• Ellen O'Rourke

Isolation Lessons: 1

Updated: Apr 1, 2020

Lesson One: Control

Holy shit. I am a control freak. What happens to a control freak when their routine is taken away? Carnage. Utter carnage. Getting out of bed at 10am instead of 8am. Staying in pyjamas until 5pm. I’m basically looking at jail time by this point. I’m a rebel without a cause; I live for a routine, a reason to get out of bed in the morning. I thrive on having a well-planned existence. How many twenty-year-olds do you know who consciously feel

bad if they don’t take their vitamins in the

morning, at precisely 8:15am? I’d say you’re

looking at a pretty limited number.

So, what have you learnt from this lockdown, I hear you ask? I need to learn to unwind. I’ve spent the first week in isolation subconsciously on a comedown from the past three months of relentless work. I hadn’t appreciated that I was on the way to a massive burnout. A month ago, I’d wake up in the morning, make a cup of coffee, and contemplate with my flatmate why I couldn’t get to sleep at night. Why I constantly felt tired, no matter how early I went to bed. Why my weight was fluctuating constantly, why all I could seem to think about was my career. She’d just raise her eyebrows and tell me I was working too hard. I would ignore her.

In isolation, I get up when I wake up. I allow my body to rest for as long as it needs. I eat when I’m hungry. Gone are the days of fasting through lectures or grabbing a quick salad in-between interviews. I drink more water. I take a breather between each project I start, instead of trying to complete my entire to-do list in the space of four hours. I appreciate that time is a luxury; life has a habit of getting in the way of a lie-in each day. But, if it’s a luxury you’re able to grant yourself, even if it’s once a week, take that time for yourself. Recharge. Hit pause on the world. That’s my first lesson.

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