unlocking in lockdown

So how’s lockdown got you? If you’re anything like me, and like your freedom, you’re starting to feel cooped up? To be honest, I have felt like that, a hen forced to stay in a cage. But, towards the end of this week, that feeling has subsided. I’m now pretty much used to this feeling of being in the house and only taking minor trips out to the supermarket and then to deliver shopping to my grandparents.

This is all new, not just for me, but for all of us, for the world. I’ve been occupying my time by doing new things. Things that are bringing me joy, plenty of self care and lots of Bible plans on the Bible app to get me through the low points.

New is hard. This was a truth from Brené Brown on her podcast Unlocking Us, episode Brené on FFTs. Here’s the link. https://open.spotify.com/episode/3dfDCFtzwJKIPGW7yajfuC?si=AXErt8XzT0Ss8PtIWByAlA. This episode really spoke to me and “fucking first times” (FFTs) are something we all go through. Once we conquer doing something for the first time, life seems a little easier. And in truth, everything takes a little practice, and a lot of getting used to.

I’ve been using this time to unlock parts of myself. I have seen a lot of people talking about practising self-care and if that suits you, go for it. But I prefer to just take care of myself in general, and then up the anti if I need more of a pamper. It’s important to be in tune with yourself, and your body, and learn from yourself.

I am learning that I need to speed up doing things. Tidying my room more regularly would make me happier, and feel less cluttered both physically and mentally. I also need to keep anxiety to a minimum and relax more before bed. Maybe some yoga would help before getting into bed. I would also like to try out some new skincare products, but make it into a routine – I am terrible at doing these usual girly things often! It’s the same with a morning routine too. I definitely need to wash my face more (lol). I am just about remembering to brush my teeth more and night, oh and a daily brush of my hair would not go a miss!

I also need to get into a writing habit as I’m trying to develop my novel. I also want to journal more. I think this lockdown (confinement in French) will be so interesting for my children and grandchildren one day so I would really like to have some words penned to read to them.

Eat well in this period. We usually eat homemade anyway, but in my house, we’ve cooked fresh meals and baked goodies. We’re making use of this downtime to learn new recipes and try new things. Drinking water is also so important. I’m saying that to also remind myself to drink more water. Keep hydrated.

My sister and I are still going out for walks as often as we can, to keep up some resistance to the virus and get some fresh air into our lungs. It’s the only time we get away from our parents, but also away from distractions and social media. It’s valuable time together, and I’m grateful to have it.

Brené’s podcasts are really speaking to me at the moment. Unlocking Us is a great series and I think in this time where there’s so much free time, it’s important to fill it with truth and honesty. There’s so much purity and vulnerability that comes through her words. I love the podcast with Alicia Keys. I haven’t listened to her music in depth, other than the known hits, but hearing her speak makes me want to listen to her music more as well as read her book.

I think vulnerability is something so hard to access nowadays. We plaster ourselves all over Instagram, in next to nothing might I add, when we are not really displaying our true selves. Alicia in the podcast expresses her truths, expanding the stories from her book and giving the detail. Powerlessness, vulnerability, feeling exposed.

I’m starting to realise that I too go around with an armour on, but antennas up and out. I really feel things in life, and experience them. I’ll never forget when, on the way home from Brazil, a school friend and fellow trip mate said, “you’ve taken more away from this than anyone”. That still means so much to me today. On that trip I found myself, I found my faith. I felt Jesus move and I realised the power we have to impact lives. Since that trip I’ve had battles. I’ve been so low, less than a year ago I could not cope. But overcoming battle by battle built the resilience I have today.

I saw what hope can do, and I continue to see that.

Finding role models for life seems easy, but I’m learning it’s hard. I’m trying to curate spaces where I gather truthful speakers of hope and joy, but of vulnerability and sadness too. I look to women mostly to find what I relate to. But there are men too who I admire and inspire me and teach me what might be going through the minds of the men in my life, my dad, my boyfriend, my grandad, my uncles, my cousins.

It’s time for us to start rising up. It’s less about being ourselves, and projecting our version of ourselves, but instead just living out our lives. Connected. Content. Crying out for truth so passionately that there is no alternative.

Love,

Anna

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