Tom Huddlestone, like everyone across the United Kingdom, is adapting to the drastic change in circumstances following the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
Strict new curbs on life in the UK to tackle the spread of the virus were announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the beginning of this week.
People may only leave home to exercise once a day, travel to and from work when it is absolutely necessary, shop for essential items and fulfil any medical or care needs.
Shops selling non-essential goods were told to shut and gatherings in public of more than two people who do not live together will be prohibited.
Huddlestone, like many across the country, is spending the vast majority of his day at home with no competitive football on the agenda for the foreseeable future.
The football authorities collectively agreed earlier this month that the professional game in England will be further postponed until no earlier than 30th April.
The Premier League, EFL and PFA met on Friday and discussed the growing seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The EFL confirmed in a statement yesterday evening that further meetings will take place next week with a view to formulating a joint plan to deal with the difficult circumstances facing the leagues, their clubs, players, staff and fans.
Huddlestone, who is 33, spoke to Sky Sports News on Saturday afternoon via Skype to provide an insight into how a professional footballer has found the situation and how he is maintaining his fitness.
Huddlestone said: “Like the rest of the country and the world it is a bit different (way of life right now), but I think it’s important to keep yourself as occupied as possible and especially mentally.
“With all the technology around these days it’s easy to stay in touch and to interact with people.
“It has been different coming away from the regular day-to-day structure, but the club have given us a training schedule where we have to do certain runs on certain days.
“That gives you a certain structure in the daily routine, but what I have found the hardest part is not targeting a match situation at the moment as there’s no ‘end game’ as such with the current situation we’re all in.
“It’s important for your mental state to maintain your physical fitness, but it has been strange in terms of not having something to build up to. Even in the close season you are gearing up for pre-season, and in-season you’re obviously preparing for matches.
“If and when the season starts up again, it’s important to be in the best possible condition.”
He added: “Everyone is in the same or similar situation, though, and it’s a surreal set of circumstances and one that nobody could have predicted.”
Huddlestone says Derby’s players are in regular contact on a daily basis and that manager Phillip Cocu has spoken with each player individually to check on their welfare.
In addition, the former England international is aware if his role within the squad as a senior player to provide support and advice to Derby’s younger players should they need it.
“The manager has spoken to all the players individually and, first and foremost, that was to make sure everyone and their families are safe,” Huddlestone said.
“Equally, amongst the lads, we have a few WhatsApp groups that everyone communicates across.
“There are also a few new apps which allow people to socialise with each other without actually being in each other’s company, which helps pass a couple of hours a day.”
He added: “We have a few senior players at Derby like myself, Curtis Davies and Wayne Rooney and we’re always there for the younger players to speak to.
“Everyone is up in the air and in the same place, but if any of the younger lads wanted to speak to us as senior individuals to get our thoughts then we’re always there to talk.”
Huddlestone has made 12 appearances for Derby in all competitions so far this season, his last coming in January, and had recently returned to training after a spell out of action due to injury prior to the unexpected break in the season.