I used to write a coffee catch up post each month and realised it has been two years since my last one. We don’t have time to catch up on two years but I wanted to check in to tell you what I’ve been up to during isolation. When I looked back through the Archives of my blog I noticed I had always given these type of posts the heading of My Virtual Coffee Catch Up. Little did I know then, that two years on we would literally be having coffee virtually due to COVID-19, isolation and social distancing.
Life during COVID-19
I don’t have to tell you that at the moment life is very different for us all. The new ‘normality’ centres around social distancing, hand sanitizers or the better option of washing hands regularly with soap, shopping for only essential items and hoping that panic buying of items such as toilet tissue has subsided. There is also the restrictions of being in isolated at home, separated from family and friends, no hugs with family especially grandchildren and adopting the new way of communicating using Technology rather than in person.
This new way of life has been very challenging for everyone. The positive side is that most of us are grinning and bearing it and trying to be as positive as we can. Sure, there is the roller coaster of emotions as the social restrictions, stress and anxiety over job losses and financial situations continue, but I’ve been uplifted so many times by the way we have reached out to each other for friendship and support.
When I first thought about revisiting a coffee catch up I didn’t think I would have much to write about. However, looking back through my diary I realised how busy I’ve have been and why I was feeling mentally fatigued which I wrote about my in recent post How are you Nourishing your Soul during COVID-19?
So, make a coffee or tea and let’s catch up (it might need two cups!)
Family & Friends
I think being unable to see my family, in particular my grandsons and my almost 94 year old MIL, has been the most difficult part. We have FaceTimed regularly and even had a FaceTime chat with my MIL who marvelled at the idea of being able to see us through the mobile phone! Another new experience for her which proves we are never too old to learn or try new things.
My grandsons Ethan and Elliot have been chatting with me regularly through FaceTime which at times can be a little chaotic as Elliot who is 2 in May, wants to hold the phone all of the time and point it in all directions! Ethan and I started playing a game where we would look for items starting with a different letter each day, take photos and email to each other.
Virtual birthday parties have become the new norm.
My daughter, Rachel celebrated her birthday on 14th although I think it was the first time in many years I hadn’t been able to give her a hug for her birthday. Ethan celebrated his 6th birthday on 28th and the dilemma was trying to explain no birthday party and the breaking of a family tradition – No Birthday cake creation made by Nan!
Rachel worked around that by organising two Zoom birthday parties – one for the grandparents and one for Ethan’s school friends. The Mum of a school friend was able to make Ethan a birthday cake as a gift and drop it off with her sons to sing Happy Birthday to Ethan from the front gate. Rachel & Ian had hidden Ethan’s gifts around the house and made it into a gift hunt with clues. Ethan had a great day despite restrictions which proves we can do anything if we just use some creativity.
During March I had a Virtual Coffee with my lovely friend Donna from Retirement Reflections who lives on Vancouver Island. We have decided to make it a monthly event. I also had a chat with the lovely Candi from Inspire My Style. Candi lives in the US and we have never spoken in person so it was wonderful to chat with her via Zoom.
Health & Wellness
This area of life has taken on even more significance to ensure I remain healthy during the pandemic. I’ve still be able to run, although sadly not with my Saturday Sisters, I’ve been working out with Strong Healthy Women in the Virtual Studio 3 days per week. One of my Saturday Sisters and I have started a 30 day Yoga challenge through Yoga With Adriene on YouTube. We text each other when we have completed the practise so that keeps us on track.
Daily walks and runs along the beach have also helped my mental health. There is something hypnotic about looking at the waves rolling into shore and breathing in the salt air.
I also made some ANZAC biscuits which were a healthier version that I found on Wendys’s Way to Health
Being in isolation has been a great opportunity for learning and I signed up to some free courses through Coursera. However, my main focus has been on completing my Cert III in Fitness. This was challenging as I had come to the final few modules. This required group exercise which was impossible with the social distancing regulations.
I was not to be thwarted though! I approached my Assessor and put the idea of conducting the sessions through Zoom and sending him a recording as proof. With permission to go ahead I was able to complete two modules.
The first module consisted of three classes which I designed and then led through Zoom. I decided to create classes based around Functional Fitness, Balance & Flexibility and a Diva Dance Aerobic style class. A huge thank you to some of my dear blogging buddies, family and friends for volunteering to participate.
The second module I had scheduled to complete was Facilitating Groups. For one of the groups I ran a 7-day Eat Healthy for Life Challenge through the Facebook Group. This was a huge undertaking as I spent many hours coming up with the program of topics to be discussed, writing an E-book and included posting daily videos with two guests,Peta Gillian from Strong Healthy Women and Wendy Hodge from Wendy’s Way to Health.
My final module is well underway. I’ve had the opportunity to join the Strong Healthy Women Virtual Studio to give my final 5 group classes which should all be finished by mid May and then the course is completed!!!
Looking back at my blog posts for the month they centred around health and well-being during COVID-19. I’ve listed the posts here if you would like to read them. I also was asked to contribute to a feature article around self care for Titanic Spa in the U.K.
How to practise wellness while spending more time at home – the article I contributed to.
This area of my life is my escape. I love getting caught up in a book and because I rise early by mid afternoon I’ve been in the habit of reading for a couple of hours. Books I’ve read include:
- The Guest List- Lucy Foley
- The Authenticity Project – Clare Pooley
- Hysteria & Imposter – L. J. Ross
- The Empty Nest – Sue Watson
- A Mother’s Story – Amanda Prowse
- A Place Of Execution and The Torment of Others – Val McDermid
- The Argument – Victoria Jenkins
So that is how I’ve been spending my time. Life during COVID-19 has certainly been a very different experience. What has life been like for you?
I’m joining Leslie from Once Upon A Time Happily Ever After for the Sentence a Day link up.