At Home Experiences

Lockdown 2: Just as Stressful as the First Time

4th November 2020

The UK is due to go into a second national lockdown tomorrow. I’m more upset than I feel I should be about the prospect of another lockdown. After all, for me, not much changes. My partner has his own office so he can continue to work there. My children will still be going to school. I’ll continue working from home as normal. Lockdown shouldn’t make much difference to me at all, so why do I feel so uncomfortable?

I suspect part of it is that going into winter always causes me to feel a slight discomfort even at the best of times. Every year I have to have a plan to make the most of winter otherwise I’m likely to slip into poor moods and my mental health suffers.

I think about the walks I want to take with Jasper, I get scented candles to burn to make the darker nights more appealing, I cook casseroles, I make mulled wine, I put lots of blankets on the sofas to snuggle up in, I get wood for fires and I put fairy lights up in the house. These all give me something to look forward to and make staying in more comfortable and appealing.

Walks with Jasper lift my mood

The run up to Christmas keeps me going too; visiting shops and garden centres and seeing all the gifts and decorations, hearing endless Christmas music playing on a loop, visiting local cafes and having hot chocolate on cold days. That is what will be missing for me in the next few weeks, as will the lack of events that usually make up part of the Christmas experience.

As I work from home cafes are an escape; I visit our excellent local cafes several times a week. I used to go to the gym a few times a week too but those are shut as well. My escapes are being cut off. I can’t get out of the house to somewhere where there are other people who just happen to be around. I’ll be on my own a lot more than usual, and I won’t really see anyone but my family for a month.

However, despite my discomfort I think the government are doing the right thing. It’s too late, but better late than never. I would rather live with the mild discomfort of lockdown for a while than see the death rate from this horrible virus rise to thousands every day. I’d rather live in lockdown for the entire winter than see the NHS overwhelmed.

Today my partner and I went out for breakfast and hot chocolate. We went to shops just to browse. I felt a bit silly doing it, but at some level I knew I needed to. I have so much to be thankful for that I feel selfish admitting my feelings about lockdown. I have everything I need and more, plus my family and my health. But lucky or not I can’t help feeling isolated from my community now, and I worry about what this small market town in Dorset will look like this time next year.

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