100 Days in Lockdown: Learning to Love the "In Between"

Hey Owlets,

I can't believe I'm even writing this but we've passed the 100 days in lockdown mark - given that the government said it would be for 3 weeks initially I think a lot of people weren't prepared for it to last this long. I realise that just sitting down and chatting isn't something I tend to do much of anymore, and because of this I've neglected my blog pretty badly over the last three months. In all honesty I've found it hard to think of anything to write because I'm not doing anything - at the start I still had loads of ideas of articles to write, loads of topics to cover & behind-the-scenes stories from trips to laugh about as I shared them with you, but when most days have blurred into one it's been hard to find the motivation to write. As well as this, my boyfriend has always worked really long hours so I was being a bit selfish by making the most of having every day together while my blog gathered dust.

A lot has changed in the last 100 days, with me as well as the world as a whole. For years I've been insistent that every day of my life should be jam-packed with things to do and doing nothing was pretty much a crime in my book, because you never know what's around the corner and I didn't want to feel like I'd ever wasted even a few minutes. Adjusting from the "always busy" mindset to "I actually can't do anything" was incredibly difficult, but if I stop to process the last 100 days of nothingness I don't necessarily think it's been bad for me; maybe I needed something to come along and force me to slow down. I freely admit that I am so much calmer than I was 100 days ago, both in a sense that my personality has mellowed because I'm not always running at 110% and that I've gotten a little bit better at just taking things as they come - not saying I'm totally calm, because my Dad proof reads my articles for me and I can already hear him laughing at me calling myself calm, but I think even my family can admit that I've gotten just a little bit better.

As well as getting over the guilt of taking days off, I've gotten a lot more disciplined. I realise that sounds a little contradictory when I'm saying I always need to feel busy, but just because I'm busy doing something that doesn't mean I was busy doing the right thing - I would quite often disappear off somewhere new rather than taking the time to sit down and write/edit the content I'd created on my previous trip, or I'd go visit friends instead of working. Being locked in a house with Jack for 3 months it's forced me to realise that I can't always do the nicest things - yes I'd rather spend my time with Jack but I also love my blog and I felt really guilty not putting so much effort into it. Jack went back to work a few days ago and where it would be really easy for me to carry on watching TV when he's out the house, I've actually found myself wanting to be productive. I've started writing, editing and organising my photos and looking forward to working my way through a to-do list again. I'm starting to think that a bit of a mental reset was exactly what I needed.

Talking of the "day off guilt" I've learned to appreciate that sometimes you can't do everything in one day, you do have to be a little patient and it's ok to take a break if you need to. It's fair to say I've learned a lot about myself and my thought processes during lockdown, and being both a perfectionist and one of those people who has to do everything straight away when they set their mind to it has it's shortcomings as well as it's benefits. If I had £1 for every time I've heard the words "be patient" come out of Jack's mouth in lockdown we would be set for life! I do feel for him though, as having stressed myself into a nervous wreck at the start I've begun to annoy myself, so I can only imagine how frustrating it was dealing with me. 

One major thing I have to point out is something that you have probably already realised - we waste A LOT of time on our phones when it's totally unnecessary. When we were under the strictest lockdown guidance my screen time was up to 9 hours - I'm not even sure how that's possible or what I was doing! By cutting down the amount of time I spend on my phone I've given myself chance to focus on more worthwhile activities even if they're not productive. Doing some drawing or colouring, or playing a game keeps me off my phone and makes me feel like I've done something as well as giving my brain a chance to de-stress.

Given that at the start of lockdown I was anxious for what was about to happen, I'm now anxious again for things to return to normal. I've always been someone who hates change and finds it hard to deal with, so changing my entire lifestyle repeatedly is really scary. I'm fully aware that I am quite privileged to live in a nice area, but to go from constantly being busy and travelling to sitting on a beach all day everyday to "?",  I can't help but be a little nervous of what's to come next.

 As people go back to work and businesses prepare for reopening it feels as if everyone thinks that COVID-19 has ceased to exist. While I know this may not be true of everywhere, at least in our town everyone has stopped social distancing or wearing masks and I now have to dodge out of the way or jump towards hedges in order to maintain a safe distance, and it really frustrates me. The virus hasn't disappeared, and even if you don't care about others you should still be concerned for your own health. Likewise, yes some businesses are open but that doesn't mean that everything is done now. Day 100 is a big milestone and to most people I think it felt like the finish line, but it's not. I know it's difficult but there's still a long way to go. Keep safe, keep doing the best you can to look after your mental health and try to see even one positive from your current situation. We'll get there soon. 

Love and Feathers, 
 The Owlet 💜 
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