Isolation Week Two: Hand Lettering, Home Workouts and Hospital Visits.

Finally, March has ended. Oh my gosh, I thought January was a loooong month, but March has significantly topped it. But if you’re a regular on my blog you’ll know just how much I love April, and this year is no exception.

As much as a lot of people love April and the Easter weekend primarily for the three booziest nights since Christmas, I much prefer family time. I would always celebrate Easter with my Grandma and my parents and we’d spend the weekend completing Easter Egg hunts and going for picnics at the Lake District. Don’t get me wrong I’ve had my fair share of wild Easter bank hol, day sessions and nights out – all that jazz, but without being too much of a Debbie Downer (sorry mum) it’s just far too busy, and far too overpriced for a bog-standard night out and I’m not here for it, and perhaps the fact alcohol just makes me wanna go to sleep? Anyway, that’s my rant about that over with.

But I think because we’re into a new month, despite being in isolation, it’s a fresh start and it’s a fresh start with lots of chocolate eggs. What a dream. As a new month starts I always try to gain some perspective on what I did wrong and right over the past 4-5 weeks. Whether it be in work, my relationship, my relationship with my parents and my friendships. I like to judge how I handle situations and learn from any mistakes I’ve made or at least try to, and understand any feelings I’ve felt. And all in all, I just find this is a great way to grow as a human. I’m all about self-growth.

As I mentioned in my last isolation post, this is something I’ve proactively been trying to do, week on week. Though official lockdown began 2 weeks ago, I’ve been housebound for just over 3 weeks. While the first two weeks I was a little (a lot) bit of a nightmare, with not wanting to do a great deal, and feeling like the world was against me, this week has been much better and I’m putting that down to a combination of things.

I think everyone has come to the realisation that this is going to be our life for a while, I for one have at least another 9 weeks and 5 days in lockdown- not that I’m counting- and I’ve just accepted I’m going to have to embrace this time or be miserable. And I really don’t like feeling miserable. So here’s what I’ve been doing to kick lockdown’s butt.

Monday and Tuesday I completed two home workouts and ordered a few pieces of equipment (and some new gym clothes) just to help keep my workout routine new and interesting. Does anyone else find that ordering new gym clothes uncovers this inner athlete in them? Because I always feel so goof after treating myself. I also incorporated some yoga and stretching into my weekly routine too. I’ve been to a couple of yoga classes in my 21 years, it’s a great way to de-stress and it’s great for your body. I’m not a massive advocate for high-intensity workouts so yoga is the perfect activity for me. Since completing a couple of home workouts, I’ve noticed a change in my mental state, meaning I haven’t cried in about a week, which is deffo a big improvement from the every other day tantrums I was initially having. It’s ok we can all laugh about them now. So if anyone is still stuck in a negative mindset, do take advantage of our one hour, daily exercise allowance- God I feel like Margaret Atwood writing about a Dystopian society. But seriously, going for walks, jogs, runs and doing home workouts really helps release those endorphins and in the infamous words of Elle Woods endorphins make you happy. I couldn’t agree more.

I went for, what I hope will be my last eye operation for a while on Wednesday, so that became a redundant day for me and I pretty much spent anytime I wasn’t snoozing, eating mini eggs and watching the Avenger’s Franchise. SIDENOTE- oh my goodness, why does it have to end so sad? I bawled my eyes out for a good 35 minutes whilst the credits rolled, sorry for any spoilers but I just feel like there has to be some sort of plot twist. pls someone tell me I’m right?

In terms of exercising after Wednesday I was quite limited, as I’m supposed to avoid any ‘strenuous’ activities, and thankfully a lil bit of cardio on route to the fridge to get some more mini-eggs isn’t classed as strenuous, thank God. But this was a great time to incorporate a little bit of stretching and a few core exercises into my workout regime. Jason has been on a massive exercise kick since being in lockdown, I don’t think there’s been a day he hasn’t worked out so I actually joined in on Thursday night (over FaceTime) as he was doing some stretching and I found this really useful. Stretching is something I’ve never considered when exercising, despite dancing for 18 years it never really crosses my mind to do this before or after a workout. But you can’t be a genius all the time, am I right? Going forward as I establish a dedicated workout routine, I’m super keen to dedicate time to stretching off my muscles so I’m ready to go twice as hard the next day.

I also mentioned in my previous post that I wanted to learn hand lettering, so I picked up (I got it delivered- sorry it’s a habit) a calligraphy workbook and a range of multi tipped pens from Amazon. This has literally been the most therapeutic exercise I have ever done, honestly, I can’t express how satisfying and fulfilling it is when you complete an example. I ordered Amy Latta’s ‘Hand Lettering for Relaxation’ and I can categorically tell you, I have never felt so relaxed. Even yoga doesn’t have a patch on this Godsend. It was £11 and though that may sound a bit pricey for a workbook, there are so many activities to complete, and she really does teach you the most simple but effective ways of hand lettering. So if calligraphy is something you’re interested in I’d highly recommend.

I also ordered a pack of 5 (with a refill) calligraphy pens, from Amazon too. I bought the Surcortto pens, which were £6.99, but Latta does recommend a different brand in the introduction. However so far these Surcortto pens have done the job just fine and for only £6.99, you can’t go wrong. Before I go to sleep on a night I complete at least one activity and I’ve found, doing this makes me sleep much better on a night. Usually, I’ll watch tv or scroll through my socials (a habit I know many of us will have) and I always struggle to sleep afterwards. When I’ve had a restless night I struggle the next day and feel really crappy. But doing a little exercise like this, away from any blaring screens has been refreshing and the benefits have been great too.

Going forward into week three I’m ready to smash a concrete workout routine, so I’m releasing all the endorphins and just feeling great. I’m also planning on upping the ante when it comes to my dietary habits, eliminating as many mini-eggs as possible, which I imagine is going to be the biggest challenge. Finally this week I’m aiming to start an online course, perhaps on something in the writing department just to help develop my written skills over the next few weeks. If anyone has any recommendations of online courses, please pop me a DM on Insta or LinkedIn.

As for me, that is everything, I’ll be sure to keep you all updated with my progress over the next week. But so far I feel like I’m nailing lockdown. Keep safe, wash your hands and speak soon.

Lots of Love,

Emily xo

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