This post is a little different compared to my usual content, however this is a topic I’ve wanted to cover. This is a chatty post so grab your favourite drink, a snack and get comfy. So here in the UK we are now gradually coming out of lockdown and I thought I’d take this time to reflect on the last few months. When this pandemic began, I was still at university preparing for my second term assignments so it’s fair to say I was a bit distracted, I was more focused on getting through my first year at university. I remember it being a Friday, I had just went to do the shopping at Aldi there was long queues and people panic buying. Little did I know this would be my last time in a shop for over 3 months…
It’s fair to say this lockdown has not been easy for a range of reasons. First of all, as someone who struggles with their mental health having your routine and life turned upside down causes a large amount of anxiety and uncertainty for the future. Every day was the same. My mum has still been working full time from home and my two-year-old brother Archie (shown in photo) wasn’t at nursery, so I looked after him every day – this wasn’t easy and I still have no idea how we managed it. His whole routine was disrupted, and he had no idea why, he no longer saw all his friends and teachers, everyday it was only me, him and mum. He dealt with it so well and we had mostly good days apart from a few one offs. Although it was tough, I’m so happy that I have been able to spend this time with him and see him grow in so many ways especially with his speech improving.
Something I don’t openly talk about is my own mental health however I wanted to be honest in this post about what it has been like in lockdown. I struggle with anxiety pretty much on a day to day basis and have done so for about 6 years now, the way I kept it under control was having routines and creating lists of things I need to do. At the start of lockdown, I could still create my lists as I needed to complete my assignments for university however once these were gone, I had nothing left planned to do. Then to top it all off my plans of getting some sort of work experience over the summer was no longer there and I couldn’t go in work to do overtime so if I’m honest I felt completely lost and didn’t know what to do with myself. Towards the end of June/start of July is when it hit me the worst, I was so exhausted I had no energy left everyday started to become even more of a struggle and I tried my best to keep going and focusing on the positives as much as I possible could. If you follow me on my social media you might of noticed quite a few days in the last two weeks I haven’t been very active compared to usual as I spent my days resting and building myself back up again so I could start getting back to a better headspace again.
I had not realised going into the lockdown was so much easier than getting out of it. At first going into to lockdown was simple, I was able to start exercising and getting healthy again, shops were closing so I spent all of my days in my house, running or taking my brother out for a walk and I was furloughed from my part time sales advisor job. The worst part was not seeing my family luckily, we video called each other on WhatsApp every night at 6. Months pass and then all of a sudden, non-essential shops were opening up, the streets were busier, and more cars were back on the road – I have to admit I loved driving when there was nobody out and about. At this point I still had no reason to go out into any shops so I never did I sticked to the same routine as before: taking my brother out for a walk and going out on runs every other day to keep me busy but this wasn’t enough my mental health was deteriorating so I started this blog (click here to see more of why I started it). This blog and also my Instagram @beingbeth_ has helped distract me and give me something to do as well as helping build up my confidence which is something I have always struggled with. Weeks were passing by and I still wasn’t back at work, the only shop closed in the town centre is where I worked, I had no idea when we were going to open or if we ever were ever going to open again. This was a scary thought and caused anxiety as I had already planned out my budget for the next few months and I was relying on money from my job as well as my maintenance loan from university. Finally, on the 22nd July I got the news that I would be returning to work the next week to start preparing for reopening on the 1st August, this was such a relief as it’s a start to having a little bit of normality back into my life although it will be a new routine I needed to get used to again.
Overall lockdown has been a whirlwind of emotions good and bad; I know everyone’s lockdown experience will be completely different and I know for a lot of people it has been really tough and been a struggle mentally and physically. It’s easy to focus on the negatives things that have happened over the last few months – these can be extremely overwhelming I know! Writing this post has really helped me reflect on what’s happened and how much I have actually developed as a person in 5 months. I recommend you spend some time reflecting on the time in lockdown the positives and the negatives it really puts everything into perspective. I hope if your reading this and you have felt similar to me it shows you are not alone and if you have any questions or want to chat about your experience either comment on this post, email me or message me over on my Instagram @beingbeth_ – I will reply as soon as possible.
Don’t forget to like, comment and subscribe to get notified when a new post is published. I Hope you all have a lovely rest of the week and see you next Sunday with another new post! Beth x