For the past few months, the UK has, inch-by-inch, come out of its nationwide Lockdown. Lockdown has been an experience, to say the least, but definitely one that has been in all of our best interests. However, being stuck at home for so long has led to some pretty varied days, some of which I’ve decided to share with you.
This was one day in the life of Lockdown 2020, for yours truly:
7am: Rise and shine
I am a creature of routine. I need routine to survive. Without routine, as my blog posts will tell you, I get grouchy. That’s why, every weekday, I wake up at 7am. It was later than when I was on placement, which required that I get up before 6am for a 7:30am train, but my placement had been cancelled months ago, and there was no need to rise so early in the day.
I don’t only get up at 7am for the sense of routine, though, it’s also to match my body’s need for sleep. I need around 7 or 8 hours of sleep and have been trying to follow research on REM patterns lately. This is the idea that our body sleeps in cycles of 1.5 hours in length. If you wake during the cycle, instead of at the end of one, you’re likely to feel tired, since you’ve been interrupted while in deep sleep.
I aim to target 5 cycles, which is around 7.5 hours of sleep, meaning that for my bedtime today, I was aiming for 11:30pm. Would I last until then? You’ll have to read on to find out.
Despite waking at 7, though, I wouldn’t get up for another half hour. I like to listen to the news and complete a few Spanish lessons on Duolingo first (let me know if you’d like to follow me on Duolingo, so we can learn together!).
8am: Check turnip prices
I’ve been stuck to my Nintendo Switch, playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons, every day since it came out in March. After over 80 hours of total playtime, I am still well and truly hooked. Every Sunday, Daisy Mae waddles over to your island peddling turnips, which can be bought and sold on during the week for profit. This is called the Stalk Market, made to emulate the Stock Market. Players can track and predict their prices using this website.
Prices change twice a day, so my friends and I have been tracking our prices to get the best possible trades. I check my prices every day at around 8am, then again at noon. We’ve made millions on the game, so it’s worked out pretty well so far.
9am: Virtual learning
Despite my placement being cancelled, University of Birmingham offered fantastic support in continuing our learning in a virtual environment to further our development as trainee teachers. On this day, Black Lives Matter protests were happening all over the world, so our learning reflected on the need to diversify the curriculum and education sector as a whole.
Tutors had us read and take notes on relevant articles, as well as complete various courses that we then discussed, virtually and over Zoom, at the week’s end. I loved getting involved in this because it gave me opportunity to consider how I’d diversify my own lessons, especially since my second placement’s cohort was so fantastically diverse.
11am: Morning coffee
I feel so much better in the mornings when I don’t use coffee to wake up, and instead rely on my body naturally coming around (after downing a couple of cups of water). When 11am rolls around, I get up from my desk, fetch a French Press coffee (because I’m that extra) and a few pieces of fruit, and sink back to my desk until lunchtime.
Something healthy, something filling, something tasty. Those are the three categories that I use when deciding what to have for lunch. I thought, ‘just because the UK is in lockdown, and gyms are closed, doesn’t mean I should shirk on my typical mealtime planning.’
On this day, I filled up with a scrumptious tuna pasta salad, with spring onions, peas, cucumber, Mayo, pepper and a red pepper, which made three days of lunches. However, we’re all human – and there were days when I didn’t quite live up to my own usual expectations. That’s okay though, because we all have a cheat day, cheat week – or even cheat month – every now and then.
The important thing is not feeling guilty and changing your diet so that it is sustainable, healthy – and tasty! – when you’re ready.
2pm: Back to the grind
More work; no rest for the wicked. I’d finished learning about diversification in education before lunch, so started writing more blog content. I created three posts over the course of the afternoon:
6pm: Social shares
This post published on WordPress on the day that I’m describing, on Friday at 4:30pm, and it needed to be shared on socials an hour and a half later. Unfortunately, I’ve been having trouble with the scheduling features of Facebook, and Twitter, where thumbnails display incorrectly, so I’ve been sharing them manually for a while now. If you know of any fixes, let me know in the comments.
At 6pm, then, I set to work on my socials. I keep a document full of prewritten social media copy that I can paste, alongside any relevant tagged pages and hashtags, making this a straightforward job.
7pm: Dinner time
Today’s dinner was brought to you via a freezer and meal planning, so all I had to do was pop a takeaway dish in the microwave for 12 minutes and watch it thaw. With minimal cleaning after-the-fact, this is the only way I know how to eat these days.
8pm: Marvel movie marathon
My housemate and I took to marathoning various movies we’d seen and enjoyed in the past. We started with the Star Wars saga, but a few were a little more painful to get through than others. It was the fact that we’d be starting on the Marvel Cinematic Universe afterwards that got us through the likes of Attack of the Clones.
The MCU had a huge impact on our lives growing up, which I’m sure I’ll delve into in a later post, and neither of us had ever watched every single film, in chronological order, one night after the other.
On this night, we watched the seminal Civil War. At the time of writing, we’ve 4 of the 23 currently released films left to go, so it’ll be time for Infinity War and Endgame next. Send tissues my way please.
I said earlier that I’d be aiming for an 11:30pm bedtime, so why was I in bed half an hour earlier? It’s because I’ve tried to get into the habit of reading before bed, to settle and relax my mind with something other than the blue light from a screen. I target 11pm as it gives me just enough time to make decent progress before I find my eyes shutting.
At this point in June, I was just about finishing off Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows for the first time. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that I wasn’t a fan of reading when I was younger, so I really missed out on so many books while growing up. Harry Potter is my brother’s favourite collection of books, so it was only fair that I caught up on one of the world’s most popular series.
If you couldn’t tell, I am a huge fan – and really do regret not reading it when I was younger. At least I’m righting my wrongs, better late than never!
How did you spend your days in Lockdown? Would you like to hear about my full morning and evening routines? Let me know in the comments below.