Lockdown was a weird blip in time for most of us. Of course, it came with stress surrounding the state of the world and how our daily lives were affected.
Now, we are able to combat the Coronavirus and return to some sense of normality. However, many people are reminiscing about the time spent in lockdown. I know some will relate to this, as for myself, lockdown was the break that I had never given myself.
Without the commitments of school or work, I had time to do things that I’d always wanted to do (within the restrictions, of course). At first, the thought of having so much free time freaked me out – I didn’t want to waste this chance as I never knew when I would get another opportunity like this.
After a few days of procrastination about deciding how to spend my time, and the new knowledge that this wasn’t just two weeks off of school, I decided to make some big changes.
Now, I have never been a morning person – and I’m still not – but being stuck without a routine meant that my internal body clock reset. For the first time that I can remember I was waking up feeling refreshed. So, I started doing morning walks.
They weren’t long walks, just 40 minutes or so, but there was something about being outside when the sun had just risen that I enjoyed. I also learned that everyone on my walking route (which was mainly dog walkers or joggers) liked to say “Good morning” to everyone that they passed.
One thing that I’ve always been told is that I need to be more confident. As silly as this may sound, greeting those strangers on my daily walks began to slowly build my confidence.
Like many teenagers in 2020, I was an avid TikTok user and felt the influence of a lot of the trends at the time (admittedly, I do still make whipped iced coffee).
However, one of the trends that really stuck with me was people doing at-home workouts. I thought this was perfect, I had tried going to the gym before, but I always felt self-conscious for one reason or another.
Now, I can work out from the safety of my room. This workout trend led to a routine for me, which blossomed into a full-blown interest in exercise, healthy eating, and generally taking care of myself.
I was seeing results, both physically and mentally, and this routine really kept me going when the novelty of no work or school began to wear off.
Although, as much as exercising was a good way to spend a few hours of the day, I still had so much free time.
Doing what everyone was doing at the time, I binge-watched all the shows on my watchlist. This opened up new worlds to me, it gave me more stories to fall in love with and the time to watch them for as long as I wanted.
Being a student with a part-time job meant that whatever free time I did have, I usually found homework or chores that needed doing, instead of getting to relax in front of the TV for hours. Of course, it became boring after a while, but I am grateful for the experience.
I also had the time to start reading again, something that I hadn’t done since I was a child. Lockdown gave me the opportunity to rediscover these hobbies that I had once loved so much.
Whilst I am grateful that we are no longer in a lockdown, some days I do miss it. With life running as normal once more, I no longer have the time for myself, time to do what I really want to do.
However, I always come back to what I learned during the pandemic. When having a bad day I give myself the time and self-care that I need. Having a taste of what life could be like does give me the motivation to keep working and give myself a chance once more.