The 2nd of May marks the UK's 40th consecutive day in lockdown.
40 days of social distancing. 40 days of staying home and saving lives. 40 days stuck living with the same people.
In every situation there is a silver lining and COVID19 is no different. The slower pace of life has allowed me to reflect, learn and provided an opportunity to discover new things. So what have I learnt? What have I discovered?
1. I love being outside in the sunshine. Whenever I can I’ve been spending time outside in my garden doing things; exercise, gardening, phone calls and reading. I think I've taken for granted how lucky I am to have a job that is based predominantly outside (except during the English winter!). Im not sure office jobs 9-5 will be for me post hockey.
2. Teachers work bloomin' hard. By the looks of things online, home-schooling isn't as easy as people think!
3. I like writing lists. I have been doing this (not every day) during lockdown and feel it gives me a bit of structure in the day and a sense of achievement when everything is crossed off.
4. Zoom is amazing. Where has it been hiding and why haven’t I come across this before?! Love a Zoom quiz or team catch up :)
5. A strong wifi is essential. No need for explanation.
7. My emotions are super variable but that's OK. Some days I will be absolutely fine and then bang, something changes, and I’m not. I’ve learnt to just accept it and not panic. It will pass and I guess it’s just part of being in a strange, unknown situation that is called a pandemic.
8. I’m getting creative in the kitchen. With the gift of more time in my life, I’ve definitely put more effort into cooking and finding new recipes. My favourite books are BBC Good Food: Eat Well Superfoods Recipes and the Joe Wicks collection (Lean in 15, Veggie Lean in 15, The Shape Plan, The Shift Plan and Joe’s 30 Minute Meals). The only constraint I’m finding is sometimes the availability in supermarkets varies.
9. Families are making more time for each other. I certainly am. I’m not ‘too busy’ anymore and neither are they. I look forward to my Monday night FaceTime with Gran (5pm on the dot) and my Sunday morning FaceTime with my sister and 2 cousins. Perhaps something we should carry on when live returns to normal.
10. The environment is healing. Clearer waters, clearer air and liberated wildlife. Check out this video about how wildlife is re-taking over the world – the music had me gripped.
11. Deserved recognition in society. There is proper recognition for those in society that perhaps sometimes go under the radar. Think of dustbin men, delivery drivers, supermarket workers, plus many more!
12. The re-emergence of board games. UNO and Rummikub are my personal favourites, obviously with a scoring system to make it competitive.
13. Online meme creativity is at an all time high. My favourite Instagram accounts to follow are: @9gag || @sarcasm_only || @thenewsclan ||
14. Virtual birthday parties are a thing. It was recently my Gran’s 87th Birthday and I’d say it was a success. Be creative and think outside the box!
15. Communities are working together more. How many of you have got to know your neighbours more? How many people have offered to help others out more? I certainly have.
16. Journaling is therapeutic. At various points during my hockey career I’ve been encouraged to journal. I have but not religiously. I started a journal a few days into lockdown and I love it. I’m hoping it will provide some good insight into what 2020 to my children or grandchildren!
17. Running a fast 5k is the new ‘cool thing’. People are competition against each other to get the quickest 5k time which I like. My Strava is littered with 5k runs. The world record is 12minutes 37s which is mad!! The Run for Heroes has definitely kick started this. At the time of writing, just over £5million has been raised.
18. Having lazy days is fine. I’m usually on the go all the time and don’t really like sitting down at home (or lying down watching Netflix). I’ve realised it’s okay to have some slower days, I don’t need to be at 100% all the time.
19. There’s a new way to shop. Supermarkets have changes and are not as we know them. There’s definitely a new etiquette on how to shop - get in and out as fast as you can, do not make eye contact with anyone, do not linger and spend more than 5s looking at items, do not touch things you won’t buy and NO leaning over people to reach things! All jokes aside I sometimes do find myself getting quite anxious going food shopping so try putting in a podcast or listing to the radio to distract myself.
20. Weighted vests are under-appreciated piece of training equipment. Pre lockdown Id never seen the point of a weighted vest, I definitely do now. If I was only allowed one piece of fitness equipment I think I’d either choose a weighted vest or a Watt Bike. One costs about £30ish and one £2500ish! Super simple bodyweight exercises are made so much harder, especially running! Carrying an extra 6kg around on my 5k run slowed me down about 4 minutes.
