I’m Pretty Good at Hola Hooping!

April 24 2020 Isabelle Murphy Transition Year

I think it’s safe to say that the year 2020 is not going the way we have expected it. Since the start of this I have had mixed emotions about the global pandemic we are now experiencing. At the start, everyone was making and sharing memes about COVID-19 on social media, including me, and I didn’t take it seriously until it got into Ireland. Still when that happened, I was over the moon that school was cancelled and couldn’t wait to have a “break”, as I thought it would be over soon. I was clearly wrong and when I looked into it more and I realized how serious this is.

In the first week of social distancing, just after the schools closed, every day I was hating it more and more. I quickly got fed up and started missing my friends and family. I was unproductive and emotional, and I was scared of who this would affect close to me and didn’t understand it completely. I get bored very easily so the first week felt very slow. I took up colouring and that’s what I was doing 24/7. It kept me entertained. I still badly wanted to go out, but I knew not to as it wouldn’t be a good outcome in the long run.

After my colouring phase, I went on to doing word searches all day and after that I went onto painting. I was still missing my friends and family a lot but I understood this pandemic more, which made it easier. Doing tasks such as painting, colouring and word searches relaxed me, and I enjoyed doing them. I must admit, I’m not the best cook and so I saw this as a good opportunity for me to start learning how to make simple dishes. I started off by making cookies, which everyone loved. My family was hesitant when trying them because I’m known for not cooking food properly (oops!!). But they were perfect and I was really proud of myself.

As the weeks progressed, I finally got into a good and healthy routine. I would get up and get dressed as if it was a regular day: that way I would be more motivated to get things done instead of being in my pajamas and staying in bed all day. Then I would eat my breakfast (my favorite would be fruit and yogurt) and then go for about an hour walking and running. Then, when I got home, I would have my lunch (my favorite being peanut butter on brown bread or toast). I would give the rest of the time until dinner to any activity I want, or some homework if it needed to be done. Then I would have my dinner and after I would do about a 40-minute workout. Also, I have discovered that I’m pretty good at hula hooping and skip roping! Then for the rest of the evening I would FaceTime my friends and have a snack before bed.

Before this pandemic, I used to go to the gym most days. I’ve always wanted to eat healthier than I have but I felt I couldn’t as I would go out to town for meals a lot of the time and end up getting pizza or Chinese with my friends. I took this opportunity to focus on me and decided to try and be healthier, both mentally and physically. I’ve also been reading a nutrition health book and I now know what my body needs and how to look after it, which I think is very important. Another reason why I think I was emotional during the first week was because I lost my routine and felt bad about myself when I was sitting at home doing nothing. My new COVID-19 routine has been doing me a lot of favours, and I am learning something new every day and feeling better in myself. I’ve also grown closer to my family and have been going on daily walks and playing games with them every day now.

I’m very proud of my family, friends and the majority of the country for listening to the rules and staying safe inside. I believe it won’t be long until this lockdown is over, or at least some rules lifted. Overall, I think this benefited me in a good way and I am way more grateful and appreciative to the world and the people around me.