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Thoughts from the Justine Longford

Updated: Jul 22, 2020

Hi team, I hope you’re all really really well.

I can’t believe how much time has passed, since the outbreak. I am an early riser and at 5:30am this morning, when my alarm went off, it was still quite dark and I have also noticed the blackberries are starting to ripen out in the fields. Has summer ended already?

This unique period of time has been such a challenge, in so many ways.

Aside for all the horribleness of this all, the biggy for me (combined with not being able to see friends and family) has been slowing down. I have found this hard. Terribly hard. My parents have always said to me ‘you burn the candle at both ends, slow down girl’ and for the first time in probably 30 years I have, not through choice.

Throughout the last 5 months or so, we have gone through various emotional stages, a bit like grief and I am now starting to reflect on how that has taken its toll on my mind, body and mental wellbeing.

Many of my friends have juggled work and home schooling and so I feel slightly embarrassed about my experience compared to theirs, especially when I say to them ‘I have found it difficult to adjust from an exceptionally busy life to just sitting down, being still and actually getting to drink a cup of hot coffee’ is met by dumbstruck looks!

Everything rather feels in limbo at the moment. That sense of trying to move forward but not fully understanding why or how… and that everyone I know seems to be at different stages with their mental acceptance and understanding of the situation here in the UK. I get anxious and nervous that some are whizzing about willy nilly (I am having my hair cut tomorrow and actually feeling quite nervous – I have planned timings, routes etc!), while others haven’t yet left their homes…Personally, I’m taking small steps forward, while looking over my shoulder, waiting for that potential secondary lockdown to bite me on the bottom… who knows? Not me.

I’m quite certain that my missing piece in putting some of this to bed, will be when I can hug my family and friends. Also, vitally for my mental wellbeing is a proper exercise routine rather than trying to balance my phone whilst planking and being jumped on by the dogs.

I am beginning to accept my new norm. My anxiety around time and trying to cram as much in a day has eased a little. I am happy working from home, on my landing! I find I am a lot more productive and my early morning walk is my ‘blue sky thinking’ time. I enjoy being creative; making meals from scratch, painting, reading and listening to more music. I actually enjoy the freedom from peer pressure, for example, I haven’t worn any make up in 5 months (hahahaha!!)

I know I’m not on my own with these feelings and I know that compared to many others’ situations, I am exceptionally fortunate. But I do believe that owning and accepting one’s own challenges and difficulties is important, no matter what your life situation is.

We are allowed to stamp our feet. To have a cry. And to lie awake battling with trying to control a situation you have no control over…they win everytime!

We’re all allowed a wobble. And I want you to know that no matter what your circumstances are or how you are feeling about any of it, you are not on your own.

Group hug?


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Group hug would be great! If Boris is correct and we could have normality for Christmas it will be one hell of a party!!

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