Its Sunday, 2 weeks into lockdown and I awoke with jaw clenched and head aching. I sat up and realised my head was fine and realised I had been dreaming. My dream/nightmare had involved me rushing around, unprepared and unorganised to go back to school to teach. I had to be there before 8am, and I was already late, and I was snapping at my children etc.
Throughout my PhD experience I have learned I have a tendency to hold stress in my jaw, when I notice it, I take a deep breath and release it. But apparently, we all hold/feel our stress in various parts of our body e.g. chest/stomach.
I lay awake after this thinking about how this lockdown experience has benefited me and our family. Every time I think these thoughts there is guilt, as I am completely aware of how our key workers are challenged in so many ways, and I think of those feeling lonely, and the children living in families where circumstances are extremely challenging. I want everyone to feel happiness and freedom. But I also see that with enough food and family around us, we can remember how to be. How many times have you said I’m so busy I don’t have time? Maybe we can become curious and encourage our children to be off their phones for a little bit (This is hard!)
But I cannot deny, after a year of challenge, my daughter going off to university and learning to navigate a new life in which has been for me the uncomfortable world of academia, away from the amazing teenagers I taught and a role where I was respected. It has been lovely having our family together again. Two teenagers in the house, have we had some moments? Oh, yes! But the difference I reflected this morning is, we are not rushing off to something else, we are in this together and so we have talked things out and communicated in a way we haven’t done for quite some time. Yesterday, the girls chose a book and we actually started a book club and one of us reads for ten minutes and we discuss the book as a family! This would ever have happened before I guarantee, my husband would never have sat still long enough, and he said he really enjoyed it. We have eaten together, danced together, we have discussed all manner of things including what we will do after the lockdown is lifted. I remember going through a stage of listening to ‘James Altucher’ the author, and the girls at primary school age would sit for ages drawing designs for things like innovative pet homes and note lots of ideas. James talks about how we have an idea muscle and the more you think of different ideas, the more you will be inspired and curious.
I decided to make a list of what has been different during the lockdown, and what I am grateful for:
- Being able to keep to my morning routine with an extension; meditate, Tibetan rite yoga movements, stretches and abs workout, 30 x clean and press, listen to a podcast and a sunset morning run/walk (I have a healing knee, and so also doing my physio exercises)
- Facetiming and laughing with my parents and brother and family
- Having a weekend party, dancing in the kitchen and cooking up a plant-based feast together
- Snapping at each other and then apologising and talking about how we feel – hugging it out
- Being spider man/picachu with Joe Wicks!
- Reading together – like when the girls were younger, but all of us!
- Planning the week and weekend together, we have differentiated fun weekend and routine during the week
- Going out for a walk, and even with social distancing everyone making an effort to smile and say hello (at first this was the weirdest thing, having to stay away from humans!)
- Playing cards and Boules in the garden
- Laughing, trying to learn Tik toks (trying being the operative word)
- Dancing in the front room and watching Ant and Dec’s Saturday night takeaway
- Having time to listen to the girls thoughts, hopes and dreams
- Each day, making progress with my PhD study, and setting intentions
- Being able to make resources that may help people eat well and nourish
- Meeting my new neighbours (this may/may not have happened) through baking for them!
- Meeting the amazing people from the local food bank
- More time for writing and reflecting – just stepping off the hamster wheel of school run, travelling to and from work each day, away from feeling too exhausted to communicate.
Yes of course I want to hug my parents, have a run out in the car to the beach or Roseberry topping and enjoy a meal with my friends, go to my yoga class, go to town and the supermarket as normal. But, staying home has had huge benefits, and yes, I want everyone to experience the same and yes, I want fairness and equality. But the only way this will happen is to release the blaming, release the ‘them’ and ‘us’ thinking and join together to be solution focused. Let’s use our energy to think of solutions and raise others, this way every single one of us plays a part.
I have updated the ideas sections on my instagram profile page for those looking for foodie inspiration. Follow my story on Instagram @Passion8nutrition
All my love and best health,