Now we’ve passed April 12th, some of the UK restrictions are easing and I think the UK has taken a big breath! Everyone seems to be feeling a whole lot better for it. I’ve not been one to rush out and take advantage of the lockdown easing yet, I’ve been taking my time and easing myself back into this whole weird world slowly. I think it’s difficult to feel like you’re “allowed” to go out and shop as we used to as we’ve been in this situation so many times… However, now we also have access to a vaccine.
As hard as all the lockdowns have been, I think it’s really helped everyone understand mental health/issues more which is a really positive thing. There are so many people out there who were just milling about and then this big, huge pandemic hit then, everything was out of their control and that would be such a struggle for anyone to go through let alone someone with mental health issues.
It’s really difficult to put the past-givings behind us and return back to “normal”. Personally, I think lockdown has been good for many people as it’s really forced everyone to slow down and take stock of their lives. There’s definitely things that used to pass me by that I take notice of now, appreciate and enjoy and I think that’s a little bit the same for everyone.
I think it’s shown people how strong they are and why you have to take care of yourself physically and mentally. The last year and a bit has been absolute chaos but learning to share and open up to a support network is one of the biggest things I think everyone has learnt. It’s perfectly fine to be independent but you’ve got to show support to people when they need it, recognise when you’re struggling yourself and when to ask for help.
We will always remember this strange period in our lives.
There are also so many things I’m looking forward to over the next year; whenever that may be. I think it’s the same for everyone, but having something to look forward to does wonders for my mood and motivation. They don’t have to be big things either but having plans feels SO good!
01. I’m looking forward to randomly meeting up with my friends more, not having to plan everything in advance and being more spontaneous. I think everyone will say “yes” to more things this year after a good while of being confined to the house. I’m not a big drinker but I love summer evenings sat outside at the beach, park or pub garden soaking up the sunshine.
I’m also looking forward to booking some mini-breaks away with Elliot this year. Hopefully towards the end of the summer/early autumn but I really love a staycation (which is good as even if we were allowed, we don’t think we’ll be going abroad anytime soon!). We’ve stayed local to where we live already, only going to Blandford and we’ve also been to the Oxford area, both were booked through Air Bnb and were such lovely and cheap trips away. I’m hoping we can do more of that this year and have a later summer trip away. We also need to head somewhere for my birthday (which was back in January) but we were in lockdown so we always said we’d postpone my celebrations and do something when we could!
02. It sounds so strange to write down but I’m looking forward to getting my life back on track… Lockdown came along and really messed a few things up which I’m still trying to figure out. I feel like I’m happier within myself more after recent years have really affected me. There’s plenty of things I’m hoping to achieve this year in my personal life, such as finally passing my driving test, buying a car and expanding my business as a result of this. There are so many little things that get put on hold because one thing has been affected by the pandemic.
As I’ve mentioned previously, the pandemic has not been great for peoples mental health which then affects every other area in your life. Even something as simple as the gyms being able to reopen has really benefited me and so many other people. I think something like this, although you could argue it’s “only” a gym, it adds so much structure to peoples lives. Some people organise their whole day around when they can go to the gym which is weirdly comforting in a way. It’s important to have plans, even if they are just going to the gym.
03. Changing routine, slowing down and appreciating things. This is how I would describe my lockdown experience! The first one was a whole lot of me sitting on my sofa, playing animal crossing or sitting in the garden enjoying the sunshine. I didn’t bake banana bread, bread in general or take up a fitness routine (I did make Dalgona coffee though). The second was at a time when my business was quite busy so it was easy to just go with the flow but the last one is definitely the one that I think has changed me the most.
Being in lockdown since January in the UK with restrictions only really just easing has been a weird time. The new year is always a bit shit for me but cancelling my birthday plans were hard and since then I felt like I was stuck on groundhog day, just repeating and repeating the same day.
It’s only recently that I’ve noticed this time has changed me. I’m definitely more positive than I was before. I like to make plans out of everything. Going for a walk? Let’s take coffee and sit on a bench somewhere to make it last. I like being that “little bit extra” about these things but because we couldn’t do these little things for so long, why not be extra about it!
I think I do much better now at enjoying the little things. I’ve rediscovered so many things that I love this year like reading and exercising and I think that my thinking about these things has changed. I love a free weekend now and Friday nights are now my favourite day of the week, not for going to the pub but just because I have two whole days to fill with whatever I wish… (this change could also be because I’m older now!).
It’s very easy to want to stay in bed all the time and only emerge when lockdown is fully lifted and we can go back to “normal”… but it’s also a time that we could make the most of. There are so many things I’m looking forward to, but mainly I’m just looking forward to having a summer, being sat in the sun without feelings of guilt, dread or worry about the world surrounding me.
What are you looking forward to as more restrictions ease? Has lockdown taught you anything?