The past 7 weeks have been an interesting time, to say the least. We’ve all used words like ‘unprecedented’, ‘unusual’, ‘uncertain’, ‘troubling”. And many people have struggled – emotionally and financially. But whatever your story, it’s important to reflect, and think about your learnings from lockdown.

At the beginning, I was shocked that this was actually happening. I felt quite overwhelmed with the realisation that everything needed to change instantly. I focussed on what I would miss about “normal” life. Gradually, after the first couple of weeks of adjustment, I adjusted to the new normal and started settling into habits and patterns that worked. There were six people in the house all the time, meaning an increased level of cooking and cleaning. I still had to keep up with work – not to mention the new need for endless Zoom calls with everyone!!! Phew!

With the lockdown came the unbelievable weather – a complete godsend, almost a gift. I wonder how we would have fared had this happened in November or January?! The bright sunshine and increasing warmth has no doubt made things far easier to handle. And I’ve found that there are benefits to this new way of life, notably around productivity and self-care. 

My thoughts now more often land on what this whole turn of events has taught us all. Our learnings from lockdown. And how we can carefully craft our habits for the future, post lockdown, to maintain some of those enormous benefits. 

It seems as though the productivity and self-care that I mentioned before, go hand in hand. The more productive we are and the less we procrastinate. Therefore, the more time we have to look after ourselves and prioritise those things that enable us to enjoy life and feel at our best. Whilst, of course, still achieving what we want to professionally. It’s a fine balance though, and how it will work post-lockdown, remains to be seen.

So have you taken time to think about your own learnings from lockdown? I’ve shared mine with you below.

My own learnings from lockdown

Here’s what I’ve learned over these past 7 weeks:

Preparation is key.

I did already know this, and like to think I do plenty of prep. However, when you think about that one big weekly shop and planning out all food and meals; knowing when you will do your work and when you will spend time with the family; and indeed for some, getting school work done with the kids, you realise that mapping out time allows you to set clear boundaries and even enjoy a rest!

I feel better when I exercise more.

Ok, so it’s a no brainer. We all know that exercise is good for us. But do we really realise the huge impact it has when we are active every single day? I now can, without stress, fit in strength workouts at home, and get out every day for a walk or cycle. My lesson from this is that I need to go back to a system where exercise is a priority. It goes in the diary and I work around it. It’s so important and shouldn’t be negotiable! Again, this seems to lead back to being productive and sticking to the schedule you lay out for yourself where possible.

I waste time.

Yep, it has really shown me how I waste time in the normal run of things. I like to think I’m super organised and productive. And yes, I’m definitely super organised, but there’s an awful lot more I might just be able to do on the productivity side to ensure I can maximise the time I have available for other things I want to do (see point above about exercise!!).

I miss my people.

It has made me realise that my generally sunny outlook is only made more so when I’m able to bounce off other people. I miss the way I can walk down the High Street and bump into lots of people I know, stop and chat, kisses on the cheek. I’m now hankering after those little things, and can see how we take it for granted that we can just get together with people. Zoom and other technology is great, and I’m grateful, but it’s just not the same – everyone talking over the top of each other or awkward silences in big groups. Give me a chat in person and a big hug any day!

Going to coffee shops is good.

One thing I have always loved is going to coffee shops – especially my favourite ones! Whether it’s to meet with a friend, or to get some work done away from the kitchen table and amongst the buzz of life. Oh how I miss this, I really do, and the productivity it brings when I work there.

We shouldn’t feel guilty about things.

See point 5 about coffee shops. I always felt a bit of guilt about how much I was frequenting coffee shops for my work, feeling perhaps I was wasting some money. However, I now miss it so much and realise it’s a positive thing. It brings me joy, helps my productivity and gives me a skip in my step. Something to be fully enjoyed!

Pampering is great and good for the soul.

A lack of constant driving around doing school runs etc etc does add up to a feeling of extra time in the day. As well as aforementioned exercise, I’ve also been loving an evening with a face mask and some Grays Anatomy with my daughter!

Getting up and getting dressed is essential any time.

I cannot stress enough how much difference it makes to how I feel when I wash and dry my hair, put my make-up on and feel good in what I’m wearing. If you’ve been feeling a bit off, and you’re used to comfy clothes and less than clean hair, I highly recommend it!

We can cope.

We are resilient. Look how much has been thrown at us, and how everyone has pulled together to get through it. It’s impressive and it warms the soul. Especially the kindness and gestures of love and goodwill.

I am lucky and grateful.

This has all brought into sharp focus just how much I have to be grateful for. I like to practise gratitude each day anyway, but realising how lucky I am to live where I do, have the home I have, be healthy, have my children with me, know my family are all safe, enjoy the beautiful weather and the great outdoors…..the list is endless.

What are your learnings from lockdown? And how might you do things differently going forward?