My Year was ruined because of the Corona Virus
Thanks for coming back for the conclusion to this blog. It means a lot. Firstly I’d like to say a quick thank you to my Aunt and uncle for having me stay on their Wlanut farm in West Melton throughout this crisis. They have been super generous and kind throughout.
Like most people this virus has completely ruined my year. I’d like to point out first of all that I know there are people out there in worse situations than me. I completely understand that. But that doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to be upset or disappointed about my plans being cancelled or changed. I was meant to have photographed Frank Turner’s gig in Wellington, traveled in Western Australia, gone home to England to see friends and family, traveled to Germany to see friends, see the country and go to Frank Turner’s festival, live and work in Australia for a few months before coming back to New Zealand to live and work for a year. All those plans had to be cancelled and I’m adapting to the current situation the planet is in. Like I said I am in a very lucky position but it still sucks to have missed out on all those things.
My Covid 19 lockdown in numbers
As you can see from the infographic to the right I have managed to keep myself busy. I can’t believe I did 5000 push ups in total. That seems crazy to me. Also the amount of running I did was insane but I think it really helped my mental health, which I talk about more below. Doing things like keeping track of what I have been doing has helped me deal with this lockdown. It’s also helped me improve on myself and achieve so much. I can’t believe all that I have done.
My Mental Health and the Covid 19 Lockdown
As with nearly everyone the Covid 19 pandemic has been hard on my mental health. These are really hard times for us all. I think I have been quite lucky as even before this whole pandemic I have spent a long time analysing my own thought patterns and exactly how my brain works. Or should I say how it works best. It likes structure. It likes goals. It likes keeping busy. Otherwise it will start looking for problems and things that will upset me. Because of this even before the full lockdown began I had already planned on setting myself goals, mostly centred around exercise. But when I got to Christchurch I found a white board and I set myself some clear goals for each day. And I stuck to that. And it helped.
Every time I felt down or bored I would look at my board and think ‘What can I achieve next?”. I kept myself busy as you can see from my lockdown in numbers to the right. Keeping my mind busy and active is key to keeping my mind productive and happy. I’m very proud of how I have coped within this lockdown period and how much I have achieved along the way. I hope other people have worked out their own coping methods. I hope that people talk to their friends and family and ask for help when they need it. That’s something I didn’t manage to add to my graphic. How many friends I spoke to. How many hours I spent talking to friends and family on the phone.
Giving an aspect of a social life to a socially distant life. Because of modern technology we don’t have to be socially distant only physically distant. I think the Governments of the world mislabelled the term there. We shouldn’t be socially distant. Humans aren’t born to be alone. If you feel like everything is getting too much just reach out to someone. Reach out to me if you want to. I will make time and I will try to help. These are difficult times. But no one is in this alone. Everyone can help each other. Just remember to be more kind and think of others.
Art has played a huge part in getting me through this lockdown period and assisting with my mental health in general. I challenged myself to draw or paint at least once a day for the whole lockdown and I did. Here are my favourite 6 but if you click here or on any of the pictures below you can see all 50 pieces.
Music. Where would I be without it?
Anyone who knows me knows that music is a huge part of my life. I couldn’t have handled being stuck washing walnuts or staying in one place without music or podcasts for that matter. Maybe I should rename this section Music and Podcasts. Too late now. Anyway music has been a huge part of my life ever since I discovered Rock music. Give me a song with drums, guitars and desperate poetry and I will love it. I discovered a song by Angie McMahon which became my anthem for this lockdown. I’ve listened to it so many times. Another great source of entertainment, especially when washing walnuts! Is the amazing podcast Do Go On. 3 Melbourne based comedians take it in turns to do a presentation on a topic that the other two know nothing about. It’s one of the funniest things I’ve heard. I even had to stop working a few times whilst I burst out laughing. Another podcast I couldn’t live without is The Weekly Planet.
A weekly roundup of all the geeky comic book movie news from the week. This helped me keep in the loop with some of my favourite topics. So I guess what I’m saying in this section is thank you. Thank you to all those singers, comedians and podcasters who have helped me through this tough time. Below are some Youtube videos you can watch to check them out!