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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Ajayi

Life in Furlough

Updated: Jun 24, 2020

With the governments announcements in introducing us back to normal life (albeit a tad early for my liking) I thought it would be good to do a post for those who have unfortunately been furloughed like me.

For those that are not too sure, furlough is the temporary leave of employees due to the special needs of the company, usually due to economic conditions (like covid-19). I was furloughed about a month and a half ago, publishing is a difficult business as is but with the pandemic business has slowed across the board massively. While ebooks are more popular than ever, getting books into stores is next to impossible. This meant that understandably my side of the business was no longer necessary for this moment in time.

The first couple weeks were extremely hard, it was a massive adjustment period. I had my set routine around work, so going from a full time job to doing nothing at all pretty much felt like being grounded during the summer holidays, especially with the government restrictions in place.

So I thought it'd be a good idea to share what I've been doing to keep myself busy and my mental health as stable as possible, as well as getting back into writing again while I have the time!

1. Working Out

It sounds convenient but just before lockdown was majorly enforced, I was finally getting back into the gym again! Since gyms were one of the first businesses to close, my gym offered a discounted membership to an online gym called FIIT - I've never enjoyed working out more!

It does cost money but I figured the money I'm saving from my gym membership being frozen might as well go towards this. You're able to set your fitness level (I've said beginner) and they will create a customised workout plan for you, ranging from 2 weeks to 6 weeks+ depending on what your target area is (mine is weight loss).

I always feel much better after a workout, my energy levels are much higher and I feel much happier.

Get your friends involved and workout together over FaceTime or drag your family into it too, it's always a much more fun activity when you're working out with someone else!

2. Baking

A Victoria Sponge that I made with homemade cream

Chocolate Cake with an easter egg fudge filling

I've always loved to bake, starting out from Betty Crocker just add water sets as a teenager i've managed to level up my baking skills. I personally find it really relaxing to follow a recipe and have it turn out perfectly. It's a great way to occupy myself for a couple hours without having to put too much thought into things - and my family are absolutely loving having new things to try everyweek! If you don't have any baking books I do recommend BBC GoodFood as an easy guide. They tell you whether the recipe is easy or hard, the time scale of the recipe and specify wether it's vegetarian/vegan etc.

Baking is always so much easier than everyone thinks, start with something super easy and work your way up, you'll be amazed by what you can do!

3. Reading

I think we all know by now that I am a massive advocate for reading, which is a given considering the industry I'm in!

I think if you're struggling with finding a way to occupy your time, grabbing a book is the easiest solution. A lot of my friends are reading Normal People so they can binge the BBC adaptation, which I definitely recommend. Also a reminder that if you don't own a kindle but also have no room for any more books, you can download the Kindle app for free on your devices!

Here are a couple of books I've been reading lately:

- China Rich Girlfriend

- I Know This Much is True

- My Dark Vanessa (favourite of the year so far)

(If you want any specific book recommendations please feel free to drop me an email or a message online)

4. Daily Walks

Considering what's going on in the world it seems insane to go on walks but I really do recommend it, especially if you don't have a garden. Staying indoors 24/7 and barely moving is extremely unhealthy and damaging to your mental health. Even if you just walk around your area, to the top of your road and back it makes a world of difference! It's a great opportunity to explore where you live further, honestly it can be a mini adventure, I recently discovered an apple orchard right next to my house!

Obviously please make sure you stay as safe as you can, wear a mask if you have one and only go on one walk a day.

5. Friends

Honestly without my friends I would be losing my mind right now. It's seems to be, (especially with my university friends that I only get to see once a year), that we've all grown so much closer during this! Weekly zoom quizzes that lead to an abundance of drinks flowing and fun costume challenges as well as constant snapchat updates on the smallest parts of our days.

If you're feeling alone at all during this time please makes sure to reach out to people you can trust. Even if it's a quick call speaking about anything and everything, it makes a world of difference during such strange and scary times.

I hope that this post has been at least a bit useful and will help you occupy your time better! If there are any questions on furlough or anything else then please do not hesitate to drop me a note, and I'll help where I can. Otherwise please do refer to the government website.

See you in the next post!

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