I often say this Coronavirus Pandemic has brought the best out in people and sometimes the worst or a combination of the two in lockdown. But I am weirdly thankful that whilst lockdown pushed me to an all time low in terms of my own mental health it has also given me a hyper focus on my goals and a speedy recovery.
“Even though I have grown during that time…I also hit my lowest,” is what I uttered when asked about what lessons I had learned in lockdown by my friend, blogger and MyBump2Baby directory founder Carla Lett for her podcast Fifty Shades of Motherhood.
In the show Carla, my other blogging buddy and content planning wizard Amy Downes of a Mum Full of Dreams and I, confessed to some of our worst ‘coping mechanisms’ to some of our best (and funniest).
It was great to ‘review’ our lockdown experience with these two talented women as we have been keeping one another going with our regular Whatsapp voice memos in which we have spoken about all things parenting, business, relationships, sex and pretty much everything that we have dealing with from serious issues to silly scenarios and conundrums… we have shared everything!
So whilst I won’t share Carla and Amy’s “secrets” other than what they reveal in the Lessons from Lockdown podcast episode which features our “threesome,” what I will share are some of my own confessions, reflections and ‘lessons.’
- Resilience: I am more resilient than I thought. Whilst a lot of people struggled with their mental health (especially those who had never had issues), for me it felt more manageable. Don’t get me wrong, I had moments or blips of bad mental health, but because I have always sought support for my problems and I have (now) found positive coping mechanisms to deal with challenges, I can cope with change and difficult circumstances better than I thought. “I get knocked down, but I get up again” (faster and stronger than before).
- Loneliness: I think we always experience(d) loneliness to some degree regardless of our situation. But there were times when I realised just how lonely I was living on my own and having the kids just over half the week, especially when I had to self-isolate with them and I couldn’t get to the shops and most of my family live at a distance. I have great friends who are like family however but at first I didn’t want to reach out because I knew everyone was struggling.
- Love always wins: “Love wins hate” is a quote I love! And after receiving hate mail in lockdown which really threw me, I started to receive even more messages of love and love letters which warmed my heart and helped me to realise that there is more good in this world than bad.
- I started my period: I had been so busy running around juggling career, kids, fitness and life challenges that I neglected my body and my mind and I am pretty sure through. stress my periods stopped. But in lockdown they well and truly came back to haunt me and made me realise that I need to start putting myself first and practice what I preach through… self-care. I also reflected on my ‘toxic productivity’ ways and pledged to change that.
- Rediscovering forgotten “talents”: So I found myself pondering on what “could have been”… I firstly wanted to be a football referee (so in lockdown I made a ball out of plastic bags with the kids as they were all sold out in shops), I then remembered my love of violin (luckily they were also sold out) and then I discovered my certificate in pole dancing (so I bought a pink pole for my lounge and thought I was still my nimble 18 year old self an jumped off it into the splits without stretching so pulled my hamstring!).
- My weird ‘crutches’: I found myself getting hooked on random things I could find in my local shops from a love of condensed milk with ice and bottle diet cream soda… I found a whole new weird outlet for my addictive personality. And disaster struck when the shops sold out…
- I decided that I would introduce ice breakers to a lot of my online meetings and coaching sessions by starting them with a dance or fitness challenge to get me and my colleague in the mood for our Zoom or Skype call. Some people loved it… others were less enthusiastic!
- I finally used my dishwasher…. To store fizzy drinks and bags of coffee… life’s essentials and all that!
- I realised how much I need fitness in my life and I stuck to online classes via MoveGB, Mind & Body app and I focused on growing our ‘Squats and Sparkles – Women’s Health Club’ community on facebook.
- I used the time in between hustling to hyper-focus on unfinished projects and passions like my first published book Eat. Sleep. Control. Repeat.
- I spent A LOT of time with my two daughters dancing, doing crafts and running around after a messy house. I now have two professional dancers and make up artists in the making… as for phonics… I did teach them some languages I’d learned and avoided maths unless it was for online shopping.
- I actually took the time to reply to people’s messages and date… and I have finally found my soulmate (after A LOT of sleazes) who happens to be a personal trainer.. It was love at first lunge! Winner winner.
- Impatience is a virtue… is what I say BUT I have learned (unwillingly) to be a little more patient with progress, life and to take deep breaths with all the queuing!
- I am resourceful and recognise the only constant is change. SO whilst I don’t like change I set myself up a strict schedule each week to give me some positive control.
I think for a lot of us there have been some great highs and some awful lows. I realise I am one of the lucky ones to have my physical and mental health intact. I am grateful to have found a smaller but incredible supportive community of cheerleaders who have got my back. I have started writing newspaper columns again and reignited my passion and my ‘calling’ to speak out for all the other fabulous females who don’t fit the norm… and are perfectly imperfect like me!
LISTEN to Fifty Shades of Motherhood…
Here’s the blurb for the podcast and my good friends who are beautiful and talented inside out… and as honest and open as me… sorry family! I share all on love, sex, self-developement and my passions!
Carla is joined by her good friends Sophie Mei Lan and Amy Downes and they have an open and honest discussion about what they have learnt from lockdown. Juggling being a parent whilst navigating work life and the positives they have managed to find during this strange time.
Here is Amy’s Social Links:
Here are my Social Links:
You can purchase Sophies book below: