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Cabin fever is a real thing, as many of us may have discovered by now after a fortnight or more of pandemic “house arrest” and the new normal it has created – self-isolation, social distancing, working from home, homeschooling etc and so forth.

Either family or housemates are in each other’s faces pretty much 24/7 and are climbing walls, or those who live alone may be starting to feel truly self-isolated.

What’s making it more difficult is that we don’t know how long these lockdowns will last and how much of the “new normal” may become a longterm fixture of our lives.

Experts across the health and wellbeing spectrum all seem to agree on one thing – to get through these challenging circumstances sane and whole we need to create a routine for ourselves to give our days structure and purpose. Further, to help ward off damaging levels of boredom and navel-gazing, which can lead to heightened anxiety or depression.

They say exercise and good nutrition are integral to the new routines we create for ourselves, to maintain mental as well as physical fitness.

Dragging my lazy butt out of bed has never been easy. But the call of being paid to turn up at a place of work at a specific time has been, a great, shall we say, motivator.

Okay, so those days are over. For now.

Did I ever envisage mourning the early start and commute? Um, no.

So here we are, creating our new normal.

I’ve been a regular at Balance Moves from the first week it opened. At Christmas I commented to Renee it must be at least 10 years – ah, no, she said. It’s been 16 …

So it’s become a significant part of my life; the community of the classes as well as the brilliant teaching, which has whipped this lazy butt into a semblance of shape. It’s also kept me anchored amid much stuff.

So for a while, we can’t do the studio thing, but Renee has kept things moving, as it were.

I love her passion for keeping the community together: how we all behave now will define the rest of our lives.

The Zoom classes I find just as rigorous and the results as effective as in the studio. I confess I was a bit dubious whether that would be the case before I actually started doing them.

It gives me a reason to get out of bed early(ish), even though my head debates itself for at least half an hour before a class start how much I just want to sleep for another hour (or two).

But when I only have to walk from the bedroom to the living room, roll out my mat and grab the day’s designated prop – no need even to brush hair or teeth or “dress up” – there’s really no excuse that I can make to myself.

Eventually, it will just become second nature to get up and at it.

It’s also going to be even easier now with more classes during the day or evening to choose from.

I’m actually feeling in better shape after two weeks of home detention because I’m doing classes almost every day, where previously I would do three a week at most.

We also have the option to do multiple Zoom classes a day if we wish (my jury is still out on that …) and for less than $30 a week, who can beat that?

The classes get my blood pumping, make my head clearer and just give me more energy and a better mindset to tackle the working from home day.

The real-time factor of virtual classes is also a massive bonus. Being live, I can’t put it on pause like I used to with exercise videos; giving myself excuses to make cups of tea or phone calls, send emails, turn on the TV etc.

And I get to see my class buddies on-screen and hear their voices (when we’re unmuted, that is! Would be counterproductive to have people talking through a session).

I just know how much the daily classes mean to me. A reason for dragging my butt out of bed, sure. But it’s more than that.

We’ll all look kick-arse fantastic, naturally, but it will help keep our daily lives in balance until we get to the flip side of COVID-19.