Adapting to a new normal
We’re now in to our third week of an entirely new way of life, and it’s expected to go on for longer. It’s a massive, dramatic change that happened almost overnight, and we’re no doubt all coping with it in our own little ways.
I’ve adjusted possibly quicker than most – I worked at home anyway so I’m used to pottering around and spending a lot of time confined to my flat with unwashed hair and the same pair of joggers for days at a time.
Saying that, I definitely felt a shift from my usual day to day and I’ve had to make some adjustments to make this new normal work for me. For one, I’m not used to sharing the space with Jordan or even spending this much time with him, so that was a shock to the system for the first week or so!
But overall, I feel good about how I’m coping. I think I’m navigating these choppy waters well, and so I thought I’d share with you all how I’ve adjusted to life in lockdown. Hopefully you’ll find some comfort in this post and maybe you can share your little changes in the comments too…
Finding A Routine
Since I’m still able to work, I’ve been keeping busy most of the time – but that’s not to say I lose entire days to Netflix or a good page-turner, or even just staring in to space (always guilty of this last one, WHY am I such a daydreamer?!)
It’s a strange time that we weren’t prepared for, so of course there’s going to be days that make me feel like crawling in to a ball and sleeping. It’s a new normal, but that doesn’t mean my reaction should be normal.
Jordan’s been helping me with work so we have a rough routine we try and stick to. We still set an alarm, we exercise first thing (usually a walk before everyone is up), we make breakfast and get ready for the day. After that we’ll spend some time in the office going over what we want to achieve for the week and beyond, Jordan will work on editing my videos and I’ll get some blog posts written before we spend the afternoon working on photos or videos. It’s a loose routine, but it definitely works for us!
Usually we’ll have a drink in the office around 6pm and work until 7pm when it’s time to start dinner. After that, we chill – usually in front of the TV, but a lot of the time we’ll chat with our friends too. I’m definitely consuming a lot more wine in quarantine…
On the weekends, we’re way more relaxed! No alarm, but still a walk as soon as we’re up, then coffee and breakfast together and after that, housework and whatever else we want to do! We have some flat plans we want to get through but we’re taking it slowly and not putting too much pressure on ourselves.
A routine gives me structure and takes away a lot of those “what’s next?” feelings. I’m quite a restless person and I’m always looking to the next task, so knowing there’s always something to do (even if it is housework or emails!) means I stay focused as much as I can.
Working Monday – Friday really works for us too, it means we feel like we’ve worked for the evenings and weekends on the sofa in front of Netflix!
Adapting To An At Home Husband
The flat has always been mine during the day. Jordan goes to work in the coffee shop and I stay at home and work! When he comes home in the evenings, I’m so happy to see him and we get to have the evenings and sometimes weekends together.
As soon as the shop closed last month, I suddenly found myself sharing my workspace! It was lovely but also quite stressful while we got used to each other.
The first week there were definitely a few disagreements, especially when our dishwasher broke. We were living on top of each other, but I already had a life and a routine within our home. The poor guy couldn’t do anything right!
Once we had a designated office space to work in, we managed to find our groove with it, and our morning walks allowed us to have a bit of a debrief while hashing things out. We’ve always got along really well – we have the same friend group, his sister is my best friend and he works with my brother, so we’re never really apart except for when we work – and now we’ve found ourselves together ALL THE TIME.
We eventually found our groove with it and now that we’re working together too, I can’t imagine not having him! He’s such a wonderful human to be around and he’s always up for anything, I just find it so motivating to have someone to work with.
Mostly we’ve just made sure to be patient, kind and understanding to each other always. I give him time to play Fifa when we wants and he helps me with whatever I need doing too. It’s a good balance and hopefully we’ll remain married when we’re out of this… heh.
I actually prefer this version of myself in some ways, it’s like the pressure of the everyday has been lifted so I can actually do the things I love. I start work later so I have time to workout and get properly ready for the day, and I’ve been experimenting with makeup and outfits which means I feel so much happier with myself too.
It’s a difficult time to navigate, but somehow the way life has slowed down has really eased my anxiety and made me focus a whole lot better. I’ve been able to do the videos I’ve always wanted to for Instagram, and generally just had the time and energy to create better content overall. I don’t hurry my way through life like a little tornado, I am patient and relaxed and I have a better outlook on life. I don’t sweat the small stuff, basically!
Let’s hope I keep this up when life resumes eh…
Making Some Small Adjustments
When we first got the news of the lockdown, we thought “okay we can do this for a few weeks!” And then it sunk in that this wasn’t to be for just a few weeks – it could be months. I decided to rejig our home to make it work for both Jordan and I, plus the cats, in our two bedroom apartment.
I totally blitzed the flat, I put all of our extra outerwear, winter gear and suitcases up in our storage space, I decluttered every space I could and we turned our spare room in to a functioning office for us both. I don’t think I would have bothered to do this if we weren’t in lockdown, it seemed like a pointless task but actually, having a separate room to close the door on at the end of the day has helped so much.
We’ve been changing the layout of our flat a lot too; moving our dining table to our living room for a change, moving the desk in our office so we can sit in the sun for our evening beers, and creating little areas in rooms so it always feels like we have this fresh space to go to. I even made the chair in our bedroom a little reading nook for myself to retreat to – I really think having somewhere you can go when you need some alone time is super important. Jordan and I live in each other’s pockets most of the time but we do really appreciate a Saturday afternoon pottering on our own!
Thinking Of The Positives
I’m sure we’ve all lost a lot of sleep over the last couple of months, it really is such an uncertain time full of worry. Stress has taken such a toll on me, I feel exhausted and anxious so often it seems like this is just my life now! I’m worried about my dad in lockdown in Australia, on his own for the first time in 40 years with no end in sight. I worry about our regulars at the coffee shop who live alone and don’t always have someone to chat to. I worry about my friends and how they’re managing, my job and the campaigns that have been put on hold. I worry about where life is headed, all the trips we planned for the year I turn 30, our best friends wedding that has been postponed, and all the celebrations, gigs and events we were looking forward to this summer. Life is completely in limbo.
But I know I’m not alone in this, we’re all in the same boat and life will be sad and strange for a while but we’ll get through it. And if there’s one thing I know the importance of, it’s staying positive!
Where once I would have been depressed at the thought of a summer without a beach holiday, now I only feel gratitude and relief that my loved ones are healthy.
I’ve been trying to think of this time as a bit of a gift. Time to do all those things I said I’d do but never would – like take up pilates, repot all my plants, reorganise and paint our kitchen, find a way for Jordan and I to work together full time, get a better routine and watch more TV series.
I don’t want to come out of this feeling like I’ve wasted weeks when I could have been working on myself. I want to feel like a better version of myself, someone who is closer to her loved ones, has more time for a life outside of work, a better mindset when it comes to finding time to do the things she loves. I can already feel a shift in myself and it’s a good feeling.
Mostly though, I just take it one day at a time. I check in on my loved ones, I spend quality time with my husband and our fluffy babies, I eat well, I make time to move and I do more of what I love, like baking, reorganising and reading.
This isn’t forever, but it’s long enough to impact our lives so it makes sense to adapt if we can.
How are you managing in lockdown? Do you stick to a routine? I hope you are all safe and staying home! xo.