if someone had told me in january that i'd have to stay in my house for three months, that i wouldn't be allowed to see my boyfriend or friends, i wouldn't be able to nip out for a little peruse around town - i would have laughed at how ridiculous that sounded.

2020 is going to be my year, i said to myself as the clock struck midnight and it turned over into a fresh new decade, along with many others i expect. i knew what i wanted to get out of the year and how i was going to go about it. i had a plan and i was ready to smash it.

that was until we got put in lockdown. it's funny when you look back at the initial announcement and think about how they had hoped it would only be a couple of weeks, a few months later and certain industries are only just beginning to open their doors again. with a lot shops and companies not working at full capacity due to social distancing restrictions.

brilliant - i thought to myself, i can really crack on with my animal crossing island now. but the anxious thoughts slowly began to creep in and the ocd tendencies of wanting to have control over a situation that no one knows anything about started worming themselves into my constant thought flow. would i still have a job to go back to? what would working be like when we go back to the office? how would we cancel all the appointments we'd arranged?

i think i speak for most people when i say i've never had so much free time all in one go. time to do whatever i'd wanted - be that set up a new business, take up a new hobby or even working on being the best version of yourself that you can be.

i opted to go for the latter. mental health is something i have always struggled with and i knew that being in lockdown could potentially exasperate those issues and make them unmanageable if i didn't deal with them quickly. after working so hard to get off medication, it was not something i wanted to slip back into but that's another post for another day. routine is one of the first things i rigidly stuck to at the start. i was working from home at the beginning of april so was getting up at a regular time and sleeping fairly early, i managed to keep this up for quite a long time after i was eventually put on furlough. though the same can't be said for the tail end of the lockdown period!

i had time to just read, i could read all day and not feel guilty about not having done anything around the house, there's always tomorrow. i read numerous books, both fiction and self help books. the term self help gives me the creeps, i don't know what it is but it just makes my skin crawl. i read books on intuitive eating, i read books on how to better manage anxiety. i was consuming as much as i could to become the best version of myself that i could.

it made me appreciate being outside. my one weekly shopping trip was my highlight of the week, getting to be out of the house and seeing people. i'd always said that i never got out much but when you're forced into a situation where you're not allowed to just nip out to go and have a nosey around the shops to see what's out, what's new. it really makes you realise how those little trips where you just go to town for an hour or two, really add up and make the world of difference.

i became more grateful and appreciative of what i already have. i was thankful that the people i surround myself with managed to escape catching the virus, that i myself also didn't catch it or at least if we did - we didn't show any signs or symptoms.

it made me reevaluate my life choices - a lot! it made me think about who i was spending my time with, what i was spending my time doing. was i putting my energy into the wrong things? i knew straight away that my perspective needed realigning so i was focusing on the good things, the things i wanted to channel my energy into it. i tried to cut out as many negative behaviours as i could, i made sure the people closest to me were the ones that bought out the best in me. they were the ones i wanted to focus my attention on.

at times it felt like the lockdown period was never ending, when was i going to be able to go out again? when will things go back to normal? i don't think things will ever go back to normal, not the way it was before all this happened. it's the new normal and we just have to roll with it and make the best out of a bad situation.

after all - there's always next year, right?


how lockdown changed my outlook on life.

Wednesday 19 August 2020