It has been a whole year in lockdown, which is crazy, sad and still quite surreal, but we’ve officially looped around. When we first went into lockdown, I remember being really stressed to leave the house at all and felt like I was struggling all the time with being kept indoors. But now I’ve got so used to it that I rarely still find myself feeling the kind of worry I did the first time. I also realised that over the last few months I’ve adapted my lifestyle so much.
I remember in summer a lot of people would ask ‘What did you learn during lockdown?’ And usually I’d just think ‘gosh I’ve not learned anything’. However when I really compare my lifestyle over successive lockdowns, I realise that now I’ve just adapted and a lot of things that I started doing I’ve just accepted as part of my lifestyle, I barely remember not doing them. So I thought it’d be good to lay out the things I started doing over the year in which everything was closed:
- Actually video calling people
Although Skype and Zoom have been around for a while, I’d never felt a need to use them until lockdown one. My favourite moments were Zooming my University friends Jade and Na’il and meeting up in Animal Crossing. Jade had even made a Wetherspoons in the game. It seems crazy to me now because I’ll chat to my family who live across the country regularly on Zoom now and it gives you such a boost to see a friend’s face when you haven’t met them in person for weeks. It’s definitely something I’m always going to keep doing with friends and family members who live farther away.
- Cutting my own hair
So during a particularly fun episode in lockdown I decided it was time to tackle my crazy curls which had completely taken over my face. I had no experience attempting anything like this and I had no equipment. But using a beard trimmer, a Brad Mondo tutorial and some sandwich bag clips, I managed to hack a fairly respectable Caesar cut into my hair.
Fortunately, since then I’ve managed to upgrade to actual clippers that don’t yank your hair off, and proper clips. I’m definitely no barber and would be very scared to try and tackle the top of my hair but I’ll be happy to give myself a little maintenance trim on the sides of my head between actual hair cuts.
This hobby started out as a way of coping with being cooped up so much. In my government-sanctioned 1 hour of exercise, I started going for jobs on the Birmingham canal network. I much prefer working out in the gym or going climbing any day, but when these opened up, I did still keep up with my running too. I find it helps me zone out of my stress, I can do it while listening to a podcast and in the sunshine it can even feel slightly enjoyable.
I think it’s good to look at some of the little good things that have become parts of your life over the past year. Sometimes it feels like we are under pressure to have learned some amazing skills or spent the time being really productive, but I find it hard to relate to that. Mostly this year has been really hard but I’m sure if we look we can all find little achievements within it.