Living Through COVID-19 Pandemic – Week 13 – Saturday 6th June – Friday 12th June

Day Eighty-One – Saturday 6th June –

You guessed it! Today was a migraine day! Day 4 of the same migraine, so my mood is low, and I find myself wanting to be aggressively angry. I went to Sainsburys in the morning with my Dad which has sort of become a tradition since lockdown began. My Dad and I take turns to cook on the weekend, to give my Mum a break. So, this weekend, Dad plans on doing a stir fry and I plan on serving pizza with a salad.

My migraine took a downturn after lunch, which to be honest, is pretty expected at this point. I almost read an entire book, but my eyes got really fuzzy towards the end and I had to give myself a break.

Today was really boring, honestly, most of it was spent with me internally moaning about my migraine. I had a 2-hour nap which made me feel more awake but didn’t really do anything to decrease the migraine.

I had a bath in the evening and washed my hair and it was really the only point of the day that I found to be relaxing.

Day Eighty-Two – Sunday 7th June –

Lazy day today. My migraine was unfortunately still with me. Where I live in the UK has heavy rain clouds that refuse to rain, so the low air pressure seems to be dragging on with no end in sight. At this point in the COVID-19 Pandemic, you probably know me more for my migraines/headaches than you do for my book reviews!!!

I focused today on card painting and designing, it was more than therapeutic, it also distracted me from my head pain, and I ended up feeling very accomplished at the end of it.

My sister and her partner visited us in the afternoon. We sat, socially distanced in our garden until it began to drizzle slightly. Then we opened the French doors and put the outside umbrella up, then we could sit indoors while they sat outdoors under the umbrella and we could still chat while still keeping the required social distance. It was good to see them, and it definitely cheered my Mum up.

After they left, I was going to do more painting, but I got stuck on this new idea and couldn’t let it go. I ended up making up new designs for some cards and rewatching season 14 of NCIS. Sadly, no book reading happened over the weekend.

I had actually planned to read some books; I was hoping to at least read 3 over the weekend but my sights ended up focused on other things! Hopefully I can get some reading done this week, but it depends on if I let myself have time to read and how badly my migraine continues to affect my vision.

I’m definitely book slacking in terms of reading for June so far, so I really need to get at it now!

Day Eighty-Three – Monday 8th June –

Finally remembered to phone my boss today in regard to phasing back to the office. I know that my company isn’t ready to return back to the office just yet and we’ve found that we’re pretty self-sufficient working from home. However, I do live with someone who is at risk and I was getting rather anxious about how the phase back to work would happen. Also, a lot of my work colleagues were giving mixed messages on the subject and seemed determined to get me back in the office asap.

However, after talking through things with my boss, I’m feeling a lot calmer about things. I have been given permission to take on more admin work which would justify me staying at home longer, and I am allowed to phase back later than everyone else (when it comes to that) and remain away from the office for as long as there is a risk to the people I live with.

So, that was a big relief, because it was something, I was extremely worried about and something I didn’t know would be honoured or not. I am incredibly grateful to my new boss who is very understanding and knowledgeable. She listened to me talk and she offered me advice and a plan to satisfy all parties. It is something I know I wouldn’t have got with my previous boss.

I had the crazy idea this afternoon to do some Father’s Day Cards to sell on my Etsy shop. I mean, Father’s Day is only 2 weeks away, so I was cutting it fine as it was. But once I had the idea in my head, I couldn’t not think about carrying it through.

I tried not to stay up late tonight, but my OCD kicked in with thinking of stopping a project halfway through, I couldn’t leave it unfinished, it physically caused me anxiety sickness that I couldn’t cope with.

I stayed up till 11:45pm.

Do I regret staying up that late? Absolutely.

Would I do it again? Yes.

I also had quite a bad OCD episode when I was trying to get to sleep which didn’t help matters and the fallout of it will be difficult to deal with for the next couple of days.

Day Eighty-Four – Tuesday 9th June –

I am so knackered! But that’s to be expected right? When you stay up too late because your OCD brain won’t let you stop a project midway and you get filled up with anxiety sickness… I still have that migraine…day 7 now. I just need the heavens to open up and RAIN FOR DAYS!

Having a migraine for so long is so damaging to your mental health. It kind of counteracts all the goodness you’ve put in to stay afloat. I find it always effects my mood and lowers my protective barriers. I’m usually very good at keeping my emotions away, it is something I’ve worked very hard on controlling since I learned that having the particular syndrome that I have causes the female to be ‘unable to control emotions’. That symptom is one of the biggest aspects of my syndrome that affects me, and when I get a migraine that lasts days, that control I have over myself vanishes. It turns me into a grumpy, irritable, bitch.

It also pushes the prospect of an anxiety or panic attack to the forefront and can make me behave more like a child than a 30-year-old adult.

I know everyone experiences migraines in a different way, so my experience with them might sound bizarre to some. My Mum for example, can sleep off a migraine but sleep rarely works for my migraines. I usually just sleep because t migraine drains me of energy.

Anyway, apart from todays continual migraine, it has been an alright day.

I finished most of my Father’s Day cards and managed to get them up on social media and as listings in my store. I have 4 more cards left to paint but I can do those as and when needed, if I get any sales.

My MacBook has been acting squirly, it doesn’t like Microsoft Teams, and I use that for work, plus my Dad’s international video calls seem to be draining our internet connection. So, my mornings day of work was interrupted with much swearing – by me – as I kept getting interrupted by disconnection.

