Inspired by The Frugality’s post from the other week, I thought I’d share five things that I’ve learned over the past 1008 weeks of lockdown. (Is it that long? Who knows anymore? Time has had no meaning since March really, has it?)
Anyway, let’s crack on…
It’s an emotional rollercoaster (but that’s okay!)
It’s hard. Even if you don’t have it hard compared to others who are going through the toughest times imaginable. You won’t necessarily feel how you thought you ought to feel in any given situation.
There are good days and bad days. Strangely upbeat days, where you randomly start deliriously giggling at nothing in particular, and sad days where you cry thirteen times about the death of Nigel the dog from Gardeners’ World. (Not speaking from experience or anything here.)
You just have to take the emotions as they come. Sit with them, or rather, let them sit with you. If they’re hard to deal with, remember that they will pass. All emotions are transient.
Go easy on yourself, because this situation is, frankly, unbelievable, and to give yourself a hard time about not dealing with things ‘the right way’ is not the right way to react.
Be kind to yourself, and others too. We’re all dealing with this in the only way that we can, so don’t judge yourself or others for feeling a particular emotion at any time. It’s normal to feel abnormal right now.
My neighbours love DIY (especially mowing)
If I had a pound for every time that someone in my area started revving up a lawn mower or circular saw, I’d never need to work again…
A bit of lockdown DIY is fine, but some people are really taking the biscuit. (I’d honestly rather they were inside baking biscuits – or banana bread – because I’d be able to hear myself think then.)
It’s every day. Every. Single. Day. How much grass do those around me have access to?
Gratitude is more important than ever
Counting my blessings is one of the few things that’s giving me any hope and optimism.
I’ve started writing three things that I’m grateful for each day in my diary, and it does help. Try it if you haven’t before.
It’s imperative to look for those tiny little glimmers of hope that are lurking somewhere at the end of this ceaseless, dark tunnel. (I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that, though, do you?)
We haven’t always appreciated the people who deserve recognition the most
Key workers: thank you so much. The clapping might’ve ceased, but we still appreciate all you’re doing.
About time, eh? Sorry it’s taken so long to give you some of the acknowledgement that you deserve.
I used to work as a checkout girl, and it was bad enough back in the day, so I can’t even begin to imagine how challenging it must be right now.
I hope that the respect continues long into the future, and that you all get a massive payrise. You 100% deserve it.
Pushing yourself to be productive isn’t always wise
I think that most of us started lockdown with ambitious plans about how we were going to teach ourselves new skills, and immerse ourselves in self-improvement, if feasible.
Grand plans of learning to play the violin, becoming a Michelin-starred chef, whilst learning to code, taking up juggling, and casually picking up another language on the side, all failed, didn’t they? It’s not that surprising that they quickly fizzled out for most, because when the world’s in disarray around you, and your anxiety levels are understandably heightened, it’s hard to concentrate on anything, let alone five new things simultaneously.
I don’t know about you, but I just haven’t managed to be as productive as I’d have liked. (I haven’t even baked banana bread. Only because I couldn’t find a loaf tin, but still…)
A lot of the time, my productivity levels have been marred by my ability to keep well-informed. I’ve always been a news addict, so as you can imagine, I’m watching the news an awful lot right now. I’m trying to curb it.
So, even though I’m a hypocrite for saying this, I’m going to say it anyway: It’s okay to give yourself permission to take a few days, or even weeks, away from the Internet and/or news if it’s getting to you. There’s no shame in taking a while to bury your head in the sand if it’s doing no-one any harm. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try narrowing down your digital commitments for a bit.
You can’t pour from an empty cup, after all.
What’ve you learned?