PERMANENT CHANGES I NEED TO MAKE FOR THE BETTER AFTER LOCKDOWN

It has certainly been a strange past few months for everyone!

Covid has brought with it heartache, stress, worry, loneliness, financial hardship and many other repercussions that will materialize over the next few weeks and months. But people never fail to amaze me and bad times always bring out the best in good people and the worst in bad people.

The sight of our amazing NHS staff and thousands of people clapping every Thursday couldn’t fail to warm even the hardest heart and seeing how creative people could be entertaining and helping others through difficult times has been wonderful to see.

Everyone’s been on their own personal journey and I know for me it’s given me time to think and reflect on my life before this crisis hit.

I’m a wife & a working mum of 2 children aged 15 & 12 and I run my own busy business. Like many working mums I spend most of my week dashing from one place to the other often sat in heavy traffic, trying to be the best mum, wife, daughter, sister, friend, teacher, house keeper, cook, domestic goddess etc etc whilst trying to squeeze in some kind of social life! In short I was exhausted, working too many hours, bringing my work home with me every day and not feeling like I was spending enough time with my own kids as I was so busy teaching other peoples and any time for any kind of self care was non existent.
I wasn’t feeling well and I was feeling in a rut to be honest.

Then Lockdown happened! Don’t get me wrong, I was devastated to close the doors of my dance school not knowing if I’d have a business to go back to and it was a very worrying time keeping loved ones safe from the virus. BUT, as a family, we got into a rhythm instantly & I loved it.

Being so busy, I actually relished a few weeks at home with my family and I have adored cooking lovely meals & sitting down to eat together every night as a family and just spending such quality time with them. As a business owner I could only take 3 weeks maternity leave for both of my children when they were born and is something I bitterly regret now but at the time I had no choice, so I’m seeing this as my delayed maternity leave, albeit I am still working from home during lockdown.

But it’s also changed my mental perspective on things. I don’t have a thick enough skin for my job and I take so much to heart. I was improving on this and I truly do live by ‘If it wont matter in 5 years time don’t give it more than 5 minutes thought now’ but actually, most things don’t matter in 5 weeks or even 5 days time never mind 5 years and at the end of the day, all that really matters is the health and happiness of our own family & friends.

I also used to feel dreadfully guilty if I wasn’t constantly working and doing something, but this time has made me realise the importance of self care and relaxation. I’ve still been working hard at my job but when I stop, I stop and it’s time for my family, the home and me. It’s made me 100% happier and I feel 100% healthier for it too.

So what should we all take from this unusual period of time?

Life was so fast and busy before and I am definitely going to be cutting my working hours down. My family come first and that is what is important and I won’t be replying to messages and e mails at ridiculous hours of the day when it’s my personal time, or worrying about a silly work problem that really doesn’t matter .

Maybe this period of time came along to teach us all something, to stop running around with blinkers on and to slow down, breathe and appreciate what’s around us.

I’m also going to be continuing to walk more, appreciating the beautiful place where I live which is good for my soul and also taking care of myself more. Self Care isn’t self indulgent its vital for bodily and mental health. If you don’t take care of yourself how can you look after those around you?

So as things are starting to return to our ‘new normal’ we must remind ourselves not to fall back into the trap of needing to be constantly busy but remember all the wonderful memories we created with our families during this time and continue to find time for ourselves!  

Easier said than done? Maybe! But we’d be fools to fall back into the trap we were all in before & we have to learn from everything the past 4 months have taught us.

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