Lockdown is tough, especially when you are living on a construction site with no kitchen and a toddler, but Account Director Kayleigh Mills is finding ways to stay positive.

I, like a lot of people, have been finding this lockdown life tough.  I miss my family and friends.  I miss my usual routine and the little things I took for granted.  Like taking my little girl swimming, an uninterrupted lunch hour or popping into my mums for a cuppa.  I’m anxious about the future and what it holds for us all.  I’m also really tired of living in a part construction site as major building work started on my house a week prior to lockdown, leaving us kitchen-less!

Right, that’s the moaning bit over, I promise.  I wrote that paragraph last week when I got the reminder that it was my turn to write our weekly blog post.  I wasn’t exactly jumping for joy; I mean what is there to write about at a time like this?  We’re constantly bombarded with articles on how to work more efficiently at home, how life as we know it won’t be the same for the foreseeable, and how the industries we work in are changing rapidly, and how to make the best banana bread.  It’s mostly interesting stuff, but I often find it really overwhelming.  Last week, it was all starting to take its toll on me.

After writing the first paragraph of this article I saved it and closed my laptop.  The next day I re-read it and thought – What a ray of sunshine I am!  who’s going to want to read on from that? I am in no doubt that you thought the same.  So, I decided to turn things around and instead focus on POSITIVITY! After all, I’m certainly one of the lucky ones right now- myself and loved ones are healthy.  Also, I once read that (probably at some point in the past two months) “Positive thinking evokes, more energy, more initiative, more happiness” (quote by anonymous).

So, I used this last week leading up to today (18 May), the article submission deadline, to look for ways to make the best of my current situation.  To cheer me up and hopefully inspire anyone who has also been feeling a bit down.
I made some small changes to my daily life that have genuinely had a positive impact on my wellbeing.  The changes weren’t anything radical.  They were changes that most of us could, and probably often talk about, but never actually get around to making. So here goes.

These are the 3 things that have worked for me:

Striking a balance – I devised a new weekly routine with boundaries set for the days I was working and the days I was not.  This mainly involved being strict with my phone and laptop, so no more having a sneak peek at emails when I gave my daughter her lunch or when I was on my daily walk in the park.  This past week when I wasn’t supposed to be working, I wasn’t, and it did wonders for my anxiety levels.  I forced myself to believe that if anything disastrous happened, someone would find a way to get in touch and I’d deal with it then.

Me time –  I made time for myself.  Pre lockdown ‘me time’ was pretty much non-existent.  Life was a major juggling act which left me shattered by 7pm most nights.  Last week, I gifted all the extra time I now have to myself! I signed up for virtual exercise classes – these were brilliant for improving my mood and energy levels and I took up a new hobby – drawing.  It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and I found it SO relaxing! It felt good knowing that I had time to do whatever I wanted…I no longer felt guilty binge-watching Netflix with my hubby.  Doing the dishes in the bathtub would just have to wait!

Time with friends and family – I took the time to strengthen existing relationships by having catch-ups with family and friends on Zoom. They were brilliant and we’ve all agreed to make them a regular occurrence throughout the week instead of just having them sporadically.  Everyone felt the benefit of seeing people’s faces and sharing our highs and lows.  It really is good to talk!

And that’s it. See I told you, nothing mind-blowing but I think that is a good thing.  The changes I have made have been pretty easy and small, however, the results have been big.  I’ve found that it’s just about changing your mindset and making this new norm work for you.

The next time we chat hopefully you’ll see the new positive me, especially now that lockdown is beginning to ease in Scotland!  Unless we talk first thing in the morning that is…I’m still not a morning person.

 

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