04 May Setting New Goals in Lockdown – By Associate Chiropractor, William Luckwell
Pre-lockdown as a pre-emptive measure, like my colleague Marion, I departed London to weather this storm at home in Bristol with the promise of seeing my dog, mum’s cooking and most importantly, free internet. Although not quite traversing the English Channel, my journey home down the M4 always represents a changing of pace from living on Old street and working on the Finchley high road. This time however, this lifestyle change we are all doing together.
I was wholly content with my life, routine and believe it or not, my job in London and I have been immensely frustrated that it all abruptly ceased. Whilst being incredibly thankful to NHS workers and other essential workers at the coalface combatting Covid-19, and also grateful to not have anyone immediately close to me at high risk, this lockdown has presented challenges for us all.
Having reflected on the root of my relative contentment and conversely my discontent over the last few weeks here are some of my thoughts and what I’ve been up to:
Admittedly not the most outlandish of concepts to a lot of people but I’ve taken up running, it’s not something that has ever been part of my health and fitness routine (in London it consisted of swimming and going to the gym, something that obviously we can’t do right now), to motivate me to run you needed to put a rugby ball in my hand or it simply wasn’t happening.
Having recently read ‘What I talk about when I talk about running’ by Haruki Murakami (would recommend irrespective of whether you run or not) and having the desire to do exercise I thought I’d break a habit of a lifetime and head out with my dog Bea for a jog. Despite the feelings of exhaustion and slight bemusement the thing that I’m currently deriving my enjoyment from are seeing my (slow) times and (small) distances improve incrementally over time. I have been using the app Strava, which records your pace, distance and route, if anybody wants to follow me to see my progress they are more than welcome, the app also tracks you walking if you are unable to go for a run for whatever reason. But the act of identifying goals and achieving them is something that has given me some stress relief in this time.
Paul and Charlotte previously wrote about maintaining your routine, this initially is something that I struggled with when being home. In London, my routines were quite well defined especially when it comes to diet. I always expect to put on a bit of timber when visiting home (that’s part of the fun) but this extended period of time in Bristol has meant that my eating routine and diet initially went out of the window. In the past I’ve weighed roughly 4st (25kg) more than I do right now, and very keen on not getting back there I’ve started again with properly intermittent fasting which is something that I did to get all of the weight off. This isn’t something for a lot of people that is do-able, and I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone but for me this enables me to impose a routine with my eating and simply not consider the Bourbons in the kitchen due to the time of day. The act of setting a routine for my eating rather than popping to the kitchen simply out of boredom has massively helped.
My other main thing that I’ve been taking time to do in quarantine is (taking inspiration from Marion) seeing this time as an opportunity. The opportunity that I have in Bristol to be at home with my Mum, typically annoying little Brother and the dog for an extended period isn’t something that I’m ever going to have again. Taking this opportunity to check in on friends and have a proper catch up with ones who I haven’t for whatever reason for a long time is something that I’ve tried to make the most of.
I certainly now know too what I’m looking forward to when life returns slowly to normality – getting a long overdue adjustment being at the top of my list!