My love/hate relationship with lockdown
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Editor David Powles explores his love/hate relationship with lockdown.
Is anyone else finding that their general mood swings from one extreme to the next much more easily during these testing times?
One day it will be all sunshine and roses in the garden and you feel like you’ve got this, you’re on top and just about still managing to win at life. The very next, the clouds gather and it feels like a struggle to sum up anything even resembling motivation.
I think it’s important we all realise these types of feelings are completely normal given the extremity of the situation right now and the challenges we’re all going through, some of them very similar, others unique.
They say a problem shared, is a problem halved, so with that in mind here are the things I’m currently loving about lockdown life right now - and some I’m loving to hate. How many do you recognise?
LOVE TO HATE
The pressure to get things done. The best bit of advice I’ve read so far during lockdown is that it’s okay to just get through life at the minute. It’s alright to simply exist and aim to come out the other side with hopefully health and sanity intact. It’s very easy to be inside your house every day, see the jobs that need doing and put yourself under pressure to get them done. When you don’t that will only make you feel worse. If you can put up that painting, paint that wall or frame those pictures in 2020 see that as a bonus - if you can’t, dont sweat it. It’s achievement enough just to get through the small matter of a worlwide pandemic.
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The worry that everyone else is doing better than you are at this. In normal times social media can have a real negative impact on people’s well-being by portraying a false image that everyone else is having a great time - when maybe you are not. I think that can be even more so during lockdown, when there’s even more time to think and fester. If you are not able to get outside for fresh air and exercise every day, don’t stress about it. If you struggle with homeschooling, while everyone else seems to be doing great, just do the best you can. I can assure you everyone is having bad times, but hopefully some good ones too.
What is there to look forward to? I’ve noticed that several of my friends appear to be in a lull right now. Many weeks of lockdown starting to take its toll. I think one reason for this is the growing noises about 2020 being a write off for many of the enjoyable things we take for granted in life. I think we’re conditioned to deal with bad times, if we know they’ll be a light at the end of the tunnel and right now we’re right in the middle of that tunnel. But fear not, time moves fast, even during these lockdown periods. Seasons change and brighter skies and the things we all love to do will be on the horizon soon.
Physical interaction. I’m not sure about you, but I never realised how important it was to me to be in the physical presence of someone to be able to properly appreciate their company. Video conferencing and phone calls have been great to stay in touch, but nothing beats a beer in the company of your mates, dancing to your favourite songs with your arms around friends and loved ones or the great big hug of your family. All of these WILL one day return.
Home schooling. Lockdown has had some great positives on our familiy life (see below), however home schooling a four-year-old and a seven-year-old has been a challenge and I know others feel the same. Trying to balance attention between children of different ages, with different skills, is hard. Then there’s the worry about what to teach them, will they listen and that almost constant nagging fear that you’re not doing enough and they’re falling behind. But please don’t worry, whatever you can do is a bonus and no child’s future prospects are going to be determined by a few weeks in lockdown. Meanwhile, teachers and school staff - we appreciate you even more now!
A better family bond. While this doesn’t feel the case right now as we struggle to get the eldest to do his writing, generally lockdown appears to have bonded my family-of-four more closely as a unit. If I’m honest it’s made me realise how I rush around too much in my life and therefore don’t spend as much quality time in their company as I should. I’m finding it easier to have fun with them, understand them and talk to them - unless they’re in the middle of a tantrum of course! In many ways I feel that children are better equipped to get through lockdown than we are. They go with the flow and so often just want to spend good quality time with their folks. That’s a bit easier now.
Getting to know the area. For the last two Saturdays my family and I have spent several hours walking around the fields outside of the village of Hethersett where we live. It’s crazy that in five years of being here I’m seeing things I never knew existed. In non-lockdown circumstances we simply would not have considered this as an option or imagined that our four-year-old could cope with a three-mile trek. I sincerely hope we do more of this when lockdown is over.
Running wild. A lack of others options has certainly helped my running speed and kept me on track for the London Marathon - whenever that may be. It’s also helping me to expore other areas and, by doing a bit of pre-planning, I am seeing more new parts of south Norfolk. That includes a gorgeous country park (Ladybolt) which, although just two miles away from home, I never even knew existed.
The music man. Music has been such an important part of the process of getting through this. They’ll be days when the radio is a great friend, others when friends and I share recommendations and listen to things for the first time and some when I delve back into lost classics and remind myself why music is such a vital and uplifting part of my life.
Time to reflect. You can have too much time to reflect, but also these few weeks have provided a great opportunity to work out what matters most in your life - and what doesn’t. No doubt so many of us will revert back to our old ways once normal life is resumed - but perhaps this will also help us to carry out changes that make us better and happier people in the long run.
I’d love to know what you love and hate about lockdown. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org