Day Eighty-Five – Wednesday 10th June –

Today felt like an odd sort of Wednesday where the world was just a little topsy turvey and I didn’t know whether I was running forwards or backwards. The Instagram adds I started running on my Etsy Insta have paid off, I have gained a substantial number of new followers and likes. The statistical information they provide has helped me recognise what my target audience is looking for and what type of cards they prefer to like. It has also brought in more people to my actual Etsy page and as a result, a lot more purchases. If those who have purchased from me could just start leaving reviews, I’d have a solid base to start building up.

No painting today as my hand had gone all wibberly from yesterday, but for once my MacBook was behaving well and the internet was secure enough for me to actually work through some activities that I would usually do daily in the office, but which I had been slacking on while working from home.

I am feeling a lot happier in myself since the downturn I took over the weekend. I feel like I have found the middle ground again and I intent to stay here for as long as I can. I do find it interesting that being in lockdown hasn’t affected my mental health. I thought it would have made some impact but actually it has been the routine things that have unsettled me more. And those are routine things that haven’t changed during lockdown at all. I don’t know if it sounds odd to say it, but I do sometimes find my brain fascinating – even when I can’t understand it.

It has now become a ritual that after dinner, I sit with my Mum on the sofa and we watch and TikTok videos I’ve saved over the day. It’s usually just funny animal videos, but it gives my Mum and I about 30mins of hysterical unexpected laughter and acts as a ‘perk up’ for the day. It’s simple really but it’s all about keeping everything in balance and working towards keeping your emotions on the positive side of life.

I’m not concerned about how my household is handling lockdown because I know enough about the people, I live with to help them when they need it. I’m more concerned about my friends, the ones that live alone or the ones that have frontline jobs. I make sure I reach out to them at least twice a week so that they know there is someone to talk to if needed.

My best friend is a police officer and I’m used to seeing her many times in a month. I haven’t seen her since January and that has been really hard for the both of us. She is actually coming around for a social distancing garden chat next week and I am blooming with excitement to see her. I keep having to remind myself that I can’t hug her! I’m going to have to put a poster up somewhere to remind me of that fact, but I haven’t been as excited to see anyone through lockdown other than her.

Who have you missed seeing through lockdown the most?

Day Eighty-Six – Thursday 11th June –

The clouds are very grey and grumbling but rain seems unable to fall from them. I wonder if the clouds are constipated? It would explain SO much. It was an on and off morning for me, ‘work, break, work break’ etc. I was headache free until 3pm, so I took that as a positive. I had to go into work in the afternoon to post a lot of payslips, but I actually looked on it positively as it broke up my usual routine a little.

My watercolour order came from PrimaPaints today (check her out on Etsy), she does wonderful metallic watercolours and I am obsessed with them. I already had 4 of her colours and then went back and order another 6. The 6 arrived today, they’re beautiful and I can’t wait to try them out and start experimenting today.

If I had known how therapeutic making cards was, I would have started doing it long ago!!

I HATE muggy British weather. I kid you not, my hair has doubled in size in the last couple of hours! I had to put it up in a loose bun less some stranger on the street accuse me of being a witch!

P.P.S. I’m sure I had more to write about for this day, but I’m actually writing this on Friday, as I forgot about this on Wednesday and I can’t think of anything else and I don’t want to ramble too much!!

Day Eighty-Nine – Friday 12th June –

I had a terrible dream last night where my parents had given Freddie (our elder dog) back to the people he came from – because he was theirs – and I was so traumatised by this that I couldn’t talk to my parents or even see them. Luca (our younger dog) was also traumatised and stuck to me like a limpet. Most of the dream consisted of me screaming at who my parents could be so cruel. It was very bizarre and not at all pleasant.

I woke with a massive headache, but seeing the weather outside, it wasn’t much of a surprise. It has been raining pretty heavily here for most of the day, but it is also incredibly humid outside, the air pressure is low, and the clouds are rather dense. I was managing the pain rather well this morning but I’m now in the office and the pain has tripled. I also feel a little dizzy/faint, so hopefully that feeling goes away quickly.

All things considered this week has been rather good. I managed to get a lot of reading done in the evenings – I’ve read 3 books this week – and I tried to stay away from screens after 5pm, which has been good for me, I think.

It’s also been a great week for me and my Etsy business, I sold 10 cards this week which makes me phenomenally happy. Some of my cards are now completely sold out – so I know I shall be busy over the weekend making some more cards. Plus, my Hobbycraft delivery arrived, bringing with it more blank cards to design with!

I also got my first commission, which is super exciting but also equal parts terrifying, but I am staying positive on that front.

I feel like I’ve triumphantly worked towards my June reading goal and have got back into the swing of reading again. I had two dud reads in a row which had made me feel a little depressed about reading, but I randomly chose another book to read from my shelf and was pleasantly surprised with how good it was, which cheered me up to no end.

Work wise, I’ve had a lot of disgruntled suppliers or customers on the phone who seem to think that just because they’ve returned to work in their office, that we should have also done the same. I’ve heard some quite rude remarks down the telephone line this week. People seem to be shocked that our office is still closed and that myself and other colleagues are still working from home. Funny how people constantly forget that everyone is different and that we all react to changes in different ways.

Luckily, I haven’t had to deal with any Karen’s!

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