Lockdown: Lessons in Lockdown
Covid_19 has its perks. But I decided to look at the positives and write down all the things lockdown has taught me. I must paint you a picture of what our lockdown in South Africa. looks like. It is split into different categories, which are Level 1 to 5. We began with the worst level 5 (3 months ago) which was everything shutdown.
Work, schools, restaurants, parks, everything except essentials like hospitals and grocery stores (grocery stores only sold specific merchandise). Small children, elderly, sickly were not allowed outside the house.
You needed a permit to be an essential worker. We couldn’t move in groups, only 2 people where allowed in a car. Soldiers and cops were stationed in busy places and you were arrested or fined for breaking the rules. etc. We are now on level 3.
Only 50 people are allowed at a funeral. And there should still be social distancing. A friends’ father past on. He said sadly that his mother sat alone during the funeral and mourned him. No one was allowed to hold, hug nor touch her. That made me so sad. That is the time you need someone most.
Lockdown entails that we must wear masks all the time when outside the house.
If you have worn masks before, you know how uncomfortable they are. Some stores are still closed. We must social distance. Parks, gyms, alcohol, cigarettes sales are still closed. Families can’t meet. In the beginning, co-parenting was hard.
We were not allowed to exchange children in their homes. They have the privilege of two homes, moms home and dads home. Children were not allowed to go from moms’ home to dads’ home etc.
It was heart breaking, seeing the fear in everyone’s eyes. Can’t hug, touch nor shake hands. Everyone stayed in their own bubble. And saw everyone else as a threat.
This is what I learnt:
How to set priorities. Before lockdown begun, we were given a grace period of about a few days to a week to get all the necessities we need. This was a tough one.
With limited money, we had to decide what was worth buying and not worth buying. Budgeting come into play. And we settled for somethings. But I discovered that sometimes buying in bulk is much cheaper.
It lasts longer and the price is better. Say for example 2kg auto washing powder is R60 while a 5kg is R100. I would rather add R40 buy 5KG and get more than double the product. Instead of paying R60 (for one) plus R60 (for 2 bags). Therefore, paying R120 for 2 bags of 2kg auto washing powder. Plus it lasted us longer. Win Win!
The importance of love under lockdown:
Love for people, things, food, nature, and things we could not get hold of during lockdown. Lol, a little like forbidden love for somethings especially when we are told no, we can’t have this. The one thing I missed the most was Nandos’. Love for life too.
Made me rethink and make better choices in living. The importance of healthy living. Stocking up on vitamin C. Eating homemade healthier food. How many germs we are exposed to when out there. And how much more I was affecting the environment (my carbon footprint). The environment flourished when no one was interfering with it.
I learnt to be nicer to people and friends. We all have our struggles, no matter our race, status or colour. This pandemic brought us all down to one. We are all human. Celebrities, officials, people in high positions, the poorest of all, caught the virus. And some died from it.
Patience with ourselves and others:
When we go grocery shopping, queues are long. Certain amount of people are allowed in the store. So be prepared to wait. When you get to the till, there is one person who is overworked and tired and may make mistakes. Patience for others steps in. The mind plays tricks on us too. Making us feel worthless and useless because we are doing nothing. But this is when patience for ourselves steps in etc.
The important of family, extended family, real important friends and community (other ways of connecting and communicating). My heart breaks every time grandparents can’t visit their grandchildren and parents can’t visit their kids, nor kids their parents. Lockdown is very lonely.
Imagine the elderly who have nothing but their children.
Being alone for a long time. Rather than that if food was scarce you suffer alone. You can’t get food from your neighbours nor your cousins nor close family. I appreciated having my son and my husband near. Loneliness hurts.
I appreciated the importance of community “Ubuntu”. I appreciated the sacredness of spending time together. How that created bonds and built relationships. It also showed us who our true and real friends are. The ones that went out of their way to message, WhatsApp, call, and video call you. A simple “Hello, are you ok?” meant so much.
Another lesson is to value what I have (my home, family, space, things, health, my husband, food, life, shelter, all the basics etc).
I learnt to reuse, mend and fix the things that broke. And to use things wisely. Less wastage of food. Because we didn’t know when the next bit of cash will come in. Avoiding going out of the house and living on less.
Romance under lockdown:
We had to rethink the norms of romance when it comes to going out and buying things. We had to get creative and be romantic in other ways. Thinking out of the box, quality time, homemade food, baked goodies, handmade presents, texting, kissing, holding hands, eating dinner together, watching movies together etc.
Importance of movement: Sitting down all day doing nothing gets to you. We had to find creative ways to move. Skipping, playing soccer in the backyard, cleaning, exercising, etc. Moving your body and not staying in one place is very important.
Selfless living: (lockdown)
Lockdown taught me to give. Especially to those in need and had no access to anything. The street kids. We joined a homeless shelter to give. When the weather changed and went colder, I worried for those who did not have a roof over their heads, food, warm clothing nor shelter.
The more we gave the less we went without. We had such a surplus amount that we gave to more people in our complex who were struggling.
I learnt that if someone is meant for you things will work out. Lockdown either made or broke you. Relationships with no solid foundation broke while those with a stronger foundation flourished. More time was spent together.
