I’m a 44 year old mum of two. I work as a Teaching Assistant in a special needs class.

On the 23rd March full-time working within a school, with my class stopped. My daughters GCSE’s that she had worked hard towards and started revision for were cancelled. Husband started working from home for half of the week due to his company’s social distancing rules. I started home-schooling my 14 year old son (although he is mainly getting on with it himself) and was placed on a rota to work in my schools hub classroom.

But on that day my stress levels also dropped. I was racing from place to place. Job to job, day to day with no time to process what I’d done….that suddenly changed. Now I had loads of time on my hands.

What have you found and still find tough during lockdown?

The worst thing is not being around people and being able to speak to friends and family face-to-face. The weekends are difficult because they just blend into the week and don’t mean anything. This loss of routine was tough but losing my purpose was even harder – helping my class, supporting and being around my friends, family and colleagues.

I miss days out and long walks, especially early mornings up Moel Famau and being outdoors without restrictions on time, distance and who I’m with.

Talk us through a day? or a daily routine? whats happening, who does it involve, what does it involve? or is it done day by day?

During the week I wake up at the same time as I did before – 6am. I do an online gym class, then shower and dress, ready to either study or work. I roughly plan my week on a Sunday to give me some structure. If it’s a day when my husband is working from home we both work at the kitchen table otherwise it’s just me.

Work is regularly interrupted by phone calls, kids wanting food or a chat etc. The end of my working day is marked with another online class at 6pm, then I go for a walk either alone or with the family, then we all have a late tea together.

Whats helping you get through lockdown? or whats been a big help so far?

Doing regular exercise: online classes, gym challenges and walking. It’s helped to build a routine but being flexible with it so if it’s not working I change it. Staying in regular contact with friends and family reminds me of what will be there for me when all of this is over and helps me to stay positive.

I’m aware of and appreciate the time I have alone and with family.

Advice you could give?

Don’t put yourself under too much pressure and ask for help if you need it. Plan a routine if you can but if it doesn’t work out then either pick it up the next day or adapt it to make it achievable.

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