As of today (Wednesday 15th April, 2020) the government has put the UK on lockdown for three weeks now. We are only allowed outside our homes for exercise, shopping for essential items and medical visits- gone are the days of meeting your mates in the pub & popping down the shop for a pint and packet of sweets.
Although some people are apparently not abiding by these simple rules and helping the rest of the country out but that's an entire other blog...
Initially I thought that being kept at home would be hell for my mental health. No contact with anyone besides those you live with, no access to the gym, not attending university...a huge recipe for disaster, right?
I'm not sure whether it's due to the fact that personal reasons have meant my mind has been elsewhere, or my mood is greatly affected by the beautiful weather we're having, but I'm calm. I haven't let myself become absorbed in any negatives this current situation possesses, but instead have consumed myself in the blessing of being at home and the beautiful simplicity that comes with it.
Below are a list of things that this current lockdown has taught me. It's nothing major, nothing complicated, I haven't learned a new language and I still cannot manage to do a proper press up. But I have learned to appreciate the small things, the mundane things, the every day things.
1. My priorities have shifted: Having to remain at home has allowed a lot of thinking time, and I have started to discover what really matters in life. Deleting an Instagram pic because it 'doesn't have enough likes'? Who actually cares mate. Grudges I've held onto for multiple years? An absolute waste of energy. Holding onto people that bring no benefit and/or positivity into my life? It's time to move on. I want to get out of this lockdown as a more carefree and positive person, and realising who and what I actually want out of life is a great stepping stone for that.
2. Your true friends are important, hold onto them: I know we can't catch up at Spoons and go for brunch dates like we used to, but we're lucky to be living in a world where FaceTime, Skype and Zoom exist. Utilise them. Make that effort to keep in contact with your friends, check in on their mental health, talk about what they had for tea last night because no one can keep you grounded, offer advice and be as honest as true friends can.
3. Having a routine is key: There is no doubt that the days I make an effort to plan are the days of the week that are most productive. A few things I like to do are setting an alarm in the morning (which I snooze for half hour every single day...), allocating an hour for a workout, working in two-hour slots and ensuring I go for a walk. Whilst my particular routine isn't strict, it does allow me to keep on track with my work and keep any anxious thoughts at bay.
4. Your bed and workspace should be kept separate: I know it's easy to jump into bed with your laptop and get work done there, but by the time 10pm rolls around and you're trying to sleep in the place you've been working in all day, it may be a decision you end up regretting. Getting up, dressed and working from a desk rather than your bed will make you more productive and actually help your sleep schedule.
5. The sound of birds singing is actually quite nice: Unless its 6am and they're trying to reinvent the Bohemian Rhapsody. Then it isn't.
6. Home workouts are actually really effective: I have been seeing more results from working out at home the last three weeks than I have attending a gym for the past three years. No equipment necessary, you just need access to YouTube videos and the willpower to do hella burpees.
7. The dog is the favourite person in the family: Yes, I know technically he isn't a person, but when everyone holds him like a baby, he doesn't argue about doing the hoovering and kisses you goodnight and good morning, he's better than most people I know.
8. Animal Crossing is basically therapy: Much like everyone else in the world, I am currently addicted to the new edition of Animal Crossing. Between fishing, axing rocks and building bridges, it doesn't take long until your lost in another world where you're actually allowed outside.
9. I can't neck a pint or run 5K: Please stop nominating me in your Instagram challenges. I am a lightweight with the stamina of a fork, I don't want to be embarrassed any more.
10. I have the most amazing family: Inevitably throughout this period there will be stupid arguments, drama and falling out because we're stuck with each other 24/7, but I am absolutely blessed to have an incredibly supportive family. I know this isn't the case for everyone and I am extremely appreciative to be living in a loving and (for the most part) positive household.
I would just like to close this post by stating that if you are struggling right now, that is completely normal and okay. I mean, we're living in a bloody global pandemic. There should be absolutely no pressure to workout at home, complete all your work in one week or even remember what day it is; as long as you're coping in your own way, that's fine. The posts on this website are an outlet for me to rant, rave, and hopefully pour some positivity into, quite frankly, a pretty crappy world we're currently living in X