The furlough diaries: Week 1

Until the Coronavirus reared its oh so ugly head I didn’t even know what furlough meant. So for anyone who still doesn’t know it’s essentially your employer putting your job on pause, you’re still employed but you’re not allowed to do any work. The company you work for will then get money from the Government to pay their staff 80% of their full time wages. It is up to the employer whether they make up the final 20%.

My company announced last Tuesday that I was to be made furlough and that all workers, furlough or not, would receive 90% of their wage. And we thought 2020 was going to be ‘our year’ right? Wrong.

So I am now not working for at least the next two weeks. But I am not sad about this, in fact I’ve found something that I have suppressed for years – my creativity.

This week I feel like the quiet time has brought back my creative spark. Day 1 wrote a half a song on my guitar,

Day 2 I wrote two poems, and I’ve not written a poem before in my life.


Day 3 I wrote blog posts and finished off my song.

Day 4 I recorded the vocals for a track my friend produced that I had promised him two years ago I would record.

Day 5 I walked for 6,5 miles and discovered a marina half an hour away from my house, I also weeded my yard so that me and my boyfriend can sit outside.

Day 6 I had a more chilled day, I did some yoga and had a bath and then in the evening before bed, I wrote a poem.


Day 7 I spring cleaned my flat and did some blogging.

All in a weeks work.

Additionally this week I have exercised for 30 minutes every single day. I NEVER do this when I am working. It’s made me feel great. If I haven’t been for a walk, I have been doing a Joe Wick’s PE class in the morning.

I feel like I have so much more energy and I can think more clearly, I am honestly loving it.

This week I have signed up to do an online course, which I will begin tomorrow. I also ordered myself some oil paints and an easel, and I plan to do some painting. I am feeling really optimistic about the future.

On the other side of furlough I will have another qualification, I’ll have new songs to share, and poetry to publish. Plus who know’s what else I can create in this time?

Here are my top tips to surviving furlough:

  1. Don’t let yourself be bored.
  2. Find something new to do. Have you always wanted to learn a language or do an online course? Now is the perfect opportunity.
  3. Use this enforced downtime as an opportunity to develop healthy habits.
  4. Set yourself a routine. It doesn’t have to be minute-by- minute, a rough guide is just as good.
  5. Get daily exercise, I can’t recommend this highly enough.
  6. See this as an opportunity to reflect. You’re likely to never, in your working life, get this much time off work, embrace it instead of fighting it.

If you are also on furlough, let me know how you are coping in the comments below.


  1. Unwanted Life

    Sounds like you’ve found a few things to keep you going during the lockdown. I’d been self-isolating for almost 2 weeks before the lockdown started, so it’s a bit of a struggle to keep myself motivated to do stuff, especially when the other people in the building are going out to see family and friends every, single, day

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wellbean blog

      It is tough I can’t deny that but it sounds like you’re doing your best. That’s annoying that people in your building are going out to see people. We want this to end!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Liz

    I never heard of furlough, until I was made one in my morning job. It will be 3 weeks tomorrow that I have been told to stand down and now a furlough worker.
    I know going by wages received already, that all they are going to do is pay me that 80%. They aren’t going to put anything to it. But I am not going to get that 80% until they get it first. So if I am like this for another month and they don’t have that money, I won’t have a wage. They did not want to risk my health (asthma I have) even though I was happy to continue.

    As for my evening one. I only had to stand down not quite a week before I was cleaning again. But either way, they are paying me my full wage, whether I been working, or not.

    I think if I had not been working in my evening job by second week, I would have found it more difficult.
    I was forgetting what day it was from first day I wasn’t working and forgetting 5 minutes after from reminding myself what day it was.
    But I have kept myself occupied at home better than I have thought.
    Only time I go out is when I walk to work and straight back home. This is a 30 minute walk each way, so that’s my walk for the day outside.
    Twice a week shopping for groceries at one place, which is just under 10 minute walk away.
    The only times I leave my flat.


    1. Wellbean blog

      Sorry to hear this Liz. I have heard that employers get the 80% money quite quickly so hopefully you won’t have to wait long. I’m glad you’re managing to occupy yourself at home. Best wishes to you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Liz

        I hope they do. Time will tell on 9th May, as that’s when I would next get paid. I will be very surprised if I see something. X


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