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:
- Don’t let yourself be bored.
- Find something new to do. Have you always wanted to learn a language or do an online course? Now is the perfect opportunity.
- Use this enforced downtime as an opportunity to develop healthy habits.
- Set yourself a routine. It doesn’t have to be minute-by- minute, a rough guide is just as good.
- Get daily exercise, I can’t recommend this highly enough.
- 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.