I am a depressive and in the first lockdown I experienced negative thoughts and anxiety. These were around thinking the world was going to end, that i would lose my job and income and lose my dream of an early retirement to France ( this was my goal that kept me going through depression and gave me something to work towards ). I worried about getting COVID, as I live alone how would I care for myself ? Who would look after my dog, I didn't have a will written.
I am a mental health first aider and was supporting alot of people whilst trying to look after my own self care. After around 4 weeks after defining a very strict routine every day I began to enjoy not having the commute, the constant distraction and noise in the office and having to do work at home. I used to get up at 04:30 to take the dog to various dog minders before I drove to the station to get the train to London. I would get in around 6;30 and not eat until late and rarely had the enthusiasm and energy to do any exercise. I became very creative in lockdown and found new projects to try out, upholstery , mosaicing a glass table and others. I looked forward to each lockdown project and show casing it afterwards. It made me want to try other new things.
I had spend most of my life looking after others finally in lockdown I was making time for my own self care- meditating, exercising every day, preparing healthy meals, walking the dog twice a day, getting 8-9 hours sleep a night. I was more productive and focused at work. I started gardening and planting all sorts and eating my own organic produce.
For the first 6 weeks of lockdown it was tough and I gained 1.5 stone from comfort eating and drunk a bottle of wine a day at least. I then took a serious look at my health and how I wanted to enjoy my early retirement and I gave up booze for 90 days and switched to a plant based diet. I am calmer, less anxious , my physical health is good. I am scared to go back to work and my physical and mental health return to where they were pre covid. I don't miss people that much and feel I will be too comfortable in my own company. I have removed things from my life that cause negativity such as as toxic friends and relationships. I focus now on being as healthy as i can to prevent COVID infection or stand a better chance of recovery if I get it.
I dont want to return to work, I can do my job from home. If I have to go back to normal days in the office, I would find a way to retire early for own happiness and health. COVID has made me realise what is important and the things in life that were clearly damaging my mental health.