I hope you are all well!
We are slowly coming out of lockdown here in the UK and I wanted to share with you some of the positive outcomes for me as I am reflecting on the past four months.
To be brutally honest with you, lockdown for the most part has not affected me much. I know this might seem unfair to some, but it is true and looking back I feel very lucky and blessed to be able to say that.
I started a new job just two weeks before lockdown and that was, as they say, my saving grace. I am now working in the technology sector, rather than tourism. Therefore, I have been working from home since 18th March 2020 every Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5.30 pm. Nothing has changed in this respect in relation to work. And that counts for a lot.
Of course, I cannot go and travel, my holiday was cancelled, I have not seen my family since Christmas as they live in Germany and I have not seen my friends during lockdown. What I was able to do since March was limited, but this lockdown has created lots of opportunities for me as well.
And as my headline states, the glass is half full for me. I am always trying to make the most and best of a situation and find positives.
So, here it goes!
One of the best outcomes of lockdown is having more time on hand.
Although I am working, I do not have to commute to work. This is saving me every day of the week more than three hours. In a week I am getting 15 hours or even more back. That is almost an entire day!
As I do not have to commute to work, I use that time to get some good quality sleep. This was always a problem when I had to work in the office as I go to bed late and get up early. I never got enough sleep and as a result felt tired throughout the day.
But not anymore!
I managed to up my self-care efforts. This was another point I struggled with before lockdown and that I wanted to improve on for months as I was not happy with how my life was, in terms of me-time.
I always felt that I never had the time to do what I wanted to do, such as taking up jewellery making again – being creative basically, reading books, working on my blog and the list goes on.
I learned to make that time for myself during lockdown as it is so important to have your own space and time, especially if you are living together with other people. I am together with my partner 24/7 now and that can be difficult sometimes.
For me, I learned to say no more often. If my partner wants to watch a TV show with me, but I want to read my book I will simply say no, I do not want to watch TV. I want to read. And that is very empowering.
I like working out, but I cannot motivate myself to workout at home really. I am someone who needs a trainer in front of them, telling me what to do. And I also do not like sweating too much, unless I am in the gym.
So, how do you workout without sweating too much and motivating yourself at home?
You join a yoga challenge! Well, at least that is what I did. I discovered a 30 Day Yoga Challenge on Amazon that I absolutely love. It is the perfect mix of stretching, getting fit and flexible, getting a strong body and building some muscles.
I tried a few yoga classes before at they gym that I did not like too much as they were too advanced for the level I was at, but I absolutely love 30 Day Yoga For Weight Loss with Julia Marie.
It is free for Amazon Prime members and it transformed by body and mindset tremendously. I really feel fitter, healthier, stronger and again it contributes to feeling more energetic.
Now, I love yoga. I want to continue on my yoga journey and in the future would love to attend a yoga retreat one day now.
My skin has improved a lot since lockdown as I am making more of an effort now to look after it. Meaning, I am sticking to a daily skincare routine, which before was sporadic and am treating my body and feet to more TLC.
I am also eating slightly better. I am trying out lots of new veggie recipes that I have collected over years, but never came around making. Working from home allows me to cook a bit more.
As a result, I am eating less junk food. I am also drinking less alcohol as the pubs were closed. No pubs and no social life = better eating at home and less drinking 🙂 Although this might be the case, I am looking forward to going out for a drink again with friends!
I have bought almost next to nothing, only essential items during the past months. I am not missing the shopping sprees, wasting money on ready made lunches when I am too lazy to prepare food for work, buying senseless items that I actually do not need and the list goes on.
I came to realise that I really do not need more clothes, shoes, handbags, a new bicycle etc etc. Last week, I looked at the Marks and Spencer Sale and closed the browser after 5 min. I thought, I have so many clothes. Why am I even looking at this?
That was a light bulb moment for me and made me realise that I can save my money or spend it on things that I need and really want. Not just because I can and because they are on sale.
I already mentioned this is in one of my previous blog posts, but I have now got more time for blogging as well.
I have reached my 100 Posts Milestone, increased my posts from two to three per week and I managed to stay more or less consistent with that. I am so proud of myself for staying on track and I can see the results of my hard work. I gained more followers and my views are up as well. Thanks to you guys 🙂
As I did not spend much money, I managed to put some money aside and more than I normally would. All these nonsense expenses and expenses related to going out turned into savings.
I mean, who does not want to put more money aside for rainy days or something that they were saving up for such as a big annual holiday, university fees for kids, a house or god knows what.
Finishing those projects that you always push back and hate to do is an amazing thing to happen and an amazing thing to do.
When we were only allowed to go out for one hour per day back in March and April, I made use of lockdown to tackle those hated projects. I fixed my bicycle, I cleaned the entire flat including carpet cleaning and I did much more.
The thing with hated projects is that they do not go way, no matter how often you push them back and try to forget about them. You have to eventually suck it up and just get on with it an do it. And that is exactly what I did during lockdown.
I have a feeling of accomplishment, satisfaction and relieve that I do not have to do them again or at least not in the near future.
STARTING NEW PROJECTS
Finishing projects is great, but starting a new one is exciting.
I wanted to improve my photography skills for a long time and lockdown gave me that opportunity.
I spend a lot of time in my local park, experimented with my camera, its settings and the motives I had in the park, especially the wildlife. I also found a photo editing software on my computer that I started to play around with and learn more about.
I still have a long way to go, but I finally had the time to start. And starting a project is fun, keeps you busy and seeing the end result is just incredibly satisfying.
I acquired extra skills related to blogging and marketing during the past months. I attended some courses from Future Learning and am doing more research on topics that I want to improve on and that I am interested in.
I am investing more time in learning and being stuck inside definitely helped with that. I mean what else was there to do?
BEING APPRECIATIVE AND GRATEFUL
Last but not least, I learned to be more appreciative and grateful for the things I have.
Almost all of my friends are furloughed. I am not going to hide the fact that I was a bit, well not jealous, but the thought of having some time of that was paid was very appealing.
I love to work and I would not want it any other way, but reading posts and articles from people that got so much done while being furloughed, learning new skills, taking up new hobbies and so on sounded great. And as time is always something that we cannot get back and that is such a precious resource, it sounded better than it actually was/is.
I met two friends recently and they told me about their experience being furloughed. They said the first few weeks were great, but now feelings of uncertainty and anxiousness are taking over as they do not know if they will have a job to go back to or not. They cannot go anywhere, they are stuck at home binge watching Netflix and one day feels like the previous one, always the same.
That opened my eyes completely and made me realise, that I am really lucky and that I should be grateful for what I have and my situation.
Do I want to have more time of? Yes, of course! But accepting reality and making the most of it is all we can do.
I am so lucky that lockdown has not affected me too much and I can see that now reflecting on the past months.
I am grateful that I have a job, when so many lost theirs or are furloughed. I am grateful for having a big park around the corner to go to for relaxation and walks. I am grateful for having a person at home to get through this lockdown and share the experience with me, it must be hard going through this alone.
As you can see, there are lots of positive things and outcomes as a result of lockdown. I am sure some of you will have experienced similar situations and outcomes.
Remember, we cannot change a situation or circumstance, but we can manage it. We control our actions and negativity will not take you anywhere.
The glass should always be half full.
WHAT ARE YOUR POSITIVE OUTCOMES AS A RESULT OF LOCKDOWN?