The Virus Diaries: The Truth About My Routine

March 27, 2020 at 12:09 pm (Cat pics, Fully Sick, general life, Mental illness, Mum Stuff)

Not so long ago, I wrote a post on sanity, including ten tips to stay sane while self-isolating. Let’s go through them and see if I am actually following my own advice (unlikely, since it’s designed for healthy people and I am really not healthy at all).

1. Do something. Whether it’s your job, journalling, writing a novel, gardening, or whatever, try not to slide into the utter nothingness of pure unfettered laziness for too long (it gets old after about three days, and it can be hard to snap out of it). Wear pants. Shower. Eat breakfast at breakfast time. Cook proper food and clean the kitchen every night. A lot of people are celebrating “Formal Fridays” where they dress up for the day and post photos online.

Lol nope. People with chronic illness will know what I mean when I say “couch days”. Some days you can’t do anything, and barely stir from the couch. It’s not fun, even though I bet it looks like it from the outside (to ignorant healthy people, who wish they could do more of nothing… sick people WISH we could have the dignity of a steady job).

I haven’t worn pants (jeans) since Boxing Day 2018. I remember that date very clearly, because it was just over a month since I’d had major abdominal surgery, and it was very exciting to be able to wear pants. The next day, I was back in hospital for a post-op infection and had to get operated on again. It wasn’t definitely the fault of the jeans, but I haven’t attempted jeans since. My stomach still has major issues, and I’m not that big on jeans anyway. Anyone who knows me in real life will know that I wear ankle length skirts every day. It’s the closest thing to a hospital gown, if you think about it (except for the gap in the back): comfortable and loose-fitting.

I wore a bra briefly yesterday and it really hurt my back. Not because of the bra, which doesn’t even have underwire, but because my back is that dodgy. So I don’t even do Wear-A-Bra Wednesday.

I’ve gone semi-nocturnal, waking around midday. And actually that’s working really well.

2. Stop. Take at least one day a week off, whatever that means for you. Enjoy that lazy Sunday vibe, stay in your PJs all day, eat nothing but cereal, do no schoolwork, whatever. Apart from anything else, this gives you something to look forward to.

I’m very excited about the weekend, when I shall cheerfully shove all parenting responsibility onto Chris for the full two days, and hopefully get some of MY work done. At the moment I need writing more than a true day off.

3. Do healthy stuff. Eat well (especially fruit and vegies, or things will not go well in your bathroom), and figure out a way to exercise (walking, running up and down stairs, playing soccer with the kids, whatever). Make yourself get up at a certain time each day (with one ‘sleep in’ day a week because sleeping in is awesome). Get some sunshine if you possibly can (I’m assuming you at least have a balcony). It really helps your body feel like you’ve done something and can therefore sleep at night.

Yeah nope. Never done much of that (since I got too sick for most of it) and certainly not starting now.

4. Be polite no matter what.

Hmm. So far, mostly. Wanted to punch Chris in the face today and instead simply told him that I was angry and he apologised. So that’s a moral victory, I suppose.

5. Pick your goals wisely, and change course as required.

Yeah, that I do.

6. Failure is always an option.

I do that too.

7. Remember humans are amazingly adaptable, even you.

I’m astonished at how well I’m holding up so far. Of course, I’m also aware that there’s a manic episode happening. When I come down things may get rough. If I look after myself as much as possible while manic, the fall won’t be as hard.

8. Do fun stuff.

It has been fun to pour my creativity into stuff like the obstacle course (which Louisette still likes and TJ still refuses to do) and a Secret Project I’m prepping for the holidays.

9. Humour.


10. Whatever works.


My normal weekday routine pre-COVID-19:

7-9am: Get up, get kids ready for school, put a load of washing on, drop them at school.

9ish-12ish: Immediately change into PJS. Watch TV and/or write stuff. Lunch.

12ish-2:30ish: Nap.

3-6: Fetch kids, immediately change into PJs, play wii with TJ, make kids shower, prepare dinner.

6:30-8: Dinner and bedtime routine.

8pm-11ish: Watch TV and/or write stuff. Go to bed.

And now:

12ish: Wake up, eat breakfast, do a load of washing, fetch kids’ lunches. (Chris gets the kids breakfast around 7am and then goes to work in his study.)

1-4ish: Louisette is at her best (it’s her Ritalin window) so make sure to do her schooling (currently just the obstacle course) and make her shower in this time window. Also do TJ’s schooling (which he begs for) and shower (which he begs not to do, but it only takes 60 seconds once he’s in).

3ish-6ish: Write blog, usually (in bits and pieces between other things) and play wii/watch NumberBlocks with TJ while Louisette watches TV in her room.

6:30-8: Dinner and bedtime routine.

8pm-1am ish: Watch TV and/or write stuff (usually too tired to do any writing). Go to bed.

This is Louisette working on the obstacle course.


I hope looking at my routine makes you feel better about yours. Honestly, I really am doing amazingly well. Since Chris is working form home now, which means 2 hours extra in his day, it’s time for him to start doing useful stuff with the kids. So he takes care of showering the kids now (YAY). And he’s home at 5pm instead of 6:30, which is VERY helpful since by then I’m too tired to play on the wii with TJ, but TJ is too tired to amuse himself.

Resource of the day:

A lot of people are encouraging kids to get into letter-writing or play on playgrounds. Please don’t—playgrounds and paper are both very able to carry COVID-19 for several days (possibly as much as 17 days).

Donation of the day:

People still have medical expenses. Have a look at GoFundMe and pick a winner.

Personal action of the day:

Use gloves when opening your mail (or leave it somewhere safe for at least a week before opening it), and carefully throw away envelopes.

Hoarding item of the day:

Tongs? Since gloves are probably out of stock everywhere.

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