Good morning, everyone! Welcome back, I hope that you are well and safe.
Today is Wednesday the 8th July – roughly four months since #lockdown was first imposed here in London. You do not need me to tell you how awful this pandemic is, but the extra lockdown time may be the very silver lining located amongst this misery.
This blog post is going to be all about what I have been up to throughout lockdown and what I have learnt – I am sharing this with you in hopes of sparking some inspiration in anybody who is feeling up to doing something new today.
I recently graduated from my undergraduate degree in English, meaning that I finally have had enough time on my hands to catch up on my recreational reading, and being in lockdown has gifted me with more time to do so. To me, there is simply nothing that is more fulfilling in life. I’ve been reading fiction, non-fiction, romance, sci-fi, mystery, crime, thriller – whatever you like, I’ve been reading. Believe me – I have the amazon cart and the upset bank account to prove it.
In light of the black lives matter movement, reading has become even more important. Staying educated throughout social injustice is vital. Ignorance is just not an option anymore. I saw a great quote recently on an instagram account which I really agreed with:
You are personally responsible for becoming more ethical than the society you grew up in.Instagram account @bykellymalka
In my previous blog post, #BLACKLIVESMATTER What can I do to make a difference? I featured a list of black authors and great books that offer enlightenment on the BLM movement, and highlight why a revolution is so incredibly necessary right now. You can find that here. One of my personal favourite authors is none other than Miss Angelou. I have been re-loving Letter to my daughter, I know why the caged bird sings and And still I rise all throughout lockdown. Their lessons stick to me like hot caramel long after I’ve finished the book. I really recommend that you get your reading on!
Spending less time with my phone, more time with the fam.
As a twenty-year old city girl, it is slightly inevitable (not really, but let’s shift the blame a little here) that the first thing I do when I wake up is check my phone, the last thing that I do before going to bed is to check my phone – and every other hour in the day, I also spend checking my phone. With what seems like one thousand and three things to do, obsessing over cellular devices becomes a part of a ‘habit routine’. Scrolling through Instagrams, Snapchats and Twitters have also always worked as entertaining treats at lunchtimes, bedtimes and every other ‘times of the day. Reading back on this now, all I can think is gosh – how shallow! There’s more to life, girl!
Throughout lockdown, work has slightly relaxed. And having graduated, I’m no longer typing at a dissertation evermore. I don’t need to be obsessively checking my emails, and I absolutely don’t need to be refreshing feeds constantly. Instead, I spend so much more time with my family, and have tried to focus my energies on the now. If there is anything that Corona has taught me, it is to appreciate the people around me more. I hope this is something that you can consider too!
Becoming a morning babe.
Waking up a 7am, and in bed by 11? Who is this?!
I went from being a total night owl, to rising and sleeping with the sun. I have to tell you – it feels great. You don’t realise how much of the day you miss out on just by waking up an hour earlier, until you are actually waking up an hour earlier. It feels like there’s a whole new world before you (maybe I am exaggerating the tiniest bit – I am an English graduate after all…) There is so much more structure to my day, and I am way more productive!
That extra bit of time really comes in handy when you want to spend those extra few minutes finishing off that chapter from that book you’re reading in bed, or those extra few minutes sitting in your towel after showering, or maybe even those extra few minutes to really enjoy your breakfast. More than anything, waking up early is great for mental health. Anxieties and worries about postgraduate applications are distant memories because I had that extra hour in the morning when I filled everything out and sent it off. You see what I mean?
I can’t believe I’m saying this but…exercise.
My mum gifted me with a Fitbit Charge 3 watch a couple of weeks ago. Ever since, I have been slowly reeling myself into the world of fitness. It started with a small obsession with fulfilling the daily required steps, and then slowly into small doses of easy exercise, and get this – now I’m at daily workouts! I can’t believe it either. I am the least active person you will ever meet in your life. I love to dance, always have – but that is as far as I will ever get to exercising. Thanks to Fitbit and their coach app, I actually quite enjoy it.
There are various different programmes, lots of different workouts and tailored exercises that help to push you further towards your goals, whatever they may be. Personally, I have been focussing on strength training, because, to be very honest with you, I really would love to do just one flipping push up. I have never been able to do one, and now seems like as good a time as any to pick it up. I’m on my way to getting much stronger, and I’m so happy about it! Waking up early and knocking out an hour of exercise and then having a nutritious breakfast also makes me feel like I’m in an episode of sex and the city. And that’s the way life should be, am I right?
Finally – get rid of those expectations.
It’s okay if you wake up on a Monday morning after tons of motivational chatters from Sunday night and it dawns on you that all you want to do is lie in bed for as long as humanely possible. Cut yourself some slack. There is so much going on in the world right now, and it can all feel incredibly daunting. Some days you may feel you can muster up the strength to face it all, and other days you may feel like the only place your strength can deliver you to that day is the other side of the bed…and that’s fine!
At the beginning of lockdown I found myself struggling immensely, and even the thought of being productive was enough to send me straight back into a snooze. Social media was doing a great job at putting down people who hadn’t learnt a new language, a new skill or baked a loaf of banana bread – what was up with that anyway? People went banana bread crazy for a week and I never heard anything of that again… My point is, do what you can, when you can, and how you can. It’s taken me this long to sort myself out and that’s just fine with me 🙂
Sending all of my love!