In this post I am going to share with you all how I have been using my time on furlough. I will give some of my tips of how I have kept myself busy during this crazy time. I hope you enjoy!
Since being on furlough and being off work, I have used this time to make sure I have been self caring and being productive so I can use this unprecedented time to my full advantage.
At the beginning of the year, I set out my New Years resolution to be a year of self love and self care. In the first three months leading up to lockdown, I had used the time to sign up to my local leisure centre for swimming and to join a Korfball team (a post about Korfball will be uploaded in the upcoming weeks). Prior to lockdown I was doing swim sessions 2-3 times a week before work and 1 – 2 hour Korfball session, but I really wasn’t seeing any benefits. As I was seeing minimal results, I took the opportunity with resources being provided in lockdown to workout 5 times a week and to try and walk at least a mile a day (Joe Wicks and his PE Sessions have been amazing and are free). To me this was a major increase to my fitness and I have seen such big results in my physical and mental wellbeing.
Additionally, in the last month I have changed my eating habits to try and eat cleaner and healthier food. Before lockdown, I would find myself eating out at least once to twice a week which I have seen the effects this can have on your body, mentally and physically. Using the app MyFitness Pal has been a fantastic help, ensuring that I don’t exceed calories on too many foods, as well as being able to track my weight loss. Now I am not saying that I am eating perfectly everyday, as sometimes you do need to listen to what your body is telling you. A treat every now and again is going to do you the world of good too, I personally just try and think of the journey I have been on and how far I have come and I now know when to stop.
Something else that has been essential to my self care mentally, is making sure that you have time for family and friends. I try and remember that I am not the only person going through this and that my family and friends are too. One way that I have kept in touch is by doing weekly quizzes. This is something fun you can do in an evening for an hour or too and to catch up with your loved ones. Zoom is a fantastic video platform that is free and allows all of your friends and family to join in at the same time.
From the beginning of lockdown in the first week or two I really did struggle to be productive. However, I knew that I couldn’t keep that up lifestyle of staying in and watching TV all day. I really needed to do something with my time, the first thing I thought of was what can I do to strengthen my professional skills for my career? As someone who works in the marketing industry I had a look at some free courses to do on LinkedIn. One of these was a beginners guide to Google Analytics, which is free to do and I have so far completed over half of the course. At the end you receive a certificate to say you have passed the course, and will be something I will be able to add on my professional CV.
If you are reading then you can also tell that I created this blog! The reason I did this is because I love to read blogs and I want to be able to connect with readers like yourselves and become part of a wider community. I have opened my mind creatively too, which when you are doing your full time job can be sometimes hard to do, so I have really enjoyed created this blog.
If I was to give any advice of how to spend this time productively, it would be to write a list of what you want to do. I started by making a 10 year plan and ways I can help achieve that plan. What stages I need to take and at what times to make this 10 year plan successful. But also making smaller lists that can be down during being off work such as reading more, doing an online course, or even organising your space better, just so you have a sense of achievement when you are able to tick them off your list.
Good & Bad Days
During this unprecedented time we are all going to have good and bad days, you are only human! Something that I have learnt is that not every single day is going to be productive, and that is OK. Somedays I wake up and feel amazing and have so much energy for the day, but then others I have no motivation and I want to lounge about watching Netflix all day, and that is OK too. You just need to take each day as it comes, no one expects you to have this new way of life figured out and that is OK too! We will all get through this together and will come out stronger on the other side.
Thank you for reading, I hope you are all staying safe.