By Lily Smith
Imagine if the world just stopped.
No more work, no more socialising, just you in your home. Oh wait a sec—sounds familiar.
If this was a sentence I wrote a year ago, it would have remained just that, part of my imagination. But 2020 threw us the ultimate curveball – the C word … Coronavirus [why what were you thinking?].
And just as things were becoming some version of normal, England entered Lockdown 2.0.
As Boris uttered that fateful phrase “Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives”, many of us would have felt that sinking feeling in the pit of our stomach as the thought of at least a month inside sunk in.
Lockdown 1.0 was a flurry of banana bread, paint-by-numbers and Boris and friends on TV every afternoon. With 1.2 million people in the UK being furloughed by April it was wonder we all looked to new activities to keep us occupied. Distraction became our best friend, from drunken zoom quizzes to redecorating the bathroom, spring cleaning to home workouts – lockdown 1 saw many of us being more productive in our own homes than ever before. In fact in June this year, 47% more new companies were established than the previous year according to Enterprise Nation and a lot of these were due to the development of side hustles.
Now, don’t get me wrong, productivity is great and a lot of the things we did over the first lockdown were attempts to maintain some sense of control, some sense of a social life and some sense of normality.
But when does productivity become unhealthy?
In an article for Glamour Magazine, Beth McColl coined the term Lockdown Remorse.
“Lockdown remorse is the sense that you’ve wasted an opportunity for growth, that you should have done more with the months when everything was closed and you were mostly at home”
Beth states she spent most of the first lockdown in a Netflix and mini roll spiral, followed quickly by overwhelming guilt when scrolling on social media and seeing everything her friends had ‘achieved’ that day.
It’s the comparison to others that puts us in this state. We live in a society where we share, share, share. And why shouldn’t we, you should be proud if you’ve done that at home workout, you’ve completed that bit of work, you’ve done that job application. And of course, if you feel like doing something and being productive then absolutely go for it. But sometimes it’s okay to just be proud to have got through the day.
For lockdown 2.0, I want to live the life Beth lived. I want nothing more than spending my days watching Netflix, eating snacks and going on the occasional walk (on which I will definitely be wearing my new woolly hat that I bought for my now cancelled holiday with friends).
With 9.6 million of us now on furlough, maybe this winter lockdown, which will hopefully just be 4 weeks long, is the perfect time to do nothing. Nothing at all. Nowt. Nada. And to not feel guilty about it.
So here’s to a few weeks of rest, of non-comparison, of being as productive as you want to be even if that’s not at all.
Thanks all for reading.
See you next week with another post. Look after yourselves, and enjoy the rest of lockdown taking a leaf out of Lily’s book! x
Ps. If you fancy appearing on the blog by writing a guest post, just drop me an email through the contact me page or message me on Instagram @abislifeinwriting