I feel sad. Today anyway. Yesterday I felt optimistic and full of bounce. The day before I felt motivated and productive. Who knows what emotion will be in play tomorrow? And let me let you into a little secret. Sometimes I don’t want this little bubble of isolation to end. How’s that for a roller coaster and a half of emotions!
No wonder we feel tired, drained, happy and sad. We have never been in this situation before and underwent no psychological training or testing beforehand. Think about Love Island – the contestants go through rigorous screening, analysis and psychodynamic testing before entering an alternative universe for 6 or so weeks. And they at least have a myriad of new people to get to know, figure out. We were given no real notice before being plunged into this crazy self-isolation situation and yet we continue to try and rationalise our thoughts and feelings like we should have it all figured out.
I cried in the shower this morning because my favourite shampoo had run out. Expect that wasn’t why I was sad. I was sad because I couldn’t just ‘pop’ to Boots or hop in the car to Sainsburys without feeling like I had entered into an episode of The Hunger Games. . .These things take planning and over thinking now, do we need an essential shop, is my favourite shampoo essential, why do I even care when no one will see my hair….
‘I cried in the shower this morning because my favourite shampoo had run out. Expect that wasn’t why I was sad….’
Except I will see my hair and how I feel about myself is crucial right now. Being kind and caring to our body, be it through exercise, food, rest or play – if we wake up feeling angsty at ourselves then how does that play out with those we are isolating with throughout the day. (I didn’t pop out to buy the shampoo btw.) And if you are isolating alone does how you feel about yourself matter even more? When the only face you are really interacting with is yours staring back at you in the mirror each morning are you sending back love, frustration or feelings of absolute boredom.
And my obsession with googling the perfect leggings. It’s a problem. Do they exist, have I already found them, what if there’s a comfier pair out there that I haven’t discovered yet. Or should we be getting dressed as ‘normal’. Does the way that we feel about ourselves throughout the day depend on whether we are doing loungewear or power dressing – I’m still experimenting with both and am so far inconclusive! But what I do know is that my current state of happiness does depends a little bit on finding those illusive perfect leggings…..!
‘And my obsession with googling the perfect leggings. It’s a problem.’
If you had said to us six weeks ago that half term would be spent at home, the four of us, will no outings other than a once a day walk around The Downs I would have asked if you had been watching too many reruns of Love Island. Yet this is the week we are having and it’s hard. At times. And ridiculously easy at other times. The girls’ capacity for imaginative play has increased tenfold. Just don’t suggest putting the tent up on a terrace that can’t be pegged into and expect that evening to end well. Their lockdown tolerance didn’t extend this far….. (Note to self, never suggest at home camping again). A sleepover in their bedrooms – that has got more hope attached to it, and apparently packets of hula hoops already squirreled away to fuel it.
And relationships. When you are both used to periods of time throughout the week when you don’t see each other. Is it blissful to be with each other 24/7, testing or somewhere in-between? That Groundhog Day question of ‘what’s for lunch/tea/dinner?’. And the realisation of just how much tea one of you can drink in a 24-hour period. These are unprecedented times that none of us could have foreseen or prepared for. (Apart from my husband, who’s stock piling tendencies were in situ long before Covid 19, meaning we are all good for teabags and toothpaste for approximately another 52 weeks….why he didn’t foresee the toilet roll situation is anyone’s guess. )
‘That Groundhog Day question of ‘what’s for lunch/tea/dinner?…’
The cat is wondering if we have all lost our jobs, we are wondering if we are all slowly losing our sanity. I’m wondering when I will ever see my favourite shampoo again. The girls are wondering what’s for lunch. And I’m pondering whether I should sign up to a disco kitchen dancing class this evening.
This is lockdown 2020.