Lockdown has been a scary time for so many of us. Uncertainty over the future, worry about our health & that of our loved ones & stress over jobs & income.
It’s been a rollercoaster of emotion – one minute we’re carefree; baking cakes & singing along to Disney songs. The next we’re rocking in a corner sobbing over fear of the unknown & thinking we’re all going to die.
But with every bad (& good) thing that comes our way, we learn & grow. Life hands us lessons & now life is returning to the new normal, it’s a time to reflect upon that & in all honesty, I’ve got a real mixture of emotions about whether I want life to go back to how it was before.
Here’s what I’ve learnt along the way –
All that matters, is those we love – for the vast majority of us, the main thing that’s been so incredibly hard throughout all of this is that all we want to do is to give our mum a big squeeze or drink wine with our best friend. It really does put everything in to perspective. We as humans are SUCH social animals, from hugging to eating together, even shaking hands, we crave physical contact & even now that’s not really allowed which feels so bizarre. No zoom call or social media can give us that feeling.
You cannot take anything for granted – life is SO precious & the greatest thing we have is time. For many of us, we’ve been handed more time than ever & been forced to slow down for the first time in a long time.
We all handle things differently – how you handle things is always a decision & whilst some people are coming out of lockdown 3 stone down with killer abs & fluent in French others may have found comfort in food (me included!) & 10 series down on Netflix…but it is not a competition & sometimes we have to do what we have to do to get through. Although I’d probably do a few things differently now, how I coped with it at the time was how I needed to then & there.
There will absolutely be things that I don’t want to go back to – I like to think many of us will learn from the things we liked & disliked about lockdown. Whether that’s realising who we missed (& who we didn’t…), that your job fills you with dread or that you want to make changes. Now more than ever is the time to make those changes & maybe, just maybe, this has been a blessing in disguise for those people.
I need a lot less to be happy – it’s SO easy to get wrapped up in materialistic ‘things’. We compare our lives to others & social media has a big part to play in this unfortunately (but remember, this is just small snippets of someones day of what they are choosing to put out there, usually the best bits!!). I never would have guessed how easy it is to do without so many parts of my ‘previous’ life. Going out for dinner, getting my hair done (although the roots in these pictures say otherwise…), popping to the shops. I’ve realised that actually we don’t need those things & as long as we’ve for the basics of food, clean water, good health & a roof over our heads, we’ll be just fine.
Teachers need to be knighted – I’ve forgotten what silence sounds like. Homeschooling is HARD & I am definitely not cut out for it. Although I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t counting down the hours until September, I’m really going to miss having them home & actually the opportunity to spend this time with them has been so special.
Mental health matters – I have been fairly open & honest when it comes to my own struggles with mental health. Last year was really hard for me dealing with persistent trolling which led to extreme anxiety, self hate & depression to the point of having to seek professional help & is still something I have to work on daily. When lockdown first happened I was genuinely worried for myself & wondered if I’d be knocked 10 steps backwards in my quest back to happiness. I learnt that The Sims ‘stir crazy’ mood is a real life thing & being outdoors really does make me so happy. I also learnt that I am stronger than I thought & that I’ve come so far, but it was hard & some days I didn’t even get dressed. But that is okay.
Community is still around – every Thursday evening, the whole of the UK united to clap for our incredible NHS & all of the key workers. Groups were set up to help support others that were vulnerable or shielding. It was beautiful to see & I really really hope it is never forgotten. Only through group effort can we do something to make a difference & we are never alone.
Gratitude & kindness – daily gratitude meditation has changed my life & is something I think everyone should do. It may sound a bit hippy dippy but especially in times like this it helps to ground you & bring positivity to your life. I usually start every morning when I first open my eyes by saying 3 different things in my mind that I’m grateful for & then thanking the universe for the day ahead. Also being kind to others & paying kindness forward selflessly without anything in return.
Throughout this whole experience, I’ve taken the good days with open arms but also ridden the bad ones when you feel totally overwhelmed & alone. It’s been a real eye opener that life is too short & sometimes you just have to get the puppy (much to your husbands dismay…).
One thing is for certain, we have to embrace the now because we never know what’s around the corner.