So, we’ve got Covid.
After half of my family tested positive last week, myself and my partner felt it would be best to get ourselves a test, even though we had none of the usual symptoms.
We got our results back very late on Saturday night with the unfortunate news that we were both positive, but we’ve been self-isolating since Friday, the day of our test.
Some things I’ve learned during this time are:
- Isolation is boring.
I don’t want to hear any of this ‘only boring people get bored’, because frankly I don’t think that’s true. 10 days off work with no social obligations might sound like a dream, but when you’re feeling so crappy that you have no attention span or energy to get anything done, it gets dull pretty quickly.
While neither of us have really had much of a cough or a fever, our bodies are very fatigued, presumably from the effort of fighting off the virus, so lots of time so far has been spent watching Supernatural and mindlessly scrolling TikTok.
2. But it does have its benefits.
We’ve been feeling very up and down over the last few days, seemingly with no rhyme or reason. One day we’ll feel almost normal and then the next we’ll barely be able to get out of bed. Even stranger, when one of us is having a good day, the other will feel absolutely horrible, and vice versa.
However, we’ve been trying to make the most of these short periods of feeling normal. I repainted the hallway, as the walls were full of scuffs and were making me sad. My partner gave the grass a really good cut and sorted out the borders of our garden. They’re only small jobs in the grand scheme of things but it’s been good to get them off our seemingly endless list of things to sort around the house!
3. Distraction is a helpful tool.
Today was the first time I attempted to work from home after testing positive. It felt slightly overwhelming at first, as I’d been on annual leave for part of last week so had lots of emails to catch up on. I also had a few awkward exchanges with colleagues who knew that I was ill and remarked, “Ooh it wasn’t Covid was it?!”, to which I had to reply sheepishly that actually, it was.
But having the distraction of work was actually really nice. It took my mind off how I was feeling both mentally and physically, as well as giving me a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. In fact, I highly doubt I’d have had the motivation to write this blog post if I hadn’t have been writing all day for my job.
4. But downtime is also a necessity.
While yes, distraction is a great way of dragging yourself out of your pit of self-pity (guilty!), it’s also important not to distract yourself too much. I keep reminding myself to take it easy, work at a pace that I’m comfortable with, and that everything I’ve got going on can almost always wait until tomorrow.
I’m trying to practice self-care more consciously, not just watching Bake Off and taking baths, but meditating, writing and having phone counselling. The ‘softer’ side of self-care is wonderful, but sometimes it can work to distract you from how you’re actually feeling, rather than tackling the root of the problem.
What I suppose I’m trying to say in this blog post is that self-isolation for me so far has been about taking the rough with the smooth. It’s only by understanding the good and the bad, the necessary and the unnecessary, that I feel we’ll be able to come through the other side with our heads held high.