It’s been a strange old time hasn’t it? The last 3 months or so of staying at home for the majority of our time have been trying to say the least.
Having shared with you my honest thoughts about lock down already, as we start to get some normality back, I wanted to take some time to pause and reflect. Just what have we learnt during lock down?
I’ve seen several of my favourite influencers and bloggers taking the time to consider the parts of lock down that they unexpectedly enjoyed, what they’ve learnt about themselves, the habits they want to keep, and different mindset they’ll have moving forwards.
I think one thing is for sure for all of us; we won’t be taking things for granted any more, because it can, and has, been snatched away from us so quickly.
Here’s the 4 lessons that I’ve learnt in lock down:
Life Isn’t All About Being Busy
I think that being forced to slow down has definitely been one of the biggest silver linings to take away from this whole experience. Not working (I’m on furlough) for such a long period of time has for sure put into perspective just how busy I was before. How exhausted it was making me, and to be honest, how it was affecting my happiness.
As an introvert, I replenish my energy by spending time on my own being quiet. In hindsight, I can see that I wasn’t getting any where near enough quiet time to recharge on a daily basis.
I always felt guilty for not doing anything, when I could be doing something productive instead. I know there has been a lot of discussion about this on social media too. It’s clear a lot of us having been feeling it, even during lock down.
I now realise that taking the time to slow down isn’t selfish; it’s actually key to keeping my mental well-being in check. When I eventually go back to work (I’m still not exactly sure when that will be yet) I’ll 100% be making it a priority to block out pockets of time to recharge each day.
The Simple Life Is Better Than I Thought
I never thought I would enjoy the simple things in life just as much as I have. This comes back to the point about being busy.
When we’re rushing through life at break-neck speed, we literally don’t have chance to smell the roses. Or, look in wonder at gorgeous blossom trees, appreciate the way the sunlight dapples through the branches of trees above, or reflects off the water like tiny specs of gold. To hear birds tweeting rather than traffic, and to just be content with what we already have. I’ve found myself really savouring these kinds of moments, and taking away the small joys that they offer.
Lock down has definitely forced me into thinking about about everything I’m grateful for having, rather than focusing on what I don’t have. Being faced with the devastating reality of the number of lives lost to this virus has jolted me into changing my perspective of just what’s important. It turns out the little things actually mean the most.
That Self-Reflection Is Underrated
Not working has been the pause I’ve needed to step back and evaluate where I’m at right now, and the vision I have for my life moving forward. Big stuff.
It’s allowed me to actually do the activities that I didn’t have the time to do before because I was so busy. Those activities have brought me so much clarity; journaling, reading inspiring books, and getting outside for long(ish) walks.
As my partner is a key worker, who at times has worked back to back night shifts, I’ve ended up spending a lot of time alone in our flat. It’s perhaps the introvert in me, but I’ve not found the alone time lonely. Peace gives you strength. The strength to get to know yourself better, work through difficult emotions, and trust your instincts.
One of the conclusions that I’ve come to through self-reflection and embracing the simple life, is that I don’t want a career, I just want a job. By this I mean that I’m not craving the thrill of pushing my career forwards any more. (and the long hours that inevitably come with it) I would rather do a job that, although less challenging, I enjoy, and gives me the mental head space to spend time on the things I’m really passionate about outside of work. Basically I don’t want to live to work, I want to work to live.
Boundaries Are Everything
Living off 80% of my wage throughout my time on furlough has forced me to re-evaluate what I spend my money on; what I really ‘need’. It turns out that a lot of my money was being spent on the social activities that were draining me.
It’s put into perspective just what I will be saying yes to in future. My close circle of friends will always get my time, but I will be more careful with other commitments. If I feel like it’s an event I ‘should’ be at to show face, then that’s a signal that I shouldn’t be wasting my time or energy going to it.
Through lock down I’ve come to value preserving my energy for the things that only make me feel good; my mental well-being deserves it.
Do you agree with any of these lessons? What have you learnt that you’ll be taking forwards after lock down properly ends?
Featured Image from Unsplash
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