SKILLS I’VE LEARNT IN LOCKDOWN

On Thursday 19th March we were told schools & businesses were closing and we all had to go home. As a dance teacher and owner of a Theatre School I had to make the heart breaking decision to temporarily close my school.

Initially we thought it would just be for a couple of weeks so my business partner & I spent that Saturday filming some classes so our students could practice at home.

It soon became apparent that this was going to be for a much longer period of time and I needed to find ways to keep my business running and so within the first week of lockdown I had set up my entire business as an online learning platform ready to start teaching my classes via Zoom.

Zoom, the tool we’re all so very familiar with now, was completely unknown to me but myself and many many other business owners & workers knew we had to learn fast & so we did. I’m lucky that my husband is very good technically so he helped me hugely in the early days thank goodness as I wouldn’t have had a clue, however I’m proud of the fact that I learnt fast and am now running everything very successfully online. Like almost everyone else in the world we’re also doing loads of quizzes via Zoom too and I’ve quickly learnt how to share the screen, share audio, use break out rooms etc.

On a personal level I’ve also used this time to brush up on my writing skills and I’m currently writing a series of children’s books which I’m absolutely loving. I’ve bought myself a mini greenhouse and I’ve started growing vegetables which I’m finding very therapeutic & I’m loving having more time to cook for my family.

I did start a bit of knitting but I soon realised I wasn’t going to be great at it and it was more frustrating than therapeutic!!!!! Oh well, I had a go!

I love reading and I’ve been able to relax into a few books I’ve had sat unread on my Kindle app for months which has been heavenly.  

I’m just loving & making the most of having the time to do all these things that I can’t usually fit in to my hectic life.

But the skills I’m most proud of improving are building up my confidence and also being someone that other people can turn to if they need me.

As a teacher, I’ve always been an agony aunt and surrogate mum to so many children & during lockdown my biggest fear has been & still is for kids mental health. So many of my pupils parents have sent me wonderful messages of thanks for keeping their children motivated & happy throughout this unsettling time for them which makes me very proud. If I can make people happy and be a tiny part of getting them through this then I’ve done my job.   

As a mum I’ve loved being there constantly for my own children, they’re both growing up fast and, much as I’m desperate for them to have their lives back, I’ve loved and cherished having this time with them. We’re a strong close family anyway, but being together 24/7 hasn’t been anywhere near as testing for us as some people seem to be finding it as we’ve all learnt to give each other space when we need it, be there for each other when we need it & to have fun and laugh a lot. This lockdown has reminded all families what really matters and to get our family values back. What better skill could we all brush up on than that?

For me personally I’ve found this time very cathartic and it’s given me space to step back for a little while from a life that was getting too busy & too crazy and to learn to slow down, not feel guilty for taking time for me and really finding a confidence in myself that I was lacking before this. These are skills and changes I’m determined to continue when this is all over.

So, as hard as this period in our lives has been, and is continuing to be for the foreseeable future, I’m proud to have brushed up on many skills that had been pushed aside for a long time and to stay positive & strong in times of adversity.  

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