12 things I’ve learnt about myself during lockdown

I think its safe to say we’ve all learnt a lot

This year has been a difficult and scary one, forcing all of us to change almost every aspect of our lives. The lockdown period is may be tough but it has also acted as an eye-opener, helping us all to realise a lot of things about ourselves as we spend more time than ever in our own company. I’ve come to learn a few important lessons about myself as Ive come to terms with everything going on.

Im not as introverted as I thought I was 

I used to think of myself as a fully- fledged introvert, comfortable in my own company and happy to potter about my day as I please. However, after being involuntarily confined indoors for most of this year the restrictions have made me realise there is a side of me that really needs to be out and around people a lot more than I previously thought. Seeing people and interacting with them gives me more of a pick-me-up than I ever realised.

Being better and not bitter

Even though I was quarantined at home with my family, it was the first time I have been alone in my inside world more-so than my outside world. Its been hard to realise certain negative things about myself, and negatively comp are my life to others, but as much as I’ve panicked and moaned it I have embraced the free time as an opportunity to develop and better myself more creatively.

Even with unlimited time, multiple streaming channels, movies and television access, there is still nothing to watch. 

My years of viciously binge watching OINTB, Gossip Girl and Gilmore girls have come back to bite me, as I’ve realised unless there’s something new coming out soon I’ve pretty much watched every series I want to watch! Finding just the right movie or show you’ve never seen that goes perfectly with your current mood is an art I’m yet to master in lockdown… guess its reruns for me!

You can schedule and not stick to it

Being home for so long meant I threw myself into a intense routine of scheduling every part of my day, just to make sure I get it done. However  the act of writing that long list of jobs down, and actually getting all that done are two very different things, that often results with skipping the important stuff and ticking ‘baking cupcakes’ straight off the list. Lockdown taught me this is okay, sometimes you need to bake more than you need to go for a run.

Having ten tabs open all day every day, does not deflect me from my boredom. 

This is such a false face of productivity, just because the tabs are open, doesn’t mean I’m being proactive or I am focused, more often it serves as an excuse not to start working because there is so much to do! Opening one tab at a time and doing what needs to be done will always trump flitting between ten and not giving any of them much effort.

I’ve discovered I love plants but hate gardening

My room is like a mini jungle, an escape to my own corona-free paradise, but this love for plants does not extend out to sitting on my knees in the flowerbed. Covered in soil planting the bulbs for next spring just isn’t my idea of a good time, sorry mum it’s not for me.

Digital communications are a blessing and a curse. 

Without social media I wouldn’t have been able to stay connected with love ones, or alleviated boredom by binge watching Disney movies and Netflix documentaries, but spending all day on my phone isn’t great for physical or mental health. Everyone knows the feeling when you realise the hours you’ve spent on social media aren’t to connect with friends or entertain you any more, and somewhere along the way it just became mindless. Reducing my screen time by reading a book or painting instead of endless Instagram scrolling makes me feel better about myself and my day.

Ive learned that it is okay to sit and be idle

Working towards what I  want to accomplish is great, but equally it is completely okay to not be productive all the time, and to embrace time to reflect. The world might never stop, even in lockdown, but people need to.

Enjoy the simple pleasures

Being stuck in the house has forced me to learn how to entertain myself at home, and for society to return to a simpler life. Ive become more grateful of the simple pleasures, focusing more on a healthy diet, mental health and meditation. Taking time away from technology and enjoying physical activities like reading a book or planting in the garden with my mum.

The slowed pace of life has given us all a chance to catch our breath and something as simple, and previously unappreciated, such as an evening stroll alone or with the family can now actually be the highlight of one’s day.

I value time by myself much more than I originally did

Despite having always thought of myself as an introvert who is happy in my own company, thinking I would find this lockdown easy, it turns out I really miss seeing and talking to people face-to-face. That said, the way I spend my alone time now is far more productive and healing; I know now how to make the most of the time I spend with myself. Yes, I miss the smiles of others, but I know now that when I can’t see them I’m okay by myself.

Keeping on top of my health’s more important for my wellbeing than I thought.

I’ve learned about myself while self-isolating is that it’s so important to look after physical and mental health equally. Lockdown could never have been a case of sitting at home working, cooking, and sleeping on a repeat cycle. Getting out to stay physically fit is something not to forget, and wading through your thoughts each day for the sake of your mental health is just as vital to lockdown happiness! Fewer people around has allowed me to focus on my physical and mental health, giving  an opportunity to sit and reflect on my life, my strengths, weaknesses and  goals.

We’re all in this together

This isn’t something I am dealing with alone, this is a collective experience, and It is important to find comfort in that. We might all have off days and feel alone, and its important on those days to remember all the people we can’t see at the moment, to reach out and remind ourselves how much we matter to each other.