It’s been just over a year since we first went into lockdown and I can vividly remember the first announcement, it almost felt bizarrely quite exciting as we were ordered to “Stay At Home”. This was history in the making and we were part of it. I slugged back a glass or three of wine and did what most people did in lockdown one – got fatter.

Fast forward to March 2021 and thankfully my muffin tops have receded and I’m back in my skinny jeans but it has been a real period of personal highs and lows and now, as we move into what looks like a more normal world, I’m sharing my anxieties about how it is going to feel when we are finally set free.

Lockdown for me in my early fifties has been pretty tolerable. I can easily work from home and whilst I’m not exactly technically savvy I can find my way around social media and zoom so communication with the outside world has been daily and intense. Whilst I may have been a party girl a long time ago I am now more than happy to be in bed with my hot chocolate at ten pm and I’m not one for pubs and (uugghh) certainly not clubs. Give me a Reece’s bar and a good box set and I’m happy. Of course I’ve missed seeing family and friends and its been hard to watch as some of them have struggled with the isolation. I think that we all try to help and support the best we can but sometimes the only thing that really works is a huge hug from a loved one and we have all missed those.

For me the benefits of this enforced period of isolation have definitely been a prolonged period of self reflection. Pre pandemic I was living life on fast forward and missing out on the best bits as I hurried from day to day. Now I see the pleasure in a clear sky, the beauty of the spring flowers, even the soft touch of a morning breeze on my cheek. I no longer rush my meals but savour each mouthful, I am more resourceful, more creative, less wasteful and I like to think that I have become a more caring and compassionate member of society. I have realised what matters. It’s not fancy clothes, a fat bank account or holidays splashed all over Instagram. It’s not numbers of followers or likes, high flying careers and staying late at the office because everyone else is. The things that matter are very simple. Family, friends, relationships full of love. Time spent being present and doing things that you enjoy. Time – time to relax, unwind and be still. Time to just be. Daydreaming, long lie ins and laughter. Things that don’t cost money. Things that I have overlooked because I have always been so busy.

I know that a lot of people will feel anxious about the months ahead and what that may look like so my advice would be to take things slowly, an hour at a time if it all feels too overwhelming. You don’t need to rush out or attend every event just because you can. Do what feels comfortable and take things back to basics. Don’t feel pressured doing what you used to do. The world will hopefully unfold slowly so we will have time to adapt and adjust to what it looks and feels like. There is always an opportunity to reset and start again and you can press that button anytime you please.

One of the things that I worry about (worry probably being too strong a sentiment) is wearing heels again. My feet have had decades of being stuffed into stilettos and have definitely benefitted from the enforced rest and my lovely comfy Uggs as workwear. So I’ve decided to give my feet a break and ease them in gently with lower heels and less time teetering on the brink of bunions. Wearing flat shoes doesn’t make me a bad person – just a short one so I’m going with it!! Stress over.

I also worry about invitation overload and having to go out again. I have heard my friends saying that they will be doing everything but I know that this isn’t the route I want to take so I’ve decided to not feel guilty about it and just be honest. There is nothing wrong with saying no and reclaiming time back for yourself – even after a year of isolation. The right thing to do is what is right for you and these are the rules that I’m laying down for my lockdown reveal.  

So lets head towards the summer a little older and a lot wiser. We are the fortunate ones to still be here so now is the time to make a future that we have control over, a future where every day contains some rest, some reflection and a huge dollop of self care.

One day at a time with, or without heels.

4 thoughts on “Lockdown Lid Lifting

  1. I think many of us have learned important life lessons during this lockdown and I hope it carries over when we go ‘back out there.’

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  2. So true, I’ve been learning to focus on the internal and less on the external. It’s in those moments of gratitude that we remember the bliss. It feels good to slow down, to be in the present; and I’ve had bunions in the past, and it wasn’t so fun.

    Liked by 1 person

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