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Life during Lockdown

11 Jun, 2020
Life during Lockdown

Juliéy, a Kings Foundation alumna who went on to successfully complete a degree at University of Surrey and then a Masters at UEA, was working in Norwich when lockdown rules were imposed in the UK. We got in touch with her to see how she was doing and she shared with us her Lockdown diary.

It has been almost 3 months since the UK entered lockdown, where the Government's guidelines on social distancing and “working from home where you can" have been the key to slowing down the spread of Coronavirus.

As an extrovert, at the start of lockdown, I was a bit anxious, knowing I’d have to cancel all my plans with my friends, but also excited to see what my life was going to be like staying home. This is now my 11th week of life in lockdown, and looking back, it has turned out to be much better than I thought it would.

Working from home

I’m so blessed that since the beginning of lockdown and appropriate measures of self-isolation were strictly advised, my company has been very supportive of myself and other employees. We were all given company-owned laptops to work from home, in order to ensure we could stay in the safest environment, being our homes, while still guaranteeing our work efficiency.

My daily commuting to work turned from a 15-minute train journey to now a 3-second turn to my desk, which is a few metres from my bed! Very handy!

Working from home can be distracting, because I’m all by myself in my own room, which is not a usual motivating professional environment. Bearing this in mind, I set myself some rules that would best accommodate my working habits:

  • Put on some make-up, dress up a bit, so that I feel more put together and productive
  • Work at my usual office hours from 8:30pm - 4:30pm, with regular breaks in between to make sure I am not too caught up with work and become overloaded
  • Have regular video meetings with my team members to discuss work as well as to update on each other's lives in quarantine
  • Stay hydrated: I make sure to drink a lot of water and have all sorts of snacks on my desk so that I can be recharged when feeling like I've overworked.

I’m super lucky to have an amazing view from my room that looks over the iconic English red brick houses and pretty rooftops, which keeps me inspired.

Stay connected

Besides keeping myself busy like a bee, keeping myself sane is also much much needed: by having regular calls and chats with my family and friends here in the UK, back in Vietnam, as well as other parts of the world. While under normal circumstances it might feel like I spend too much time on my phone, self-isolation has been the perfect opportunity to use it with purpose!

Be grateful. Rest and recovery

What I have learned during this time is to be grateful everyday, for my job which I love, as well as for my good health and wellbeing. Therefore, I have been dedicating a lot of time each day to self-care and self-love, by cooking myself new dishes, discovering new music, consuming lighthearted content on Netflix (I’ve binge-watched all 10 seasons of Friends!). Lockdown has also allowed me to take it easy on myself. Sometimes work can feel tough, so I use this time to rest my body and my mind, tidy my room, enjoy the sunshine in the garden, exercise in my room, and reorganise my life.

I absolutely love going on photowalks around Norwich at weekends, and have recently discovered many pretty neighbourhoods in the city. Of course, protecting myself is key, so I always wear a mask every time I go out, and keep a distance of at least 2 metres away from others on the streets.

Throughout this time, I've learned that with or without Coronavirus or lockdown, it is important to keep a good work-life balance and maintain both good mental and physical health. This helps me stay positive and productive even in the hardships like the pandemic. Coronavirus probably means that we all have to get used to the “new normal", so I’m thankful to have become even more independent, to find happiness and meanings in my daily life, and to enjoy life the way I do.

Text and photos by Juliéy Pham (@julieythe1st on Instagram)