The End of Livin’ La Vida Lockdown – Day 63

We’ve now been in lockdown for 9 weeks, when I started the Livin’ La Vida Lockdown posts, I didn’t expect it to go on this long – not in this way at least. You might have noticed that I haven’t been posting under that title as much and I’ve been considering whether I’ll carry on in this way.

We don’t know how long lockdown is going to last – and part of me wants to return to some form of normality on the blog at least. I’ll still be following the rules, still be social distancing and mainly staying home but do I want all of my content to be about this? No, I don’t think so anymore.

So, after this post I’ll primarily go back to writing about more general topics – will there be updates and some posts related to lockdown and what’s going on? Of course! But I’m planning on a little bit of normality here again and more variety.

Welcome To Mental Health Awareness Week 2020

Writing about mental health isn’t anything new on this blog. While it may have changed in recent years to being about how I’m doing mentally in regards to chronic health conditions it’s still very important to me.

This years Mental Health Awareness week is very different and it’s likely that more people are aware of their mental health. We’re living through a time that none of us could imagine. As simple affection is limited or, for some, impossible I feel like now more than ever it’s important to discuss how we’re feeling.

This years theme is kindness, something we can all give but could all do with receiving too. While the world might seem like the most anxiety inducing place right now, and it is, there are also signs of hope and generosity.

During the last few weeks I’ve received messages, family members and neighbours have helped when we couldn’t go to the shops, strangers on the internet have sent me things from my amazon wish list and so have friends. I’ve tried to do things for others too in the ways I can.

I know that, for me, it’s felt at times like we’re stuck in a reoccurring nightmare. That it takes more effort than I have when things are hard. It’s normal to have days where it’s all too much, especially now. Taking it day by day, even hour by hour we can get through it together.

I’m going to be posting hopefully every day this week about mental health. Even though it’s a different kind of awareness week. I hope you find the posts helpful.

Livin’ The Vida Lockdown: Day Fifty-One – Things I Want To Keep

I know my last few lockdown posts have focused a lot on struggles that I’ve had in particular. I think it’s a pretty accurate representation of where my brain has been for a little while. We’re over 50 days in now and that is a long time to go without being able to hug your family or friends, right?

That said, when people talk about going back to ‘normal’ I think there are a few things I’d like to keep, a few positives that I’ve found and enjoyed. I hope I can carry these forward and I think other people are thinking along the same lines.

Having time to enjoy as a couple

While the entire sound industry shutting down is not ideal in the slightest it has meant that I’ve had Ali home for a long time. Normally I’m used to him working until late in the night or going away on tour.

We’ve had time to curl up and watch films together which is just really nice in itself. He might need to drag me off of my laptop to do it but it is calming. I know that he will go back to work, and I want him to because he loves his job but I think I’d like to make sure we spend the time differently.

Catching up with old friends

I’ve found myself talking to people I haven’t in a while and I’ve realised how much I’ve missed their company. While I can’t see my little introvert self meeting up with people all the time when we’re allowed it’s nice to catch up and see how people are doing. I want to do more of that.

Making weekends less digital

I don’t need to have my laptop or phone on to catch messages and emails about any potential work at the weekend so they’ve actually become a lot less digital. They’re for reading, sleeping and maybe writing some blogs if I feel up to it.

I’ve really enjoyed just using the weekend as quiet time for me and my brain to just log off for a bit, particularly when I wake up and have some quiet.

Going for walks when I can

It’s not always possible for me to go for long walks, depending on my pain levels but it has been quite nice to go out for a little walk to my local parks. Obviously I won’t be going it in the winter when it’s pissing it down but while the weathers nice I quite enjoy it.

Is there anything you’d like to keep after lockdown? Let me know below!

Livin' The Vida Lockdown: Day Thirty-Five - Alternative Ways To Cope

Livin’ The Vida Lockdown: Day Thirty-Five – Alternative Ways To Cope

I saw an Instagram story recently about ways to cope in lockdown, it simply mentioned crying and that yoga didn’t work for them. Which made me think, why do people recommend yoga for bloody everything? Now, if you enjoy it good for you. But if it doesnt?

