We asked our Esker colleagues what new hobbies and activities they had started doing or continued to do during the current UK lockdown so that we could share these and hopefully inspire others. These are some of the responses that we received:
Jennifer Ball – Marketing Co-ordinator
“In between keeping my toddler occupied, and the usual cooking, cleaning, and working, there’s precious little left for me-time. In what there is, I’m trying to keep up my daily exercise goal (a fitness band Christmas present is proving a good motivator so far), and relax by crafting and doing jigsaws. February’s a big month for birthdays in our family (mine included!) so I’m currently sewing a ‘Happy Birthday’ bunting banner that can be used for many birthday celebrations over the years to come.”
Claire Barker – Marketing Specialist
“In this lockdown I have really noticed the effect that being active every day has on my mood so I’m making an effort to move my body, sometimes as a family and sometimes on my own. Three times a week, me and Harry, my son, join PE with Joe which is a great way to start our day, and I also love doing Pilates a couple of times a week to help relax and stretch.
Also, when we began home schooling in January, the school told parents the importance of having a visual timetable to help manage expectations of the day and split time into manageable chunks. We put school and work activities up on a pinboard every morning and this has proved invaluable to daily planning and is something I may well carry on post-lockdown as it’s really helped keep our days structured.
Finally, I bought a cheap and cheerful disco ball from Amazon and have a Friday night kitchen disco which is a great way to celebrate the end of each long week!”
Samantha Carr – HR & Finance Manager
“Trying to get outside as much as possible either by running, walking or exercising my horse. Doing regular zoom classes to improve fitness and keep the mind focussed. It’s a great time to talk to family and friends and we have a regular family quiz. A time for reflection and re-evaluation of how I’d like my life to be after lockdown. I’m definitely looking forward to some sunshine.”
Laura Cook – Administration Assistant
“Like many of us, my week days are filled with the challenge of working and home schooling simultaneously! Some days are great; and some not so much! On that basis, I take my own needs to relax based on how I’m feeling each day. Be that a bottle of wine, takeaway and binging on a box set, or healthy slow cooker recipes, long walks and an online workout! We enjoy a more relaxed pace at the weekend; fresh air, a chance to play a family board game (we have a fair few) or watch a movie. For a bit of me time it’s got to be a long bath or a good book! Whether it be teen vampires or Tudor queens, the escapism found from getting lost in a good read is a welcome respite from reality!”
Georgina Kershaw – Customer Experience Manager
“Mine is a busy household, like many around the Country at the minute, with 3 children at home it is often fairly noisy and chaotic but every day I make sure I get that hour to go over the local fields with our family border collie Freddie and he spends his time rounding everyone up for me.”
Amy Rees – Marketing Administrator
“I have been juggling working with home schooling, but for a little bit of calm I have been doing yoga early in the mornings and walking. In the evenings I continue to read The Bible in One Year and learn German on Duolingo. We’ve also been re-watching Friends and I’ve had the occasional virtual Scrabble game with my Mum. We’re doing lots of baking at the weekends and crafts, and we’re enjoying getting back into the garden now that the weather is improving!”
Raj Sahota – Internal Sales Manager
“I’ve researched and bought trees for the garden to make it look nice, feed the birds in winter and reduce carbon footprint by a Nano-amount.
I’ve let the work-life balance go out of the window so I drift back to the laptop at silly hours, but hey, the jab will put that right.”
Paul Stevens – Business Development Manager
“NetFlix and Amazon Prime have been my friends for sure, but it does appear that the number of direct debits for monthly services is increasing and hitting my pocket hard! There have been some great series though including Homeland, Vikings and Designated Survivor. We have also walked a lot and I have ridden my bike in the garage to keep the fitness at a reasonable level.”
Ed Thompson – Business Development Manager
“Lockdown hasn’t made a massive difference to me as I work from home anyway. Having said that it has helped me focus on getting fit. I have been doing the Couch to 5k running programme and have been putting some miles in on my bike. I have been doing lots of cooking and trying new recipes. Kahoot quizzes on Zoom with the Family have become a Friday night fixture. Started reading again, reading Peter Crouch’s book ‘How to be a Footballer’ and read ‘Humans’ by Matt Haig. Watching lots of good series on TV like Queens Gambit and The Serpent. Also watching comedy series I never watched first time round like Peep Show and Still Game.”
Michael Toryusen – Professional Services Consultant
“If you were to look back in time, anyone would have thought I had prepared for the pandemic. At the start of Lockdown One, myself and my partner had just moved into our first house. The first room to be finished; our board game room. With over 500 games there have been a lot to play to keep ourselves entertained. When board games take a little too much effort to play we have also been binge watching various series on Netflix.”
Samuel Townsend – Head of Marketing
“Having cycled 10,000 km last year and not having the facilities during lockdown to do any extensive training indoors, I decided it was a good idea to start running. I’m just easing into it with a few steady 10km runs at first but then I hope to increase the distance and pace. I’ll also consider taking along my miniature schnauzer soon and see if I can keep up! I’ve also been visiting my local fishmongers to support local suppliers in the community during the pandemic. Each week I sample the delights on offer, which are caught daily and delivered fresh (on the same day) for me to try out new inventive recipes and interesting dishes. I don’t quite yet have the same culinary expertise as Rick Stein, but I’m trying! I’ve also been teaching my children to play plenty of new card and board games, whereby things often all too easily escalate to become extremely competitive.”
Dan Weston – Business Development Manager
“Whilst most days/weeks are a blur at the moment, I have found escapism in my Xbox, which although not great for fitness has definitely allowed me to switch off and separate my work/home life. I have particularly enjoyed playing some “open-world” games where you can immerse yourself for hours in a different setting and generally just forget the chaos that is outside. I’ve also realised how much I really love music and have been investing time in playing old vinyl on my record player. Looking forward to getting back on the golf course though when restrictions are lifted”.