Lessons Learnt in Lockdown 2020

So if you’d told me at the start of 2020 how this year was going to go, I definitely wouldn’t have believed you.

This year kicked off in a wonderful way; had my eyes lasered for 20/20 vision, ticked off a visit to New York City from the bucket list, saw the new Labour Party leader speak in person, watched Wales romp home to victory in the Six Nations opener, quit my job and headed off on a global adventure with the best guy for a year of travel.

Fast forward six months and the adventure of a lifetime was cut short after only 3 and a half weeks of freedom in New Zealand and now, as we find ourselves in our third month back in the UK, the world is still facing the hardest global challenge in living memory.

I feel I have learnt a heck of a lot in the last few months as Covid-19 has forced us all to live through an unprecedented experience. I wanted to share a few titbits on the things I have learnt so far in Lockdown in 2020.

⭐ Bodies change and grow and develop all the time. Our bodies are our homes, treat them with the respect and love they deserve. If the worse that happens to us in a global pandemic is that we become a bit squishier, we are one of the lucky ones.

⭐ Therapy works. Reach out to someone if you need help and it might just change your life.

⭐ The Black Lives Matter movement. I was ashamedly uneducated before the start of June. Do the work, sit with the uncomfortable feeling when you realise how very privileged the colour of your skin has made your life (literally due to the fact your ancestors moved slightly further away from the equator thousands of years ago), seek out diverse voices, learn from them and take action. The time to make change is now.

⭐ I am beyond grateful that everyone I know is safe and well.

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A friendly reminder.

⭐Heroes* don’t always live up to the expectations we have of them. It’s tough when the people you admired and their creations you adore disappoint you with their unacceptable views. Trans women are women and Hogwarts should always be there to welcome EVERYONE home, even if J K Rowling seems to have forgotten that. (*former)

⭐ Zoom quizzes have been an absolute lifesaver. When stuck on the other side of the world, being able to see our families’ faces lifted the spirits beyond words, even if we were stuck on the cereal while they got the bevs in.

⭐ I am now considering setting up a Quiz Team Naming business as I’ve been pretty pleased with our pun-tastic attempts so far; Les Quizerables, Otrivia Newton John, Harry Potter and the Quiziner of Azkaban- I’m ya gal!

⭐ I could go on and on with my frustrations of how badly I feel the UK Government has handled this pandemic but in the midst of politicians doing things poorly, there’s also been some serious belters. My shero Jacinda Ardern has proved to the world just how well an empathetic, thoughtful and female approach can successfully protect a country facing a crisis. Jacinda is also the only politician I have ever seen handle an earthquake mid-interview with such grace and warmth. As I said, absolute SHERO.

⭐ Global lockdown means I have read more books in the last few months than I have in years. I’ve made a real point of putting my phone down before getting into bed and picking up a book instead- a chance to escape into a fictional yarn and to challenge the noggin by reading something new has really aided the mental well-being. Books are just bloody great.

Books, glorious books!

⭐ Clearing out old clothes that no longer fit or aren’t your style anymore is incredibly satisfying. Clothes are made to fit our bodies, not the other way around and having a good old sort through my hoards of clothing has been one cleanse I’m very glad to have finally got around to doing. Whether you end up selling on Depop, donating to charity shops now they are reopening or passing on to a pal and allow it to spark joy in someone else, I highly recommend a little wardrobe purge to discover some old gems and make room for new ones.

⭐ Job applications ain’t ever fun. Don’t second guess yourself, stand firmly in your own corner and know that as long as you feel you’ve given something your all, it isn’t your fault if an application is unsuccessful or you just miss out on that interview. Take a deep breath, accept it wasn’t meant to be and move onward and upwards.

⭐ My gallery wall has expanded beyond belief as I can’t stop buying artwork and posters. How many feminist prints are too many for a one bedroom flat? Asking for a friend.

⭐ I wrote a 120,000 word novel between the ages of 16-20 and I recently discovered it again which was an absolute joy. It was a lovely little trip down memory lane and I had forgotten a few of the details but, I am pleased to say, I’m still really proud that little Becs absolutely smashed it and managed to stick to such a long term project. The girl done good.   

⭐ Self-love can manifest itself in a number of ways but one of my favourites in lockdown has been deciding to doing something completely just for me; signing up to a Say Something in Welsh year long course to finally become a fluent speaker. You couldn’t find a woman prouder to say she’s from Wales and not being able to speak my national language has always weighed heavy on my heart. I decided to take action and do something about it. Watch this space…

⭐ Time moves weirdly in a global pandemic. Graduation- six years ago. Jumped out of a plane- 4 months ago. What I did yesterday- haven’t the foggiest!

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Downward facing dog, anyone?

Yoga. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, yoga has helped me in an insurmountable number of ways since I began daily practices back in January. Not only does it feel great in your body, it also helps with mental well-being. Whenever I’m feeling a bit tense, stressed or unsure, I pop on a video with Adriene and Benji and suddenly, a weight has lifted and I feel better. Reunite with the breath, baby, and get your stretch on; I can’t recommend it enough.

⭐ You have to accept things will happen that are completely out of our control. Sometimes the proverbial shit hits the fan and it is truly rubbish. Allow yourself to sit there and say, well this ain’t great but know it will get better. Remember, even when it’s hard, that this too shall pass.

Hope you’re keeping safe and well. Write down something you’re feeling grateful for today. Wear a mask and wash your hands. Take a deep breath. You got this! x

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