So I came up with alternative ways to deal with lockdown* – you’re welcome.

Take screaming breaks

Feeling overwhelmed? People getting on your nerves. Grab that pillow and scream your heart out.

God knows I’ve been wanting to do it recently, particularly when a certain internet provider goes down and the internet is one of the few ways you can contact the people you love. 🙃

Create your own drinking game

Number of times you internet goes down in a day? Number of lies Trump tells in a day? Number of days you’re in lockdown? The possibilities are endless.

Mine is called drink Gin at the end of each day to take the edge off.

See how long you can stay in bed over a weekend

Snacks, way of entertaining yourself, phone. You’re all set for this kind of marathon. The only thing that may let you down is how many time you need the loo…

Learn 90s and 00s dance routines

Now is the time to perfect your routines. YouTube is your friend, but you *might* want to think before you put them on TikTok.

Cry – just bloody cry

Let it rip. I tried not to for a week, kept it down and well, you can imagine how well that worked.

We’re living through such weird and unpredictable times right now, if you need to cry do it. Plus points if your cry face is like Kim Kardashian’s because THAT is a real cry face.**

Get lost in a fantasy world and pretend you live there now

Preferably not one where a virus is taking over the planet, those aren’t great right now BUT fall into some great fantasy books.

Yes, yes you can go and climb into the familiar world of Harry Potter, that is more than a little bit allowed.

Do what you need to do

Ok the final one and the one I want to scream. There is no one way to get through this. Some people (the lucky bastards) are really incline to get fit and healthy, do a lot of exercise and get those endorphins going. My brain doesn’t work that way and wants stacks of chocolate.

Who am I to tell you what you should be doing, I don’t know you or your life and nor does anyone else writing lists about becoming our best self. You do you.

Any more you’d like to add? Let me know below.

*yes this is a joke and it’s satire, don’t @ me. I want to make people laugh.

**I love KUWTK and, by extension, Kim.

Livin' La Vida Lockdown: Day Twenty-One An Average Weekday In Lockdown

Livin’ La Vida Lockdown: Day Twenty-One An Average Weekday In Lockdown

What is life like for me in lockdown? What do I get up to? I thought I’d write about it because, why not?

I warn you – it’s not the most interesting life…but who’s is right now?

7.30/8.00am

Wake up, no matter what day it is I will wake up at this time. It doesn’t matter if I have any plans, any calls or if I have slept my body just seems to wake up at this time.

8am – 9am

After Ali has kicks me out of bed, my first port of call is to feed the Hams who act as if they have been starved for weeks, despite the fact they will have food in their cages.

Pour the first big cup of tea of the day – there is no time for

9am – 10am

Shower, get ready in whatever form that’s going to be for the day. Check my emails and LinkedIn to see if anything has come in overnight, make my list for the day. If I have work to do I’ll try and start in this window, if not I’ll take a scroll through YouTube to entertain myself or carry on with whatever I’m reading.

10am – 12pm

This definitely depends on what I’ve got on. I’m still getting some work, although less that normal so this will be the block where I work on it, have any calls or catch ups etc.

That said there are more days than not where I don’t have much to do and will alternate between cleaning (still boring), watching something or reading.

12pm -1pm

Pop out to sit on the grass for a bit, talk to my neighbour from a distance – if I’m feeling up to it I might even try and go for a walk but this obviously depends on how I’m feeling.

1pm-2pm

Remember I haven’t eaten lunch yet and I should probably do that… Also look at what I have for the afternoon. Prioritise my tasks and check LinkedIn again. If there isn’t anything I’ll try and find something to read/watch for a bit.

2pm-3pm

If I’m not working this is optimal nap time if I feel I need it. Now, this isn’t because of the pandemic. I have a condition that causes fatigue – when I was working full time in an office I’d have to try and have naps on both days of the weekend and early nights most week days.

