Lockdown or Locked Down – Navjeet Kaur Soarnotyourwife1214
Three days before lockdown 2.0 started I was adamant that this time it was going to be different. I was going to be more productive, eat healthier, exercise more but most importantly, I was going to have a routine. Basically, I was going to start getting dressed for the day, with makeup, as if I was actually leaving the house, but in reality I’d be working from the living room while my toddler would walk up to my desk every so often to hand me half eaten snacks and hide under my chair.
We are lord knows how many days in and I’ve eaten a family multipack of crisps as a ‘light snack’, and binge watched The Undoing for most of this week, and it’s only Wednesday. I wore concealer, at the most, on Tuesday… my hairs been in a ‘messy’ bun since Saturday and my period has started today, which basically means that jeans are forbidden in this house now. Yep, my routines gone out the window along with anything that doesn’t contain chocolate, carbs or sugar.
But that’s the thing.
This whole idea of lockdown 2.0 makes us think that we need to do something better than the last time. We need to be more productive, outshine the banana bread craze, do something bigger, something better. Well, here’s a little a secret I learnt today..
You. Don’t. Need. To. Do. Any. Of. That. Hun. (whilst clapping wildly after each word)!
If anything, my period has been a massive wake up call, and quite a painful one too (Nurofen, I love you). When my period starts, my body literally shuts down. My back hurts, I’m achy and God forbid I sneeze! But during those couple of days, where it feels like a lifetime, I’ve learnt that I need to be kinder to my body and mind. If my back is hurting, I soothe it with a hot water bottle. If I feel down, I put on Bridget Jones with a cuppa and a biscuit. And that’s exactly what lockdown 2.0 is, a month long period.
It’s going to feel like forever, and it’s okay for you to feel that way, but it’s not okay for you to feel like you must conform to societal pressures and be the best every day. You’d think after the first lockdown we’d remember that our value isn’t defined by how much we’ve done, but we all fall victim to it and forget sometimes. It’s just remembering to give yourself a polite reminder that you need to be kind to yourself, to your mind and to your health.
This lockdown, I have one goal.
Being kind to myself. That’s it. It might sound piddly, and you might think, is that it? But after the first lockdown we all went through, don’t you think that’s enough? For days after the first lockdown I was upset that I didn’t lose weight, I was disappointed that I didn’t bake enough, and I was upset that I didn’t achieve much. And that’s where my mental health took a toll, where social media thought validation lay in what people were doing, rather than how they were feeling.
So, this time, it’s going to be different. Rather than bringing myself down for the things I haven’t done, I’ve started to take glory in the things I’ve achieved over this ‘unprecedented’ time. I’ve painted 3 walls of my living room and realised that 60 minute makeover was a lie. I’ve actually sat down and enjoyed a whole cup of tea without it going cold and I’ve started journaling, which takes a massive weight off my mind.
I know these aren’t massive life impacting things, but they’re enough to make me feel good about myself in this situation. And that’s enough.
The truth is there’s going to be days, weeks, or what I can confirm to be months where things just don’t go to plan. Sometimes you’ll do a weekly shop and end up having 4 takeaways that week, and sometimes you’ll cook every day and pretend you have a YouTube channel (don’t lie, we all do it).
You need to find what works for you, so whether it’s journaling to give your mind a rest, or going for a run to zone out for a bit, EVEN if it’s sitting in the kitchen, alone, with a cuppa.. if that’s what makes you feel better… do it!
Your mental health carries a lot more weight than the likes on your Insta posts, and the way you feel is more important than the way you look in skinny jeans.
We’re all trying to cope with lockdown 2.0 but sometimes we focus so hard on what hasn’t been done, we forget what we’ve achieved. Whether it’s a big thing or small thing, if you’ve done something that makes you feel that little bit better, then I’m proud of you. It’s another day you mustered the strength to understand that you can handle this.
By Navjeet Kaur Soar