Actor Alan Magor has starred in a number of productions including Holding Baby, Racing Demon and Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap. I was fortunate enough to talk to Alan about how he is handling this strange new way of life as the weeks in lockdown roll on.
First of all, how are you feeling about the whole situation?
There is such a wide range of emotions that it is quite hard to pin down, and they seem to fluctuate day by day. The monotony is the biggest challenge for many of I think. There is elements of loneliness from missing good friends – and I am a passionate hugger, so I am very much missing that element of human contact. But I am getting by! Taking things one day at a time and just trying to stay as active and as sane as possible.
How have you been keeping yourself occupied during the lockdown?
I have a phone interview for some front line work at my local Aldi next week, so there’d be focus and a positive sense of responsibility and support in that. I feel very passionate about wanting to help my local community right now, so I am hoping there#s some positive news soon. On a personal level, I have always had a love for cooking, so I have thrown myself into that very often. Keeping things everything healthy for the most part, but not denying myself the comforts when needed! I have set a weekly video call with a close friend who lives alone to check in every Sunday, which has kept me sane. Exercise wise, I have thrown myself into things that I would not usually do for some variation – a good few Oti Mabusi dance classes, PE with Joe, Circuit Training – anything that keeps me active! As well as planning for gardening and DIY jobs which have needed attention for a little while!
What are you most looking forward to doing once lockdown is over?
Hugs. That is absolutely number one. I so miss physical human contact with all the people I love in my life!
How have you been managing day to day life in quarantine? Do you have a routine, or do you just go with the flow?
I tend to just go with the flow, but do have a list of things I want to do, and things I need to do – so there is an element of routine, but very free form. I have repaired outhouse and shed doors, fixed fences, looking at maybe doing an online course for a new qualification. But I am not putting any pressure on myself to come out of this with anything other than my health – both mentally and physically.
Do you have any advice for people who are perhaps finding lockdown hard to manage?
Video call your friends and loved ones. Seeing peoples faces again brings such joy. A dear friend of mine helped me with a self tape this week, and I got quite emotional when her face popped up on my screen. Technology is at a point where we can stay well connected despite the distance between us all right now. Also – don’t judge yourself based on other people’s commitments or achievements. Everyone is dealing with this very differently, and the way we do so is very personal. Listen to your own wants, your own needs. Some days just getting out of bed is the biggest achievement you can make. But even if you don’t, checking in with someone, sending your best wishes to a friend, or even just getting through a rough day are all perfectly good achievements when those days arrive. Just stay safe, and do what you need to get through.
Do you think that it is important to talk about mental health in these challenging times?
I think open conversations about Mental Health are always vitally important – but only once people are ready to have those conversations. If we can be there for each other at all times, then we will be there when those we care about are ready to talk, and when they need us most. But sometimes – I know from my own experience – someone just being there for inane chatter and a little bit of virtual company is exactly what’s needed. Even if mental health concerns aren’t discussed in those chats, just that element of support and togetherness can sometimes be enough to see us through. Don’t be afraid to spread your love, and let others know how much you love them. Loving one another is so, so important right now. And feeling that love for those we don’t even know as a sense of collective responsibility.
I would like to thank Alan for his time and his answers to this interview, and wish him the very best for the future. Stay safe x