When I work from home I can have my ‘lunch break’ as a nap if I’m feeling particularly rough. That said you don’t need a chronic illness to enjoy having a nap – especially now. Probably less so when you get back to work unless you have a REALLY good hiding place. 😉

3pm-5pm

More searching for something to do, aimlessly looking out of the window and reminding Ali that our next place needs to have a garden – this is coming from someone who is not an outdoor person and never has been.

Also, if my family is dropping food off for me it’s normally around this time.

5pm – 6pm

This will be around the time I log off for the day if I’ve been working on anything, although that’s not every day! I’m slowly trying to accept doing nothing and just trying to enjoy that. I might go for a walk if I haven’t already.

6pm – 7pm – Dinner, Brooklyn 99 and more importantly, GIN. Yes, I’ve definitely drank more Gin in the last few weeks with an evening meal than I have in my life with meals.

7pm -10pm –

This can vary, sometimes I’ll be on my laptop chatting to friends, I might be on the phone to family or just hang out with Ali. There have been evenings where we have caught up with some kind of streaming. Sometimes I even do exercise.

Also blogging, obviously.

10pm – 10.30pm –

Start getting ready for bed, play with the hams for a bit.

10.30 – 11pm – Try and sleep…sometimes it even works

What’s happening with your daily routine right now? Let me know below!

Beneath The Sugar Sky - Seanan McGuire

Livin’ The Vida Lockdown: Day Seventeen – Easter Readathon

Two bookish posts in one day!? I know, I’m spoiling you all. So, after seeing over on Kate’s Twitter that she is hosting an Easter Readathon I thought why not join? I’ve never seriously done a Readathon before and I think now is a great time to try…because I have no other obligations what so ever -yippie!

So how does it work? The Readathon runs from 12.01am on Friday 10th and finishes at 11.59pm on Monday 13th April. You can find more info and Kate’s post here, make sure to give her a follow too!

As with most Readathons there are prompts, for this one they are:

[Image description: Post reads Easter Readathon 2020 Prompts 1. Read a book that gives you Spring Vibes. 2. Read a book about new beginnings. 3. Read a book that’s under 250 pages. 4. Read a book with yellow or green cover. 5. Read a book involving family/friends.]

I’ve had a look and I’m going to try and complete the challenges – but if I get a load of reading done that’s absolutely fine with me!

Read a book about new beginnings

The Eve Illusion – Tom and Giovanna Fletcher

I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this today and while I can’t say too much as it’s a sequel there’s definitely some new beginnings in it.

Read a book that’s under 250 pages

Beneath The Sugar Sky - Seanan McGuire

Beneath The Sugar Sky – Seanan McGuire

Ok so *technically* I started this before the Readathon started and it’s an audiobook BUT I’m desperate to finish it!

Also reading about a candy land over the Easter weekend? That seems too good to pass up.

Read a book with a yellow or green cover

Watch Us Rise – Rene Watson

It’s on my April TBR and I really enjoyed the last two Rene Watson books that I read and they were quick reads so I’m hoping this will be a fast read.

Read a book involving family/friends

Crescent City – Sarah J. Maas

Ok it is a STRETCH but this is, another one I’ve already started but I’m really into. Also, do I think I’ll finish this over the next few days? No, no I don’t. That said, it’s started to get interesting.

Read a book that gives you Spring vibes

This is one I need a few recommendations for – please leave them below!

Are you joining in? Also leave your suggestions down below!

Livin' The Vida Lockdown: Day Fifteen - What I've Been Binging

Livin’ The Vida Lockdown: Day Fifteen – What I’ve Been Binging

Now, this is optimum binge time whether that’s TV, Films, YouTube or Books whatever is getting you through the days is a great way to distract yourself and beat the boredom that I know a lot of us are really starting to feel. Also, if you’re so distracted by your screen or page then you’re not going to want to risk going outside, it’s a win win.

