We’re probably all aware by now of the awful pandemic that’s sweeping the globe. We are spending more time than ever at home and as strange as this whole situation is, I’ve tried to use the time to slow down and reflect. Now, some people are hating not being able to go out and do anything which is OK because we are all different and I’m not about to sit here and tell you what you should be doing with all the extra time you might have. As possibly the worlds best procrastinator I don’t think I’d have a leg to stand on to do so. But what has happened to me during lock down is that I’ve slowed down. I’ve always had ideas about the kind of person I would like to be; calmer, more patient, more resilient, better organised to name a few. Not only that but there’s so many things I’ve always thought I’d get better at that if only I had more time. Well, now I have plenty of it! So if not now then when. As I mentioned in my last post, I am classed as vulnerable so am self isolating for 12 weeks, which is plenty of time.
I spent the first three weeks of lock down wearing no make up and living in either lounge wear or jeans and a t shirt, basically not making loads of ‘effort’ every day with my appearance. Normally this would make me worry about how I looked or what state my skin was in but because I was the only one really thinking about it and seeing it, it was only my opinion that mattered. I’ve grown to feel more comfortable in my skin and with myself. Who says I can’t wear that even if it’s not on trend? Why do I have to have my hair and make up done everyday if I don’t want to? Who says my hair isn’t beautiful because it’s naturally wavy and a bit frizzy and I haven’t straightened it? Don’t get me wrong, I love dressing up and making an effort and I have been doing that more in recent days but in a way that I’m happy with, not what I think other people would like. One of the things about me that I’ve been wanting to work on is that I am very affected by other people’s thoughts and opinions, so much so it can change what I think. But a benefit of spending so much time with yourself is that you learn what you like again, unaffected by other peoples thoughts and opinions and I must admit it’s very freeing.
One thing lock down has definitely done is alter my perspective on everything. I turned to my fiancé the other day and say “Do you know, I’ve spent so much time and energy worrying about other peoples opinions of everything when the only opinion that matters is my own. What other people think of my clothes, make up, appearance and thoughts doesn’t matter. It matters what I think of them.” He smiled as he always does when I have these little moments of clarity and he feels really proud of the small breakthroughs. All he wants for me is to be happy in my own skin and it fills him with joy when I make baby steps towards that. Would I have had such a profound musing had we not been in lock down? Probably not. But that’s the thing about being forced to slow down, even stop. Eventually you’re alone with your own thoughts.
With anxiety, comes worry. About everything! I have this strange ‘skill’ that I can worry about a situation but not only that, I can create a number of potential outcomes to said situation that I can worry about as well. My other half is very much a person who won’t worry about something if he can’t change it and I am so envious of that! My change in perspective has changed my worries though. I’ve gone from worrying about things like what other people think of my Instagram feed to thinking up weird and wonderful recipes to make sure we don’t waste any food. I’ve gone from thinking about what other people think of my appearance to thinking about how I feel in my home and space and how I can make it better for us. Contemplating how I would afford a new on trend summer wardrobe to making sure everything is clean and safe and healthy. Working on worrying less will take time and perseverance but I think I can get there.
Something else I’ve loved having more time for is to work on being more organised. I’ve always put myself across to others as organised but I have a huge secret that could threaten that facade. The parts of my home that people see are always tidy, clean and organised. We have a minimalist home where everything has purpose or adds value to our life which not only is appealing for us but also makes cleaning day so quick and easy! However, the two rooms that no one sees (our spare bedrooms) house hundreds and hundreds of items of ‘stuff’ that I have carried with me for years and years. Through two house moves, all this rubbish has come with us and it’s been the most difficult thing to sort through it all and just let go. I will be doing another blog post about the dreaded ‘spare rooms’ but lets just say I’ve finally had the time to face my demons and it feels so amazing!
The best thing that I’ve gotten better at throughout all of this that I am more mindful. I take time to think about things, how I feel, what I do, what I eat, what I buy, everything. I feel like because of this, everything has more meaning and I’m not just rushing through everything as fast as I can to get to the next thing. In turn, this has made me feel calmer. Don’t get me wrong, I still get anxious but I feel a bit more able to control it now.
Let me know what benefits you will take from lock down and how you are spending your time. But most of all please stay safe and look after each other.