Can it be just two weeks ago that I was preparing for Eroticon and working hard to lose an extra couple of pounds? That Friday, even though I knew by then it was cancelled, I received my 1 stone award at Slimming World. That Friday we were still free to go to London, stay in a hotel and meet friends. During the subsequent 10 or so days, life has become something of a rollercoaster.
Getting food to eat
The biggest challenge since the Coronavirus pandemic started has been our ability to obtain food and other necessities. That weekend in London seems to have coincided with the start of the panic buying. Starting with toilet paper, bleach, soap and sanitiser and moving on to basic food stuff. By the time we returned home to our empty fridge the supermarket shelves were regularly bare by 11am (or sooner). As someone who is semi retired, going to the supermarket at 8am is not on my to do list.
The other problem is that while stockpiling started with things like pasta, rice and soup it quickly moved on to fresh meat, vegetables and fruit. I’m lucky enough to receive a weekly vegetable box, but obtaining meat and other produce by that route is currently impossible. For a few days we just bought what we could from the supermarket. But gradually we have found the things we need, mainly by trying a variety of outlets. Including the local butchers where I finally located chicken yesterday. We are lucky to be fit and healthy, and can shop around. The biggest challenge for us has been obtaining healthy food to cook and eat.
I have to admit the thing I am most sad about is that I can no longer go swimming. As I write this, it is hard to believe that just a week ago, I walked to our local pool, swam for 40 minutes and then walked home again. I believe this is the best exercise for me and had been hoping to step up my visits. But I understand the reasons and so have to find another way to exercise.
Swimming is especially good for my mastectomy side (right) arm. Walking obviously won’t help that, even though it is a great source of general exercise. It also promotes a feeling of wellbeing. To supplement that I am going to try some of the online exercise programmes on offer including yoga. Any recommendations welcome.
Anxiety and stress
Over the past couple of weeks I have struggled to maintain my anxiety and stress levels. It’s weird because since giving up work I’ve learned to relax and take life as it comes. This pandemic is making me look at the news and Twitter far more than I know is good. I find myself reading articles to find out as much as I can about the virus as well as first hand experiences. Our first reaction too was to reach for the wine bottle. This has helped, but in the end it affects sleep and makes me put weight on. So, time to reduce back down and focus on other things.
I’ve been painting our hallway. After finishing the living room, the hall looked grubby. So, the ceiling and walls are now done and I have the woodwork (around cupboards and the stairs) to finish. This has helped. We are seeking out new things to watch on TV and I plan to try to focus on reading fiction. Also to blog more. Last week I struggled creatively but am feeling a bit more like I can write. I’ve extended the For the Health of it prompt on Eating out until the end of this week. Then I’ll review the prompts. It seems eating out is not something to write about when you aren’t allowed to!
The NHS are asking retired nurses and doctors to think about helping out during this time of pressure on services. Friends in management are currently being redeployed. So, since I am a nurse and am still on the nursing register, I have volunteered. When I say volunteered, I will be paid. Yesterday I met with some former colleagues, some retirees also going back and others still in work to discuss plans. I’m now waiting for some training and to be allocated to an area of work. I think actually doing something will be good for helping to manage other stressors.
Of course, the key thing then is to keep myself safe and well. There are lots of stories about people not having the right equipment. So, it will be interesting to see the reality and hopefully to challenge those who don’t make it available. Retired staff coming back will be no walkover!
Having said I’d never go back to bedside nursing I am really quite excited at the prospect.
So, that is a sum up of my life over the past couple of weeks. I put on 1.5lb last week and still weight the same today. Hoping to lose it by Friday, when I have my virtual Slimming World Group. I’ll write about that next time.
Yep, life is a rollercoaster!