The photos in this blogpost feature paid-for sponsored items, however all of the thoughts, opinions and words are my own.
I know that every blogger and their dog has posted a similar post to this, and it almost put me off doing it, but one reason I keep this blog, is fo ray own memories and reflections. I absolutely love looking back on old posts – seeing my excitement at moving into our first apartment, or reading how I felt when I first took the plunge into going freelance full time (and cringing at the awful graphics!), so it only seems fitting to write a bit about what lockdown has taught me, more for my own process than anything else.
Sometimes, you have to cut yourself some slack
I am the worst at this. I’m my own biggest critic and I expect so much more from myself than anyone else. But if there’s ever a time to be gentle and kind with yourself, it’s in the middle of a global pandemic. There was a week or two when In was on fire. Work was being done, the house was spotless, I learnt to cook new meals and I was feeling my oats. But most of the time, the house is a mess, Ruben is watching far too much TV and it feels like I’m doing loads but not actually achieving anything. And you know what? That’s okay. Because I’ve never lived through anything like this and it’s hard and weird and scary and at the end of the day, the weeds will still be there another day when I do have the energy to tackle them.
Mooching around the shops is underrated in my life
I’ve always made a point to get out most days with Ruben, for both of our sanity. Sometimes that’s just been having a mooch around Tesco to kill some time until nap time, and until lockdown, I never realised how much I loved it. Now, we go shopping when we absolutely have to, and I spend the entire time in a state of anxiety, trying not to touch anyone and just get what I need and get out. I used to really enjoy doing the food shop as a family, or the convenience of just popping into a shop to grab something I fancy, or need and not being able to do that has been pretty tough.
Getting dressed is important!
My mental health really benefits from getting dressed, as silly as it might sound. If I stay in my PJs all day, I feel pretty sluggish and gross. Obviously I’m not wearing jeans in lockdown – I’m not a monster! But changing into some comfy loungewear and sticking on some eyeliner has made me feel a little more put together for those Zoom calls. I was sent some pretty cute loungewear from Femme Luxe which I’ve been rocking on the daily.
We’re so lucky
Steven and I are so lucky in so many ways. One of which being that we have an amazing cabin in the garden which acts as Steven’s office, as it means that we have a space away from the house which can be used when one of us needs to get some work done without our mini keyboard stealer, or when we need to take a video call somewhere without Elmo blaring in the background. Steven mostly works from home anyway, so it hasn’t been much of a change for him, and I go out to work 3 or 4 nights a week, which is something that I’ve been continuing as I’m a keyworker, which has given me some normality and honestly, kept me semi-sane. Steven and I have split our days so that most days he starts his work from around 7am, and then at 1 or 2pm, he comes in to hangout with Ruben (they’ve been going on a lot of walks), while I move to the cabin and crack out some of my own work. We’re so lucky that we work for ourselves and can do this, and it’s actually allowed me to work more than I was doing pre-lockdown, and giving us some evenings together!
We’re lucky that we have a garden for Ruben to play in, and we’ve been given one of the Fisher Price cars for him to whizz around in, which he loves. We’re also lucky that we love each others company, that we are safe and feel comfortable in the house. For a lot of people that’s not their reality and although things are still hard for our family, they could be so much harder!
I’ve found some new hobbies I enjoy
Although I’ve not been able to do some of the lockdown activities that it seems everyone else is doing, (https://codiekinz.co.uk/blog/i-think-im-doing-isolation-wrong/) what with having a baby, a job and a business to juggle, I have made time for cooking some new food (I make a cracking ratatouille and lentil cottage pie now, plus banana muffins and a lemon drizzle!), gardening (AKA, pulling some weeds out and optimistically trying to plant vegetables that are yet to sprout!) and I’ve even done a little bit of embroidery! I’m usually someone who is rushing here, there and everywhere, from baby classes, to visiting family, so not having that option has made me slow down a little, and I figure, if I don’t try these things now, when will I ever?!
It’s weird isn’t it? The main part, the virus, is terrifying and horrible. But there are parts, some good bits, that have come out of it. Some nice moments of community. People doing kind and supportive things. Getting to spend time as a family more than ever. But I’m really missing normality. I’m missing my family and friends from down south. I’m sad that Ruben hasn’t had a single cuddle from anyone but Steven and I, since before Mothers’ Day. So this is to remind myself of the weird, wonderful, awful time, and the things that it’s taught me.
What have you learnt since being in lockdown?