We’re one month into the year that followed the shower of negativity that was 2020 and nothing has changed, if anything it’s got a little worse.
Lockdown three has been extended, likely until March, new variants of COVID are popping up across the world, including the UK, and the new James Bond film has been pushed back once again.
However, there are signs of improvement, the vaccine is being rolled out quickly, the days are getting warmer, longer and with each passing day we are one step closer to something like a normal version of the planet being restored.
Due to the mental health implications of the pandemic the importance of speaking openly and honestly about how we are feeling has never been more important. Therefore I’ve decided that at the end of each month I’m going to do an overview of how my mental health has been for the last 31 days. The good. The Bad. And everything in between.
Starting with January 2021.
I saw in the new year on a Zoom call with a bunch of friends, we did a quiz about the year gone by as well as a number of drinking games – although I stuck to the water.
At midnight I had a lovely panoramic view of some fireworks displays people had set off in their garden which filled me with a sense of optimism.
That’s not something I’ve felt when watching a set of fireworks before – perhaps it’s because I was thinking things can only get better in 2021 – but I genuinely hold a lot of hope for the year ahead, even if the first few months of it are in lockdown.
In the final hours of 2020 the NHS track and trace app told me I had been around someone who had since tested positive for COVID-19 and therefore had to isolate for four days.
Luckily I’d just got back from a food shop when I received the notification so had enough to last four days, to be honest the only disruption it caused was to my marathon training, but I recovered the missing miles once the four days were up.
The period of self-isolation didn’t have a negative affect on my mental health to be honest. I was pretty confident I didn’t have it, which I later found out I didn’t after a negative COVID test at the end of the four days.
During isolation I just kept myself as busy as I could within the four walls of my home. Reading, writing, watching films, practicing my putting in the hallway etc. When it comes to this level of self-care I know what I like so it isn’t a struggle for me anymore.
I only missed two training runs through isolation, one of which was a Sunday long run of 90 minutes but I got that done on the first Monday post isolation, with Monday’s traditionally being a rest day.
Another big thing happened that day – Boris Johnson announced lockdown three, coming into effect two days later.
The announcement of a third national lockdown didn’t come as a surprise to me, the infection rate, confirmed cases and death figures as well as the new mutant strain first discovered in Kent really left the government with no option.
Where I live in Essex was one of the first places in the country to enter tier four restrictions so the jump to national lockdown really wasn’t very different at all, which meant I was used to living in those conditions by the time they were put in.
I had a really positive mindset heading into lockdown three. Obviously I didn’t want it to come to this but the numbers don’t lie so it was necessary. Since the beginning of the pandemic I’ve always said I was never going to complain about having to stay at home.
Sure, I’d love to do my favourite things like going to watch West Ham, playing a round of golf, going to the pub with my friends and having a social life in general but as long as I’m able to work and earn a living i’m not going to complain, especially when so many people are suffering so much more than I am during the pandemic.
And for the majority of January I was positive on a day to day basis. I managed to strike a very good balance between work and self-care and saw huge improvements in my marathon training.
However, during that final week of January I really hit the feeling of groundhog day. I think the effect of lockdown was beginning to take its toll and with no end date in sight I was feeling so fatigued with it all.
I know that’s a feeling so many of us are experiencing at the moment but sadly that is life for now, normality is postponed for a little while longer. It’s hard to know how to overcome that fatigue because this situation is still so new to us all but I found keeping myself busy helped to suppress the negativity.
I’m fortunate that i’m currently training for the London Marathon. By having that end goal and focus I have my ‘Why’ which keeps me motivated and also includes other habits that increase positivity such as a healthy diet and rest days.
Those days of fatigue happen, I experienced them during the first and second lockdown as well as the pre pandemic world but the way to move forward from them is to apply the ethos of the late great Captain Sir Tom Moore – tomorrow will be a good day.
Looking at the positives of January 2021, I read five books, burned through three scented candles and ran a total of 110 miles including a half marathon PB. It’s the small things like that which I’ll carry with me into February where I hope to pick up some more as we step closer to summertime.
2021 London Marathon
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