Things I’ve learned during the lockdown.

It feels quite surreal that I’ve now been working from home for over six weeks and we have officially been locked down for five. Life has completely changed for everyone and after the initial panic buying, frantic Facebook posts and general craziness, lockdown has become the new norm and in a way it has been weirdly good to have had to slow down.

I don’t know about you, but a usual week for me would involve working in Bristol, commuting over 3 hours a day and trying to squeeze in workouts and social events in between. Then I find myself running around like a mad woman on the weekend as I try to cram in housework, a weekly shop, spending time with my boyfriend, more social plans and actually getting some rest in between. Like many people, I often feel like a hamster on a wheel. I’m constantly rushing, my diary is always filled to the brim with to-do lists and plans, and I feel as though I never have time to just let things be.

Cue Covid-19. The coronavirus hit and we’re now having to stay home to keep ourselves and others safe and to protect our NHS, and in doing so I think it has allowed me (and a lot of people) to stop and reflect. It’s given time to appreciate what truly matters, which ultimately is our health and our families and friends, and has also allowed me to realise that life before was often frantic and hectic and unnecessarily so.

I’ve learned many lessons during this lockdown, so for today’s post I thought I’d share them. It will be a post I can return to in the months to come, when things return to “normal” and life starts to get a little crazy again, although who knows what the “new normal” will be, and how long it will be until we reach there. The coronavirus has almost pushed the world’s re-set button and I think there can be a lot to learn through these strange, surreal times.

Exercise will always be my stress-buster: Surprisingly, working from home has been as hectic as office life. While my commute has changed from 3 hours a day to approximately 30 seconds between my bedroom and living room, the way in which we are working has had to adapt and it has been a real team effort to pull everything together. It’s been hard work and I’ve found that having the freedom to walk and run at the end of a working day to really switch off has been a god-send. I really don’t know what I would have done if we couldn’t go on our daily walks. Exercising has definitely kept me occupied during the lockdown and it’s been the main thing that has kept my mental health in check.

You can find beauty right on your doorstep: I’ve always appreciated living in Cardiff, and do even more so now that we’ve been tied to our local area for the last few weeks. I feel so lucky to live where I do, and to have the sea and beautiful parks within walking distance. I love how much nature is around us while living smack-bang in the middle of the country’s capital city. On our daily walks we have spotted swans nesting, little ducklings, beautiful wild flowers and butterflies. It’s been a real eye opener and I love having this right outside of my front door. Spring is a beautiful time and I do hope that everyone continues to appreciate nature in the way they do now when this lockdown is over.

Working out from home can be fun: I’m actually a little surprised to find myself saying this, but working out in my living room has actually been a really enjoyable experience. I love going to the gym and (apart from my family and being able to go to different places, obvs) it’s the thing I am missing the most, but I am enjoying trying out new workouts and finding new YouTube inspiration. It’s made me realise that I don’t always have to force myself to get out of bed early to get to the gym, as I can do it from the comfort of my own home. That being said, I’m so excited to get back to the gym and also to spin classes!

Wearing makeup is overrated: My nineteen-year-old beauty blogger and makeup obsessed self would be shocked, but if there’s one thing I have learned this lockdown is how much healthier and clearer my skin is now that I’m only wearing makeup for a maximum of a few hours each week rather than about 12 hours a day. I have far less pimples and my redness is improving, and when I do wear it for a “weekend treat” I can’t wait to take it off again! I definitely won’t be returning to my “full face of makeup for the office” days, that’s for sure.

It’s okay to sit down and just let things be: For someone who is always on the go, staying in and taking the time to not do anything took a while to adjust to. Now though, I am relishing having the free time to spend reading in the sunshine or cosied up on the sofa watching Netflix. I always used to feel so guilty if I wasn’t doing something, anything. But now I realise that it’s good to relax and switch off every now and again.

Commuting is not for me: I tried my hardest to make myself think it was okay, but working from home has made me realise how much I effing hate commuting. I hate it. The constant rush, being squished on a train or stuck in the car in a traffic jam, running like a madwoman to the office, waiting for half an hour on the platform as my train is delayed or cancelled AGAIN. It just feels like so much time is wasted and the working day is so much longer because of it. I genuinely feel like commuting impacts my life so much and I know I’m not the only person in the world who does it, so I really hope that working life can be more flexible after the coronavirus.

Worrying about the future won’t change the outcome: Who would have thought we’d be living through a bloody global pandemic, eh? It goes to show that you really can’t control everything, especially the future, and focusing on what you can control and how you react to things is the most important. I’ve learned to take each day as it comes and to appreciate everything, because you really don’t know what’s around the corner.

I spend waaay too much money on eating out: Not being able to dine out has meant I have saved so much money. I love going out for food. I think it’s because I don’t really drink, so a meal out with friends or family is how I celebrate, catch up with people, and generally enjoy. I’m also a bit of a sucker for picking up bits and bobs from the shop on my lunch break. A box of grapes here, a packet of crisps there. It all adds up and not eating out because of the lockdown has allowed me to save so much which will go towards a future house or holiday.

My boyfriend is an absolute gem: I mean, this isn’t something I’ve learned in lockdown because Shane is always a babe but I have never appreciated our relationship more. He’s looked after me during the tough times and made me smile on hard days, but what’s more is that we have mostly non-stop laughed and I have genuinely loved the time we have spent together. Our work schedules mean we don’t get all the time we’d like to be together, so having no excuse has been amazing. I can honestly say we’re never bored of each other’s company and on the odd occasion we do spend time apart (mainly when I go running) we actually look forward to seeing each other again!

Family is everything: I cannot wait until we are able to visit our families. I am longing to go home to see mine. I miss my mam so much, the longest I’ve ever been away from her is 3 weeks, so these months seem to be dragging. I can’t wait to see my grandparents, who have been self-isolating at home, to have a BBQ with my dad, to pop up to my auntie’s house for a catch up, to go for a walk with my little dog. I miss the rolling hills and green fields near our house where my mam and I go for a stroll. I miss the seaside and clifftop views of some of our favourite places. I hope we won’t have to wait too much longer, as there is nothing more important than family. <33

What has the lockdown taught you?

Lots of love. xoxo

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