The coronavirus lockdown has impacted our lives in a big way but there are some ‘coronavirus positives’ to consider. There’s no denying that what’s going on in the world is unlike anything most of us have ever experienced. It has punctuated our lives and forced the majority of us to completely re-think how we live.
Despite everything that’s going on and all the restrictions placed on us, I think it is possible to take some positives out of this time.
When life returns to normal, I sincerely hope I don’t take all the parts of ‘normal’ back. That’s because I’ve realised that my ‘normal’ (aka, my life outside of the coronavirus lockdown) could actually do with a bit of work.
Here’s what I’ll be taking away from this bad situation. Let me know what you’ll be taking into your new normal, too.
My work/life balance
Before the coronavirus outbreak, I considered myself to have a pretty good work/life balance. In part, that’s true. Working from home means no commuting, nice lunch breaks and working from the garden when the weather permits.
I also think it led me to taking on too many projects that weren’t right for me. Freelancing can be worrying sometimes. I took on too much work because I was scared I might not get the chance again. I neglected my ‘side projects’ like Maya Rey and my writing because I worried they wouldn’t pay the bills in the traditional way that copywriting does.
I’ve spent a lot more time working on Maya Rey lately. In fact, I’ve spent some time over the last couple of months being very careful about the work I take on. I’m no longer going to overrun myself with work that gives me a feeling of anxiety when I wake up in the morning.
Guess what? I’m surviving. As it turns out, when you spend time on your small business, it starts to flourish. You start to get daily sales, it no longer becomes a sideline. Who knew?
There’s a lot of bad happening in the world at the moment. Despite this – on a work level – I’m waking up looking forward to the work I have, rather than dreading it. It’s refreshing.
You don’t need to be a lockdown influencer
People tell me (and I do secretly know) that I’m hard on myself. That might be slotting in a gym session when I’m on my period and really do not feel like it. Or, it might be giving myself too much work (see point one) because I feel like I should.
I read an interesting article about lockdown influencers the other day. They are people who are updating their stories every ten minutes with their deep house cleans, their elaborate homeschooling or their tips on how to be productive.
I don’t blame them. Sometimes, adding this sort of stuff to Instagram stories can make you accountable. It helps you to get stuff done. But (like much of social media) this isn’t how the majority of us have been behaving.
I’m never an unproductive person. I don’t wake up late, I can’t really sit still for too long, but I’m learning to be a bit more chilled when it comes to how productive I am when I don’t feel like it. That’s one of the coronavirus positives right there.
I don’t like Twitter
I used to care a lot about followers. Unfortunately, I still have to, to a certain extent. Some opportunities only come to people who have a large following. It’s frustrating, because sometimes (often in some industries) talent is side-stepped.
I have an internal battle daily with how much I personally don’t care about a large following to how much I professionally need it.
During the coronavirus outbreak, Twitter has revealed itself as a pretty annoying place to be. It’s full of moaners, it’s negative and sometimes just logging in and reading the reams of anger can really get you down.
Say what you want about TikTok, but it’s too new to have many of the social media politics in play. It’s generally quite a friendly, non-political place to be.
I’ll continue to add to social media when I want to. I’ll try to build up my small business social media accounts but I’m planning on making my personal one private. Perhaps it’s my age, but I just don’t care about playing that follower game anymore. This pandemic has put that into sharp focus for me.
Quarantine isn’t so bad
I like being at home. I do like going out, too, but being at home isn’t something I find uncomfortable and I’m trying to see it as one of my coronavirus positives.
James and I spread ourselves pretty thin at the weekends. In fact, we mostly pack them out and any time we do have set aside for house jobs will end up slowly disintegrating until it only accounts for about an hour of our days and we can’t be bothered to do anything.
When quarantine is over we are going to change how we plan our weekends. Yes, we will see people but we’ll also spend some time at home, or together, doing stuff for us.
This is probably one of the most important things I’ve taken out of the lockdown. Having time to breathe at the weekends makes you feel refreshed come Monday. Before lockdown, the weekend was just a busy extension to the week.
Of course, seeing people and being busy isn’t a bad thing, but balance is better.
I feel so lucky that we’ve got so many great local businesses around us. I do shop locally a lot, mostly because I know how important it is because of Maya Rey, which has flourished during the lockdown. Another of my coronavirus positives.
One area I’ve never really shopped locally in (apart from occasional trips to the local farmer’s market) is food. I always get a delivery slot, I’ve never thought a lot about where to get my food from. Now, I’d really like to shift to sourcing all of my food locally. It is possible, it’s good to support businesses around you and the food is so much better than what you can get in the supermarkets.
I really think (and hope) that small businesses and local businesses will continue to thrive – as they are now – after lockdown is over.