Lockdown Has Taught Me...



Sitting here in the warmth of a morning bubble bath, Hayley Williams playing on the speakers and green tea by my side I realise, I'm not ready for lockdown to end. 


Although shops, hair salons, bars, and restaurants are reopening, I'll be sticking to my own bubble thank you very much. You can find me venturing out for a food shop or even, to pick up a takeaway from my favourite small business but, other than that my life will remain for the most part in solitude. I feel sad about it but, anxiety has me fearing a second wave and I'm not ready to pretend everything is normal.


Regardless of my fears and anxiety relating to all things COVID, I've learnt a lot throughout the pandemic and feel I'm coming out the other side new and improved. 


So what exactly have I learnt??


I can take care of myself more than I thought


At the beginning of this hell we call lockdown I was slightly worried about how I'd cope spending so much time alone. I wondered if I'd find myself bored senseless, sneak back into a depression, or would flourish through the madness. I can confirm that I've had the latter experience. 

I've had some dark moments and days when anxiety consumed my every thought but, I haven't struggled as much as I expected. I know how to cook a decent meal for myself, what I need to feel good and when to take time out when I'm a little stressed. I've been able to pick myself up a lot, create routines, to-do lists, and ways of working that work for me. This blog has truly been my saviour too. Without this creative outlet and the community I've found I might have crumbled. 

I used to spend too much money on unnecessary things

If you looked at my bank statements you'd be shocked to see how much I loved going out for brunch and the sorry state that left my finances in. 

I've always been good with spending but, I do have a little debt called an overdraft I'm still working on paying off and, a credit card I've just cleared (woo!). But, brunch or well, going out for any meal has always been quite high on my agenda, so when someone asks if I'm available for food I always respond with YES and end up spending more than I have because I deserve a starter and a main, maybe even a side too and probably a pudding. 

Although, I must admit it wasn't just food I'd throw money at. I love candles, defusers and, anything that can make my house smell impeccable without me having to lift a finger. I'm a sucker for rhubarb scented things and cacti, so I'd always come home from a trip to town with something new. I also have a fondness for an M&S food hall, so arriving home with something fancy to rustle up for dinner became a frequent treat.

What I'm saying is, since lockdown began I've become more cautious with my spending because obviously I haven't been able to access these luxuries and, I've realised how silly some of my habits had become. Of course, it's lovely to decorate your home with little trinkets and items from Paperchase or Tiger but, don't make every trip into town an opportunity to redecorate your living room. Marks and Sparks is a wonderful place too but again, their food should be seen as a treat and not a regular occurrence in the Collins household...especially when your salary just about pays the bills.

Going freelance is scarier than I anticipated

Stupidly this realisation hit me the hardest. My business degree did me no favours on this one to be honest. 

Why didn't I realise that going self-employed wasn't easy? We all have to start from somewhere but, I never really sat down and created a structured plan. I never came up with a brand name, colour scheme, logo idea, target audience, social media account, or website until I registered and shouted to the entire world that I was self-employed now. What on earth was I thinking? 

It's been a huge mess and learning experience for me. There have been many meltdowns and nights clenching my jaw, wondering what I'm doing - which is why I've taken some time out. 

After a breakdown and difficult talk with my partner, I decided to stop overthinking and get back to this blog I love, whilst figuring out how I want to approach working for myself. I've decided to focus on creating my Sunday Club newsletter, invest my hours in the blog and, pick up my little side project in a month or so. 

It's all going to happen and fall into place eventually but, I need to get my head around things and come up with a plan that works. I have a top-secret brand name now that I'm loving and am getting there with planning but, the process for me personally being ready to put myself out there and get my first paid client is a little way off yet.   
                                                        

That I'm Lucky

Lucky because I've been able to work part-time as normal throughout this pandemic and, so has my partner. Life for us has remained the same in so many ways and the changes we've had to make have been minor. 

I'm also feeling lucky because of where we live. Moving house last year and having a spacious garden with kind neighbours and a quiet community has been so lovely. I couldn't imagine still living in our shoebox flat with neighbours we hated, constant noise and missed post because whatever courier could never find our front door. I can't imagine living anywhere else and I'm so grateful that I managed to snap up this property quickly without the knowledge of my partner - he was a little pissed at the time but, he thanks me now.



12 Comments

  1. I love that last point you mentioned 'That I'm Lucky' , that's so honest and I really loved reading that! A great post Kate! x

    Lucy | www.lucymary.co.uk

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  2. I am in the process of going freelance and you are right it is so scary and daunting! Especially managing finances and self assessment tax stuff!

    https://www.emilyclareskinner.com

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    1. Thank you for reading Emily. It's so daunting, isn't it? I'm so excited to get started, I just can't make that jump yet. Truly anxiety is holding me back. And yes, I totally agree with finances! Creating my price list, invoices and thinking about self assessments is not fun at all x

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  3. This lockdown has been great and tough in its own way. But one thing I've definitely learnt (I'd say, it's just gotten reinforced) is how lucky I truly am. I may be dealing with enough issues of my own, and yet, I really am lucky to have a job, a home, no worries about meals etc. etc.

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  4. Being in self-isolation has taught me how little I like to leave the house! More than twice a week for errands or outdoor fun at a lake or river and I feel like I've been too busy!

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  5. I definitely buy things unnecessarily too. But lockdown has taught me that definitely. I have learned to appreciate the little things a lot more.

    Lauren | www.bournemouthgirl.com

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  6. I feel the same way about a lot of these things that you learnt - especially about being lucky. I was one of the fortunate ones who was financially blessed during this time, and it made me realise that I have a lot to be grateful for!!

    Roni | www.myelevatedexistence.com

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  7. I love this post. I feel like lockdown has been full of lessons for everyone. I have also realised how much money I spent before! It has also made me fall even further in love with blogging. x

    - Charlotte / https://charlottesspace.com

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  8. I feel that way too - lucky! Lucky taht I'm not in the scary world of looking for a job. It always could be worse.

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  9. This was a lovely reflective read and very relatable too. I've surprised myself in how I've been able to cope with fluctuating emotions and chaotic state of mind, presuming I'd allow it to consume me entirely but I've coped rather well, even if I have had the occasional wobble and it ruined my day. I've always made sure I've been kind to myself and picked myself up the following morning. Luck is definitely pertinent considering the horrible situation others are facing whereby luck hasn't been on their side at all. Once again, a lovely piece.

    Alex / www.byalexandriarae.co.uk

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    1. Thank you for reading Alex.

      I'm with you completely. At the beginning of lockdown I wondered how on earth I would cope in a brain that won't shut up and feels riddled with anxiety but, staying home has actually helped my mental health in some odd way? Like you there have been days where I've felt overwhelmed but mostly I've been fine. We've truly been lucky by the sound of things, I'm very grateful for that x

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  10. Lockdown really has opened our eyes to so many things! I'm truly sick of being at home now so I think lockdown has taught me that I want to experience more!

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