Four days into the new year and the nation received the news no one wanted to hear – we’re to enter a third national lockdown.
Unlike the November lockdown just two months ago, schools up and down the country will be forced to close their doors for the next six weeks minimum, meaning this latest lockdown we find ourselves in closely resembles the first back in March.
If it wasn’t evident already it is becoming clearer and clearer that the impact of the pandemic has created what is rapidly becoming a mental health crisis.
People up and down the country are losing their jobs, business’ are going into administration every single day and friends and families continue to be separated – the lasting impact of the pandemic on the nations mental health is huge.
Another lockdown, especially a strict one, is the last thing any of us wanted. But we are here now and with news of both the Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine being rolled out across the country the light at the end of the tunnel is getting bigger, meaning this should hopefully be the final lockdown.
The thing I struggle with the most is the constant yo-yo-ing.
Back in March it was ‘normal life in August’, then it was ‘sacrifice your summer so we can have a normal Christmas’. Fast forward six months and we’re told putting Christmas lockdown measures in would be inhuman, a few days later the Christmas lockdown measures were put in.
And here we are, less than two weeks later the government said ‘Schools are perfectly safe’ and 24 hours later they were closed.
While we continue to live in a situation that is constantly changing and has no set end date the only thing we can do is look after ourselves and our minds.
How i’m going to look after myself
As someone who lives alone and hasn’t done an awful lot of socialising in the last twelve months the thought of another lockdown floored me a little. I think the only reason it didn’t completely flatten me was because looking at the latest figures every day I’ve been anticipating it for a couple of weeks now.
Throughout the pandemic one of the key things I have done on a day to day basis to help me get through it is to count my blessings, and this latest lockdown is no exception.
As long as i’m able to work, pay the bills and have a roof over my head I know I will be absolutely fine. Through the previous lockdowns and my solo travels between 2015-17 I know that I can look after myself so it is a simple case of applying that to my everyday life once again.
Since working from home due to the pandemic i’ve got into the habit of starting work early. My most productive hours of the day are the morning so I thought it would make sense to maximise the amount of work I can get done in that time by giving myself more working hours in the morning instead of starting at 9 as I would when commuting.
It also means I can finish work earlier, usually around 3/3:30 to free up more of the evening to keep myself occupied doing the things I like such as cooking, reading, watching tv or writing this blog as well as the big one of course – marathon training.
Training for the marathon during these times gives me reason to be outside, especially as i’m entering ‘longer distance’ territory in the training plan at the moment.
There is no doubt that the determination and motivation to follow this training plan is keeping my mind moving positively during the pandemic. The only exception to missing a training day is injury or illness – COVID-19 or anything else.
As well as work, marathon training, chill time watching tv, films and playing video games I want to spend some of this additional free time I have at the expense of my social life investing in myself.
What I mean by that is I want to continue dabbling with the idea of improving myself.
The original post I wanted to upload this week would go into more details about this. However, due to the announcement of lockdown three I decided to push it back a week so I could address the latest measures and their mental health implications instead.
But I can go into a little bit of detail this week. During the copious amounts of down time I’ve had throughout the various lockdowns and tier systems in place since March 2020 I’ve had time to think of what I really want to be doing with my life once the pandemic is behind us and I feel i’m edging closer to a time where I can move forward with them, really invest the time into getting started and hopefully seeing results, which I’m going to use this lockdown to do.
I’ll go into more detail in next weeks blog post where I talk about my aspirations and goals for 2021 in more detail.
As for lockdown three and my mental health it’s all about striking that balance of work and self-care to take the stress and anxiety out of the equation caused by the current situation.
It’s tough to know how to obtain that in a situation that is constantly changing but I knew what it was once I found it which is something that can happen to us all.
It’s a simple case of focusing on the short-term. Such as the next hours work, tonights dinner and the end of the day.
Instead of applying our minds to try to estimate when this lockdown will end and when this lockdown will end. By focusing on the short-term I tend to find I achieve more and the days go faster which helps to keep my mind at ease – which is what i’ll be doing throughout this lockdown.
2021 London Marathon
As I mentioned a few times in the post i’m running the 2021 London Marathon for Mind. If you wish to donate or keep up to date with how my training and fundraising is going you can do so by following the links below.
Fundraising Page: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JordanCamp
My new Instagram page dedicated to my London Marathon journey: @26.2MilesForMind
Mind Website: https://www.mind.org.uk