Life | Things I Learned From A Year Of Staying In

Hello 2021!

Thank f*ck for that.

Like many others, last New Year's Eve while stuffed to the brim with food eaten in an actual restaurant (what's one of those? No idea, mate) and more than a little merry after my Prosecco-induced "dance" around the kitchen to Proud Mary, I professed that 2020 was gonna be my year and no-one was gonna get in my way of living my best life. 

'No-one' turned out to be code for 'rona and my best life was put on hold while I became surgically attached to my sofa in March. 

It definitely wasn't the year any of us expected or hoped for and everyones grand plans were put on the back burner in order to keep each other safe (shout out to key workers, you wonderful humans). 

After a couple of months of Netflix binges, deep cleaning my flat and starting the same jigsaw over and over again only to throw a strop and shove it all back in the box, I finally came to terms with the new reality we've been living in and honestly, I've learned a lot.

It's truly been the year of slowing down, taking it easy - and for me in particular - getting to know oneself better and I wanted to share a couple of things I learned from my year in lockdown...

Days doing absolutely f*ck all are NOT. SOMETHING. TO. FEEL. GUILTY. ABOUT.

I have been the worst for scolding myself over the years for having a lazy day on the sofa when I've got a million and one important things on my to-do list but since it's pretty much been the law to stay in and do nothing, I decided to stop giving myself a hard time and if I was feeling like a day glued to the sofa playing The Sims all day then that's what I'd give myself. Now I'm not saying it's wise to completely disregard things you need to get done - cos lol, responsibilities and adulthood, yay! - but it's just nice to be able to give yourself a bit of slack and completely enjoy a day of relaxation doing all the things your heart desires. I often found it set me up for a really productive day the next day too, and I was able to get a hell of a lot more done with a clear mind and a clear conscience. 

There are so many skills out there waiting to be learned if you just give them some time and put the effort in.

Okay, this *kinda* contradicts my first point, but life's a balance, yano? I've given a few new things a go this year; I started running, finally got my head around Adobe Illustrator, gave knitting a go AND learned to dutch braid my own hair at the grand old age of 28. None of them were ground breaking skills to get the hang of by any means, but I feel like it was a good of a time as any to try out things that I'd always wanted to or didn't have time for previously. 

Apparently knitting is a new passion of mine, so I'll definitely be trying to practice it more into the new year whilst filling my flat with copious amounts of blankets and I really want to give at-home Pilates a go while Tier 4 cracks on and the gyms are all closed.

Spending time with other people is a privilege and shouldn't be taken for granted. 

This is coming from a self-proclaimed hermit pre-covid and the most anti-social person you'll ever meet but honestly being able to spend time with others is a blessing and I needed a reminder of that.  I live a good 2 hours away from friends and family so time spent with them is always few and far between anyway but combine that with the pandemic and I can probably count on one hand the amount of times I've interacted with anyone face to face this year that wasn't my husband. I started FaceTiming my mum on the reg (with golden cameos from my grandad) and took advantage of days out - albeit socially distanced ones - to see my best mates and I've never soaked it all up more. 

A bit of fresh air is the best remedy. 

I've definitely had my fair share of dark times over the last year and while I'm not saying going for a walk can fix everrrrrything but it definitely works wonders on sorting you out when your brain won't give it a rest. Having spent so long staring at the same tiny shoebox walls of my flat in 2020, I definitely want to get out more in this year, explore my city and just breathe in some fresh and clarifying air when it's all getting a bit too much.

I'd love to know what helped make 2020 just that little bit easier for you, and here's hoping for a brighter, healthier 2021!

Always, Alice x

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