QUARANTINE IN THE UK: MY EXPERIENCE
With just 2 days left of our 14 – day quarantine, I thought I would take some time today to talk about how and what I’ve been doing to pass the time! Over the course of this year, I’ve been lucky enough not to have experienced any strict lockdowns. As many of you know, Sweden’s restrictions are a bit different than the rest of the world’s, and any isolation I participated in previously was self-imposed. So when I heard that we would have to quarantine upon arrival in the UK, I was a little disappointed – having to stay inside right after moving to a new country?!! Not ideal, but I understand the reasoning. Nonetheless, I was determined to embrace the situation and use it as a time to relax, and focus on doing things that I might not otherwise have time for. In the past I’ve been guilty of setting unrealistic expectations of what I can and/or will want to accomplish, so I went into this time with very few expectations and an open mind.
I knew I would be pretty exhausted from the move, plus I would still be working from home so I didn’t exactly have endless hours to kill. The things that I wanted to make sure to do were: unpack, set up a work area, and make our place feel cozy and comfortable. Pretty simple, but they were things I knew I would be able to do without feeling the need to rush or overextend myself.
While the days have blended together a bit, I’ve made an effort to do things that make me feel good and haven’t put too much pressure on myself to be super productive or busy. Normally I’m the kind of person who needs to constantly be productive or doing something – I honestly have a hard time even watching tv on a Saturday afternoon because I feel like there are 100 other ways I could better spend my time (anyone else feel like this?). I’ve definitely struggled with similar feelings these past few days, but knowing that it’s not even possible to get out for a walk, run errands, etc. has been calming in a way. Removing the guilt associated with spending the day not accomplishing anything significant has been pretty freeing- it’s given me some time to truly relax and be okay doing so.
So what exactly have I been doing to pass the time? Keep scrolling to see!
Establishing a routine:
I’m a person who really needs consistency and routine to feel my best, and so I’ve continued to stick to one during this time. Some things I always like to incorporate into my day are: waking up around the same time, making a to-do list, sticking to normal working hours, taking breaks to stretch/walk around/make coffee or tea, ending the work day with some kind of movement, and taking time to read before bed. Incorporating some of the same things at the beginning, middle, and end of my day has given me structure and made me feel more in control!
Trying new recipes:
Thankfully Edinburgh has really great grocery delivery, so it’s been fun to try new ingredients and test new recipes. We also bought a ninja foodi (air fryer + pressure cooker) on black Friday, and I’ve really been enjoying all the different ways it can be used. If you know any fun recipes I should try, let me know!
I’d be lying if I said I was motivated to cook every single meal these past few weeks. Plus, when you live in a city with so many great restaurants why not try them? Deliveroo had a promotion for 2 weeks of free delivery (which I feel like was very good marketing on their part), and we’ve definitely been taking advantage of that!
Home workouts aren’t really my jam, but this year I’ve been trying to find some that work for me. This has meant a lot more yoga, especially in the last few weeks. I like to end my work day with a 20 – 45 minute yoga practice. It’s a great way to stretch out my body after a long day of sitting, and works as a nice transition to let my mind and body know work time is over.
My library in Sweden didn’t have a great online library collection, and I was so excited to join the Edinburgh library which does. I wasted no time in downloading a few new books and have been enjoying spending time reading in the morning and before bed.
MacKenzie and I have been wanting to watch very different films during this time, so we’ve compromised and have been trading off who gets to pick the film of the night. His picks have revolved around Scotland (think: Braveheart and Whiskey Galore), while mine have leaned more towards cheesy Christmas (I highly recommend Holidate and Christmas Wonderland).
If you’ve spent most of this year working with or just generally spending a lot more time at home with someone else, you’ll know what I mean when I say that alone time is essential. I love MacKenzie, but I also really love spending time by myself. Luckily our new flat has enough room that we can comfortably move to a different location if we need to. Some things I’ve been enjoying doing on my own: yoga, reading, watching christmas movies (the ones he refuses to watch), cooking, knitting, and of course cuddling the cats (though I guess that’s not technically “alone”).
MacKenzie and I have really gotten into board and dice games this year, and I’m really glad that we decided to bring a few small ones with us. This week we’ve been playing Uno and Yahtzee – two pretty easy games that we can just hang out and play without too much thinking.
So there you have it, what I’ve been up to during this period of quarantine. Right now the things I’m most excited for when we’re “free” this Friday are: human interaction (we get very excited whenever a delivery comes), fresh air, walking farther than the fridge, and just generally exploring our new city! I actually heard a tour guide outside my window today talking about the ancient city wall in my first picture, and I’m excited to get out and see some of the historical sites!