The sun shines through the curtains. The birds outside are chirping away. There might be someone out with a lawnmower, cutting their grass to make the most of the sunshine. It is a bright morning. You’re lying in bed, maybe flinching slightly as you open your eyes, as the light feels blinding.
But, instead of feeling ready for the day, motivated by the showing signs of summer slowly creeping up on us, you feel exhaustion. You feel like you had a busy day yesterday, and your head feels a bit fuzzy and spaced out, and your body feels as though you hit an intense session at the gym, every muscle feeling achy and tired.
But of course, you did not have a heavy session at the gym yesterday, and you did not go to all your lectures, and swat up in the Billy B, because you spent your day in your house. Maybe you did some exercises, went for a walk, maybe watched the odd encore lecture, but daydreamed through most of it, and maybe increased your screentime by 400%. On top of that, you even had 10 hours of sleep, but this somehow still wasn’t enough after such a long and tiring day.
So why do you feel so tired?
Three weeks into lockdown, and we’re still shattered. Surely by now we would have recovered from the term, and caught up on missed sleep? So why do we all feel tired, and lazy everyday? It’s as though we’re going through hibernation, stocking up on food, eating all the food because there is nothing much else to do, and then feeling the urge to sleep all the time.
Relax, Rest, Repeat.
It would seem doing nothing is more tiring than doing everything. Even a walk to the kitchen to get another quarantine snack feels like a workout. It feels as though my brain is becoming more stubbornly lazy – the lights are on but there’s no one home. I can’t seem to win in the vicious cycle of not really sleeping and sleep walking through the days. It certainly seems to be taking its toll – I thought I would treat myself to some nice toiletries to get a new skincare routine going to fix my stressed skin, but then my vegetable for a brain ordered the entire order to the wrong address – but I guess at least the old people’s home that received my order on my behalf can now treat themselves to a nice exfoliating skin mask.
It seems almost torturous as well, that this has come right when the weather is starting to become sunnier, and not all of us have gardens to sunbathe in, to soak up the sun we’ve missed during the particularly cold and stormy winter. We have to gaze at it longingly through the window, hoping that if we sit in the window some rays of sun will give our pale faces some colour.
Who here is just craving a drink in a beer garden, sitting in the sunshine with your friends at the Swan? Or sitting in the Botanic Gardens with a hot chocolate and piece of cake? Or even a night out for a Wednesday Lloyds or Players, a WiffWaff Monday, a Tuesday Night Klute?
Obviously, these are all things we have to look forward to in the future, and as frustrating as it is not knowing for how much longer we’ll be prisoners of our own houses, this is also a time of opportunity, to do all those things you have been wanting to do, but never quite gotten round to. Yes, it is what every website, every article, every news presenter speaks about – trying to keep yourself busy indoors. The Times has even pointed out how some of us are becoming 1950s housewives, who actually enjoy cooking, so maybe our standard beans on toast dinners are becoming roast chicken, with roast potatoes, vegetables and gravy.
But there is much more to hacking the quarantine routine, then ‘keeping busy’. You can’t keep busy everyday, 24/7. You have to find a balance – have those days relaxing as you would do on the weekend, but then also have days, where you get up in the morning and do some work, maybe head out for a run, then start working on a few new hobbies: baking (because who doesn’t want some more quarantine snacks?), drawing, learn a new language (be warned Duolingo is addictive, I’ve started learning Italian and I’m hooked – ‘mi piace la pizza!’), online courses, even get some new games on the go – indoor cricket or football – but maybe only when your parents are out the house so the smashed vase can be “the dogs fault”.
Also staying social with all your friends is so important, and while speaking to a screen might not be the same as seeing them in person, you can play pictionary on Houseparty, and laugh at how bad at drawing you all are – when every drawing looks either slightly phallic or deranged. You can work through the list of series you’ve always wanted to watch on Netflix with your friends. The more wild of you can even get a party going in your house, while video-calling your friends, like a pub crawl around the house – why not make use of the adverts going around Facebook showing that certain delivery companies will deliver a keg of certain cocktails?
While the situation is not what any of us want, as we all worry for each other, praying each day that more and more people are staying safe from the virus, and also hoping that this will all soon be over, there is still something to be made of it, a positive flipside to it – where we have the chance to work on ourselves, and do certain hobbies we have always wanted to start, and get back in contact with friends we haven’t spoken to in a while. I mean one can almost make light of it and laugh at the situation – I got myself rather flustered in Tescos the other day trying to follow the maze of arrows around the store, whilst keeping a 2 metre distance, but then realised I’d forgotten something from 2 isles back, and then had a panic in the shop as I didn’t know how to get back without disrupting the flow of shoppers. I left with only half the essentials I needed.
At the end of the day, life carries on – and so can you. You keep your head up, get a workout going to get yourself moving in the morning, get your brain working on the work you need to do, and then have a laugh with your friends on a call, and make yourself feel good doing something you love. As we can’t change the situation, we can only work with it, and make the best of something together.
I could sign this article off with an array of life quotes that are relevant off Pinterest, but I think Beyonce hits the nail on the head when she says “If everything was perfect, you would never learn and you would never grow.”