The first two weeks of furlough I found quite liberating, I was feeling really creative, writing songs, poems and even painting. But on week three I found my mood starting to dip.
I have still been keeping to my routine of exercising in the morning and doing my online course, but I had no motivation to do anything else, particularly for things that I usually enjoy such as: playing my guitar and blogging.
I know we are all in lockdown together and by staying at home we are keeping ourselves, and our communities safe and alleviating the pressure on our NHS. But I’m really missing my family and friends and this was getting me down.
On week three I found out that I was going to be on furlough for a further three weeks. This news was welcome, as I have found my online course quite time consuming.
I also decided to try and make the most out of my backyard as we’d had really sunny weather. I bought deckchairs, potted plants and solar lights to make it a nicer environment to sit in.
At the end of week three we celebrated my boyfriend’s birthday. I edited a together video messages from all of his family and friends, and as he took me to New York for my birthday, I decided to try and re-create the New York skyline out of our window, so we could pretend we were there instead of being stuck in the house.
On week four I only had the motivation watch TV, do my course and Joe Wick’s exercises classes. Blogging was put on the back burner and I didn’t feel creative. I was starting to feel slightly bored of doing the same things everyday, but I didn’t want to do anything about it.
I know it’s normal to feel down during these unprecedented times, so I’ve tried to not give myself a hard time for feeling this way.
I’m feeling slightly more optimistic this week and I’m looking forward to Boris Johnson’s announcement on Sunday about easing some of the lockdown rules.
Here are my top tips to surviving furlough:
- Try not to 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.