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Walk in my Shoes3rd June 2020

Life in lockdown: marking milestones

Karina OConnell life in lockdown blog article

As a continuation of the work we produced supporting Mental Health Awareness Week, we have decided to publish a weekly blog dedicated to wellness.  We’ve asked a few of our staff, volunteers and organisations we work closely with to write a journal post and diary a day in lock down. These blogs will provide a snapshot of the everyday lives, experiences and wellbeing of our people.

Karina O’Connell

Lock down began early in our house as I feared the worse and decided to put measures in place to keep my family safe. I live with a vulnerable parent, a baby (now toddler) and my other half who is a key worker.

We now know more about the virus and therefore, understand how it behaves and how it spreads. At the beginning the facts about how the virus were uncertain and were often changing, that alone left me feeling very anxious. I wasn’t sure what our days would look like, I didn’t know how to keep us safe.

However, our day to day routine looks similar to before as it falls heavily around our daughters routine that has not changed much since before lockdown. To have that routine, to keep normality has bought certainty, which has really helped me. Plus, having a small child to entertain is keeping me busy and positive.

A typical day in lock down, starts with my daughter having her milk, me getting ready for the day and watching the foxes we are lucky enough to have in our garden, we go down for breakfast, I get my daughter ready, then we do some educational play, we like to sing along to the baby club on Cbeebies.

Then it’s nap time, in nap time I usually get what I need to do done and dinner prepped.

Then it’s lunch time, more play, sometimes in the garden or messy play then I get dinner ready, we have dinner as a family, after we go for a walk around the garden on her trike or more recently around the block.

Then it’s bath time, book and bed and then my evenings vary with different hobbies, baking or keeping in touch via video call with family and friends.

I actually feel more connected with some family and friends now than I did before as we all have more time and have made the effort to talk and do quizzes.

My partner, being a key worker, has had limited contact with us at home as a precaution as he works in close proximity to people. As a way to spend time together we have started working out in the garden following an app on our phones. We’ve also attempted to learn a couple of tiktok dances that I have to say is harder than it looks and left us both in hysterics. I’ve never been one for following dance moves – more of a free spirit.

One change that has effected our daily lives is online shopping. Although, I’ve always been one for meal planning, I am now planning meals for an entire month. This is to attempt to have less food waste and to be smart when shopping and save a bit of money.

At the beginning of lockdown, delivery slots were far apart and we had to become creative to make meals out of what we had (I lost 1 1/2 stone, there’s a silver lining in everything).

One last thing I want to touch on is how many celebrations we have had since being in lock down.

My first Mother’s Day, Easter, my daughters first birthday and my birthday.

Celebrating these events at home and being creative with how we can have the best day has actually made the best memories. Although, in different circumstances we would have had bigger plans, it was lovely to take the stress out of it and just enjoy the day, the food and activities we planned on a simpler level. It meant I could take it all in without the stress of making sure everything runs smoothly.

Lockdown has taught me to be present in the current day, not always focusing on the future.

On a parting note, if you are struggling, we are one day closer to normality as we knew it.

Take this time to think about what it is you want to rush back to.

Find out more about Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust’s initiatives for Mental Health Awareness.

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