How funny was it back in March when we naively thought this would all be over in six weeks? I look back at those times when Dave and I were working from the dining room table and it all felt so makeshift and temporary. Now we have our own separate offices with proper office furniture and my own smart wall to keep me on track. Safe to say back in March we never expected things to turn out the way they have, especially not being back in lockdown in November that’s for sure.
Much as there are many pluses to working from home now, especially since I started my new job in August; it’s given me opportunity to really knuckle down and concentrate without the distractions of an office, since the weather took a turn for the worse, so has my mood sadly. I’ll be honest, my eyes are sick of seeing the same four walls.
And as if Saturday’s lockdown announcement wasn’t depressing enough, to add insult to injury, my gym shut for good in the middle of last month; the first real casualty of COVID-19 that has impacted me directly. And believe me it’s not lost on me how lucky I am to be able to say that. I considered whether to buy my own gym equipment to have in the garage and save myself a new membership in the long run. The downside of doing that of course being that it would mean I could go days, or even weeks without ever leaving the house.
Towards the end of the summer when the schools went back, lockdown was easing and we started venturing out a bit more to go for walks at the weekend. I’ve never been a massive walker, or fan of the countryside for that matter, but the more we did it the more I enjoyed it. I took a while to dawn on me, but I came to the conclusion that the reason I liked it so much, was because it was giving me the opportunity for my eyes to see something different. Home isn’t the sanctuary it once was, because it’s also now where we work too. We can’t go to pubs and restaurants even with members of the same household. So getting out in the country side has been the visual stimulation I didn’t even know I needed.
A couple of places we’ve been has been Cratser and Dunstanburgh Castle
Rothbury and the Coquet Valley
But by far my favourite place so far has been Thrunton Woods near Alnwick. It’s such a vast area and now that the weather is getting chilly, the 5 mile loop was practically deserted. It was just so peaceful and pretty, I really fell in love with it and it did wonders for my soul. The fact we were able to stop off at a cute country pub with an open fire for a drink on the way home was the icing on the cake.
I’d kind of resigned to the fact that we probably wouldn’t be able to venture out too much once autumn arrived but actually I think as long as it’s not chucking it down, I’d be more than happy to wrap up warm and get lost in the wilderness for a few hours. I think it’s important now more than ever to get out and about in the daylight whenever you can. I’m a self confessed city girl so it’s been a bit of an adjustment for me.
But here’s the thing. Before all of this started, I was never much of a fan of taking annual leave and just staying at home, unless of course it was a tactical hangover day, in which case home was the only place I wanted to be. I was very much an advocate of going away somewhere any chance we got because I would feel physically distanced from work, and our house, and all the usually pressures of life. I couldn’t worry about work or be tempted to glance at my emails if I was in a different country where it was virtually impossible to do so. That’s more tricky these days with being unable to travel in the way we’re used to. A long walk in the woods has replaced that relaxed feeling of not being able to worry about stuff. If nothing else there’s never any bloody signal anyway.
What have you been doing to try and relax and switch off during lockdown?