A virtual hug is ok, but ……..
This post has been written, partially deleted, re-written, deleted, re-written several times over the past 10 days, it began as a positive body image, health post and then snowballed into an unloading of RAHHHHHH ! on life in general and expectations.
So, this week has mostly been sponsored by hormones, irrational out burst and Uthred of Bebbanburg (yes to Last Kingdom season4 hitting Netflix ) ! Week 7 what was ,a week that felt more strange, and slightly more difficult than any other week gone by. Why? I do not know, Monday was a crappy non-starter, and I think that set the tone for the week, doing my classes helped massively as it gave me something to focus on, something to do, and a motivator to get out of bed and get dressed, but the case study that needed writing up, still needs writing up, and the blog post I started at the end of last week that I promised to finish, still remains un finished – well not anymore, not that it is a master piece of a blog and would win awards, as it was ramblings of a PT in lockdown, but it is the fact that jobs are being started but not completed, and this procrastination is a knock on of my Lockdown experience.
From my personal point, some of this week has been a downer on myself, it`s that feeling that time is being wasted, maybe more can be done, the business could be building in this time, I could be trying harder and I could be training harder!
People appear to fear expressing that they are feeling down, or pissed off with themselves, for fear of being told to “man up” or shut up” and that others have it harder or are woking harder , and yes that maybe true, however no matter how easy you think someone has it, everyone has their down days, and everyone is entitled to have a day , or a week where it feels all too much, and should be able to express this without being shamed.
We are nearing the end of confinement, with restrictions being relaxed slightly (France) a new regret is emerging on social media, where people are posting their “regret” at wasting time ? at doing nothing? at not learning a new skill? Seriously, WTF ??? confinement was never a set amount of time, we planned week by week, our main purpose was to stay home and safe and keep others around us safe, so if that has been achieved , and as a caring citizen of your community if you achieved this then I`d say you have nothing to feel regret about! You protected yourself and others ! You are a hero !
But how do you combat the feeling that maybe you could have done better?
Didn`t Lose Weight !
Right so, lets get this one out of the way first ! Did you want to lose weigh prior to lockdown ? if the answer is no, then why worry that during lockdown you haven`t shifted a lb or 2. In the whole grand scheme of a global pandemic your weight is not something that should keep you awake at night.
If the answer is yes you were trying to lose some weigh prior to lockdown but it stalled during confinement or you gained a few, it`s not the worse that could have happened, here is a list of reasons why your weight loss has stalled or you gained slightly :
eating more – yes during this crazy time the chances are you have eaten more, be it through boredom, or a change in routine. When life returns so will your habits.
menstrual cycle. – Women it does not help
being less physically active. – Even if you have done a home-workout a couple of times a week and gone for a walk during your hour of freedom, chances are you are not being as active as normal
water retention due to dehydration or excess salt.- This goes back to routine and like eating, when you are out of sync your normal consumption of water will have changed.
stress, depression, or anxiety. – Everyone has felt this at some point during confinement, it is normal , it is how we deal with the world and eventually we will come out the other side
lack of sleep. – Lack of routine, stress, being less active can all lead to reduced sleep.
Looking at the list of reason your weight fluctuates, there are no reasons to beat your self up, look at this period as a break, everyone needs one, the body too! and when all is back to normal hop back on the wagon, you never know a break is maybe what you needed to kickstart you.
The home workout ! did you workout during confinement? did you regularly workout before ? if the answers is no to the second Q , then why feel compelled to during confinement? If yes, did you find time? At the start of this very sureal time, it was every where, “you have time” take up a new sport, try yoga, try a home workout ! “get that summer body started”
Through rose tinted glasses, the idea of spending hours at home, less work (maybe) family all pitching together and you with this extra hour or so a day to do with as you please, try a new workout, when in reality, there was not the free time. The kids needed extra attention, you spent the first few hours of the day coaxing them to do the school work, that, if like me , it was baffling and confusing, they then wanted feeding , the laundry still needed doing, plus add on work!
So, if you are still to do that home workout, at least you thought about it, that is worth credit alone. When this time passes, classes and gyms will still be here, your drive to exercise will return, there is no rush.
If like me, you have worked out through lockdown I salute YOU ! Keeping the motivation to train over the last 8 weeks has been a struggle, at first it was not so tough, and doing classes made it easier, the motivation was there, but as weeks went by, the classes I have grown to love but my own training has struggled. I am a gym goer, I exercise outside my house, my home is my place to kick back and relax, the gym was and is the place I get my head in check and train, I don`t do well mixing them and the more weeks that have passed the more it has been a struggle, but I have tried and that is all that can be done, and keep in mind we will get through this time.
