I don’t know about you, but last week when I realised that “total lockdown” (whatever that is) had actually only been going for a week, I felt a little downhearted to say the least?

My working life means that I haven’t really been a Monday to Friday 9 to 5 type of person for a very long time however, there have always been certain markers in the sand to either break the week up or the month up and there have been things to look forward to further down the line like trips away, meeting up with friends etc. that have inevitably broken the year up. Not right now.

I was talking to a client of mine last week who is a very creative lady and we were talking about her struggles to remain creative during lockdown. I’m pleased to say that there were some things that we could put in place to help support her and feel more inspired but what was interesting was that she talked about how she felt like she was losing her identity as the year of Covid progressed. She explained that usually she dressed in a colourful perhaps bohemian way, with dangly earrings and lots of bangles but that now, she didn’t feel the need as she wasn’t going anywhere, wearing a mask with any type of earrings is tricky and the bangles were just getting on her nerves!

This led me to similar conversations with other clients who admitted to remaining in their “dog walking clothes” for the day as no-one was seeing them, they didn’t feel the need to wear make up or do their nails and although they were dressing for comfort, that tended to be older, scruffier clothes that didn’t necessarily make them feel any better.

Interestingly but unsurprisingly, it also came up that during  this particular lockdown people were really struggling with their diet (as in eating healthily rather than losing weight) as they just didn’t feel inspired or encouraged to try different things. There really was a sense of groundhog day and that doesn’t feel good.

It made me look at my own routine and behaviours and I too, have found myself not “making effort”. Ok, when I’m zooming with clients, I can slap some lippy on, brush my hair and they wouldn’t know if I’ve got my pyjama bottoms or grubby dog walking leggings on but does that make me feel better? No. When was the last time I wore jewelry – I don’t tend to purely because I forget. That’s not me though, anyone who knows me knows I love my painted nails, that I love dressing up that there are certain things that people associate with me – where have I gone?

I’ve decided that to get through this lockdown I need a bit more structure. I appreciate yet again that this won’t be the same for everyone but for me I need the days to feel different, I need to make natural breaks in the week. I need to be me again, me pre-Covid.

So, for the next 4 weeks this is how it’s going to rock n’roll……

  • Monday to Friday I will be getting up at a set time each day for my dog walk
  • I will be wearing brighter, more interesting work clothes that make me feel better.
  • I’ll paint my nails and get the lippy on.
  • Monday – Friday I am not going to stress too much about what I eat but hope that it’s relatively healthy.
  • On the Friday evenings where I’m not working on a Saturday, I will have a large glass of something or maybe even two.
  • I am going to to try and keep my household tasks to a Saturday afternoon after all, I’m not going anywhere or seeing anyone. I don’t need to be cleaning every single day!
  • I’m going to cook a treat for myself on Saturday nights, it doesn’t have to be healthy, it will be something delicious and rewarding.
  • Sunday is going to be my rest day, walking, reading, relaxing, restoring.
  • I won’t be answering emails at the weekend nor the evenings. I will reinstate my boundaries to protect my own mental health so that I’m equipped to help others.

Writing it down might seem madness BUT writing it down has made me realise how many things have slipped into groundhog day mentality and I’m not prepared to just give in to that.

So this morning my nails are painted, the lipstick is on, the jumper I usually keep “for best” has got an airing and I’m looking forward to a week of coaching knowing that at the weekend there will be some time for me too which can only be better for everyone in the long run.