8 Lessons I Learnt During Lockdown / Quarantine

There is a video version of this blog at the bottom of the page.

The world was turned upside down with COVID-19 in March 2020, with most of the population being told they needed to stay at home.

I’m not sure I could have ever imagined such a thing happening, but weirdly enough I felt relieved.
I finally had time to myself, to slow down, unwind, and do some things I want to do instead of having to do.

Here are the things I learnt during the lockdown:

  1. Slowing Down
    For most of my adult life, I’ve been ‘busy.’
    Some of that ‘busy’ has been planning and doing my adventures. The remainder was probably being a busy fool.
    In my late thirties, I was constantly tired. I thought that was how life would be from now on.

Lockdown taught me it’s ok to slow down and do less. And that it’s actually quite nice.


2. Smart Income
I’ve been self-employed since 2006, first owning a beauty salon for 9 years then moving into social media consultancy, blogging and making videos.

I’ve always worked tirelessly to do well in business and thought hard work and hustle was the only way to stay on top of my game.

During lockdown something fascinating happened – despite my work and income dropping significantly, I was still able to earn a living by doing less.
The amount of extra time I gained versus the percentage of income I lost was not equal (does that make sense?!). This taught me I do not need to always be working at max levels in order to earn money.

When I exercise I train smart. I have now learnt to work smart – working harder or longer doesn’t always equal more money. In fact, working harder and longer causes burnout, and burnout means creativity is stumped.


3. Simple Living
Staying at home for almost one year (!) has made me realise I enjoy a simple existence.

During lockdown, I was forced to stop travelling, having as many meetings and saying yes to activities. As a result, I was in a position to think about what I really want to do with my life.


4. I Found my Ikigai
Ever since closing my beauty salon, I had a vision of what I want to do but never found the time, headspace or confidence to do it.

During my time at home, I found a love for writing, completed a 12-week creative writing course called The Artist’s Way and learned how to use a ‘proper’ video editing software.

With all the extra time and headspace I was able to focus on my ikigai.
As soon I started that process, ideas came to me in a flash, and gradually the process gets easier.
It’s so refreshing to have found that flow and not feel guilty about doing it.


5. Regular Prehab (& Fixing my Hip)
If you’re anything like me, then rehabilitation exercises bore the living daylights out of you.
I was given an incredible rehab (injury prevention) exercise programme several months ago, one that I’m meant to do 3 times per week…. but that rarely happened.

But with all the extra time I had during lockdown, I did the 15-minute programme almost every day and as a result, fixed my clicky left hip!
I’ve had a clicky left hip for as long as I can remember, and although it doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t make me feel very nice with all its weird sounds. It also causes me to avoid certain exercises.

Clicky hip fixed. Some aches and pains disappeared. I’m thrilled!

Edit: I write this 9 months after originally drafting this blog, and continue to do the exercises regularly because of the results.


6. Speak to My Parents Regularly
With the prospect of not seeing my parents for months due to the restrictions, I spoke to them more than usual.

Not being able to see them made me appreciate and love them even more!

Edit: When the UK entered into the third lockdown, I decided to move back in with my mum. I didn’t want to be in London during COVID, plus desperately missed her and wanted to make sure she was ok.
I’ll admit moving back in with my mum aged 38 didn’t make me feel great, but that feeling soon passed when I was out of the concrete city and back in the countryside with good company.

For years my mum and I didn’t get on – something that always made me sad. But having lived with her for 5 months, we are getting on better than ever! Our relationship has healed and it feels so wonderful! I doubt this would have happened outside of a lockdown.
I would have been too busy being ‘busy.


7. Pockets of Positivity
Lockdown brought about many challenging situations, but I’m always on the hunt for the ‘pockets of positivity.’

It can be very hard to find the positives in some situations, but it’s an important exercise to at least try and find a positive, even if it’s a small one. For me, doing that can work wonders on shifting my mood even when times are tough.


8. Time Passes Quickly!
Being in the same place with the same people, doing the same thing every day, can feel like groundhog day (if you haven’t seen the film, this means reliving the same day over and over again).

With so much time at home, time seems to pass very quickly! This scared me a little and made me realise that when we want to do something, we have to get on with it – whether that be a hobby, arts and craft, healthy living, a new regime, whatever….
Soon we will be old and may not get another opportunity, in which case we might regret not doing it!
It’s time to crack on!

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Bonus.
I write this point after 47 weeks of lockdown.
I’m reading more books than ever and consuming less digital.
That’s to do with moving away from social media and sending my phone to Australia, something I’d been fantasizing about for so long but never had the guts to do.

By consuming less digital I feel sooooooo much better! In fact, the best I have felt in all my adult life!
Big statement, but true.

______________________

In my younger years, I wanted to be everywhere, doing everything – accomplishing, networking and trying to get so much done.
As I grow older, I realise I don’t need to say yes to everything.