Joanne age 48

Initially I was really confused about Covid, was it real? Was there a hidden agenda?  Everywhere being shut was hard, I like to be out about and I felt lonely and isolated. It was hard to keep my 7 year old son occupied and his behaviour was proving difficult. I ended up fighting a lot with my 22 year old daughter who lives with me, she was drinking a lot through boredom and there was a lot of tension in the house. It got really bad at times and I found myself putting my own wellbeing on hold as I was worrying about my children.

The lovely weather helped, we did do some nice things together, we would go in the garden together, we would exercise together and do arts and crafts, and we got busy decorating some rooms in the house as a family.  I was living day by day and needing to prioritise the kids, I was pretty scared because the media were saying we are all going to die, it was terrifying actually. I found myself driving to supermarkets on the outskirts of the city hoping they were quieter, cleaner and safer.

The latest lockdown was a shock, it felt so sudden and unexpected, I had made plans in January and then my son was out of school again. I was really worried about him getting even further behind and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to cope. I approached the school in the end and they agreed to take him in because I was struggling so much with the home schooling and the health condition he has, it took a long time though to arrange a place for him.

The whole experience has made me reassess my life and I’ve really come to value the important things like friendship and family. I got into my garden and I started to appreciate nature so much more, it’s like I really took notice of the changes of the seasons, it seems to have passed me by before. I’ve took notice of the things in my garden like the lovely plum tree that grows every year, the squirrels and the blossom, things I just didn’t really take in previously.  I’ve enjoyed walking and discovered it’s just as nice walking as going to a restaurant, I realise it’s not necessary to spend all that money for enjoyment. I have found that I have got more spiritual and have been valuing yoga and meditation so much more. I listened to loads of podcasts in the lockdown from people like Russel Brand and Dr Shefali, they really helped me get through.

Obviously Netflix has helped me! And my love of food, but I have also learned a new skill through it all, in Make-Up Artistry.  It’s something I explored in the past but my heart wasn’t in it, but this time I’ve come out with a qualification and I really enjoyed the course. I would look forward to my weekly zoom classes and it has helped my mental health enormously. I feel I’ve got new prospects and I can move forward with something I really enjoy, I don’t think I would have done the course if it wasn’t for lockdown.    

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