As the Covid-19 pandemic shook the world, it caused implications for us all and our lives have changed like never before. The beginning of the lockdown was chaos! With people rushing to the supermarkets to panic buy, we saw food shortages and people arguing over the last pack of toilet rolls! Schools and non-essential workplaces closed. Holidays, celebrations, and events were cancelled. Our lives were put on pause.
Despite the many implications caused by the pandemic, we must also think about the positives, what we learned from this journey and how we can use these lessons as we transition into the “new normal”.
Everyone’s lockdown experience will be different. Here is my lockdown experience and what I learned from it:
Quality family time is a must
My 7 year old daughter was off school for 5 months and my partner’s workplace closed for the first 2 months of lockdown. To begin with, I wasn’t sure how we would cope, both myself and my partner like to have our own space and you’ll often find us doing different things. However, time is precious and I knew we needed to make the most of it. We had great fun bonding as a family, playing games, gardening, cooking, and baking together. During the lockdown, we realised that as much as we do need our space, family time is also very important to us. It was something we had been missing and we now plan to have more of.
Self-care and dealing with stressful situations
Without a doubt, the majority of us felt like we were on an emotional rollercoaster during the lockdown. We all have our bad days and that is OK, but it is how we deal with these bad days and look after ourselves that makes the difference. What works for one person, may not work for another. But our health and wellbeing are important, we must be kind to ourselves and find what works for us as individuals.
I enjoy sticking to routine, so when lockdown started it took me a few weeks to adjust to the new way of living. This was stressful along with the uncertainty, hearing the daily death count, and not being able to see and hug loved ones. Whilst in lockdown, I found there were certain things that helped me to deal with the bad days. Listening to music and being outdoors instantly boosted my mood, along with doing the things I really enjoy such as painting, reading, and gardening.
Your surroundings and where you live are important
With the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, I think sometimes things can go unnoticed. Whilst our lives have been put on hold due to the virus, I stopped to appreciate how beautiful nature is. I watched the transition of spring to summer and noticed little details I hadn’t noticed before. I enjoyed breakfast and coffees in the garden, made the most of the sunny days, and appreciated how peaceful our village was. Our surroundings are important to us and can affect our mood. I decided to refresh my home by clearing out the items I have hoarded for years, redecorating rooms and I brought nature inside by adding lots of houseplants.
I have learned a lot about other people during the lockdown. When people are under threat and stressed, they can behave in such bizarre ways (don’t get me started again on the toilet roll situation!). However, support from the local community to those in need has been absolutely incredible. The local pub cooked and delivered free meals to the elderly, villagers offered their support to those in need. It really was amazing to see the generosity and support of those around us.
New recipes, healthy eating, and meal planning
Whilst in lockdown, it has also given me the opportunity to look for new recipes. It’s so easy to stick to what we know when we are too busy with other things. Having the time to search for new recipes has been fun and I plan to continue searching for new recipes to make. I have learned so much when it comes to planning and healthy eating during the lockdown. With government restrictions in place, we were all told to only do a food shop once a week. This meant carefully planning our meals for the week. Before we started meal planning, we were buying food that we didn’t need and ended up throwing lots away. By planning our meals we can not only avoid unnecessary food waste but save money and plan healthier meals too!
Due to the schools closing, I suddenly found myself having to juggle working remotely and home schooling my daughter. With lots of preparation and resources from the school, I managed to gather and prepare plenty of activities to keep her busy. We were lucky to have lots of online Zoom sessions such as P.E with Joe Wicks, Art tutorials, and Maths lessons. My daughter really enjoys learning and she was able to get on with her work with little support.
We tried to keep things as close to our normal routine as possible. I learned that preparation and planning were what made this situation less stressful and for both of us, it worked really well.
Two weeks later, the government furlough scheme started. I ended up spending my time in the garden and doing jobs around the house. My daughter complained it wasn’t fair that she had to still do work and I didn’t. Instead, we found other ways of learning, she helped me with garden projects, planting flowers, and the housework. We had fun baking cakes and did lots of arts and crafts. I bought a trampoline and swimming pool for the garden to keep her active. She was much happier, less stressed and she was still learning!
What have you learned during lockdown?