Tom’s Isolation Blog

“one thing is for sure we are all in this together…”

Hi everyone,

I hope you’re all keeping safe and protecting our NHS by being sensible and staying at home as much as you can. It helps when we have weather like we are doing as we can sit and sunbathe in the garden all day long, or make your own private golf course in your back garden if you’re that way inclined!

I thought I’d write a blog post to give you some idea of what I’m up to and how I’m finding this self isolation period. In a strange kind of way, I’m now beginning to enjoy it.

There are a few things I’m trying to take from this period of self isolation and one of them is to use this time to work out what is important to me.

I’ve found myself, as I often do regardless of the circumstances, reflecting a lot on what’s going on, what my situation is and what other people’s situations are going to be. What this time has given me is some perspective. Perspective of what really matters to me, what makes me the happiest version of myself. You learn in times like these how much people, hobbies, exercise and even work mean to you, and how important they are to your wellbeing.

I’ve rediscovered my love for drawing and painting again, I’ve enjoyed pottering around in the garden and building a driveway and we’ve added to our family with a little 11 week old house rabbit!

Last week, my better half Sophie (who works as an NHS Physio) got nominated to take on the Run For Heroes challenge whereby you run 5km if nominated, donate £5+ to NHS Charities and then nominate 5 more people to do so. I thought “ey up, here we go.”

For those of you that don’t know, I’ve never been a fan of any form of long distance running. My excuse has always been I’m a social exerciser. I need to be competing or playing with someone to enjoy my exercise. Hence why I’ve never got on with swimming, unless in a race as a teenager, or never got on with running unless in a race as a kid, and now I don’t exercise much outside of long distance walking with family and friends and the occasional game of football or squash.

As expected, my nomination swiftly followed Sophie’s 5km run and so the game was up; I was going to have to bite the bullet and get on with it. We live not far from Roundhay Park so I thought at least I can run somewhere nice instead of pounding the tarmac. So when Soph got up for work last Tuesday morning, at 6:30am, I decided to get up with her and get my run done before the park got busier. I smashed out 7.3km or 4.55 miles for those of you who aren’t on the metric system yet.

And to my surprise, I loved it!
I got back home and felt great… Tired, but great.

You do get the other side of the coin too however. I miss my work, I miss educating my patients on a daily basis on what is happening with their bodies, I miss the social interaction with 7 or 8 different people each day, I miss teaching my students at university, and like all of us, I miss my social interactions with my parents, my sister, my future-in-laws as they like to call themselves, Soph’s family, and my pals.

The hardest thing for me so far has been living with a key worker. She’s a nightmare… just kidding. She’s a superstar and inspiring every single day with her attitude, but my biggest day to day worry isn’t for my own health and safety being at home or nipping to the supermarket, it’s for Soph’s health and all the other frontline NHS workers out there, who inevitably are likely to come in to contact with COVID-19 at some point, yet continue to get up and go to work everyday, regardless of the risks.

One thing is for sure though, everybody is in a similar boat and we can and have been using that to better our isolation periods. From pub quizzes and cards against humanity online to joke meetings about opening up a bar with my pals when this is all over. I’ve always found it important

to have some form of routine and so I still get up and the first thing I do is sit down with a cuppa and write a list of jobs to do for the day. This tends to give me some focus and vision for where I want my day to go.

One thing is for sure, we are all in this together, we will all have our struggles over the coming weeks but we can all still enjoy this time we have with our family and catching up with friends. Use this time to recharge and reflect. Work out what is important to you going forwards so that we can better ourselves and enrich our lives for when everything gets back to some normality, which is hopefully not too far in the future.

Stay safe everyone and best wishes, Tom x