My name is Joshua Sterling, I am 22 years old and I live in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire. I am a recruitment consultant and model, having joined Model Students just over a year ago while studying at Nottingham Trent University.

Admittedly, having never experienced anything like isolation before, I somewhat struggled to get a grip with things. That being said, now having taken everything in, I have realised that I will probably never get this much free time again in my life and it is something I am definitely making the most of – in terms of self-improvement and also feeding my guilty pleasures.

Sure, I do miss work, the gym, eating out, seeing my friends and just the simple freedom to do what I want. Luckily, with the technology we have today, I can come close to fulfilling these without actually doing them and I’ve found myself doing interesting activities that I may have never done if this whole bizarre situation didn’t occur.

The main thing for me keeping my sanity is to follow a routine each day and prevent all my days blending into one. I have a brief schedule to follow which includes waking up by 9am, making breakfast, doing my daily workout, making lunch, dinner and leaving space  in between for a bunch of other activities varying from reading, Netflix, gaming, catching up with friends and other bits and bobs.

Being a model, it’s hard not having any opportunity to get in front of the camera too. As a model, or even a photographer you can do what I’ve been doing. I’ve used this chance to network with a bunch of other photographers and have multiple test shoots planned for when it is possible! It’s also been cool to see how some companies have adapted and some models are actually shooting themselves from home, a great example of this being ASOS’ ‘Models at home’ feature.

One of my biggest fears when this all started was losing my ‘summer bod’ and the accessibility of getting a weekly haircut. Combatting this has been far easier than I imagined. I have found a countless number of great home workout programmes that have had me working harder than ever and doing exercises and improving muscles that I never would have before. Being at home all the time means I have been able to improve my nutrition a lot more too! My personal recommendation for those trying to maintain their muscles would be an app called ‘Heria Pro’. I’ve been using the free ‘Quarantine Home Workout Program’ which predominantly focuses on bodyweight exercises. In all honesty, I did try and get in to running too, but I just really don’t think it’s for me – I always think to myself ‘how do people actually enjoy this?’ But, each to their own.

In terms of combatting the hair problem, after around a month and a bit of no trim I knew it was time to take things into my own hands. I ordered a £20 Remington beard trimmer off of Argos and watched a 20 minute self-cut tutorial on YouTube and all I can say is that my barber might be losing a customer once this is all over. I can keep a fresh fade during quarantine… it’s not all doom and gloom after all!

Another thing I have also been doing, especially as I have no garden, is utilising my hour of exercise a day, whether it just be a stroll or bike ride (I opt for the stroll). Particularly while the weather has been this nice! Getting a bit of fresh air and steps in has made all the difference, and it’s been great for the vitamin D levels too.

As mentioned earlier, I’ve been doing a far bit of reading during this lockdown. I don’t perceive myself as a big reader but I’ve found myself absolutely loving it. I read ‘Cilka’s Journey’, the sequel to ‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz’ in about 3 days and I definitely recommend both books if you haven’t read them already. I had genuine tears in my eyes more times than I’d like to admit. Aside from this, I have also been reading self-improvement books which I originally didn’t have much faith in. These have been absolute game changers for me. I figured why not try and leave lockdown as a better version of myself and these have really helped in terms of knowledge, habits, routine and simple motivation! Take a look at ‘The Miracle Morning’ and ‘The Slight Edge’. I’d put money on the fact that it will change your outlook on a lot of things.

Taking this all into consideration, it’s okay to be lazy and have off days too. I’m not always motivated and it’s been nice to just take time to focus on Netflix-binging, playing PS4, scrolling through my social media and doing pretty much nothing. You can use the times of idleness to keep in touch with friends and family too. Saturday zoom quiz nights are happening without fail for me, and they’re great fun!

Anyhow, I hope everyone is keeping well. Remember: Stay home, wash your hands and make this as easy for the NHS as possible! Just clutch on to the thought of how nice that first crisp pint will taste once this blows over.