What have I learnt through the coronavirus pandemic?
When the UK went into a national lockdown on March 23rd to beat coronavirus, the introvert in me couldn't be more delighted. I thought about how I could stay at home and do some Netflix marathons, guilt-free. I mean, I'll be staying at home and avoiding other humans so, I am saving lives by doing just that.
As days went on, I began to feel frustrated for not being productive enough with all the time, that was now luxuriously available. I had recently graduated from university and also left my old job to focus on my career in journalism.
The year 2020 was supposed to be the start of new beginnings. I was getting involved in a number of work placements within the journalism industry - with the hope that this would build my portfolio for employment ahead. After all the placements were completed, I was ready and excited to begin my career.
Of course, then the pandemic decided to take the world by storm. Now, for the sake of public safety and health protection the UK has gone into lockdown.
Naturally, this has brought my career plans to a halt until further notice, and I am unemployed with a lot of time on my hands. After feeling 'not productive enough', I wanted to do everything that I was not able to do previously when I was ‘too busy’. I wanted to pick up my blog again, get my paint-box out and fill blank canvases, start a new language course online, have a big clear out, go running outside after sunrise – everything! And every day, I felt frustrated with myself for not getting on with it.
In the meantime, I was forgetting to appreciate the bigger things at hand – supporting my community, spending time with my family (who hadn’t seen much of me in 2018/2019 due to work/university/travelling), connecting with my faith and looking after my health. Just normal things that are equally important.
Although, this hasn’t stopped me from starting a Spanish course online and opening a Tik Tok account but, that’s beside the point...
The fact that I am able to consider all these things to do with my time, is a great privilege that many others can’t afford. Such as, labourers who are struggling without their livelihood, children who are witnessing more abuse than usual, parents who are dealing with full-time work along with full-time parenthood etc.
I am learning to take each day at a time and take all the important things in as I go. I feel grateful and I'm reflecting over things that this pandemic has revealed – the kindness in people, the greed in others, the earth healing, the efforts of public health services and the value of time.
I decided to no longer put pressure on myself or force myself to be productive like a clothing factory. Instead, I try to do things in small doses with consistency. The most important thing to do during this time is, to stay home and look after myself. The better we look after ourselves then the sooner we can return to normality.