The lessons of lockdown
Updated: Jul 7, 2020
There's no question about it - the life we have been living during lockdown has been dramatically different.
Everyone has been affected in non-identical ways and everyone has their own unique story to tell. We have been frightened, anxious, intrigued, confused, exhilarated, contented, bored, uplifted, annoyed, and exhausted - and often all at the same time! We've tried to be kind, we've tried not to judge - but there have been times when we've flipped out in frustration at the smallest things.
For me - someone who is usually a very free spirit, who doesn't like boundaries and needs regular alone time and independence - it's been a huge learning experience. Because the control has been taken out of my hands. What I can and can't do each day is now not completely my choice. I have not been able to go see my mum when I need a hug, take a hot yoga lesson when I need to zone out, have date night strolls with my husband when we need alone time or drive to see my friends for wine and giggles around the dinner table. It's crazy how it all happened so fast and so dramatically - and I think that's why it's only just suddenly hit me how much my life has changed over the past four months!
So, this morning, on day 114 of my new normal - the one where my smallest son is now glued to my side 24/7 - I decided to think about what lessons I've really learnt during this time, and any changes I have made which are positive and needed. Then, I sent round a text to all my girlfriends asking for them to tell me theirs too. And, so here - in it's raw state - is what we have collectively experienced...
what we've learnt...
I've explored local areas of breathtaking beauty that I never even knew existed - woods, crags, gorges - I didn't even know what some of these words meant before lockdown! I have decided to no longer check the iPhone weather app. What's the point? It's so excessively negative that it puts me in a bad mood, and more often than not, it's completely inaccurate! Also, on a similar topic - don't read the news! It's toxic! No-one needs that negativity in their lives. So many conflicting stories, so much breaking news from 'top' scientists, so many idiotic politicians. Bury your head in the sand, it's way more chilled! Look after your circle and let the love shine on...Caroline
That it takes the same amount of time to cycle to the local shop as going in the car. Caz
Oh my goodness, I have learnt so much and thought about everything so differently. Where to start?! I was not living in the present & spending quality time. I don't want to be rushing around anymore. I have found cancelling holidays hard and realised that I was living too much in the future. I don't want to go out for meals - we are supposed to be going out this weekend when the restaurants open again, but I've just cancelled the booking! Plus, I don't need my hair, nails, eyebrows doing every six weeks. Oh, and I can now make bread! Kirsty
So.... things I’ve learnt during lockdown:
1. I need to run (alone) regularly or I may punch someone
2. I really do love spending more time with my kids but also have massively realised that they have found this hard and they love being with their own friends as opposed to me and Scott!
3. I hate my kitchen to the point where we are getting a new one now!
4. I need to eat less Nutella
5. Seriously now, I think that as you’ve all said, anything is possible and life is really uncertain right now. I’ve really focused on what’s important to me and my family and good friends
6. I’ve made a conscious effort to get back into listening to music and reading which I’ve loved. Michelle
Yes, my lesson is this: having watched Little Fires Everywhere on Amazon, there was an artist played by Kerry Washington. She is a very interesting character, but one thing I discovered from her was this….my brain is best in the morning!! That was when she did all her art and I’ve realised that all my decisions – be they business or creative – that they all need to be made in the morning. By the evening, I very often make mistakes that I need to change. The afternoons and evenings are for fun, not for decisions. Sophie B
Mine would be to delete all news apps/feeds. News only causes unnecessary unhappiness and concern. Happiness starts at home and if you focus on that without getting caught up in the dramatisation of the world's problems - it's the key to serenity. Charlotte
I've improved my eating habits - I am no longer eating late and eat better and more regularly. I've cut out cow's milk. I have to work harder at remembering what day of the week it is. I have been cycling daily on my new exercise bike and my iPhone is banned from the bedroom at night. I have improved my attention to my evening skincare routine. I have relaxed more - taken daily walks and am now building in daily walks with different friends. I have filed my accounts - which I was very behind in, and I've completed 3 courses, which all had coursework outstanding. Patti
I’ve learnt that you can make pitta bread out of just yoghurt and self-raising flour. (N.B. We will be sharing this recipe over on our Take 10 page soon!) Also I’ve decided to ignore the iPhone weather forecast and hang my washing out regardless! Lucy
It’s made me realise that ANYTHING is possible! Not only has the country been closed for months, but our pet rabbit escaped for 24 hours to then return and have 10 babies!!! And, we just found out the dog we bought 3 weeks ago is pregnant now too! You couldn’t predict this sort of thing and now I feel ready for anything! Lydia
I’ve learnt that the annoying kids that hum in class while doing their work all belong to me! Also, that the best gifts we’ve ever given our kids are their siblings. Heidi
Appreciating the local area and the beauty in the place I live. Enjoying this and taking it all in, instead of always wanting to be somewhere else instead. Also, that kids don’t always need more things – they just need love and to be at home. There’s no need for hundreds of play dates or parties. Natty
For me, it has been to try and develop/change my routine. The new normal has given me time to try new things that I normally didn't have in my routine, such as walks before work, taking 10 mins a day for meditation and writing down my goals for the day. Abbi
I no longer listen to the news daily as it's always so negative and makes me worry about things I have no control over. Also, I never imagined that I could be so happy at home with my husband who is now at home 24/7! Beverley
If I put the time and energy into cooking, then I can actually make some delicious meals! Coming off the hamster wheel has made me appreciate the smaller things in life. Becca
1. Exercising first thing in the morning to set me up for a 'you got this' mood all day. 2. Sporadically leaving my phone in another room for a few hours to switch off and give my eyes a rest. 3. Always having chocolate and wine in the cupboard. Kitty
It's made me realise how important art is to me. From being a child, it's always made me happy. I need to make more time for it in my life - even if it's just reading about it. Also, I definitely don't need to have my roots coloured as often as I was doing - I can go weeks longer! Julia
I need a lot less to be happy. Before the Iockdown I always thought I had to be going places with the boys ad spending lots of money. Now I have realised they have fun just playing in the garden together. Bring on the summer holidays! Lisa
I've deleted news apps, rejoined my nutrition course and created goals to build my business. Also, I started my road to recovery and fitness after having kids. Beth
That it's ok not to have a plan and be comfortable with that! And to enjoy all the little moments that would be lost in the craziness of normal life. Jade
Thanks so much for everyone who contributed xx You all rock!