21. I love podcasts. More specifically interview based podcasts. I love learning about others and how they got to where they are now. My favourite ones at the moment are:
* Don’t Tell Me The Score - talks about what sport can teach us about life
* That Peter Crouch Podcast - light-hearted chit chat all about being a professional footballer
* Table Manners with Jessie Ware – a natter over food served with a dollop of sarcasm
* Fit and Fearless – a learning based one about fitness and health
* The High Performance Podcast – my new favourite which delves deep into the mind-set of successful people in sport and asks some really personal questions
22. I’ve never had such a clean house. Anyone else finding they procrastinate by cleaning?
23. Harry Potter is still king. He and his friends have been around for nearly 23 years but reading the books never gets old. I’m onto the third one…will I finish the whole series by the end of lockdown?
24. Twitter is my favourite social media app. Stupid memes when you need them, serious news when you need it and online resources when you need them.
25. Gardening is tiring. New found respect for all the gardeners out there (go Gran!). I did half a day early doors in lockdown and my back was killing for a good few days afterwards.
26. There are some hidden gems being uncovered within sport. With no live sport being played, newspapers and journalists are delving deeper into sports and publishing more interviews. Premier League football is no longer hogging all the columns. Google Insight: Must-read sporting stories and you will find some good articles.
27. Online fitness content is booming. I could do a whole blog on this however I won’t. There is so much content about at the moment – good stuff, bad stuff and ugly stuff! I’ve found some new people to follow on Instagram and use lots of their content in my home workouts. If you’ve found any more that you like, send me a message here.
Accounts: @Dylandrichardspt @Primal.Methods @acochren31 @mrybacha @alexcrockford
28. Time is precious. I knew this before lockdown but now I really know it. Cherish time with friends and family.
29. Learning to poach eggs properly. Having more time for breakfast in the morning (love this!) has turned me into a professional egg poacher….when I can find them in the supermarkets!
30. Completing my list of ‘jobs that I could do but can wait as they aren’t important and are rather boing’. Things on this list were cleaning my oven, putting up curtain tie-backs, de-cluttering my room, creating more storage on my laptop.
31. Discovering new local running routes. Rarely do I just ‘go for a run’. Pre covid, the running I do is usually interval based on a treadmill or hockey pitch eg: 15s run, 15s rest x 10 and complete 4 sets in total. I’m enjoying exploring my local surroundings and finding new run routes.
32. Mario Kart is still the king of Wii Games. I remember playing it whilst I was meant to be revising for my A-Levels about 10 years ago. I’ve started playing it again in lockdown and, besides the shoddy graphics; the game is still as good as ever!
33. Too much news is bad for me. Early doors I was listening to the radio/tv/news all the time. I wanted to know everything. I realised pretty soon that it wasn’t good for me and caused my mind to overthink and go into overdrive. I get my news updates from listen to the radio during the day so get 5 minute snippets throughout the day – a much better balance.
34. 8pm on Thursdays is my favourite time of the week. Every week I go outside with my housemates, neighbours and neighbours dogs to Clap for our Careers in the NHS. We clap for those who are putting their lives at risk every day for us. The first time I did it, I found myself welling up a little that surprised me.
35. People have questionable thinking patterns. A few myths that have hit the news recently….5G mobile network spreads COVID, drinking alcohol protects you from catching COVID, taking a hot bath prevents you from catching COVID, you can catch COVID from eating Chinese food and drinking bleach can stop you catching COVID.
36. Instagram takeovers are more work than they look. I’ve done Instagram takeovers for STX and Mintridge and I found myself glued to my phone all day – creating, editing, adding layouts, speeding up videos, slowing down videos, adding music, adding GIFs….so time consuming!
37. Netflix is great. What did we actually do without it? I’m a big documentary watcher so think Louis Theroux, Inside the Worlds Toughest Prisons, Blue Planet, Cheer, Last Chance U etc. All have been watched during lockdown.
38. Dogs are the real winners of COVID19. I now understand why they get so excited to go for a walk outside. There’s some outstanding content online about dogs, my favourite can be found here.
39. Snacking is an addiction. I’ve definitely realised that I’m a snacker (I kind of knew this already!). My new best friend is now the snack drawer.
40. Every day is leggings day. Okay maybe not for you men, but certainly us females. In the 40 days we have been in lockdown, I’m confident I’ve put on a pair of leggings on 90% of those days.
And that's it. A little list of what I have discovered in 40 days of lockdown. If you want to share with me what you have learnt, send me a quick message here.