I am fully aware that these lockdowns we’ve had and continue to go through have affected everyone in different ways. Furloughed, made redundant, unable to study properly in class, not being able to embrace our friends and family with a bear hug – the list goes on. I refer to it as ‘a grounded adult’, grounded more now than when I was younger!
It’s tough, my God it’s tough and just like with other difficult issues we face, there’s no instruction manual on how to cope with it all. For me personally, I’m finding these lockdown periods a blessing and a curse. Just like many people pre-lockdown, I took many things for granted along with being engrossed in a mundane 100mph pace of life with a combination of anxiety, low mood and forgetfulness. (Bills- oops!) Then lockdown was announced, Friday night having an early mothers day drink with Mum when Boris announced on the news we are to go home and stay home. Seems I timed our cheeky drink just right! Monday morning I go into work and 30 minutes later I’m home putting the kettle on. So what do I do with 40 hours now spare with nowhere to go?
At first, I felt lost, even the cat would look at me with utter confusion as to why I was home. After a couple of weeks I got into the rhythm of having no routine and to be honest it’s more freeing than I had anticipated. Eat when hungry, sleep when the body tells me so. If I was up at 4 am having a cuppa and watching a film, I wouldn’t be bothered about what time it really was. It’s become my own version of ‘me time’ which I was desperately lacking pre-lockdown. It’s given me the time and opportunity to slow down and truly take stock about pretty much everything in my life. Health, career, family, friends, my home, and even my 3yrs old cat Juno.
I do feel that the lockdown ‘shut down’ so to speak has taught me to truly appreciate what my life entails and how grateful I am for the people I share it with. Even appreciation for modern technology which still baffles me; face-timing the family on Sunday nights gave me something to look forward to. Nothing else to put on the calendar is there?! Pottering around the flat, chatting to the cat (poor thing!) and immersing myself in either books or box sets has given me the time out I believe my body & soul needed and has surprisingly helped my low mood and anxiety.
So I said I feel it’s a blessing and a curse… what’s the curse? Well, I’m back to work now, nice to socialise with members of the public again and more responsive to conversation than Juno. I feel the curse for me is when this is all over for us and establish a ‘new normal’- will my positivity slide and the black dog comes out to play along with his friend Mr Overwhelm?
The answer to this is the same response to questions such as ‘what day is it?’ and ‘Is it going to rain tomorrow?’….who knows?!! So I’m going to continue to hold the baton of positivity and continue the plodding on the process which I have mastered, along with talking to myself.
I hope anyone who reads this takes on the reassurance that there’s no right or wrong way of coping with the lonely lesson of lockdown. We’ve come through this far, we can go a bit further.
Tips for keeping busy
- Lose yourself in a book, or several!
- Learn something new- websites for every hobby going, open the mind!
- Any rubbish jobs you’ve been delaying in the house- put on the music and crack on (big sense of achievement when I blitzed the fridge yesterday!)
- Exercise locally- even if it’s a wander around the block.
- If loneliness creeps in, text/ call someone you’re close to. Just say you’re checking in with them, I’m sure they’ll be happy to hear your voice.