How we are navigating our first lockdown in the UK

England has woken up to a second national lockdown which means only one thing, it’s time to put up your Christmas tree

Yesterday I travelled into central London for a few hours to safely enjoy the buzzing streets of the city and the growing festive spirit.

People were rushing about, probably on their way to their favourite lunch spot to enjoy the last day before the second national lockdown commenced.

Aside from the busy sense of normality, the mood across the nation seems low. The novelty of the first lockdown is officially gone, although for us as a family it’s a first. Small and independent business worry about their survival, the newly opened stores and refurbished hotels that went above and beyond to welcome guests are now forced to close and understandably there is increased concern surrounding mental health – especially with the days growing shorter and colder.

New lockdown rules

However, this time around the lockdown measures are different. We can meet one person outside our household outdoors and children under 5 don’t count. Thankfully the schools remain open so Lola’s routine can remain the same.

A routine for me is comforting. It delivers a sense of normality we so desperately need during this time of uncertainty so I’m glad that my husband can still travel to work if he needs to.

There is also no restriction on how much you can workout outdoors which is great news for the multiple dog walks we do in a day (that’s the maximum exercise I can do outside, it’s far too cold for me now!).

 

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Set a routine

The biggest concern for me is creating my new routine. During the strict lockdown in Dubai, I had the constant demand of work to keep the hours ticking by. Now that I’m freelance I have a lot more free time. When Lola is home it’s easier as we do various activities together, but when I’m on my own it’s different.

I’m reluctant to fall into the habit of just watching TV so I am creating a daily routine plan to keep me motivated and it looks something like this:

  • 6.30am Wake up, get Lola and myself ready
  • 7.30am Breakfast
  • 8.40am Nursery drop off
  • 9am Tidy up/ work/ piano practice
  • 11am Call parents/friends during the dog walk
  • 12.30 Lunch
  • 1.30pm More work/ job applications
  • 2pm Exercise (I like Joe Wicks or Lululemon Yoga classes on YouTube)
  • 3pm Nursery pick-up
  • 4pm Dog walk with Lola
  • 5pm Dinner prep
  • 6pm Dinner
  • 7.30pm Lola’s bedtime
  • 8pm Chill (i.e wine and Netflix)
  • 10pm Bed

To me the 11am slot is key. This time around the emphasis on mental health is a lot stronger and I for one will have to get into the habit of calling my loved ones regularly. I also want to use this time to get back into playing the piano as I’d love to be able to teach Lola in the future. I also want to create more content for my blog and social media (I really got into outfit Reels) as it’s a great way to keep the creativity flowing.

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I know there will be days when I lack inspiration and feel that all my efforts are pointless, but I’m fully aware that on days when I stick to my lockdown routine as closely as possible, I’ll feel productive and genuinely happier.

Hope all who have woken up to the second lockdown also find a purpose to get through the next few weeks, no matter how small, and keep checking in on the people you care about. I feel now more than ever we need each other.

Oh and feel free to join us and several other people and put up your Christmas tree. You’ll be amazed at how good it will make you feel. Now, pass the mulled wine.

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