Life in a pandemic isn’t easy.

In fact, life in a pandemic is really hard. It has taken a toll on our mental health and well-being: “As of the third week of June, 49% of the population had felt anxious or worried.”

“18-24 year old’s were still more likely than any other age group to report hopelessness, loneliness, not coping well” says the Mental Health Foundation in their research on the affects of the pandemic on mental health.

I for one was definitely feeling this mental toll — admittedly I was was also dealing with the loss of my Nain (welsh for Grandma)- and I was needing a break from it all and my staycation defiantly helped!

So, just to clarify some life details before we start so this post makes more sense: I have moved in with my boyfriends family for the foreseeable remainder of lockdown as this is obviously the safest way to see each other. This is why I went on a staycation with his family and not my own, and why I was able to do so without breaking any rules. It was timed beautifully as they had this booked pre-lockdown which meant I could tag along as I was then (and am now) a member of their household).

Being able to be in a new setting and just kind of stop– even though life in lockdown clearly hasn’t been that busy it was nice to stop my brain going 1000 miles an hour all the time. I could breath in new, proper, fresh air and see a different view. Also being on holiday just felt like there wasn’t anything wrong in the world; it felt normal again as if a pandemic wasn’t even going on.

Compared to the previous year we went to Putsbrough we didn’t actually do a lot; we did some short walks together and separately, had a few swims in the sea*, played some games in accommodation, and generally just made time to just chill out.

*Thankfully the sea wasn’t too cold (although it was still a bit nippy) as just having a little swim was just instantly rejuvenating for me, so I went in multiple times just in my swimming costume and only once in a wet suit. I felt so at peace to have this sensation I hadn’t felt in over a year and to just be immersed (literally) in it.

I had a few solo walks, one just down to the beach to watch the sunset, another to Croyde, and a few 2km loops around where we were staying. Each were beautiful and mentally refreshing in their own way

One of the walks , which I had mentioned on my Instagram while I was away, was admittedly slightly less relaxing but a funny memory I have to laugh at myself which in itself is stress relieving. On stories I revealed:

Some of the guesses were fair guesses; “It rained halfway and you had to turn back”, “There was a scary cow”, “You got lost”.

What actually happened was I needed the loo — and not the quick kinda pop behind a hedge and have a quick wee kind of need for the loo -_-

I took a gamble and took a shortcut to Croyde (which was closer than walking back to the accommodation) knowing there were National Trust toilets but not knowing whether or not they would be open BUT if they were it was the best of the 2 options. Lets just say I am now forever grateful for National Trust toilets especially the Sandleigh ones in Croyde. — I hope you don’t mind me keeping it real on this blog!

Despite the ‘grossness’ of my story, it was actually a really beautiful walk -whereby I learnt that some National Trust toilets are open- and I’m glad my need to go wasn’t urgent enough to stop me pulling out my camera and taking these shots

I am very appreciative of the time to just explore somewhere not local to me, but somewhere just a drive away

The freedom, and the fresh air, and the sand that got EVERYWHERE, was just wonderful. A few times when I was indoors too long on a rainy day I got a bit grumpy, but as soon as I went outside I was reminded of the weight nature can lift off my shoulders

And just the chance to play around on the beach and in the sea

I also made the most of being able to stop, and sit, and just read, whilst being surrounded by a relaxing and beautiful location

If you get the chance and can safety go away on a staycation I highly recommend it, it was an excellent chance to hit some needed reset button and I was very lucky for Will’s family to bring me along– Coopers, if you are reading, thank you so much 🙂

And thanks to you lovely readers for reading x