Cooking, cleaning, romance, dating. It felt refreshed and renewed. Like the times when we were dating and enjoyed spending every minute together. Sometimes life gets in the way and we forget the important things. Or the people we do these things for. Its about making memories and building relationships rather than making money.
More people in the house, means more dishes to clean, more clothes to wash and the house gets dirtier faster. We also learnt to work together to keep the house clean.
Things to do with time (how to use time wisely). When you have lots of time on your hands, we tend to become lazy. We had to find better ways of spending time and keeping our minds busy rather than sleeping all day.
The importance of green living and Permaculture (growing your own food): food prices have gone up and was scarce. We had to settle for whatever was left to survive. In the beginning people were stock piling and everything was finishing. I learnt the importance of permaculture especially growing your own food. That’s even the better, organic and healthier option.
I began to appreciate local farmers even more. They do a wonderful and tiring job with little appreciation. We should buy from our local farmers more often. They hardly ran out and the produce was fresh.
Letting the small things go:
Stress levels were high. Everything small thing was a trigger. Somethings are not worth harbouring, arguing nor defending yourself over. It’s a good idea to let them go. Apologize and forgive.
Having a job and having multiple sources of income. I learnt that one 5 to 5 job is never enough. Living paycheck to paycheck. What about times when that pay check is not available?
I learnt that I should set up all sorts of businesses in different sectors. If one sector fails the other is there to uphold for a while. And I learnt to save. When you are indoors and not spending much money, you become greedy with your money (reducing on mindless spending).
In a sense that you work so hard for this precious money and this is when priorities set in. You did without it for so long that you realize you don’t need it and would rather invest in other more important things. And savings will help you when you need the money the most. Savings also help when we pass on, our children have something to live by.
Not to take advantage of what I have been blessed with.
Gratitude under lockdown:
Especially in the small things we tend to ignore, healthy bodies, a roof over my head, food to eat every day. The privilege of breathing, I thought of how some people have problems with breathing and how the pandemic affected breathing. I am so happy and glad to be breathing.
Staying at home has taught me the better ways of home making and homesteading. I have become better at that. And I googled a lot and Pinterest a lot on homemaking. I had to cook, clean, mend and do a lot of other homesteading things I would ignore.
Gratitude for friends and company. Being isolated made me miss and appreciate people. And I appreciated entertainment areas such as parks, gyms, cinemas, places that keep us busy.
At the same time I learned to slow down. Todays day and norm is to keep busy. That keeping busy makes you someone. When you have been isolated for a while, the house has been cleaned and decluttered so many times, you have no option but to relax and do nothing.
Enjoying the small moments. Appreciating and prolonging these moments. Intentional living and not just being swayed by the crowd.
I also observed after a friend of mine pointed out how children prefer undivided time and attention. My son has so many toys but his best moments are when we sit down together and play. It doesn’t matter what we are playing with as long as I am there with him. I am present in the moment.
Jeanette, My friend mentioned looking at them when they speak to you, putting your phone away, showing genuine interest, letting them crack an egg for you etc. These small moments may not mean much to us but to our children it is the best time ever.
When routine breaks how to move forward. If you are a routine person lockdown hit hard. I learnt alternatives to routine and they worked. And to be flexible.
Looking at positives rather than stressing and negatives of lockdown.
The constant battle between choosing life or death. Choosing to starve or exposing yourself to die from a pandemic.
Lockdown taught me the importance of working together. Even if it was at a distance. We worked together to social distance and made a big difference.
I learnt about Gods Grace. It is only by Grace we live. God is the one who keeps us. We can be in quarantine safely but catch the virus by watering plants outside. And another can be careless all day and not catch it. Only God speaks and determines who lives.
My faith has increased. I have faith that everything will be ok. I have faith that my family will be ok. My faith that God will keep us safe. I haven’t prayed so much in a while as I did these few months. I slackened and was too busy with life. God showed me to depend on Him alone. Many people found themselves praying during this time.
The importance of looking after your mind health (Mentality).
And self-care. This type of stress has messed up with the mind. Mental fatigue, overthinking the next meal, stressing about going grocery shopping. Stressing about money. The stress has been high in peak. And eventually began to mess with the outside body.
Weakened immune system, aches and pains etc. It was and is so important to take care of yourself and your mind. Your body. Taking walks, breathing exercises, exercising, meditating, slow living, intentional mental shutdown, sleeping, drinking and eating well. These things are what keep us going. It is all about taking care of yourself to make it and take care of your family.
Discovered new things and strengths about ourselves:
I found creative ways to do things. If we had access to something others didn’t have we would buy it, mark up the price and sell. Making a profit. I also managed to revamp three websites (one was made into an e-commerce site). Keeping busy on social media and increased our following. I got better at cooking as was cooking everyday – no option for take away.
Stress: I learned not to stress about things we can’t change but do something about the things we can change.
Another lesson is nothing in this life is permanent. We can lose everything with a blink of an eye and win everything with a blink of an eye. What legacy are we living behind? I strive to be better and do better for my son. So that his tomorrows are somewhat better.
There is always something good even under lockdown.
What is required is a change in the outlook of things. Looking at the positives gives you assurance and hope.
My gratitude post over on Instagram regarding Lockdown: https://www.instagram.com/p/CCxKlt0lPVA/?igshid=pajraoj2rzer
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