Top 10 things lock down has taught me

Lock down, what has it meant to you? Between baking banana bread, dalgona coffee and tik tok everything changed during lock down. Houses have been redecorated, gardens planted and coffee machines purchased, but what did you get up to over the past 16 weeks? The past few months have been very unusual for me and Jonny. Initially I was working, leaving Jonny at home everyday which was a new experience for us both. I think he found the change okay to begin with but like everyone else starring at four walls has got to everyone. I then had to take time off as you’ve already read, (if you haven’t, click here), which meant things were going to change for us again. It was time to adapt again, not just with lock down unfortunately which led to its own challenges.

Now that I seem to be through the worst, ( I think…or well hope for everyone’s sake, even my own) I’ve been able to reflect over the past few months and look at what lock down has taught me. So I’ve complied my top 10 highlights, so to speak, just to give you a giggle and clear the head…enjoy!

  1. I love my own company – Is this really a bad thing? No one to annoy you or frustrate you. You can pick a TV program instantly without spending an hour trying to please each other. You want a coffee, you make a coffee, you don’t have to offer anyone else. Choosing what to eat is simple! Wine time can be any time, no one to judge you….maybe this is just me! ha I can do blog things without people being nosey or questioning everything. It’s amazing what you can achieve on your own.

2. I hate my own company – Being alone is the worst, no one to talk too, ask questions, vent too. This was difficult. I had to get use to Jonny working at home which meant I had to leave him alone – I’m not good at that (I’m needy, some might say clingy – I don’t know who though). I had to sit in a different room and occupy myself, that initially meant online shopping, (amazon got hit big time – your welcome Jeff Bezo), then learning new skills, overthinking, breakdowns – you name it, I did it alone. Needless to say Jonny has been pestered a lot in the last couple of weeks, ( Sorry Stephen), but I really needed him, so now we are trying to get back into routine – hahaha, there are no words, Jonny doesn’t get a minute and I’m never alone!

3. Keep Busy – Staring at the telly was fun while it lasted. I lost the novelty after a couple of days but with everything going on I had zero concentration and focus. It took me a few weeks to realise that keeping busy would help my mind, this led to a lot of baking…..a lot. I have found routine really difficult as my sleep really suffered with the increase in the happy pills. I could be awake all night and sleep the entire day, it was night-shift all over again. I was either wide awake or dead to the world, (so to speak), you can only imagine how I was feeling. I learnt trying to fill my day helped and didn’t make me feel as lost. The past few months have been a free-flowing schedule with trying to keep to certain tasks during the day such as cooking dinner or cleaning, don’t worry I wasn’t drinking the dettol.

4. Stockpile flour and yeast if you ever want to bake – This is still the being of my life. I can’t get yeast anywhere, (except from Nicole Bell). I have always loved to bake and found during difficult mental stressors that it really helped. Unfortunately for me so did everyone else. Everyone began baking bread, banana bread, pizza….you name it, it was on Instagram. Much to my disappointment, it became impossible to get baking ingredients. I eventually got flour in a local corner shop and once supermarkets restricted items to 3 per person it became somewhat easier. I still can’t get baking powder or yeast mind you. And I don’t want to pay an absolute fortune either. If you do decide to bake make sure and find an exercise class or go for a walk. I usually shared all the goods but I couldn’t, so that led to me and Jonny eating everything…cue the biggest loser, ( Sorry inside joke…but you get the drift).

5. Go Outside – I need to do this more – I’m not going to say I did this because it was extremely limited. I really should of done this more considering it really helped me the last time I had issues with my mental health. In saying this, this is what limited me in going outside, I was scared, really scared. My anxiety was through the roof anytime Jonny mentioned going a walk or to the shop. Any shopping trip we had took a lot of coxing as I had multiple incidents on my own.

6. I’m more easy going that I thought – well at times – we now own a ps4 and a steering wheel, take from that what you will. This was a good thing and a bad thing for me personally. I was no longer highly strung but it meant I lost the need to want to do simple tasks, everything was put of for a while, or I used the line, ‘sure it can wait’. The importance of things were different and all seemed to have a different meaning. Now that certain things have became routine and I’m back to work I have definitely became a worrier again, in a good way, I think. Tasks are more focused, time is better utilised and well I’m maybe not as easy going as I thought haha.

7. Take up new skills – I’ve been knitting, sewing and yoga-ing, baking….you name it, I’ve tried it. I spent the majority of lock down trying to do new hobbies and learn skills I didn’t know. I’m very thankful for this time as I found it a good way to focus my head, however my concentration was limited at times and I found completing tasks hard. Baking was the one thing that I started and finished…because I had too. Plus it has a start, middle and end which really resonates with me. I like achieving something in its entirety and having an end result which is why baking works. Its time specific and you are aware of this before beginning. I know this all sounds simple but that works. Simple is good. I’ve also learnt I’m not very flexible and yoga is hard. Have a towel handy, you sweat a lot.

8. Drink Wine – Well this was no surprise was it! This obviously doesn’t sound like the most sensible advice….everything in moderation and all. My Christmas present from the hubby definitely came in handy, ( if don’t remember it was the wine subscription from Virgin Wines), but I think everyone over indulged during the lock down period, whether it was wine or chocolate or cake, we’ve all enjoyed the last few months and there was nothing wrong with that. Don’t be too hard on yourself. ( Drink Responsibly).

9. Personal hygiene suffers – How many times a week did you shower? I’ll be the first to admit once I was off work, lounging around so to speak, (this really means dealing with daily anxiety and constant emotional meltdowns), my want for a shower seriously decreased. I had gone from showering every day after work to once or twice a week. This didn’t help my mood and well my mood didn’t help my motivation to primp and preen. Plus the lack of hairdressers/beauty salons really took its toll. Hair grew, roots developed, lounge wear became life…..not what I imagined 2020 to bring. With everything beginning to reopen where are you hitting first? Hair had too go for me, not just the wait to actually get a hairdressing appointment.

10. Self-care – This has probably been the most important thing I’ve learnt and well still learning. Although I put a facade on that I like to take care of myself, I’m usually the last person I take care of. I love to look after everyone else and make sure they are okay. If everyone else has issues I usually have issues, if everyone else is concerned, I’m concerned and so forth. The fact I’ve started to identify this is definitely self-care for me itself. Take some time to yourself. Do what you enjoy! And try and not let others get to you….all easier said than done I know.

Well since lock down began a lot has change, a lot was unexpected and a lot was difficult. The silver lining however is we have all got to reflect on our lives, learn new things and spend more time with family. Always try and look for the bright side….yes even I’m saying this.

Here’s to the ‘New Normal’, lets see what it brings….

Stephanie xo

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