March 2020: The severity of COVID-19 has resulted in a National Lockdown. Learning to adapt to working from home, and fears of the new ‘normal’ were some of the discussions. April 2021: As restrictions ease, are we still learning as we go?
This blog post has been swirling around in my mind. On one hand, this was something I knew had to be written down. On the other, time has been fleeting. But with us now being in the first day of April (and a few months since my last blog post!) I felt this was a good time to reflect.
Back in March last year, there was a sense of naivety that we were going to be working from home for three weeks until the all clear was given. LOL. It is a good job that my workspace has switched from the cupboard-turned-desk in the corner of my dining room to my spare room becoming a work office. But not only has this pandemic helped improve my workspace at home, but on reflection there has been some points in my life that have changed my perspective.
It is hard to be resilient when your physical support network shrinks and a level of uncertainty – there’s only so much messages and video calls can do. We, as humans, need that physical interaction from others as we rely on body language and contact. However sometimes we need a break or have boundaries. Over time I have asked for boundaries and I am (still) learning to say no. It’s been hard, and there has been some fall out from this, but I have no regrets. If my friends have also needed to say no to me or ask for boundaries, I would oblige; at the end of the day, their reason for asking or saying no is not about me.
It is not just about networks, it is about habits too. Now I have moved my space to a separate room, I no longer have to look at the whiteboard sheet stuck up in my dining room while eating my dinner. At the end of the work day, I can just close the door and breathe. I’m also still learning too – like remembering to have a lunch break!
Do we really need the amount of stuff at home? I will be the first to say I dread to think how much I have spent on Amazon. However over Lockdown, I have reflected on aspects such as the amount of clothes and shoes I had…
I was on BBC Radio Humberside for the Morning Paper reviews, where an article we discussed about was about rental clothes potentially growing after Lockdown. There’s a lot of positives in this; it can reduce the amount of stuff you have at home and it’s eco-friendly! Not to mention there could be opportunities to have some income from that outfit you only wore once!
Simplicity is also about the little things in life that bring us joy. Last summer, my fondest memories were summer days in the garden with gin and tonic and laughing. When we are rushing around in life and stressing over everything, we can forget about these simple moments. We need to look at the stars, take in the fresh air and take days one step at a time more often.
Last May, I asked the question ‘What is Normal?’. Though restrictions are easing, we cannot rush into normality. We still have to wear masks, we should be washing our hands and keeping our distance. But should we go back to normal on 21st June, the first things we should be doing is to embracing our communities and extended support networks. Sure, going to the nightclub would be amazing, but what this pandemic has taught us is no one is invincible and we have had a lot of lost moments that we would normally be together for. I’m shouting out to the new parents, those who have lost their loved ones and those who’s lives have changed considerably for many reasons.
I think over the last 12 months, I have certainly grown as an individual during the pandemic. I am (still) learning to say no, embracing the simple moments in life and to take one step at a time each day even when things have turned to some ‘normality’.
Could there have been a better way to learn these lessons? Yes. But this is the situation we find ourselves in. It has been rough, and there has been plenty of tears shed during Lockdowns 1, 2 and 3. But each tear has somehow built me up to be that little bit stronger.
Whilst it has been a hard journey, if we can work together and not rush to the finish line, then we can get through this.
What have you learned from Lockdown?
Until next time,