Virtual Get Together
A virtual hug is lovely but nothing beats the feeling of a loved one (family or friend) wrapping their arms around you and giving you a physical hug, the feeling of contact.
Throughout this, social media, virtual meeting rooms have provided a way to keep in touch with each other, the novelty of quizzes and concerts and being able to see each other even if we could not be in the same room. A fabulous medium for those especially isolating on their own. Zoom dinner parties that resulted in just drinking , Zoom Hen Dos and Stags, we have become more creative in keeping in touch, probably more so than prior to lockdown, however if like me you just struggled with them, getting drunk on gin looking at a screen in my view is still getting drunk on your own ! Don“t worry you are not a bad person and should feel no shame or regret that you did not get more involved , it is OK, it is just like turning down an invite to a party that everyone else appears to be going to except you, because for what ever reason, your own sanity or you just cannot be arsed , this is and was your lockdown! Plus, as I say nothing beats a real hug !
Learn a Language
If you have not mastered that new language what have you been doing with your lockdown time ? JOKING !!!
Ok, lets get this straight, learning a new language or any skill takes time, and perseverance and practice FSI research indicates that it takes 480 hours to reach basic fluency in group 1 languages, and 720 hours for group 2-4 languages. If we are able to put in 10 hours a day to learn a language, then basic fluency in the easy languages should take 48 days, and for difficult languages 72 days. Did you have 10 hours a day to devote to learning a new language or skill ? The answer is a resounding NO! no one had that time so if you have not mastered a new skill , you can rest assured neither has anyone else ! you are not alone, and this apparent “regret” can be left here , no need to dwell on this one!
Bake a Cake
Ok, this probably could sit in with number 4 learn a language skill, but as everyone has been baking cakes I gave it it`s own section.
Baking, the new pastime, everyone has been baking cake, or making sour dough…….. or have they ? I will admit I have baked a cake during Lockdown, and a mighty fine cake it was for a birthday, have I contemplated baking anymore? NO! I like baking, I bake a lot and I like cake decorating , but I have found during lockdown I couldn`t be arsed, baking is a normal pastime and lockdown is not normal, and I had no desire to bake. Some have taken up the wonderful art of baking , it has been helpful, therapeutic and used up many many soggy bananas across the globe ! But if you have not baked don`t feel bad, if you have consumed cake then I would say you have played your part and provided a crucial service in reducing food wastage.
In all seriousness, this idea that people have extra time and that somehow life is simpler, has probably increased stress levels for some , if you haven` t got your craft on, or baking spoons out, that is cool – you kept safe and well ,and for that I salute you !
The BIG ONE ! the stress of all stress, the one that so many parents are beating themselves over ……. HOMESCHOOL
I am a firm believer that if there is a professional that can teach your child to do something, or even your partner, EMPLOY them ! NEVER try teaching a loved one a skill that you are not skilled din, for example, I would never teach my son to drive, why? because it will end in disaster, I will shout he will shout and the car will end up abandoned or he will more like ! So, why on gods earth would I attempt to homeschool? It would have ended in the same fashion , him being kicked out of class and told to stand in the corridor for the rest of the day (corridor being stood out the house next to the road in this case) . I was fortunate though, he is at high school and the work above my teaching grade and all on line with access to his teachers! whey go meeeee ! . But for some I know this time has been hard, no access to online teachers, no access to help and being left with a sense of failure.
Throughout this whole situation, if you have children your main aim and goal is to keep them safe, not ready them for an oxbridge, not get them passing their A-levels at 5 ! but keeping them safe, and happy ! If you have achieved this, and I know all my friends far and wide have ! then F*ck the schooling, teachers are trained to teach and when your child returns to school there will be tools in-place to bring all children up to speed , if you have tried and everyday you do a little bit of learning GO YOU ! you tried , if by week 8 you are now on strike, again GO YOU ! you tried ! If you have spent no time in the last 8 weeks homeschooling as life is too short and you also have to work, again GO YOU ! In these times what will the school do, put you in detention for not competing set work! Id like to see them try !
Regretting not trying hard enough to teach your kids is a waste of regret !
Look at yourself and be proud that you made your kids feel safe, loved and happy
And so, by reducing / eliminating any lockdown regrets here is a lockdown checklist of things you hopefully achieved
1: Did you do your best and are you safe and loved?
If you answer YES to the above checklist ( and everyone will answer yes) , you made it through, no regrets, you did your best and your best won for you and your family !