Finding the positives from lockdown
There’s no doubt lockdown’s been tough, significantly more for some than for others, but we've all faced challenges in adapting to new routines and restrictions. At Sheilas’ Wheels, we always do our best to see the positives, so we’ve reached out to some of our hard-working team and asked them to reflect and share any lessons they've taken from these strange times. And, as restrictions continue to lift, the whiff of banana bread slowly fades and those dodgy self-inflicted haircuts are now (hopefully) a thing of the past…we take a look at what positive lifestyle tips we could look to try and carry forward into the ‘new normal’.
Getting your work life balance right
“My husband has progressive Multiple Sclerosis and having the ability to work from home during this period has meant the world to me. The transition to WFH was easy, and I find I am more productive without the worry of how my husband is doing. We have a large team, and everyone’s situation is different, and we all need support in different ways for both work and family life.” - Paula
For those previously worried about juggling personal and professional lives, lockdown may have provided a surprising opportunity to readdress the balance. Has losing the commute helped you find extra time you didn't realise you needed?
Making more time for friends and family
“During a particularly difficult time in lockdown, I have still received immense support through different channels from friends, family and colleagues. It is amazing how people go out of their way, just to make you feel a little better and show their support. WFH allowed me time with a family member I wouldn’t have otherwise had and meant I could support him the way others have since supported me.” - Jaime
“I’m speaking to friends and family more through Whatsapp chats and video. This has helped me keep in touch with everyone and make sure they’re doing ok. Videochat has helped me laugh out loud and remember the silly things that make the day-to-day so much fun. It made me realise how much I miss the bright laughter of my friends and how grateful I am to have them around me. They have given me a lot of strength to keep going and staying positive.” - Asuna
With stories like these, it’s no wonder so many plan to continue into the ‘new normal’ still scheduling regular reunions with loved ones, in person or over video calls in the case of those further away…(no need to make every call a ‘pub quiz’ though, especially in cases of questionable gameplay - there’s no way they pulled the capital of Burkina Faso out of thin air like that!)
"Although a very difficult time for many, this is a time that will go down in history, and that my children will learn about at school. I have taken the time to document lockdown and create special memories for them in a creative time capsule: from Boris’s letter, photos of our DIY haircuts (didn’t do too bad a job actually!), countless zoom chats with Nanny and Gramps, and lots of local walks exploring the beautiful world around us, which we are very grateful for.” – Ami
You don’t have to be Samuel Pepys or even Bridget Jones to create your own form of diary. As Ami says, it’s a time that will go down in history, so there’s an understandable urge to preserve precious memories that can be pulled out of a drawer in years to come and shown to future generations, when they ask “grandma, what does ‘Zoom u l8r’ mean?”. Best of all, while Ami’s creative time capsule of physical snaps and letters can make for a fun family activity, taking daily snaps to keep a digital version requires no more specialist equipment than the phone in your hand (and maybe a reliable cloud account).
“I noticed a column on mental health with a challenge to try a random act of kindness – so I did, for my amazingly kind neighbours. I decided on chocolate dipped strawberries in a little home-made box because... well, who doesn’t like chocolate dipped strawberries?! The result was surprisingly good - the process of making them was almost therapeutic, and then seeing everyone’s smile when they found them on their doorstep gave me a deep feeling of happiness. It’s what your granny always told you – ‘It is in giving we receive.’ ” - Emma
“I was visiting my local Marks & Spencer early in lockdown, and they handed every customer a free bouquet of flowers. It made my day, but knowing lockdown is hard for everyone, I left them for my elderly neighbour who lives on her own. She was delighted!” - Paula
So whether you’re visiting vulnerable neighbours, spending more time with the kids, or just doing everyone on the street a weekly favour with your recently dusted-off guitar (the favour probably being leaving it inside)...this period has proven even the smallest gestures can make a huge difference.
Take it easy on yourself
“One of the biggest things I’m taking from lockdown is that sometimes it’s OK to do ‘nothing’. As someone who’s usually always on the go, rushing from one place to another (and usually late…) the first weekend when I didn’t have anything I ‘had’ to be doing felt very, very strange! But after a couple of weekends I settled into it and began to rediscover how to take it easy. As things are returning more to normal now I’m being really conscious to keep time back for myself, as sometimes doing ‘nothing’ can be one of the most productive things you can do for yourself.” – Lyndsey
When it comes to the importance of self-care, we couldn't agree with Lyndsey more (seriously, we’ve tried - it’s impossible). So there’s absolutely no reason to put yourself down if you haven’t left lockdown with a fully decluttered house, a set of living room-forged washboard abs, a self-penned epic novel and your entire life in order. Like Lyndsey, you may have to ‘rediscover how to take it easy’, and even that should be taken at your own pace, being sure to give yourself a break when things are too much.