I was not sure if I should publish this article because I would not want to offend anyone. COVID-19 is terrible. People are dying, and I don’t think anyone, is contesting that. So, with that in mind, I thought that yes, I will publish my thoughts… so here goes!
Lockdowns, restrictions on movement and being forced to stay at home. The strict rules in place across the UK to stop the spread of Covid-19 are forcing us to rethink how we live our lives.
At the start of lockdown, I was quite miserable. Like so many others, my business is now temporarily closed, and I need to look at ways of reinventing myself to keep my spirits up and make sure I do not fall into a slump. In early April I launched a Facebook group called “3 Good Things” which has helped me tremendously. Because I am the founding member I felt obliged to post my three good things every day, which means that, like others, some days I've really had to dig deep.
It is now six weeks on, and I know many people have lost loved ones and put their own lives at risk, but keeping a positive mindset I thought I would share with you my top ten reasons why I'm grateful to lockdown. While the coronavirus pandemic can be deeply stressful, it also gives us the opportunity to take note of the things we typically take for granted.
#1 – The Chance to Slow Down
One thing I’m grateful for during this difficult time has been the opportunity to slow down and take things in my stride. I'm now more conscious about how I spend my time. I am not beating myself up if I am not out of bed by 6 am, I take time to stop and take photos and videos of flowers and wildlife on my walks. In in the evening, I have spent time looking up at the stars and find my mind wondering. I'm grateful for this time to clear my mind and enjoy the simple things in life.
#2 – A Supportive Family
During these stressful and overwhelming times, I have found that I am extremely grateful for my family and for our life together. Matt has been my rock through all of these adjustments and strives every day to make our lives easier. I know that I have not been the easiest person to live with as being cooped up in a house can make me a bit grumpy, but it's been ok. We eat together as a family more often, and we have even played chess and other board games which are usually only played at Christmas time!
I appreciate that not everyone has family around them and for some, this is an extremely lonely time. This will end.
#3 – Spend more time with our furry friends
I bet our dogs are super confused at the moment and wondering “will these humans ever get back to work?”. My dog is a 13-year-old cocker spaniel called Poppy. She has good days and bad days and has a massive lump/cyst on her stomach. During the lockdown, she has had lots of attention from the whole family and I am now loving my daily Poppy cuddles. If I was not in lockdown I certainly would not have spent this amount of time with my dog which I truly value as I don't know how much longer we have left with her.
#4 – I'm finding that more people are active than ever before!
As I go out on my daily walk, I am finding that more and more people are now going out for exercise. I am sure I have seen more runners than ever before, and it is great to see families venturing outdoors to enjoy their short burst of exercise. Due to the volume of people out and about I found that I needed to change my routine. I'm now discovering new footpaths and trails that I didn't know existed, and I am also walking more at different times of the day. Watching the sun come up with a dawn chorus in tow is magical and there is rarely anyone else around. I'm thankful to lockdown for showing me new areas of my home town.
#5 – I've learnt so many new skills
I have learnt so much in these last six weeks! The volume of podcasts that I have found myself listening too, the Mountain Leader Training has been amazing and I am now a Zoom expert! There is no way I would have consumed this much knowledge if I was not in lockdown, which I am very grateful for.
#6 – Time to reflect
I am especially grateful for this pause in life to be able to reflect on what’s important to me. Sometimes we get so caught up with our day-to-day obligations and we don’t take time to sit back and listen to what our inner voice might be telling us.
We find ourselves in a scary situation. So, if the lockdown does nothing, it should hopefully allow people to take a step back and reflect on what is working well in their life, and perhaps look at some changes that are not working quite as expected. I know that I will be making some changes.
#7 – Our green, green grass…
I've noticed how green everything appears at the moment. I think that we are lucky that the lockdown was forced upon us during springtime. And, what a fantastic spring it has been! I recall Easter a few years ago where I was scraping ice off the inside of my tent, but this year we have had glorious weather. I know not everyone has a garden or access to open land, but I'm grateful for having the opportunity to sit in the garden with the sun beating down on me while enjoying a glass of wine.
We are sharing photos of bluebells, wild garlic, forget-me-nots, bouncing lambs and little bunnies. If lockdown had happened a few months ago then life would have been much more miserable.
#8 – Lockdown is helping the environment
I have not used my car much at all in the last six weeks. This not only means that I have saved a considerable amount on fuel, but the drop in fuel emissions into the atmosphere means that air pollution will have fallen too. With limited travel, plane and train use have also dropped significantly which can only be a good thing for the environment. I guess the climate change people are doing a little dance at the moment!
#9 – A virtual community
I am absolutely blown away by the generosity of people. The support that people are giving each other in the “3 Good Friends” group is amazing – people do not know each other, but they still, find it in their heart to offer words of support and kindness.
There is a feeling of being united as a country. We are all in the same boat and everyone wants the same goal. I thought the clapping for the NHS would lose its momentum after a few weeks, but I find that each Thursday the support is getting stronger and stronger. People are now out with saucepans and wooden spoons to support our keyworkers. I think that is just brilliant. You can't go for a walk without spotting a rainbow or teddy bear in a window. There are boxes outside people's houses with all sorts of things inside accompanied by a sign saying “help yourself”.
Lockdown has given us a world that is kinder and for this I am thankful.
#10 – COVID19 – I'm grateful ….
- That we can't catch this awful virus by just breathing in air. (ie: we don't need to wear gas masks etc).
- That Covid19 is not in our water.
- That many people are surviving this dreadful virus and that it appears to not affect children in the same way.
- I'm grateful that we are not suffering from food shortages. Even though the shelves were a bit thin on the ground we have never gone hungry.
- I'm grateful that we live in an era where we have the best scientist, and companies such as Apple and Google are on board to assist with technology to get this virus under control.
- I'm super grateful for the internet right now!
In a nutshell
We will see an end to all this… eventually.
Will the world be different? Yes. I hope so. Doors will eventually open again, and we now know that businesses can survive by working from home. This, like everything else, will not last forever. I hope we continue to live in a world that is kinder, more gentle on the environment and live at a slower pace.
Despite how hard it may be to see in the midst of it, that we can all feel grateful for something.