Hits radio host, celebrant and MC Will Johnston muses on his life in the Bay of Plenty

Man this sucks.

The thought that we would have so much of our freedoms taken away because of a virus is something that you would have guffawed at even a month ago.

Two things ... that is like the start of a horror movie. And, don't watch the movie Contagion right now if you don't want to see how bad it could get. But that's fiction, so we're all good. Right? *gulp*

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But here we are.

The only choice thing bringing me any comfort during any of this malarkey is the fact that I have no choice.

Like, what can I do? What can anyone do?!

Apart from nothing.

I've actually managed to find a bright side from this ... apart from the more time at home with my fiancée and puppy.

The slight bright side is: it's never been more okay to not be okay!

Okay, yeah, it's not so bright that you'll need sunscreen. But daylight saving is ending tomorrow anyway.

We've all heard the patter around looking after our mental health, and that has never been more important than now.

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But we've also all heard, are living, or will live the negatives from this situation (oh for stronger words). But there are a group of people that have been setting themselves up for a lockdown for years.

The depressed.

Bear with me here, and not just because I panic bought an 8-week-old Cavoodle puppy the day before lockdown and named him Bear.

I suffered from depression a while back; started by tinnitus and continued by just, well, life!

Some of my closest friends and family have been through crippling depression/anxiety and still go through it daily.

Some of their stories, and a little of my own, have led me to believe that there is a section of society that will be TOTALLY fine and even sort of subconsciously welcome a lockdown.

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Mainly because they've had a bit of a lockdown going on in their head for years.

The days at home, unable or willing to leave the house, let alone the bed.

Walking down the hallway in your dressing gown crying about how uncomfortable your socks are while eating icecream from the carton — because even the thought of the effort required to take the socks off is overwhelming.

Then writing a 3000-word blog post on the virtues of breast milk the same day.

Feeling sort of hungover without the pain, just the 'body-dumbness' and minus the fun earning that hangover the night before.

The want for all of the food, or none of it.

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The worst thing you can think of is exercise, even though you know it helps you mentally and physically and the catastrophic grey cloud of 'meh' that just seems to cloak every action you make and every 'Houseparty' you attend online.

The constant uneasiness.

The fear/anxiety/depression/worry.

Am I describing depression/anxiety?

Or I could have just been describing lockdown for you?

Both.

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This is a weird time. It's fine to be a bit on edge and a bit sad ... It would be MORE weird if you weren't!

But also, think of this as the best opportunity you're probably ever going to get in your life time (fingers crossed) to actually live in the present and be thankful for anything that makes you happy and content.

I mean you have no choice but to, right? Follow the rules.

Stay safe and stay eating icecream in your undies in your bubble please.

— Will Johnston is the 9am-3pm host for The Hits Bay of Plenty 95FM. He's also a celebrant and MC. Follow Will on Instagram on @radiowill.
Will's show on The Hits Bay of Plenty is proudly sponsored by local flooring business Gerrand Floorings, where a world of flooring inspiration, leading brands and expert advice meet.

You will find Gerrand Floorings at 123 Hewletts Rd, Mount Maunganui. 0800 437 7263. www.gerrand.co.nz

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