Thursday, 9 April 2020

Surviving Lockdown | Life Lately

Well hello there and how are you? It's been longer than I intended. When I wrote my last blog post, I didn't expect things to change so quickly. Looking back, we weren't really wise were we? I remember being at my book club on the 29th February and one of the girls said she'd been told in work to expect life to change beyond belief and to prepare for personal bereavement. None of us believed it - some even scoffed.
Her words stuck with me though and I bought some extra store-cupboard items the next day. Not toilet roll, I hasten to add. The baker in me bought yeast, flour and baking powder, which were in retrospect pretty good options given their scarcity at the moment. I do remember standing in Sainsburys that Friday and stopping suddenly on the Fruit & Veg aisle and having a really strong premonition about not being able to shop freely...of empty shelves and fear. I struggled to brush it off...and I'll admit to some strategic shopping decisions over the next couple of weeks which my husband mocked me and later thanked me for (personally I'm berating myself for not buying wine but actually I'm managing without quite well!)

I'll admit, while making industrial quantities of soup, I was internally mocking myself but I had such a strong instinct to do this. I mention instinct and it's something I have talked about a few times on Instagram. The world we lived in had got to a stage where we were forever being told what to do by other people. No matter your problem or question, you could get an answer online from someone else. It was like we had stopped relying on our instincts. 

The last 3 weeks have been a rollercoaster but the one thing that's kept me sane has been my instinct. It told me to stop watching the news, to reach out to friends, to stop putting pressure on myself to achieve all manner of things - exercise, decluttering, gourmet dinners and banana bread (!!). It told me to take a couple of weeks to process all that was going on and then decide what lockdown meant for me. Interestingly, it told me to take a break from talking all things fashion/style. 

Certainly in that first week where we were grappling to process all that was happening, it felt wrong to do paid promotions, to advertise fashion or beauty and to encourage people to spend money. So I stopped all of that - stopped affiliate links and rearranged the campaigns I had in the pipeline. Interestingly, in the last week, I've had several messages asking me to start blogging again - about spring fashion specifically and ways to up our lockdown fashion game. So maybe after Easter, I'll reconsider this...I'm not going to lie, the income would be helpful as I've got pretty much no work other than the blog at the moment.

So as we get ready to face week 4 of our lockdown, if I can urge you do anything, it's to listen to and trust your own instinct. Don't feel pressure from others at this time - think about what's right for you, your family, your life, your head and if that's hard to do and things still feel a bit crazy, you might find it helps to focus on just three things each day...I know I've found this so good for my head.

  1. Get some fresh air - I'm finding it a bit challenging going for walks or runs as footpaths can get busy and some people are really awkward when they meet you. If this is the case with you, I can highly recommend getting up early 2 or 3 times a week. I've really enjoyed beating the crowds at 7/7.30am. If nothing else, there aren't as many people to laugh at my pathetic attempts to run.
  2. Create don't consume - make sure you create something each day in place of being online or in front of a TV screen. Colour in, bake, clean, write, knit, put on make up...whatever it is, just get that balance of consumption vs creation into a good place. It will really help you.
  3. Have a conversation with someone - a neighbour, a friend or if you're at home with family, chat to them. As a busy family of 5, it's been great to have the time to talk properly to the kids and my husband. Just about stuff - not necessarily Covid but about life in general, how they're feeling, what plans we have for post-lockdown fun etc. I've also loved my daily catch up with different friends - sometimes in the day over a coffee, sometimes in the evening over a gin. I can highly recommend both!
Sending love to you all....especially if you've been personally touched by grief during this time. I know many of you have because you've told me about it via email or direct message. I've never been a big person for prayer but I'm praying now and you're all in those prayers. 

Take care and speak soon,

Avril xx

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2 comments

  1. Hi Avril - what a lovely post!vI share many of your feelings about the lockdown and think your advice is fab. I've returned to my blog after a year's break as I felt it would be good to do something creative and to record this strange time. Xx Doris

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  2. Thank you Avril. Warm wishes to you and your family x

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I love reading your comments and will reply as soon as I can if you have a specific question. If for any reason, you are unable to leave a comment, just drop me an email at avril@alifetostyle.com or leave a comment on the A Life to Style Facebook Page! Thank you xx

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