1. “WE ARE NOT ALL IN THE SAME BOAT. WE ARE ALL IN THE SAME STORM. SOME ARE ON SUPER-YACHTS. SOME HAVE JUST THE ONE OAR.”
This quote comes from the writer Damian Barr, and to me it really sums up how different this lockdown experience has been for so many of us. Some people have big homes, outdoor garden space, the ability to work from home, savings tucked away for a rainy day, the ability to get to a supermarket, time and headspace to home school, good mental health, good physical health… others don’t.
Lockdown has taught me (or reminded me) to be grateful for those things we have & how important it is to help those with less.
2. Every week (every day! every hour!) can feel different, so try to go with the flow
One day I’m feeling fine, the next I’m feeling wobbly and tearful. One week, my coping mechanism is going for a 7am run each day, the next week, it’s having a nightly glass of wine, diving head-first into a family sized bag of crisps and watching This Is Us. The point is, there’s no one way to feel, there’s no one way to deal with it. Do what works for you, today.
3. Health and family are more important than meeting work goals
When people are losing loved ones and everyone’s life has changed in ways we couldn’t have imagined, it puts things into perspective, doesn’t it? Personally, I’ve realised how caught up in the whirl of work I was. I viewed a day as successful if I’d ticked off my work to do list. I’ve been reminded how important family time is, and I’m trying to value that as much as work goals.
4. I need to sort out my FOMO
It took the world to stop for me to realise something: I have bad FOMO (fear of missing out). When you were a kid, on a sunny day, did your parents ever tell you to switch off the TV & play outside? I think that’s developed into a subconscious fear that I’m ‘wasting’ a nice day if me & my family aren’t outdoors. Pre-lockdown, I’d see families on social media, at a National Trust, having a BBQ, on the beach, in the woods & I’d feel anxious because we’d spent the day indoors & just popped to the Co-op to buy bread. We were WASTING the nice day! Lockdown meant that nobody could do those things & I didn’t have to feel guilty for not being out & about. And it’s made me realise how daft that FOMO is, in the first place.
5. It’s impossible to judge how friends are reacting to this
We usually surround ourselves with likeminded people. And we usually know which friend to talk to about politics or feminism or work issues because we know their values & views. But this pandemic has thrown all of that up in the air.
I can no longer judge which of my friends are relaxed about things, which ones are staying indoors even once lockdown is relaxed, which friends are keen to send their kids back to school, which ones aren’t, and it can make conversations… awkward.
6. I didn’t appreciate outdoor green spaces enough
When we were only able to leave our homes once a day, for exercise, I found myself making a beeline for any green space nearby. It’s amazing how – when you’re limited to how often you’re allowed to go outside – you suddenly crave nature, isn’t it?
I’ve discovered new parks nearby. One within walking distance has a little stream running through it, perfect for the 9-year-old to paddle in. Another has woodland trails to get lost in.
We’d possibly never have known about them without this experience.
7. Just because we’re coming out of lockdown, it doesn’t mean everything feels fine again.
It’s OK to feel anxious about lockdown measures easing. As shops, hairdressers etc open up, rather than feeling relieved, it’s making me feel a bit more on edge. Having to navigate these places & stay safe feels stressful. It’s OK to take things slowly.