I’ve been in lockdown for six months because of Covid. I’ve lived six months in virtual isolation. It started back in November, just around the same time I discovered I was pregnant. In Ontario, they opted for restrictions that were case based depending on the region where you lived using a coloured tier system. I forget exactly what colour we were in when, but it all boiled down to the same thing: everything was closed. Restaurants, hair salons, gyms, stores–everything was–is— closed. Sure, you could get groceries and go to Wal-Mart, but the bookstore or the craft store were out. You weren’t really supposed to visit anyone either, though the guidelines were confusing and honestly, people continued to visit each other, some more than others. And since November, my region has been largely in a lockdown of one kind or another with sometimes restrictions loosening a wee bit before tightening back up again.
As you can imagine, people have been upset. A lot of the guidelines make no sense at all, and seem kinda of contradictory, and people are tired of being told every holiday to stay home. And we are tired of daily announcements from our government begging people to stay home, to be patient and extending the lockdown every two weeks. I think that it’s understandable. Now, we could sit here all day and talk about how governments have mismanaged the pandemic, how people are being irresponsible in some of their actions, how others simply must go to work, how small businesses are being affected and just generally bitch about the madness Covid has unleashed upon the world, but what would be the point? My purpose here today is to talk about how I’ve survived living in virtual isolation with little to do for six months. Because while I have kept busy and been glad to be home and working on my blog, a lot of the time…has been boring.
What’s Gotten Me Through Virtual Isolation
Working from Home…Not an Option
While many people have this ability, to work from the safety of their homes, I don’t. I am a teacher, and schools were open and deemed “safe” throughout much of this six months, though they did close for about two months after Christmas, and again after Easter, and are currently closed. Now, teaching is a stressful job and teaching during Covid proved too much for my mental health and shortly before the lockdown started, I had to take a leave. That leave then got extended as my pregnancy became complicated by my genetic disorder, OTC deficiency. So I am not currently working. And this has proved mostly liberating as I can focus on other interests and projects, such as this blog. But, six months in the same space with no where to go other than on a walk has been challenging and boring at times.
Getting Creative During Lockdown
I’ve said this before, the pandemic has really allowed many of us to explore our creativity. And I have definitely been doing that by writing, blogging, reading, crocheting, trying out new things like bullet journalling and colouring. It’s been soothing, fun and provided insight into myself and allowed me to grow as an individual. Exploring my creativity has proved key into surviving this lockdown. If I hadn’t had these creative outlets, I likely would have found the days a lot more boring than I have. Luckily, exploring my creativity has always come naturally to me and I was more than ready to jump into creative projects since working full time can limit your creative exploration and expression.
Related Article: Super Cool Crafts to do in Lockdown
Connecting with Others In Virtual Isolation
I haven’t really had any way to spend time with family or friends, and honestly, staying connected has been difficult. Texting just isn’t the same as having drinks with your bestie. And even when we do chat, there isn’t much to share. We are living in the same conditions–lockdown. It’s work and home for her. It’s just home for me. So I do feel like I’ve lost some touch with friends, though I’ve tried and stay connected, and not being able to socialize has definitely made life more boring. On the flip side though, I’ve connected a lot with others on social media. I’ve met tons of great people through my blogging and enjoy chatting with them or sharing knowledge. But sometimes the lack of real connection with others has proved emotionally draining. I have felt at times as though no one really cares about me, and that is largely because I am living in virtual isolation.
Self Care, an Every Day Practice in Virtual Isolation
Lots of self care has gotten me through this seemingly endless lockdown. Baths, journalling, cuddles with my hubby and bunny, crocheting, reading, movies, walks–and more. But self care alone hasn’t allowed me to remain sane. There were definitely days I felt like a caged tiger, unable to go anywhere, restless, trapped, alone. Angry. I’d dissolve into tears because I needed OUT. There seemed to be nothing to do other than clean my home and I’d lost motivation to do that because I felt trapped in my home. I love my home, but some days I just wanted to go out and see something new. Clear my head. Staying in and doing the same things day in and out gets boring after a while. Even if they are things you love doing.
What Happens When the Boredom Gets to Me
Six months in lockdown has gotten the better of me at times. It’s been hard having little to no contact with anyone. Like, really hard. And there are days when I’m so restless I can’t blog, or read or do anything. I end up watching YouTube mindlessly, or I end up in tears because I feel utterly useless. I don’t know what to do with myself. On those days, I have no motivation to tidy up or clean (and I hate cleaning to begin with) and the idea of opening up a colouring book or my journal makes me want to scream. I don’t know why I feel like that, but I do. So I end up in tears. Sometimes I can pick up myself up out of these ruts, and sometimes I can’t. And the day just sucks. As you might expect many days to suck when living in virtual isolation.
Making it Through, Despite the Boredom and Hardship
It’s been hard, not only because I’m stuck at home with no one to interact with, and only the same space to be in, but also because life goes on despite the current circumstances. Covid didn’t stop people from getting married, from having babies, from getting new jobs or moving houses. It didn’t stop heaters from breaking down, or kids from out growing their clothes. People need things–to get the plumber in, to buy groceries, to replace an old mattress or whatever else. I sure have with a baby on the way.
At first, I thought I had time. I was newly pregnant after all. But the weeks turned into months and the lockdown was never really lifted. I couldn’t go shopping for a crib or clothes. I have had to buy everything online. Shopping for my first and likely, only baby online has been…tricky and disappointing. I couldn’t share my experience with my mom or husband. It was me in front of a computer screen. I didn’t have the same kind of selection or experience of shopping for my baby. I couldn’t share my joy or coo over tiny pj’s with anyone.
Buying other items online hasn’t been easy either. I’m sure we’ve all heard it–you ordered hot sauce on the side of your take out and they forgot it. Your groceries were delivered to the wrong address. Errands are always a pain, but have been more so during Covid. Frankly, I’m tired of ordering online and then waiting for curb side pick up. I just want to run into a store, grab what I need and get out. Sometimes I can’t even find the litter for my bunny on the website and I know they carry this brand regularly. Or I get so caught up in trying to find that litter, that I forget other things I need to order. Wouldn’t happen if I was in the actual store though because I always go through each pet section to make sure I have what I need for the birds and bunny. So shopping online isn’t always ideal.
So I do what I can on days where I am not feeling like a tiger in a cage. On those days, I tidy, or run some errands. I crochet or work on the blog. I try and enjoy the day and often do. On the days when I want to pull my hair out, I do my best to get in some extra self care, or to simply take it easy. If I really can’t help it, I cry. And being pregnant, I really can’t help it. So I cry a lot. Sometimes when you live in virtual isolation as I have been, it’s the only thing to do.
But in the end, I am surviving the boredom. I am not entirely sure how some days–it’s a combination of self care, patience, acceptance of the crap conditions due to the pandemic, and support from my husband. It’s finding the inner strength not to give in to the anxiety created by being so isolated. Yes, I have felt unloved, but I know it’s my anxiety talking. It’s allowing myself to be pissed off and sad when these emotions hit–acknowledging that they are valid and that I have every right to feel as I do. It’s reminding myself that I am not alone. That this virtual isolation is not as all encompassing as it sometimes feels. This is how I’m surviving this lockdown, one day at a time.
How did you survive lockdown? Share in the comments and subscribe to the newsletter for access to freebies!