Lockdown is hard, but we have to do it. Switching off is also hard, especially when you are someone who loves being on the go, and productive. It’s not a competitive thing, I don’t measure myself on what others are putting on their instagram stories during lockdown, but it’s my personality type of thing. I love being on the go, I just find it incredibly hard to switch off.
As like many I feel like I should be doing stuff to constantly make me better. Developing a skill that could boost my career, or taking an online course. Lockdown is a strange period, and an incredibly anxious time as well.
We are all a bit in limbo, not really sure what we can do, and thinking about what we could be doing with all the time that is being spent at home. If anything, now is more important than ever to switch off; whether that is through playing a board game with your family, a netflix party with friends, the virtual pub quiz, going for runs and enjoying the outdoors (something that has now become something really brag worthy – ‘oh look i ran my 5k in 17 minute i’m so much better than you’ just fuck off no one cares, its an achievement if you decide that the only thing you want to do today is get out of bed). It’s hard to just switch off in some cases, and just do nothing except be with your family, or what a film, or read a book. Yoga is great, but sometimes I feel like that is more of a ‘productive’ task rather than something to relax (and yes I do have it on my ‘to-do’ list so I don’t forget).
I suppose I am in a slightly weird situation. I’ve been furloughed, so I’m not working. I’m also studying for a masters, so my life revolves around assignments, reading for my dissertation, and revision for my now online open book 24 hour exam. Oh and I start a new module on Monday, which was supposed to include a visit to Chelsea FC training ground that I am gutted about (maybe Spurs, but you know Mason Mount, RLC, and I’ll even include Lampard in that list – could have seen them). It’s a strange time being a student.
I’ve spent the last 6 weeks at home. I’m bored of the four walls. I’m bored of working on my laptop in my bedroom, lounge or dining room table. I hate studying without seeing other people study, yet here I am being productive with uni work 10 till 5 or 6 most days. I can’t switch off. Yes, I have had assignments to do, but even in the evenings I find it hard not to do anything. It’s not just uni work either, I feel like there is this invisible pressure across social media to improve yourself, continuing to learn, build your skills for a graduate job to make you stand out. So guess what, this girl who is studying a masters and can’t switch off done the Google Digital Garage Fundamentals of Digital Marketing. This isn’t a brag, and looking back I don’t even know why I did it, but I have, and it’s now a certificate on my LinkedIn. I could have used that time differently, to switch off, maybe Facetime a friend, or even do one of them colouring books.
Okay, I have switched off a bit. In the last six weeks I’ve read two books, baked three batches of cookies, been going for runs, taking part in virtual pub quizzes, talking to friends, and giving my self self-care routines (something that I actually need to do more of). I still feel kinda guilty about doing those things, but I suppose that’s because I find it hard to switch off. It’s almost like I am programmed to be constantly on the go, busy, learning, and whatever else, and I don’t think this lockdown is helping.
In the time before the dreaded ‘C 19’ word was about, I used to switch off easier. Uni was in London and in one building, with some uni work on the train occasionally, I never did uni work at home unless I was behind or a deadline was coming up ASAP. I planned my days in London. I like to reward (thats the wrong word) myself by being social and enjoying myself – that was my way of switching off. Going for drinks, doing fun stuff with my pals, going football, concerts. Now my switching off is maybe have a glass of wine, or here’s another netflix series that I am only watching because of hype. Don’t get me wrong I am thoroughly enjoying friend quizzes, but it still isn’t the same as being with people in real life.
Now I am sort of realising why I struggle to switch off. I’m writing this on my laptop, on my bed, and in 12 hours time I will be asleep in the same bed. So I’m going to set myself a challenge of turning off my laptop at 5pm each day, and just switching off. We will see how this goes…