As stressful as lockdown has been for many with furlough, uncertainty around jobs and the restrictions around not being able to see friends and family. It’s also had a silver lining, it’s given us all a chance to pause, reflect and utilise our time in different ways.
Our days that were once taken up with ridiculously long commutes, infuriatingly standstill traffic, long days at work (as apparently how long you sit at your office chair for equates to how amazing you must be at your job - who knew!) and then on top of the stresses of trying to ‘make it’ in our careers we’re balancing the fact we’re still in our twenties so let’s fit in mid-week drinks a couple of times, take up yoga in the morning, join that expensive but oh so Instagram worthy boutique gym, create kale smoothies from scratch at 6 am in the morning so the world can see how much we’re ‘bossing life’. Oh, and while we’re at it attend 2 different social gatherings at the same time, prep for that networking event, take some self-care time, attempt to go on at least one successful date a month and of course visit home because at some point your parents do need to know you’re alive in the middle of your super jam-packed, stressful and time-driven life.
Then lockdown happened.
And we all got a chance to breathe again.
To just pause, relax and actually think whether everything we were doing in our normal lives was worth returning back to. And for a lot of it, it isn’t. The attitude towards work is changing, with many people being forced to work from home, companies are now realising that ‘bums on seat’ don’t actually mean that anyone’s being more productive. Now working from home is an option, it’s more flexible, meaning those commutes that took up half of our lives are disappearing.
Also the amount of time we spent on dinners out, mid-week drinks, a yoga session followed by a spin class, is also disappearing. We’ve gotten used to experimenting from home with dinners, the fact no one can judge you as you open your second bottle of wine while cooking. Mid-week drinks at fancy cocktail places have instead become us turning up to our friends’ houses holding a bottle of prosecco, probably still in our loungewear, ready to chat the night away and put on our own fabulous playlist, that’s much better than that swanky one they play in town anyway. It means we’re saving money, that it’s less pressure to be Instagram ready, what we’re doing now is actually just enjoying our time with the people that matter the most.
We’ve ditched the expensive gym classes. Instead, following our favourite fitness stars on social, like Courtney Black. And some of us (just some) have actually got into running outdoors, mainly for how good our minds feel after it.
With all these changes and extra time on our hands, we actually had the chance to think long and hard about what we want to do with this extra time. Start that passion project, that side hustle, the blog you’ve always wanted to write, perfect that banana bread recipe, learn how to make pornstar martinis from home. This changing of the world I think has actually been a blessing in disguise to help us all stop and reflect. As millennials (most of us) we’re always trying to do everything, be perfect at everything, please everyone and do it all while looking Instagram ready.
Lockdown gave us the chance to hit pause, it probably stopped us all from having a burnout in a couple of years’ time.
So I say, carry it on! Now that the world is opening back up again, lockdown is lifting, don’t go back to what you knew.
Implement lessons you’ve learnt from this weird chapter we’ve all just experienced. Don’t go rushing back to trying to do everything.
Carry on with your passion project, say no to mid-week drinks if you don’t actually want to go (you’ll probably have to wear a mask anyway!). Remember to carry on having some you time, using what used to be your commute to practice some self-care. Read a book, have a bath, carry on learning that random language you chose to start at the beginning of lockdown because it would be cool to say ‘I love you’ in Italian.
Do whatever you want, just remember don’t rush back to a life that wasn’t necessarily better. It was just different.
Let’s remember what lockdown taught us, that slowing down is good, not being in a rush to do and achieve a million and one things is good, focusing less on work and more on ourselves is good.
I’m not rushing back to my pre-lockdown life and I don’t think you should either. We’ve evolved, we’ve adapted and we’re different people. And that is only a good thing!
Pause, reflect, adapt and do what makes you happy now, not what made you happy pre-lockdown.
Blog post author: Hattie Campbell
Hattie is a twenty-something Influencer Marketing Executive from Manchester. who is passionate about providing people, especially girls, a secure place to ask questions, that they might have previously thought were silly.
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