My morning routine for years has been to get up in a blur at 7am, grabbing a cereal bar to scoff on the way before diving out my flat and on to the tube, with no more than a rushed ‘see you later’ to my boyfriend.
The last time I did this was three weeks ago, but it may as well have been three years ago as so much has changed since then.
It has been hard to adjust. I have more time on my hands. I have spent this time thinking about the things I used to do and the things I miss. I feel nostalgic and reflective.
But as we all get used to this new way of living, some definite positives are beginning to emerge. I can spend this time doing things I enjoy. To try new hobbies I didn’t have a chance to before. To appreciate the little things. To create my own comforts.
So, as the thorough market researcher that I am, I carried out some qual with the rest of The Nursery team to see what positives they have been experiencing since lockdown. Here’s what I found:
Tech or no Tech
We are becoming more confident with tech and video calls as they become the norm. Of course, face to face meetings have become Zoom calls but even the standard phone calls have been exchanged for FaceTime and video chat, as we want to see the faces of our friends and family that we miss. But we are also appreciating our off-screen time. We are cracking out board games and puzzles that only ever see the light of day around Christmas. We are talking more walks with our parents, with our kids. We’re walking and talking.
Trying the new and rediscovering the old
We are picking up hobbies we have been meaning to start but never find time to do. Cooking from scratch, painting, yoga, learning a language. Digging out the old dart board and finding out we’ve still got it! Reading the books we’ve been meaning to get around to. Making that recipe with that weird anchovy chilli paste that’s collecting dust at the back of the cupboard. We are discovering new passions and rediscovering our old loves.
The Work/Life Balance
We now have a much better work/life balance and are living a slower pace of life. We are not spending 2-3 hours of our day on a packed commuter train. Our commute is a walk down the stairs or into the next room. We have longer to sleep. We have time to sit down and eat breakfast as a family like in an old American movie. We can take long baths instead of quick showers and we can watch those day time quiz shows we’d normally never be home for. There is time to bake, to meditate, to draw, to do exercise, to snuggle our pets.
Communities and togetherness
We are genuinely building communities. We are meeting (and often supporting) people who have lived next door to us for years but who we don’t really know. We are nodding at people on the street as we pass (2m apart) who we’d usually ignore or not pay attention to. We’re learning who our neighbours are (and if they want anything from the shop). Importantly, we are all in the same boat. For once in a long time, we have one thing that unites us all. There is an ‘we’re all in this together’ mentality. There is no FOMO and fewer crazy schedules clashes
We are facing difficult and unusual times and I’ve found taking a moment to think about the positives can really help. It is rare to have this amount of free time again so we should make of it what we can. We can become painters, linguists and board game champions. Or just simply bake banana bread. Over and over again. Which is what I’m off to do now. Getting that screen time balance and all that!