Catriona's Lockdown Diary

We're delighted to feature Catriona Craig as our first guest blogger.

As an HR Business Partner for a major international business based in Aberdeen, Catriona discusses her experience of lockdown so far.

From feeling lost, scared and everything in between, to quite deep and profound realisations about what is really important to her, Catriona provides a perspective which many of us can relate to.

MAY 2020

I did a lot of socialising in January and February this year. I saw lots of friends; enjoyed a theatre break in Edinburgh, had a weekend in Glasgow seeing friends and family and I completed most of the park runs in Aberdeenshire, usually rewarded with coffee and cake afterwards. I also started practicing yoga, attending weekly classes in the evening at a local café. Looking back, it was almost like I was packing as much into those two months as I could before we were hit by a global crisis.

I will never forget watching our Prime Minister’s update in my colleague’s office on Monday 16 March and starting to work through the implications for our global transport business. People were to work from home for the foreseeable. The consequences of this were huge for our business but there was also the personal aspect, my mind started racing with ‘what if’ scenarios and questions. I was scared and so was everyone else.

The next couple of days passed in a blur of meetings and calls, then the time came to leave the office. I hesitantly packed everything in my immediate surroundings and drove home for the foreseeable future. It was the strangest end to any working day I’ve ever had, and I was very emotional. When my Husband left for work the day after, I felt lost but luckily a well-timed text from my colleague provided me with some much-needed reassurance that everyone felt uneasy about this.

From that point forward, I dealt with everything that was thrown at me and tried my best not to overthink things. However, I quickly knew that I wanted to use this time wisely to learn more about myself and what I wanted from the future.


Since lockdown started, I have been running an average of 30km per week and I have enjoyed the process of getting fitter, stronger and faster. Whilst there are no official races to be run any time soon, I am enjoying my progress and the changes I am seeing in my body.

Prior to lockdown I trained with a Personal Trainer and since I am no longer allowed to do that, I have enjoyed spending more time outdoors, but I do feel like I need to return to the weights soon. However, I haven’t consistently worked out from home before, so I need to give that a proper try and see whether it’s something I enjoy or not. This also applies to my yoga practice which I have stopped since I could no longer go to class in person.

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I travel to London with work, a lot. If you had told me this when I was a teenager, I would have been very excited as I was fascinated by London then. However, the realities of work travel are very different. You spend a lot of time alone, mostly in uninspiring corporate hotels. This meant that time at home in Aberdeen was condensed but I was still attempting to do everything that I used to do when I didn’t travel as much. The consequences of this were me feeling extremely tired and I didn’t really feel I had the energy to give 100% to anything. I needed a break and whilst lockdown isn’t a break as such, I have noticed a positive difference to how I feel.


I enjoy spending time with others, I always have done but what I have learned through lockdown is that I need my own space both physically and mentally. The idea of spending my weekends on never -ending video calls fills me with dread which is why I haven’t dialled into many with my friends. Instead, I’ve preferred a good old-fashioned phone call, one-to-one catching up on the things we miss, what we’ve enjoyed on TV and what we’ve been eating!

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I appreciate that we will be social distancing for the foreseeable future, so this probably isn’t going to be a concern for the short/medium term. However, I’ve come to realise that I much prefer quality conversations with people rather than a series of conversations filled with small talk. I always say to my Husband that people always tell me their secrets, but I think it’s because I reciprocate and share things that are close to my heart rather than coming across as a closed book. In my opinion, life is too short not to engage with others in meaningful way. I think this may also be the reason why I have such a loyal set of friends.


Prior to lockdown I would always have described myself as a ‘foodie’, many of my memories are centred around restaurants and meals that I have enjoyed. However, I had forgotten what it felt like to plan and cook a meal without time pressures. I find it very relaxing! I also enjoy eating a variety of foods (some ‘good’, some ‘bad’) and trying new recipes which, like many things I hadn’t made time for prior to lockdown.

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Another ‘F’ WORD

As mentioned already, I am lucky to have a loyal set of friends. However, I believe that I put a lot of effort into maintaining friendships. I frequently ‘check-in’ on my friends directly and share things that I think they’d like or enjoy. I have consistently done this since I started university and I hope that I continue to do this throughout my life as good friends are hard to come by!


I am a creature of habit, not necessarily a rigid routine but I like order and predictability. When I learned we were to be working from home for the foreseeable I had no idea how I would cope, and I felt at a loss as to what to do next. To distract myself I was scrolling through a social media app and found myself viewing a video that encouraged you to allow yourself to be present with how you feel and that is exactly what I did. I felt the bad stuff and acknowledged it was there.

From then on, piece by piece I slowly managed to figure things out using every single tool that I could find! However, the lesson for me here has been that we are far more adaptable than we think, especially where we have limited options.

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The term ‘work life’ blend was mentioned to me a while ago and initially I dismissed it as it conjured up a series of images relating to after hours calls, holiday interruptions and a general feeling of being contactable 24/7. I’m now coming to realise that this concept doesn’t have to be this way. As a professional, you can set your own boundaries and be disciplined in doing so.

We were blessed with great weather in the start of lockdown, blue skies, sunshine and warmth. Taking advantage of this around calls and meetings has been amazing. Yes, this has resulted in some evening and weekend work, but it certainly does feel like, for once, in a long time, I’m in the driving seat and I hope this continues albeit with slightly less restrictions than lockdown!