The Coronavirus lockdown is certainly a struggle, but looking at the positives can help us learn an awful lot about ourselves. For an insight into some of the things I’ll be taking away from all this, read on…
Okay, let’s talk about the elephant in the room – the Coronavirus. There, I said it, and I’ll try not to name it too often, from now on, but I couldn’t ignore it. Obviously, I don’t need to go into any detail about what this word means; everyone in the world knows it now, and will know about it for centuries to come.
We’re living through history…
There’s no denying that there’s a lot of negativity going around at the moment, with regards to this international problem. Of course, that’s no surprise, considering the social, cultural, political, and generally historical impact this is having on the world as we know it.
That said, I think it’s time we look away from the negatives, and focus on the positives that are coming out of all this. I would say, as a nation and a planet, we are learning a lot about ourselves, individually and collectively, wouldn’t you? So, for the sake of our own mental health, and the mental health of those around us, let’s change the conversation.
So, to find out what I’ve learned about myself, and some of the positives I’ve taken away from this whole experience, don’t go anywhere. Maybe this could enlighten you to take away some positives of your own from this very negative situation…
1. Working From Home is Great
Okay so, for starters, I’ve been working from home since Wednesday 18th March and, I can tell you for sure, it’s pretty good. Yes, of course, I miss seeing my coworkers’ smiling faces everyday, and I do miss socialising at lunchtime. That said, I’ve experienced a lot of benefits from working remotely, including:
- My productivity has soared: although there have certainly been moments where the cat has distracted me by climbing on the kitchen counters, I did see some major results in terms of my job. I ended feeling a lot less stressed, overall, and I felt as though my day was productive and fulfilling.
- I had more time to chill out: although I do enjoy reading and checking my social media on the bus, the commute home can be pretty tiring and boring. Now, I start work at 8am and finish at 4.30, which gives me the opportunity to relax on the sofa for around 2 more hours than usual!
- My working times are more flexible: when commuting to work, you’re often dictated by what time the bus gets in. So, on a normal working day, I could get in any time between 8.40am and 9.20am, depending on the traffic. At home, none of this matters, and I can start my day at 8am and finish at 4.30pm, without having to rely on anyone but myself.
- I spent more leisure time outside: when working in the office, my lunch hour consists of sitting around a communal kitchen table chatting away with my colleagues. I do love this part of the day, however, the only chance I really get to go outside is during my commute, and when I decide to buy lunch. Otherwise, I get home, watch TV, and then don’t go outside until the next morning. Now, I’m going outside at lunchtime, and getting a bit of fresh air, which is a lovely change!
In general, I believe that a lot of these factors, in the long-term, would certainly lead to a better quality of life. Going into work to see people is certainly fantastic, but perhaps working remotely provides that extra bit of work/life balance we all need.
My boss says “works is a thing you do, not a place you go”, and I think he’s really hit the nail on the head, there.
2. I Like My Own Company…
I’ve always known this – ever since I was a kid, I used to spend hours in my room doing homework, watching YouTube, reading, playing Nintendo games, and so on. Then, when I moved to uni, this was even more apparent. I would always spend more of my in-house time locked away in my bedroom. Be it studying, or enjoying leisure time, I’ve always been a bit of a lone wolf.
However, since being at home 24/7, I’ve realised that, unlike many other people, I really do enjoy my own company a lot! So many people around me are going stir crazy – and, of course, I miss seeing my friends immensely – but I feel as though I could keep doing this for a long old time!
3. …but I Also Enjoy the Company of my Friends
That’s not to say that I don’t utterly miss socialising with my new friends, here in Bristol. During my time at university, I changed a lot as a person. I would say that I went from being an extrovert to a bit of an extroverted introvert, which taught me a lot about myself as a person. So, I spent a lot of time in my room, and didn’t socialise much within the house.
Now that I don’t live with friends, however, I feel as though I’ve definitely come out of my shell a bit more. So, instead of having to make time for my boyfriend outside of home, I’m now making time for my friends outside of the home. It’s a new me, really, and I’m enjoying every second of my new friendships.
So, now that I don’t have the opportunity to leave my house and go and see friends after work or at the weekend, I’m really feeling the loss. It’s definitely a new feeling – this feeling of missing people – but I like that I am looking forward to socialising again.
4. I Don’t Exercise Enough
Obviously I knew this; I mean, if you don’t step out of your house unless you’re going to work or to socialise, it’s pretty clear. However, with all this free time I have not commuting, I started running every so often to see how it went.
To be fair, I was pretty chuffed with how well I did the first time; I barely stopped at all, and managed to do around 25 minutes! But, let me tell you, I acheddddd after this go!
Then, I went for a second run the next day, but I couldn’t go as long as the first time. Instead, I had to walk half the way. What really surprised me was that it wasn’t my lungs which were stopping me, which is what I expected because of my asthma. Instead, it was my body which physically prevented me from continuing.
So, I definitely need to try some low impact sports once all this is over – maybe a bit of swimming or cycling might help?
5. My Commute is Very Productive
So far, I haven’t actually read any more books since I finished Rush of Blood, by Mark Billingham (review to come soon). Next in line is The House on the Strand, by Daphne du Maurier, which I am really excited by, for sure. But I just can’t bring myself to get sucked in just yet, and I don’t know why.
Normally, I have that commuting time each day to really get stuck into a good book. The lull of the bus rocking side-to-side as I make my way to work is relaxing, and is definitely a part of the day I enjoy. I think it’s the lack of other distractions which must help; when I’m at home, I have the TV, and Josh and Arthur to keep me company.
I guess it just goes to show that the daily commute isn’t as much of a slog as many people see it to be. Instead, it’s a time to really enjoy some me time, and do something productive, that you enjoy!
6. I Love My Job
I’ve already talked about how I’ve really enjoyed working from home, and seeing my productivity rise. That said, this whole experience has just shown me how much I enjoy my job role, as well as the company I work for.
I always knew that my company wasn’t anything like the toxic working environment I had previously come from. That said, I think this whole experience has proved to me just how lucky I am to work somewhere that really puts their employees first. From bringing office chairs to peoples’ homes, to keeping an open and honest dialogue about pay, we are being treated like equals, across the board.
7. I am Good at What I do
What’s more, this experience really allowed me to come into my own, in terms of my job role. Before I arrived, the company was outsourcing digital outreach to another company. To help improve budgeting, bringing it in-house was my aim, and it was supposed to be a gradual transition.
However, when this whole situation hit us, we had no choice but to speed up the process to cut costs, so all the digital outreach was now up to me. With this transition, I instantly had to start fulfilling my role of “Manager”, and have had the opportunity of delegating my workload across the team.
This has been a true learning curve, and has taught me that I can really get stuff done when I’m under pressure. It’s also taught me that I’m not as much of a control freak as I first thought. Also, I would say I am pretty good at my job, and really know what I’m doing, despite having been in the field for a short period of time.
What Have You Learned From the Coronavirus Lockdown?
So, there we have it; my lucky seven positive takeaways from this crazy situation we have found ourselves in. As you can see, positivity really is such an important step to help everyone get through this.
Injecting this sort of energy into your day is essential to getting through tough times like this, so try and think about your positives now. Ask yourself, have you learned anything about yourself during this unprecedented time?
Let me know, in the comments below, what your thoughts and feelings are about this whole situation. Is there anything you’ve learned about yourself that you didn’t know before. I’d love to hear your thoughts!