14 June 2020

Reorganising my priorities in lockdown

Book open on a tartan blanket with feet crossed legged next to it and a small white candle lit

It's now been three months in some form of lockdown (however loose) and I've had to spend more time with myself than I'd ever hoped to. Back in March it seemed like this whole thing would only be a couple of weeks before everything went back to 'normal', but as the weeks stretched into months it's starting to feel like it may never be that way.

At the start I figured this was my time to shine: all these narratives about it being the perfect time to lose weight and get the body you've always wanted were thrust upon us even more intensely than they had ever been. Weights and exercise equipment sold out all over the UK and I watched Yoga with Adriene's subscriber numbers increase literally by millions. However, over the first few weeks I felt myself slipping into old unhealthy habits and ended up really having to fight to not spend all of my time agonising over what I was eating and when, and glaring at myself in the mirror.

I wanted to push myself every single day. I'm lucky in that I still have my job, and as I wasn't going out and doing anything outside of the house, I figured it was as good an opportunity as any to push myself to see if I could just do more things than I've ever done before: clean the house, rearranging everything, sort out my life and make a whole tonne of social media/blog/youtube content too. On top of working my full time hours every week still, and feeling more burnt out than ever because wow working from home is hard. 

However, a couple of weeks in, I realised this wasn't the best way I could spend lockdown, although it's the most productive. For as long as I can remember I've been intent on doing as much as possible all the time. Even in school I was that kid who did every piece of homework, even the optional ones. For years I've worked full time jobs and expected myself to do a hundred other things every evening and weekend to keep on top of my life.

So I realised I had this really unique opportunity to learn how to relax and love myself a little bit more. I've been reminding myself basically constantly that we're in the middle of a deadly pandemic and not having a spotless house (lol imagine) or writing 30 blog posts a month isn't a failure, but 100% fine. I've switched up my priorities and I really hope I keep the slower pace I've adopted when lockdown ends and ease the pressure on myself permanently.

I've been getting up early every morning to do a yoga session from Yoga With Adreiene's Youtube channel, which totally sounds like the opposite of what I've just said about slowing down. However, it's a time I carve out of my day now to be peaceful and quiet. It's helping to ease the back pain I get from my awful posture and it's made my anxiety about everything that's going on calm down enough so that I can get reasonable amounts of sleep.

I've started doing things that I really love, but usually put off for fear of wasting my time. I treated myself to a Disney plus subscription, and have been watching old Simpsons episodes and my favourite films. I've reminded myself that taking time out to do this isn't lazy or pointless, as I enjoy it. The same goes for taking myself to bed early to read books I love, spending hours on jigsaw puzzles, and really getting creative with my bullet journal.

I've also taken some time to think about what I really want to do, and what I don't enjoy. I've stopped wearing makeup almost completely, but have added bits to my skin care and hair care routine. I've stopped posting on Youtube because I've been dreading filming videos and editing them for months now. I figured I'd have a break and if I didn't miss it at all, I'd pack it in and focus on other things I do enjoy. I haven't gone back to it. I have however been writing more blog posts (albeit not masses still).

I've mostly come to the realisation that forcing myself to be productive all the time has meant I miss out on doing things that make me happy. I feel a lot of guilt when I have days off just having fun, but I'm trying to work through that and figure out why it happens. I'm looking forward to hopefully coming out of lockdown with an idea of what I've really missed and want to do again, and what I've realised is perhaps something I've forced myself to do to ease that feeling of guilt.

Have you changed up what you're doing in lockdown?

Follow me on Bloglovin | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook


  1. This was a great post. It's good to do things you enjoy!


  2. This is such a lovely blog post to read!! It's so nice to read about you coming to terms with what makes you happy and what is totally ok even when you thought it wasn't before!!
    Charlotte / Charlotte's Picks

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I've also had to change my perspective with the lockdown measures. I was so sure, at the beginning, that I needed to be productive and catch up on things that I wanted to do. But, as it turns out, being stressed about a global pandemic and not being allowed to leave your house unless it was to get groceries once a week isn't great for your mental health? So weird. So, I've had to figure out how to best look after myself.

    Lockdown in my area is lifting and we're allowed to, you know, enjoy life again. This might be a nice time for me to take on another hobby or something ;)

    Erin / erinmacneil.blogspot.ca


I read each and every one of your comments, and really appreciate the time you've taken to add them! If you want or need a more immediate response then contact me through my twitter @stephhartley4. Thank you!