter!!
My first month of isolation was a fairly easy experience and I felt quite motivated and productive for much of it. And as I entered my second month, I was confident that it, too, would be a positive experience. I even began Month Two with more COVID19 crafting in the form of crocheting my own little coronavirus! But as I got further into Month Two, I found that my motivation had waned. I was sleeping more and running less. I was sulking more and working less. And I was missing Paul more. (Not helped by the fact that halfway through Month Two I marked Year Eleven of widowhood!)
It hasn’t helped that halfway through Month Two my internet connection began acting up, and it has only gotten worse as the days have gone on. I am now at the point where I have almost no connectivity, which has been quite challenging for my mental and emotional well-being. More so because the poor internet connection means that I am struggling to do my job properly.
More than that, the conversations about re-opening campus have changed from “maybe May or June” to “September, at the earliest”. So now I am faced with ongoing isolation for the whole of the summer which only adds to the stress about not having a decent internet connection – not to mention the additional time I will spend alone.
Don’t get me wrong: Month Two hasn’t been all bad. It’s just that I have been feeling a bit bored and lonely, which are feelings I am used to after the aforementioned decade-plus of widowhood. Only now, I can’t meet up with friends or take myself off on an adventure as a way of distracting myself from my reality.
But you know me: I like to try to think positively (even if I am only faking it).
To help shake me out of this slump, I have spent time increasing my running distances to run a half marathon by the end of May. My first “long” run was 7 miles at the start of Month Two. I managed to run that much faster than expected so a couple of days ago I knocked out an invigorating 8.5-mile run, and I’ll head out for a 10+ mile run in a couple of days followed by a 12-mile run the next weekend.
This extra running has made me feel confident and (physically) strong which seems to be helping. And knowing that I have a long run to look forward to on the weekends is a good feeling, too. It means that I have plans – even if the plan is more alone time. But at least it gives me something fun to share on Facebook, right?
I have also been trying to get out into nature as much as possible – even if it is just a gentle walk around the estate. And as the weather warms up, that will be easier to do.
So yeah, two months of isolation. And Month Three starts tomorrow. I don’t know what the next few weeks will bring, but I am trying to find ways to make them as enjoyable as possible. More running, more crafting, and more living… even if in isolation.
I hope that all of you are coping. And if you’re struggling, please reach out. You are not in this alone!