Coping with Covid and Lockdown Learnings

Here it is I’m jumping on the band wagon and doing a round up of the year, boy what a year it’s been.

We all know what a disaster covid has been and I’m extremely grateful that my family have stayed safe and well and I’ve been lucky that I have maintained a full time job throughout the year.

My year began with a job interview and being successful in securing my dream job, mixing my passion for access with my hobby of horses as an Access Field Officer for an equestrian charity. This job was based permanently at home so it was lucky when I started my new position in March, covid didn’t affect my new role.

I am lucky to live in a rural area with all the amenities I needed within the village, so I spent lockdown #1 at home not needing to venture out of the village other than to walk the dogs. It was amazing to discover miles of Rights of Way I had never walked or cycled before and I enjoyed many hours spent rambling and pedalling around the village and its surrounding countryside. The dogs loved the new routine of working and walking from home having attention 24/7.

After the first lockdown I found that, although I knew I would be permanently based at home with the new job, I was feeling increasingly isolated. I knew I would be working alone during the daytime but I usually see friends and enjoy coaching at Riding for the Disabled twice a week so without these social activities I was really beginning to struggle with my own company. Even the dogs didn’t seem to be listening to me anymore.

So I set out to do something about it and was very pleased when The Outdoorsy Type Suffolk appeared on social media offering some group walks. I signed up to one of their first walks around Orwell bridge, keeping to the government guidelines, and set out with a group of strangers who I have since become very good friends with. The group hosted more walks and a swim in the sea at Felixstowe. I love wild swimming and have spent many happy hours in rivers, lakes and tarns in the Lake District in breath takingly cold water. Joining the group for a dip in the sea was lovely as the water was much warmer. I also went along to one of their paddle boarding events, this gave me the paddling bug and this year I bought my first paddle board.

My daily dog walks kept me sane whilst the world felt upside down and I found respite in the outdoors. It’s amazing how much better you can feel for even 10 minutes out in the fresh air and I found my working days are much more productive with a dog walk either before work or at lunchtime.

Like many people our holiday plans were scuppered, moving our flights to Cyprus from July to October and then completely rescheduling them until summer 2021, so we had to rethink our holiday plans. We were lucky that restrictions eased enough to head up to Scotland for a road trip and completed the North Coast 500 on our motorbike with friends. This was a spectacular trip and I’m very glad we managed to get this holiday in considering all the challenges.

The year has passed so quickly with the working weeks flying by I had to make the most of my weekends. It has been a great opportunity to take to the water, not only paddle boarding but for some winter swims.

I can really see and feel the benefits of getting into and onto the water all year round now and would recommend everyone, whatever your age or fitness level, to get in and give it a go. My new found love for the water is one good thing to have come from 2020.

We have been lucky enough to be able to sell our house and buy a new one this year. Well I say that, we haven’t reached completion yet or moved house, so I have had some stress in my life trying to push that along but I know that’s nothing compared to what others have faced this year. To escape that stress after lockdown #2 I headed up to the Lake District with the founders of The Outdoorsy Type Suffolk to show them my stomping ground and have a lovely chilled girls weekend whilst planning some exciting things for the group in 2021. It was brilliant showing them around where I grew up and introducing them to the fells I loved as a child.

All in all, 2020 hasn’t been such a bad year for me and I hope to get to move house in the New Year but most of all, I look forward to the new adventures of 2021.



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