on lockdown and loving life

I didn’t expect lockdown to be this good for my mental health. I never expected to say this either.

So yes, as unexpected as it is, I have found lockdown to have given me the time needed to catch up and take stock of the past months.

Last summer I was really struggling with my mental health, and felt like I was drowning, but thanks to God, my family and a few close friends, I got through that dark time.

Today is like day twenty I think of lockdown. I was discussing with a French friend how good the word lockdown is compared to their “confinement”. That to me feels like “emprisonnement” which you can infer is imprisonment. I couldn’t cope with being stuck in that. I also feel that our lockdown has been very democratic. And I like that. Despite the issues people have over PPE and the government’s seemingly late response, which I think is an inaccurate perception, you can’t ignore the fact that most things in this time have been optional. The government hasn’t been tough on us, they could’ve been a lot tougher.

Anyway, I’m here today say down on the concrete looking at the railway bridge that’s at the side of the Wayoh reservoir. Only about 2km from my house. I feel grateful. Today I realise that my life is so abundant and this week is going to be productive.

I’ve been working out every day for a solid week now. On Saturday morning, I walked 5.7km, and I’m so proud of that. I did nearly 9,000 steps. Reaching 10,000 a day is so hard! – how do people even do that?! I’ve joined a motivation group on Instagram, full of other lovely girls on the road to losing weight, and toning up. I love sharing recipes, motivation and inspiration with others and a community like this is keeping this daily exercise at the forefront of my mind. My boyfriend is also the biggest support. He gets me to send him a video of me on a run or doing something active at least, and I send him my health app statistics for proof. It actually keeps me accountable, even if I look terrible in the videos. And I certainly couldn’t run to save my life. I love that in the future we’ll keep fit together, go for walks, go to the gym. That gives me hope for my future children that I’ll show them how to be fit and healthy, how to potentially deal with weight loss healthily and positively.

So I have continued listening to Brené Brown’s podcasts since my last blog post. I feel really inspired by her, and her words both resonate with me and teach me. I haven’t been going through them in chronological order, and I only listen to the ones that I feel apply to me.

The latest one I listened to this morning was Anxiety, Calm + Over-/Under-functioning. https://open.spotify.com/episode/28eevsQUg5eNdFpaOpjbc5?si=7tSjCyflS3GkE4O0rRW3lQ

Matching the cadence of anxiety

That phrase above spoke to me. Brené discuss that it’s important to not match that cadence that others project when they are stressed, or suddenly anxious because of a situation that has arisen. I could say so much more on this, and I’m surprised that as the older child I categorise myself as an under-functioner, but I think I’m going to leave it to you to listen to Brown’s podcast and learn something new for yourself.

I totally agree with those preaching, practically, on Instagram about how no one should feel pressured to be productive during lockdown. Now I totally agree with that. But for me personally, I’m finding lockdown a time of pure “épanouissement”, which translates to blossoming from French. I am finding true self-growth of both my mind and spirit. I’m learning new things, challenging both my beliefs and foundations. I’m learning to listen more, I’m praying more, and I’m creating more. I’m inspiring myself, and actively finding inspiration in and from other forms.

From one podcast to the next. Saturn Returns. Yes, yes, YES. I love Caggie Dunlop’s voice, and always liked her in Made in Chelsea back in the day. Her podcast gets me, and the topics resonate with me. Don’t be stagnant, keep moving. Keeps transitioning.

I am going to go into more detail on the L word in another post, as I’ve my own lessons to share, as well as ones gathered from podcasts, and even song lyrics.

This journey of self-discovery is leading to so much self-love. Not the kind where I am becoming big-headed or putting my needs before everyone else’s. But realising my own self-worth, and learning to be wild and free instead of allowing to be tamed by societal norms, is growing me as a person. And girl, I’m so goddamn proud of that.

Love,

Anna

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