Being on furlough can be a lonely time. Whilst I feel very grateful that I have all this time for self development, Netflix, YouTube etc. being alone, with not much on your mind can really leave you overthinking EVERYTHING.
Living with an invisible disability isn’t fab at the best of times. Whilst I was at work I at least had a distraction from the pain/discomfort I was going through. Doing the tea round (every graduates main job really), was a great way for me to stretch, have a walk and take some time away from my desk to chat to others, or to simply enjoy making the 10 million cups of tea (each with different colours and strengths may I add…).
I also had a GREAT structure whilst at work: go to work, come home go to the gym, eat, chill out/craft, then go to sleep. Now, NOW, I wake up, walk into the same living room, the same kitchen, the same 4 walls, do some random s**t for the day and then go to sleep.
Not gonna lie, I have been an emotional wreck (anyone else with a chronic illness knows what this is like; add emotion to pain = you guessed it.. a MONSTER). I’ve been on furlough for about 3 weeks now, I’ve attempted many routines, many have left me eating ice cream out of the box watching Finding Dory for the 50th time this quarantine.
But I think I have cracked it! Hallelujah for my bf who is definitely fed up of me demanding wine every night now…
Disabilities, injuries, depression, anxiety, whatever you are going through; (this is WILD what I’m about to say….) SITTING ON THE SOFA CRYING TO FINDING DORY WITH ICE CREAM AND WINE WON’T HELP IT. I mean don’t get me wrong, I prescribe that at least once a week, but maybe not every night, you know?
After deciding that becoming a yoga teacher was probably too expensive for this furloughed little yogi, I decided to take part in some courses and dedicate the first 30-45 minutes of everyday to yoga. I have now completed the 7 day yoga strong course by @yogiapproved, and do Lizzie Williams’ online class every Friday morning. I’ve got to say that Lizzie’s classes are amazing, and if you aren’t following her on instagram or taking part in her classes then you need to! @lizziewilliamsyoga_ GO FOLLOW!!!
Being at home all day I needed something to occupy my mind too, to keep it ticking so I didn’t turn mad. I started learning how to edit videos on my laptop, using videos we had taken from holidays last year. I try and do this when I feel up to going onto my laptop, as Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) doesn’t always like me doing this. I also started crocheting more and creating my own patterns, and I’m currently working up the motivation to get back onto my sewing machine! Again both of these activities are unfortunately restricted by my disability, I can’t even hold my phone to my ear for more than 5 minutes because my hands go numb. Spending a while doing these activities can leave me in bed the next day in pain.
So what do I do? My solution at the moment is to split my days into 3:
- The first part of the day is for yoga ,breakfast and relaxing into the day. Cleaning, prepping etc.
- The second part of my days is dedicated to learning. I try to do something new, whether that be on my laptop, crocheting or even reading! The whole time listening to my body. If I’m having a high pain day, I will lie on the sofa and listen to a podcast on BBC Sounds. My personal favourite podcast being “You’re Dead to Me” which is written by Greg Jenner, who was ‘head nerd’ of Horrible Histories!
- The third part of my day is dedicated to exercise and food! You may of seen in my last blog that I love fitness and that I put together a lot of my exercises from inspiration from other sources. Lately I have been doing a workout everyday at 5pm with my parents over FaceTime. It’s been so great because I can push them whilst pushing myself! With the gyms being shut this is the motivation my family and I needs to keep fit and healthy! Keeping each other accountable to turning up, and motivating each other to do better each time!
Working on my mind and my body has been the best concoction for myself during furlough. Not only for my disability, but for my mental health too! Now I’m not focused on overthinking about my TOS, I’m not overthinking about my anxiety, I’m not bored enough to eat all the time! Now I take my days each step at a time, try and keep to my little schedule and make the most out of every day at home that this beautiful furlough has given me!