March trickled by in a, sort of, syrup-slow golden haze, meandering towards those gleaming goal posts of so-called lockdown restrictions easing. Like so many of you, I didn’t let myself believe that it would ever end. In many ways, lockdown hasn’t ended – the pandemic rages on, hundreds of thousands of us are yet to be vaccinated… But restrictions have lifted and there’s been a palpable shift in the mood all-round.
I’ve made no secret of the fact that this lockdown was hard. Really hard. Between general British winter doom, a breakup from a long-term relationship and constant terrible news, I’m pretty proud of the fact I’m managing to keep things ticking, even if that’s at snail’s pace!
A Spring in My Step
A few months ago, I journalled about how I was beginning to see that my mood drastically aligns with the weather. How British can you get, right? When it’s grey outside, I feel grey. And now that April’s showers have cleared, my own mind feels much clearer. I’m willingly getting dressed again! My hair is brushed! I’m drinking water before feeling dehydrated! Small wins for some, but they feel pretty monumental for me at the moment.
The other evening, my sister and I logged off from work at 5.05pm, made homemade bubble tea and sat outdoors in the garden for an hour in the spring sunshine. It was such a welcome tonic, and even helped my evening to slow down in general. Not sure how the time science worked there, but it did! It made me feel so positive about how the next weeks might unfold, too.
Continuing to Stay In
Having said that, I’m still staying at home. I haven’t managed to book any alfresco dining or coveted pub tables, , and the thought of attempting to stay somewhere that isn’t home sends me into an anxious spiral. I mentioned to my sister that I feel like I’m still in the 29th March stage of lockdown easing, where we could meet up outdoors. In fact, I haven’t even indulged that one yet! I’m yet to see more than one friend at a time, but that’s okay because that’s not quite been on my personal roadmap.
I’m not putting any pressure on myself this spring and summer to claw back ‘normality’. My normality is much different now and I’m oh so okay with that. There’s a picnic in the park with THREE friends scheduled in that I’m cautiously excited for. But, mostly, time spent surrounded by love and support, and the ability to pop to a few places if it takes my fancy. I’m sure it’ll take my fancy soon.
Perhaps, as I shared in a post last week, it’s from turning 30 last month, but this lockdown brought me undoubtable clarity. A clearer vision of how my weeks should look if I want to feel a certain way, a knowing that my friends and family are incredibly supportive and mutually understanding of how we feel about The Outdoors Situation. It’s also helped me to see clearly how I’d slipped into fairly toxic habits and mindsets. Extra time at home – and with my own thoughts – has helped in starting to overcome those. I’m learning what healthy habits are and how to set (and keep) boundaries, how to prioritise myself rather than scrabble for others all the time.
How are you finding this transitional after-lockdown period?