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 COVID 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 half-way 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 on-going 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 myself out of this slump, I have spent time increasing my running distances with the aim 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 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!