Birmingham, UK


In the early hours of January 1st as I saw in the new year with my friends, I never would have predicted half of what was about to happen. My year was going to be filled with travel, a promotion at work, and generally I was planning on having a bloody good time. Fast forward 8 months and here I am, slap bang in the middle of a pandemic, recently redundant from the role I'd just been promoted to, and not having too much fun.

But while I cannot wait for this whole mess to be over, surprisingly there are certain aspect of lockdown life I'm actually happy to keep once the pandemic is long gone...

Grace is sat in a fold away camping chair in the garden. She is holden a cocktail glass in one hand. Beside her is a small greenhouse filled with seedlings

One of the biggest parts of lockdown for me was how much time I got to spend with my family. For the most part I didn't see anyone other than my parents, (who I live with) and yes it's probably true that we had more disagreements during this period, but I've never been so grateful to live with other people. This year I was considering moving out alone as it would be the first time in my life I would have the means to do so, but luckily I didn't make that jump.

Aside from spending every waking minute with my parents, I also got to go on some great day trips with them, and me and my dad even bonded over the course of a very stressful week decorating my room. As a modern feminist, my dads views and my own don't always align which can occasionally cause arguments, but I know in the future I will look back at that week, and even some of our better lockdown day's quite fondly. 

Being locked in the house also gave me the opportunity to explore new hobbies which I wouldn't have picked up if I was still working full time. Very early on in the lockdown I purchased a record player. I guessed if the pandemic was going to be keeping me at home, I might as well be treated to some great music! A lot of my time in isolation was spent trawling the internet for records and waiting for them to arrive in the post. It actually gave me something to look forward to every few days which helped my mental health more than I probably realised. Now that lockdown is basically over I'm really excited to start mooching through record and charity shops for some banging vinyls - any recommendations are welcome!

If you follow me over on Instagram, you'll also know I've become a plant mom and a pretty decent gardener too. A few weeks into the pandemic I planted some cucumber seeds and nurtured the little seedlings until the fruit began to appear. I recently harvested my first cucumber, and while it was different to a shop bought product, it was pretty damn good. I've since grown multiple other cucumber plants and tomatoes plants, most of which have already found their way to new homes. I've also been hoarding house plants like an absolute maniac and as of mid August I have 24 plants living in my little jungle bedroom.

Keeping plants and watching them grow has been another thing which I believe has really saved my mental health throughout all of this, which actually brings me to my next point. Being locked in my home, and fearing the death of my parents every day gave me a better understanding of just how fragile my mental health can be. You might have read about my struggles with anxiety over the last few years, which I did manage to get under control for the most part until recently, but the Coronavirus pandemic saw my anxiety flare up to levels I'd never seen before. While this isn't a good thing at all, it was a bit of a wake up call and I now know I need to look after my mental health just as much as I would any other aspect of my heath.

Speaking of staying fit and healthy - let's talk facemasks. Never in all my life did I think facemasks would be so controversial, but here we are. Personally I am more than happy to wear a face covering of some sort. I am healthy, and physically able to wear one so I see no issues with keeping one in my bag and popping it on when needed. Wearing a facemask when sick is something I'd actually be very keen to keep even after the pandemic dies out. In some countries it's normal to wear a facemask if you're ill to prevent others from catching it, and in my opinion that seems like the right thing to do, afterall why would you want expose others to your germs if you can easily prevent it? 

I do think that one of the most important things I've gained from living through a pandemic and lockdown, is how I view my life and the world around me. I've always wanted a lot out of life, I want to explore the globe, and experience everything on offer, but now I also appreciate the little things more. I genuinely enjoy spending time outdoors, I'm grateful every day for my friends and family, I appreciate having a healthy able body, and I've just generally fallen in love with the world again. Living through this time, which don't get me wrong has been mostly awful, has given me almost a new lease of life and a passion to live every day the way I want to. I really hope I keep hold of this new found appreciation for everything, because I truly believe it's the key to a happy life.

So while living in a lockdown and through a pandemic - which is not over yet - has been terrible in so many ways, there are aspects of lockdown life that I will keep, long after this is all a distant memory. 

If there anything you've learned in lockdown, or any part of it you'd be happy to keep when this is all over?

Thanks for reading!

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