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Life after lockdown: Things I will remember, things I have learnt

The UK has now been in ‘lockdown’ for just over two months. For two months I have been out of work, losing sense of time, and experiencing levels of boredom I didn’t even know was possible. But restrictions are starting to ease up, and I know I’ll be going back to work again soon. But when I do, things definitely won’t be the same. There will be new guidelines, protocols, health and safety measures etc. etc. etc. I wonder how long they’ll be in place for. And I know this sounds cheesy, but I don’t think I will be the same either.

Although I know I’m very fortunate to be able to say that COVID-19 has not personally affected my health, or that of my family (yet), I, like everyone else have had to adjust and learn to live in isolation. I’ve had more time than ever before to really sit with myself, get to know myself, and think about what I want to do with my time on this Earth. And I don’t want things to go back to the way they were. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life doing a job I don’t like. I don’t want to feel like chit-chatting to colleagues is a chore. Or like saving money is an impossible task. And I don’t want to go weeks without speaking to my relatives or my friends. But this time has not been wasted. I’ve been the most creative I’ve ever been. I’ve taken up new hobbies, learnt new skills, and finally grown the balls to start putting my writing out there (and create this blog!)

So here’s a list of 5 things I’ve learnt in lockdown, and all the things I want to remember after it’s over, when this is all a distant memory.

1) Life doesn’t revolve around work. When I’m at work, it seems like the be all and end all. Like the whole world revolves around a single deadline, or sales figure. But I’ve just spent the last 9 weeks doing nothing - and guess what - the world didn’t implode. Children all over the country will not be taking any exams this year - and guess what - they’re still going to graduate, and go to university. Sometimes, it takes something like this to put everything into perspective, and when I’m stressed over my next work presentation, I hope I don’t forget that.

2) Appreciate key workers. They’re not just ‘key’ during this crisis. They’re ‘key’ in life. Doctors, nurses, police, postal workers - they literally keep society moving, and they’re doing an amazing job. I shall remember to be as kind and understanding as I can, when waiting in a four hour line at A&E, when the delivery driver drops off the wrong parcel, or when the cashier is taking forever to scan 5 items.

3) Maximise the potential of every day. From now on, I’m going to make my bed every morning. Even if I’m not going to do anything, there is always a reason to get out of bed, and get dressed (even if it is into another set of pjs or cosy loungewear). By doing just this simple task, I have found that my whole mindset shifts, and I feel like I’ve got the whole rest of the day to do something (even if I did wake up at 12pm).

4) Hold no judgement over myself. By this, I mean, if I have an unproductive day, I’m not going to hold it against myself. There’s just no point. No one can be perfect day in, day out. If I’m feeling anxious, lethargic, uninspired - it’s ok. It’s ok not to be ok. But what’s NOT ok, is hating yourself for it. I’m just going to do the best I can, and take it slow if I need to. Health, I’ve learnt, has to be a priority above everything - mental and physical - and it’s only ours to protect. Along with the no judgement thing, I’ve been trying to work out a little bit more and eat a little healthier in this quarantine. It’s not a lot, but it’s a step in the right direction. We’re only on this Earth for a limited amount of time, and while we can’t stop fate, we can definitely prevent more by nurturing our health as best we can. I wanna remember how good it feels, even just to stretch my body after spending all day sitting down.

5) Finally, notice the little things. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I’m let out of the house to go on a walk after spending days cooped up indoors, I’m walking around the way a puppy hangs it’s head out the car window. I’m excited. I’m taking in everything - the colours, the smells. I’m taking photos of clouds, flowers, the sky. When I’m back working in the city and surrounded by a sea of people, trying to push my way back to work before my lunch break is over, I’m going to remember how good it felt to be outside, after not being allowed to leave the house at all.

Though lockdown is nearly over, it’s never too late to do something you’ve always wanted to do. I started sharing my writing online, and even if only 3 people ever read it, I’m never looking back. Whatever it is you’ve been wanting to do, don’t put it off. If you can do it today, why do it tomorrow?

How has your lockdown experience been? I’d love to hear any lessons you have learnt - and if you are from outside the UK, what's the situation been like in your country? Leave a comment below! As always, if you enjoy, spread the love by hitting the like or share button above :)

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