So, here are some of the things I’ve been consuming and for once guys, I’m on trend with something that’s on Netflix (this never happens):

Tiger King

I kept seeing people talking about it and I wanted to have a day to just do nothing and this was the perfect distraction because it was so damn insane. I can’t believe this is part of real life and these things have actually happened?!

I thought of doing a whole post on my thoughts on the show, if that’s some lockdown entertainment you’d like then let me know below.

ANYWAY I digress, this was bat shit insane and I just couldn’t stop watching, I spent 7 hours of my day watching – who even am I at this point?! I just have to say though, no one on that show can call themselves a rescuer of big cats. They’re all pretty terrible.

Brooklyn 99

We started watching 99 before the lockdown as something to watch while we ate dinner now we’re back – to the point where Netflix has asked if we’re still watching…

Of course we’re still watching, what else is there to do right now?!

Stranger Things

I know, I KNOW. Where have I been? It’s taken me this long to watch Stranger Things but that’s mostly because I am a huge scaredy cat and when I tried to watch it a few years ago the first part of the first episode I wasn’t sure if it was for me.

Then after the encouragement from friends I started watching it and did 3 episode in one sitting, only stopping because it got dark – I’m not watching it in the dark because I’d like to be able to sleep at night without staring at the walls.

The Boys

So, what if superheroes were celebrities? They were real an in movies with their own sponsorship deals. What if they weren’t as good as they seem. Ali and I watched the entire first season pretty quickly on Amazon Prime and the cliff hanger at the end had me shouting at the TV.

This is definitely adult viewing and can get pretty dark but it just works.

Wayward Children Series

Now for a book series, come on you knew it was coming. I recently got a free trial of Scribd because I kept seeing a lot of booktubers talking about and thought I might as well now I have the time.

These books are so strange but so good. It’s fantasy with a bit of a horror element about children who go to magical worlds and what happens when they come back.

I also love the audiobooks, they’re 4-5 hours long and I’ve been listening every day and I’m now on book 3. Hooked.

Poetry (General)

While I’ve struggled to sit and read full books at the moment but Scribd has so much poetry and I’ve been making my way through the collections. Some of them I’ve meant to read forever but seeing as poetry is quite expensive I can’t always get them but this is a great way to spend time.

What have you been binging and what should I get through next?

Livin' The Vida Lockdown: Day Fourteen - Taking A Break

Livin’ The Vida Lockdown: Day Fourteen – Taking A Break

I didn’t post over the weekend. In fact I didn’t do much of anything, I let myself rest and relax. If you’re a regular reader you’ll know I am not good at relaxing at the best of times, let alone in the middle of a pandemic.

I’ve binge watched Tiger King (insane, absolutely insane), eaten a lot of chocolate, started Stranger Things (finally) and I build an expert level Lego Mini Cooper set. That was my weekend. I needed a break from everything, including my own mind – which isn’t always easy.

Sure, I planned to blog every day but I’m not kicking myself when it doesn’t happen because this isn’t Blogmas – this is a really weird time and I don’t know how often I’m going to say that.

So while this is short, enjoy my Lego build…there are a few more to come!

Livin' The Vida Lockdown: Day Eleven - 30 Things I've Done So Far To Entertain Myself

Livin’ The Vida Lockdown: Day Eleven – 30 Things I’ve Done So Far To Entertain Myself

Last night while I was trying to fall asleep I started thinking about all the ways that I had been trying to entertain myself since we went into lockdown. Seeing as I’m writing daily posts right now, I thought why not share it with you guys?

Some of these might be specific to me and some of them you can do too.

  1. Reading – Yep I’m trying to tackle my physical TBR right now, I even have a TBR for the month of April.

2. Playing Ukulele – I’ve played around with ukulele for years and it was fun to have something else to focus on.

3. Watching the first season of The Boys on Amazon Prime – Ali got me to watch this series and it’s pretty messed up at times but so good. That said I’ve had some super weird dreams since.

4. Doing a puzzle – 1,000 piece Harry Potter puzzle…it’s harder than you think.

5. Calls with friends and family – I’ve done a lot of Facetime, House Party and just normal calls recently and it’s one of the nicer sides of lockdown.

