We’ve reached week twelve of lockdown and although things are easing up, it’s safe to say that everyone is feeling the strain. I must admit, I don’t quite know where I’m going with this article, as I’ve found through speaking to other people that everyone seems to have different attitudes and emotions in response to the lockdown. However, I’m hoping to cover a few things that I’ve noticed in my personal life.
From looking at me and my brother, you can see two opposing approaches to lockdown – one productive, and the other more laid-back.
Lockdown has given me a chance to do some of the things that I’ve been wanting to do for a while
If you ask any of my friends, they will all tell you that I cannot sit still. We’ve all come back from a year abroad. We have no exams, no real preparation for next year, and I’m launching myself into several things. This involves preparatory reading for a final-year dissertation, learning several new languages, and writing and editing for The Boar. My brother was supposed to be doing his A-Levels, and he’s just chilling which, of course, involves mocking me for my approach. A lot.
As someone who is very ambitious and has many aspirations, lockdown has given me a chance to do some of the things that I’ve been wanting to do for a while. The great thing is that they’re not necessarily academically inclined. One of the first things I did in lockdown was reorganise one of my cupboards, and I’ve reached a point where I’m working out six days a week. Having had been diagnosed with juvenile arthritis at two years old, this is quite a feat for me.
Although, as we get further into lockdown, and I’m not really going out a lot as I’m immunosuppressed, it gets harder to motivate myself. Having said this, I find switching projects, or taking a break and coming back helps – at the end of the day, you still have to listen to what your brain and body want and take that into account.
He’s doing a much better job of listening to what his body and mind want
My brother is the complete opposite of me. He’ll sleep until late, and when he does wake up, he’ll snack or make something more substantial, and do things like play Xbox or see his mates for a socially distanced barbeque. While it irritates me that he’s like this as I then have to do the bulk of the housework, I also blame the need for me to be inside a lot for this and I need to learn to respect this outlook too. He’s doing a much better job of listening to what his body and mind want – something that’s especially important at the moment. For my brother, he’s living his best life.
When we look back on lockdown, it will be for two things. We’ll question what we have learned, whether that be a skill or something about our families and ourselves. We’ll also consider whether we lived our best lives in lockdown. The latter might be harder to achieve, given that lockdown has put so many restrictions on us. It might also be hard for you if you are used to being the productive type and now find that lockdown has just taken it out of you.
Yet, if you can say to yourself months from now that your mind and body were fulfilled and there is one happy memory you can salvage from a generally depressing experience – that’s all that anyone can ask. I’m not asking you to forget the hardships or anything like that – there have been dark times for me in this lockdown too. It’s the positive memories that override them that counts.