Slightly later in the day than my usual Thursday morning blog posts, but it’s Thursday morning somewhere, right? (Shoutout to my Hawaii readers x x)
I wrote last week about my ups and downs during the UK lockdown. My highlights have mainly been my consistent writing and the fact I’ve put time aside to accomplish some goals. Of course this has been fairly easy considering I’ve had no social commitments for months and have an abundance of free time.
Over the past week I’ve done some reflecting and have come up with a list of things I have learnt from the lockdown which I would like to incorporate into life as we ease back into ‘normality’.
This was partly motivated by something I heard on a podcast a while back but I cannot for the life of me remember which one (I just spent an hour going through podcasts and frantically googling with no luck). In the podcast, the idea of lessons learnt during lockdown were discussed, and how these would affect their lives a year from now. I thought I’d write about my own version of this.
In searching for that podcast, I found this this blog post which is similar to the kind of thing I’m writing about, and I liked what she wrote, so thought I’d mention it here.
1. I’m More Motivated Than I Think
My inner saboteur will always tell me I have no motivation and that is why I will fail at everything. Not only this, but when I occasionally motivate myself to try something new, I will always give up on it. She’s a bitch and she’s wrong.
I’ve noticed that during lockdown I will motivate myself to write my book, write regular blog posts and articles, and go running too. I have kept up with these things consistently. I’ve realised that I can motivate myself to do the things I want, and I can motivate myself to try new things in the future too.
And those things I really do give up on just weren’t right for me, and that’s absolutely fine. In fact it’s good to give up on the things that are not right for you.
2. Do The Things I Don’t Want to do First
It seems really obvious, but if you keep putting off a task then it won’t get done. Adam from Creative Rebels mentioned this in their podcast, and it suddenly clicked with me… You should do those tasks first, otherwise you’re worrying about it until you bloody do it!
I’ve been doing the stressful, shit tasks first a lot more lately and it makes for a less stressful life. Who knew?! It also makes me far more productive day because I’m spending less time procrastinating once the shit tasks are done. And once the shit tasks are complete you’re free to do less shit stuff without feeling guilty (what a dream).
3. I’m Pretty Good at Writing
Over lockdown I’ve started writing articles for other publications. This was incredibly exciting for me because I want to be a writer full-time: that’s the long-term life goal. As it turns out I can write pretty well, and people enjoy the articles I write for them. This has given me more confidence in my writing and led me to write a lot more (hence why I’ve just used the word ‘writing’ about 50 times).
I’m starting my first ever ‘real adult job’ (a 9-5 job) in a few weeks, so I’m hoping I can continue writing as much as I am now. When I worked full-time before I struggled to juggle everything, but in my defence, working 50 hours a week in a pub really does take it out of you. I’m hoping I remember the enjoyment of writing, and not let it become something to stress about.
4. A Relaxed Life is a Good Life
I’ve often prided myself on being the busiest person ever. This has resulted in me being a little bit too busy sometimes. Spreading myself a little thin, some might even say. This means nothing gets completed. During the lockdown, with every second of every day free I still am not finishing my To Do lists, which is pretty telling: I need to relaaaax things.
It’s fine to watch Netflix sometimes, to have chill time, and not put pressure on myself to be busy 24/7. I wrote a bit more about this in my previous post. My goal for the future is to finish the tasks at hand, and not start a load of projects that don’t get finished.
5. Running Isn’t as Shite as I Once Thought
Who knew?! I used to run on occasion (I truly mean on occasion… twice a year tops). I’m more of a gym gal myself. I put on a little lockdown weight during the earlier months, and so decided I should probably do some exercise. So I started the couch to 5K app, and now I’m running 3+ 5Ks a week. Look at me go. A lesson for the future is literally: running isn’t that bad. Don’t forget it.
6. Sitting on Twitter isn’t the only thing you can do in an hour window of free time
I’ll admit it, I’ve become a bit of a Twitter addict during lockdown. The addiction has been through phases: 1) the tweeting 30 times a day about my breakfast… 2) leaving witty comments on UK newspaper’s posts… 3) arguing with transphobic people… I now tend to use Twitter like a normal person. It’s quite refreshing as the Twitter rows were getting me down.
I’ve realised that if I’ve got an hour before something (dinner, a Zoom call…) there are actually things I can do in that time; running; writing a little bit… I’m usually the worst for deciding an hour isn’t long enough to do ANYTHING. In the future I really hope I stop wasting all these spare hours I have.
7. Family is Important
Obviously I knew this one before lockdown, but something my family have incorporated into our lockdown routines is weekly Zoom chats. These calls are great because they include my grandparents, uncles, cousins etc. I’m now making extra time to call my grandparents more and check in with them.
I’ve also half moved home with my immediate family, and it’s super nice to hang out with them more and remind myself that they’re cool people.
8. Putting Time Aside for Yourself is Important
This has been a big lesson for me as we’re easing out of lockdown. It means having time to read my book, do a face mask, and just chill without feeling guilty. Netflix is important too ya know?! I tend to feel guilty turning plans down, but in the future I hope to turn more plans down to spend with myself, because I am great. And also because of self-care and all that.
It’s also perfectly acceptable to turn down plans to do something important for yourself, for me this includes writing. Sometimes I find it hard to turn down invites for something can be done whenever, but if you’ve put that time aside for a reason, it’s as important as anything else!
9. FOMO Can Get Fucked
This is somewhat related to the last one, and has also come out of the lowdown easing. I have always been very influenced by FOMO (fear of missing out). This will lead me to go to stuff I don’t really care about. I have realised it’s a lot better for me if I just don’t, and use that time to do more valuable things. It was very nice to not experience FOMO during the lockdown, and have only just. realised quite how easily I’m influenced into doing stuff I’m not particularly bothered about.
10. There’s Never a Bad Time to Rewatch Drag Race
I’ve had some good days, anxious days, really shit days and just about everything in between during lockdown. I’ve discovered there’s literally nothing that will brighten my day like Rupaul’s Drag Race. I’m incredibly basic for saying that (and including it in my list) but what can I say, I BLOODY LOVE IT. My hope for the future is that I never forget how good it is.
(This post is sponsored by my apparent new enjoyment of gifs. And yes I did say a few weeks ago that gifs are shit and overused, but I’m an adult and can admit when I was wrong.)
Although I’ve had some really helpful and productive times during the lockdown, I really am glad to be going back to some sort of ‘normality’, and really hope there isn’t a second wave that requires the lockdown to restart all over again.
Thanks for reading! Let me know what your lockdown lessons have been?