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Is it me Justine Nunn

What a strange week this has been!

It was inevitable wasn't it as we had been viewing the map of the UK slowly turning red with areas 'locking down'.

Strangely it felt a bit like breaking up for Christmas! People were rushing out to the shops, visiting family and saying their goodbyes to friends and colleagues.

Lockdown 2 presents lots of different challenges in itself. It's winter. It's cold and it's dark. Taking the dogs out at 6am is getting more of a struggle, but I do enjoy the peace and tranquillity of my walk. They have been accessorised by lights so I don't trip over them. I believe my senses have been heightened; the crunching of the frosty grass, the gorgeous smell of fallen leaves and the tall silhouettes of the trees towering through the mist - simple things that mean a lot.

My wardrobe has been taken over by 'lounge wear'; soft, warm hoodies, cardigans and leggings - dressing in things that make you feel great now means comfortable. Goodness knows how one will integrate back into 'normal' society' once this is over!!!

Having hammered Netflix and other box sets during last lockdown, we are seriously scraping the barrel when it comes to what to watch (however, the Crown starts next week, so all is not lost). Is it too soon to watch a cheesy Christmas movie? NEVER!

I have purchased Stephen Fry's 'Troy', a craft set on Bullet Journaling and downloaded an audible to learn to speak Italian, so that should keep me busy.

I am back to my gym on zoom, which is a tricky one. Having my office on the landing meant moving furniture round and so my living room is not the biggest, plus two small dogs, combined with me trying to do a kettle bell swing - it’s not going to end well. But I know that I have to keep doing this as it’s a massive positive in keeping my mental health in shape.

I am not going to be making bread like I am a professional baker this time. One loaf a week is sufficient. I use a home delivery meal service that delivers our weekday meals (ingredients not full on meals on wheels), so the need to shop is literally for milk.

My BIG struggles are my family. I crave seeing my daughter so much that it hurts. We grew up together and are so incredibly close. I have seen her 3 times since March and one of those was the Meningitis episode. I miss her terribly and we were sue to spend the weekend together this weekend but obviously can't now.

I worry about Alex (my partner) and his Parkinson's. Not being able to get out in the world is slowing him down. Keeping him motivated when he should be running an ultra-marathon or climbing Everest is part of the daily routine (I have just kicked him out of the house to go and run). Parkinson's is about rigidity and if you don’t exercise to create what is needed in the brain to keep going, symptoms get worse.

Then my parents. Both elderly (although they'd hate to be categorised as this). Both live on their own and both missing being with their families or being able to get out.

With winter comes extra anxieties and added to the mix this current situation and all sorts of things go on in the brain. I guess what I am trying to say is that I am incredibly lucky but I am on a tight rope and am balancing, just!

Many, many people are not and please keep a lookout for your family, friends and neighbours that are struggling. The relapse and overdose rate has increased by 30% since March 2020. Mental health issues related to our lockdown and the pandemic are especially hard for people with depression.

Shout is the UK’s first 24/7 text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help. Text: 85258

Samaritans - Provides confidential, non-judgemental emotional support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those that could lead to suicide. You can phone, email, write a letter or in most cases talk to someone face to face.

Telephone: 116 123 (24 hours a day, free to call).

On a positive, I hope you all have a restful and peaceful weekend; stay safe and warm!

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I find the regular "team meetings" with your dogs certainly keeps me going and smiling. I had to deliver difficult news over the phone last week, normally we would do that face to face. I miss seeing our grandson regularly - we have seen him just twice since he was born. I miss the team banter - not the same via video! Mental well being is just so important and thank you for the phone number reminders.

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