6. Blogging – almost every day – yep and to think I struggled with Blogmas last year?!

7. Attending a virtual birthday party – Our friend Ben turned 27 and obviously we couldn’t go and celebrate with him so we all got online, had a few drinks and played games.

8. Starting a sign language course – I’ve wanted to properly learn sign language and with a reduced offer I was able to start learning properly.

9. Working on a book – watch this space, my Gramps has set me the goal of finishing it by Christmas. 👀

10. Listening to podcasts – I’ve been listening a little here and there, particularly while doing number 11…

11. Sorting out my wardrobe – I have a lot of clothes to get rid of, so many.

12. Cleaning – I know, I know – who even am I?

13. Watching YouTube – There is so much content on YouTube right now! I’ve been watching so much.

14. Singing – I’ve been getting back into it and damn it’s felt good.

15. Solo dance party – honestly a lot of fun and a great way to cheer myself up.

16. Making a pillow bed – need to be comfy while watching all that TV, right?

17. Cooking – not well I may add, it’s still not my thing but I have done more of it.

18. Waxing my eyebrows – relax guys I’ve been doing this for years but I definitely felt much more human after they were a little more tamed.

19. Online therapy – My therapy sessions moved online and I’m really grateful, we’ve had technical difficulties but they are helping.

20. Movie nights – I watched 2 films on Ice Hockey back to back – for context Ali used to play…I never got to see it.

21. Writing lists – I bet this one really surprised you, huh?

22. Drinking Gin – duh.

23. Lots of hamster hugs – there are mixed reactions from the hams about me being at home more than usual.

24. Long Baths – Quickly running out of Lush products…

25. Making Playlists – I made a positivity playlist and sent it to my family on Apple Music, it was pretty fun.

26. Building Lego – If I had the money I would have ordered the Hogwarts castle the night we went into lockdown.

27. Order a takeaway – Pizza is a life saver right now.

28. Listening to audiobooks – So I found Scribd and I absolutely love it AND I got 30 days free? Awesome.

29. Walks – I was only able to start doing this today because I was so anxious but I’m hoping I’ll be doing more.

30. Quality time with Ali – I’ve actually really enjoyed the time we’ve been able to spend just being together. Which is good because the alternative was killing each other.

What have you been doing to entertain yourself in lockdown? Let me know below!

Livin' The Vida Lockdown: Day Ten - Getting Into Routine...Kinda

Livin’ The Vida Lockdown: Day Ten – Getting Into Routine…Kinda

Well people we’ve made it through a week and a half of the first part of the UK Lockdown and I think I’m getting into some kind or routine or a new normal at least.

This morning felt a little easier, there was no magical change and I haven’t suddenly fallen in love with not leaving my home or seeing a real life human being, but it was okay. I might have slept terribly but I got up and felt more normal.

For the first time in I don’t know how long I was able to get up, drink my tea and catch up on some YouTube without feeling the panic and dread. I managed to do some bits around the house, shower, wear real clothes, get some ideas down and crack on with work.

It might not sound like a huge deal, maybe to some it isn’t but adjusting isn’t going to be easy. Every day that I can have some kind of control over my life and the little bit I can still do by myself and for myself. For the last few weeks my anxiety had gotten to such a level that I haven’t felt like myself at or, or like I have any way to make myself better.

I got frustrated this evening when I did feel that wave of sadness and hopelessness hit. I did cry and want to crawl into bed for a few hours. You know what I did? I let myself have some time to get the emotions out, I talked to Ali and some of my friends about my anxieties about going outside…and it was still progress.

As each day continues, I’m hoping I can have a little more structure. I’ve still got an alarm set for weekdays that I try and stick to and have a rough to-do list written down. It’s not ‘normal’ and so long as this virus is around it won’t be but finding some day to day routine has to help.

Are you getting into any kind of new routine? I’d love to hear about it! Let me know below or tweet me on @chloemetzger!