Lockdown Life Lessons: 10 things the experience taught me
When the lockdown was announced on March 24th, I had already stocked up vegetables and essentials for the week. I had been working remotely since January, so staying indoors wouldn’t be much of a problem or so I thought. But who knew we were in for an exhaustive ride. Six months later, I look back over these months and review the experiences.
Although I spent most of my time indoors, I experienced a range of emotions, thought patterns, and challenges that made this period more than eventful. It changed my perception of a lot of things. Here are 10 things I learned throughout these months:
- Privilege is having a choice
Most of us have some form of privilege in our lives. I know that I am privileged in a lot of ways, yet, the notion of privilege didn’t weigh so heavily onto me until lockdown.
I was free to be able to work from home, buy groceries for a week and refrain from going outside. Even when the shops were closed, I had the privilege of choice to order essentials from Swiggy or Zomato, despite the delivery fee. Some didn’t have this privilege.
- Much of my overwhelm can be solved by a simple To-Do list
Let me admit something. I am a lazy person. If there is someone who would do all the household chores, I would probably spend my whole day reading or writing, without offering help. Unfortunately, I am responsible for cleaning my mess. This transition from the lazy to organized, along with accomplishing my professional tasks overwhelms me.
I have always tried using a To-Do but I couldn’t stick with it until the lockdown happened. Now, I cannot describe how helpful a To-Do list has been.
- When you do at least one thing every day that lets you move out of your comfort zone, you improve
When I say out of your comfort zone, I am not talking about grand things like sky diving or jumping off a cliff or talking to strangers (unless the strangers are your local vegetable vendors). I am talking about the small things that we deliberately postpone doing - washing the clothes piled on a chair, posting a creative caption on Instagram, picking up something from the floor, showing up when you don’t feel like it, and many more.
These things may seem small but when done daily, they help us become more disciplined and improve our lives significantly.
- Procrastination can only be cured by action
When I am hesitant to do something, even though I have to do it, I procrastinate and I do it in the name of seeking information.
I have noticed that I tend to seek ‘inspiration’ by reading new articles with the same information again and again and watch inspirational videos when I should be working with the amount of information I already have.
- Always ask whether a situation is in your control or not, when you catch yourself worrying about it
The Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr says, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.”
How many times do we fret about things that aren’t in our control? "What might they be thinking? I made a fool of myself in front of everybody. I wish my parents were more understanding. I wish I had more friends." And so on. Sometimes, we spiral down these negative trains of thoughts and worry endlessly.
A simple exercise is to pause, call yourself out, take a breath, and ask yourself one simple question- “Is this situation in my control?” If it is in your control, take the required action. If it isn’t, then gently let it go.
- Whenever you feel something negative or unusual, be it anger, jealousy, sadness, or numbness, ask yourself “Why are you feeling -----?”
This simple exercise has helped me understand the underlying issue behind my immediate emotions and feelings. This question also helps us understand that bad things are going to happen, but how we respond to those situations is in our control. It helped me understand more about myself and work on the issues causing negative emotions. Takes practice, but is worth it.
- Your mood is not permanent. Don’t use it as an excuse to lash out at people or cut ties
Aren’t we all most hostile with the people we love most? The people we are comfortable with, are the ones who bear the brunt of our moods.
Maybe, we shouldn’t treat people as punching bags. Maybe, we should get some headspace by going outside, taking a break from the situation, or anything that helps us get away from the situation until we settle. It’s important to give ourselves time to settle and understand what’s bothering us.
Maybe, all we need is a bit of self-care. But whatever it is, lashing out on people or cutting ties with friends whom we disagree with, is not the solution.
- Shopping does reduce stress
Yes, even grocery shopping counts and I didn’t want to admit this. Days when I couldn’t even go for a walk without being extra vigilant, shopping greatly helped me reduce stress.
Buying something for myself felt like patting myself on the back for handling the situation without losing control. Whenever I go shopping (for groceries), it feels like a reward for being responsible throughout these months. Resultantly, I buy some extra chocolate or sweets for myself as a gift. A fun fact about adulting is, you gotta be the parent for your inner child.
- When you find yourself being moody, irritated, or overwhelmed, you need to take a break
I cannot stress this enough. Whenever I am overworked, I tend to get irritated with small things. Earlier I didn’t know this pattern, but working from home has helped me understand myself better, and recognizing this has greatly helped.
Being a pleaser, I tend to overexert myself, and when you are confined at home, it becomes easy to blur the lines between work and life, throwing the balance quotient out of the window.
However, lockdown helped me understand the signs of overwork and now I always take a break when/before I find myself getting irritated with small things.
- Persist, have patience, and keep working towards your goals consistently
Resilience and consistency are two values that are extremely important to reach our goals. Unless we are consistent, we will never progress. Unless we are resilient, we will never bounce back after setbacks. I've tried to inculcate these two values in my life throughout these months and I'm progressing.
These were the lessons I learned since the lockdown began. It has been tough yet it has helped me become a more responsible person. My journey of self-discovery had started years back but the lockdown has helped me understand more aspects of myself and the society that I hadn’t reflected upon before.
Maybe, the lockdown has made me a better person. What about you?
The author is Arpana Gautam, a Freelance Content Writer and Digital Marketing Professional. She has a keen interest in topics related to businesses, policies, productivity, sustainability, and culture. In her free time, she pens down her experiences on her millennial blog Put an Effort.
Views/Opinions expressed in the article or write up is purely of the author or writer and not of the Sikkim Chronicle. For any queries or contradictions, the author can be contacted in his/her email id.
Read more related articles: