What I have learnt doing lockdown/isolation alone.

Isolating alone (of course not completely alone because I had Chloe and I did do a post on that) has been super turbulent emotionally. You see a lot about people missing their families, being stuck at home with a partner, or at home with kids. But there are the few that had to do this stint alone. I’m not saying this for any sympathy or applause, but just wanted to show a glimmer of what it is and was like facing this uncertain time alone, with no human physical contact.

 In the UK it was not full lock down per say, we could go out for our 1 hour a day and we could go out to get our food or medicines. And I know for some countries this wasn’t the case and that was something to be grateful for. But boy, was the energy around London so heavy. When the weather was miserable it would only just intensify the collective mood of misery and fear and anxiety. But when the sun would come out with was a little burst of happiness in everyone’s day, and the joy would quickly disappear just as quickly as popping a mint in your mouth and be replaced by the anxiety, fear, anger, confusion or just Boredom again.

I always pride myself on being an independent human, with no need for other humans to get by. Let’s just say I was pretty good at self isolating prior to all this, I love my home and I have no problem staying in it and wandering around with the pooch. But what I soon came to realise is that I am like a cat, yes I’m ferociously  independent and a lone wolf in many ways but like a cat I want attention when I want it! I am an only child so being at home alone and keeping myself entertained isn’t a foreign concept to me at all. This time almost reminded me of school summer holidays and back then we had no internet, Netflix or iPhones to keep us entertained. I read lots, I started an arts and crafts project. Got a little bit more creative. Cleaned my house many times, avoided the wardrobe clean but finally tackled that. Listened to podcasts whilst I did these tasks made it seem like human interaction in some weird way. Oh I also listen to loads of audio books – my favourite is to listening to Harry Potter as I clean! It’s a wonderful experience – you should try it. I also valued my humans. The ones who I adore so much more. And made me realise that as connected as we all are, we are really not that connected half of the time in normal life. We are all busy and running around like headless chickens. So during this time I valued all the FaceTimes, what’s apps, zoom quizzes etc. the calls I enjoyed the most because there is something super connecting about those calls, we are all in this together and it was nice to be able to talk about everything and nothing at the same time! It was so old school too to just pick up a phone and call – which was highlighted  by me re watching the OC! 

As connected as we all were it can be exhausting too! From all the social interactions through screens and messages etc. So sometimes I just sat in silence and enjoyed the peace and quiet at home and dove into a book, or just wonder off for a nice long walk and sit and watch the ducks swim and just let my mind wonder. There was so much online about what people were and not doing. The pressures to look like you were thriving, baking up a banana bread storm or working out like a beast. And I just tried to keep to myself, even on my nook I tried to pair things back and just share little snippets and of course Chloe. There was a lot of pressure to be at ease with it all.

I did try to keep up a journal and on some days I honestly didn’t want to write because it was dark and heavy, and just honestly lonely or I felt like it was repetitive. So I tried to write 3 things I was grateful for that day! Whether it be as small as snuggles in bed with my Chloe or a long chat with my best bud, or finishing off my diamond art project. I tried and stayed grateful for all the little things. For all the little and big things to be grateful for, this time in isolation has shifted my perspective or things, and people in my life. It showed people’s true colours as we all shared this time at home. I found myself realising who are there for me, and who are my good eggs, and those humans have all been amazing and I am grateful for all of them! I did find myself bugging my parents for attention sometimes, like a toddler but I guess that was to be expected as I was home alone and who else can I call 75 times a day without them getting annoyed! I always say to them that I’m the monster they created ! 

I remember at the beginning of the whole situation there was a real sense of false positivity, everyone pretending or maybe actually being happy go lucky. But at the lock down kept on being extended it started to get hard. It seemed that people were either being super duper productive whilst others were finding it a little harder. Some people were shamed for being either from what I saw online. I realised everyone had their battles at this time, I found my days being the two extremes of either being a productive energiser bunny or a couch potato. I realise there was not right or wrong, and that to fill my time with things that made me content. We are all finding ways to cope and I think it is important to just make yourself happy, even if that means eating the whole loaf of banana bread that you just made. And yes, I may have done that.

I found myself being really hard on myself about not exercising – that was one thing I have struggled with. If you have been in this nook you might know that I love Kobox and I started pscycle and I really enhjoy a work out class. I have struggled with motivating myself to work out and I have just learnt to let go a little. I do bits when I want to, and I go for my walk and I try and eat as healthy as possible and not eat all the chocolate in the house. Which I remember doing in the first week as an immediate pick me. But its okay, I think what ever you can do to move your body is okay. But that is something I do struggle with.

This time was also reflective. With all the time alone meant thinking about my old relationships with friends or boyfriends or just life decisions. I was having wild dreams, with people I had seen or even spoken to in years! I know that’s normal at this time. But it was freaking me out. At first it was making me anxious but then I realised that those decisions were okay and have nothing to do with what’s happening now. And it’s okay to have this rollercoaster of emotions, because god knows what’s going on. So just ride that way wave, take each day as is comes and reach out to someone if you need to talk because people who love you will be there! You do not need a village of people to support you – you just need the good few. And I did find myself not wanting to bug friends for attention, they all have lives and a lot going on themselves, so I learnt to self sooth my emotions too. I soon realised that sometimes the down waves were a fleeting moment and if I wrote it down, or cleaned away my worries (tidy space tidy mind mentality) it washed over me. Having a little life to take care of was a great thing for me mentality and physically. I could not stay in bed all day, I had someone else to take of which was a good push out of bed when I did not want to leave my marshmallow of a bed. I found that making my bed would set the tone for the rest of my day. If I bothered to make it properly it meant that I was going to have a good day, what ever that meant for that day.

This time alone taught me that I am stronger than I think. Emotionally and even physically – which I am proud of. It also taught me that I need to appreciate my humans more, and I cannot wait to give them all a cuddle when I see them! I also realised to cut out the humans who drain me, and just keep those who enrich my life. This time has also made me realise the things I do want for my life and it has given me a little bit of a boost to get on with life. It also made me realise that as a human we all need that human connection, and as much as I praise myself as an introvert I do need to see other humans too charge up too. It made me value my parents, family and my besties and appreciate them a whole lot more.

I found joy in the simple things, like baking (which I used to do tones of back in the day), going for long walks, flowers, phone calls, painting my nails, and even cooking a bit more. I know this Nook I created was to share fashion beauty lifestyle etc . But at this time shopping wasn’t on my mind. And if I did buy something I bought it from an independent store because I know every time I bought something a human did a happy dance. But honestly I wasn’t in the mood to shop – it all seemed so irrelevant with everything going on! (but that is just my little thought) I also did a lot of interior planning and day dreaming so get ready for some interior content coming your way.

But I feel now with things going back to the new normal who knows what’s ahead of us… we are in this together! So let’s stay strong, be kind to one another and send positive vibes to anyone we meet (social distancing) ! 

Let me know in the comments how you found it during lock down – what did you learn or how did you get through it? 

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