Updated: Nov 30, 2020
A tighter lockdown for Northern Ireland announced tonight - basically everything non essential must close, including gyms, for 2 weeks starting from next Friday 27th November. Now I have genuinely tried to stay as positive as possible during the previous (and current) lockdowns, with varied degrees of success, but tonight I feel like admitting defeat. Last Friday we were waiting on news of hospitality opening again, and now they've decided to implement further restrictions and closures instead? I. Am. Going. Insane.
The one thing that has kept me sane and been one of the biggest factors in fighting off depression is my gym. Just today I was having a conversation with one of the coaches about how each session is like therapy, a place to release tension and pent up energy. Not being able to train there for the next 2 weeks (and god knows how many more with the muppets on the hill making the rules) feels the same as being told my anti depressants won't be available at the pharmacy for the next 2 weeks. I bet I'll attract bad karma with all my negative energy tonight and there'll be an alien invasion of all the pharmacies tomorrow and no more medication will ever be available. 2020 is enough of a dick to let that happen.
I am allowing myself to just feel shite about it all tonight. Tomorrow, you bet I'll be making to do lists, timetabling out my days, writing down all the things I have to be grateful for right now despite all that is going on in Coronavirus Land. I'll get myself grounded again and prepare for the weeks ahead. But for now, I'm eating biscuits, drinking tea and crying in bed. The positive mindset and motivational quotes can wait until tomorrow. Surely forcing positivity isn't healthy? And eating a whole packet of rich teas with butter is?
I tried chatting it out with my mum tonight (my mum and I are so close, I'm very fortunate to be able to talk to her about anything), but I couldn't take comfort from her words of encouragement. I know everything she is saying is true - I'll get through it and I'll already have plans made by tomorrow morning, I can do the gym workouts from home via zoom like we did last time, try not to think too far ahead, stay positive... But I don't want to have to do this again! I feel like most of the time I'm already walking on a tightrope as it is, now it's like there's shark infested water below (omg that's some creative imagery right there #callmehemingway).
So yeah, I imagine there's quite a lot of people just feeling totally fed up with these lockdowns now. I think everyone's mental health has taken a real beating this year and now more than ever, I think everyone needs to know that they are not alone in feeling this way. You are not alone in feeling this way.
And yes, staying optimistic and having a positive outlook is extremely important when looking after your mental health, but so is dealing with reality and being honest about how you truly feel. You don't have to keep it together all the time. You don't have to use this time to be productive either, imagine putting guilt on yourself for not doing enough with your life during a global pandemic?! What is with these posts on Instagram that shame people for not using this time to better themselves or learn new things - there's a lot of people just simply trying to make it through the day without completely losing their shit, never mind learning how to cross stitch 'Be Safe' on an embroidery canvas*.
*embroidery canvas - not sure if this is a real thing.
** If you have taken up new hobbies during lockdown, that's genuinely awesome and you should be extremely proud of yourself, it's not easy to find that motivation at times. And for sure, learning new things can definitely raise the spirits (gimme all the dopamine). I did learn how to handstand against a wall during the first lockdown, which felt amazing to finally achieve after being so terrified of being upside down. But point is, don't beat yourself up if you have just had to hold yourself together most days, these are straaaaaaange times.
Alright, I hope you have enjoyed your time at my pity party, but the party is now going private. More biscuits and tea await me. And so does the final season of Schitt's Creek. If you haven't seen it yet, you've probably been busy being too productive during lockdown, so shame on you. There is a comment section below, there is also a chat in the bottom right hand corner which remains anonymous, and there is an email too, if you'd like to discuss how you're feeling or share your plans on how to cope with this next lockdown, then please get in touch and I will share them below (your identity will remain a secret, batman). Your suggestion could really help someone in need. It could get a very important conversation started.
And if you get in touch with Schitt's Creek spoilers, you are a bad person.