Lessons from Lockdown: A Collaboration
2020 was the year humanity was hit with a global pandemic, which subsequently evolved into lockdowns of varying kinds across most of the planet. As the strangest time in recent history began to unfold, I noticed people (whether consciously or unconsciously), sharing interesting insights into their lockdown experience across social media.
Before we go on, I feel it is important to note that I am not going all ‘cult of positivity’ on you. Many people have been negatively impacted because of the pandemic. Not everyone has had the time, resources, emotional availability, or capacity for conscious personal development or reflection. When you are legitimately scared about the future and your survival, everything else is a luxury. That being said, for many this has been the first time they have been able to really ‘sit with themselves’ for a while.
As someone with an interest in human nature, a desire for wisdom and to learn from others, I was compelled to reach out to people in my social media circle. Those I contacted seemed to be learning unique lessons. I asked them if they would be willing to share what they felt to be the single most important lesson (no pressure!) they have learned during their lockdown experience. I have been overwhelmed by the responses, the honesty, and the individual experiences shared. So thank you!
Without further ado here are the lessons.
Johnzelle: Radical Acceptance
Radical acceptance is the lesson that I was learning before the pandemic; however, this lesson went into overdrive during the lockdown. Radical Acceptance is the ability to acknowledge the reality of your situation without judging, blaming, or criticizing yourself or others. Radical acceptance involves understanding the things that are both within and outside of your control. You can then use that awareness to guide future situations and challenges.
COVID19 impacted each person’s sense of normal. In my work as a therapist, I’ve talked with stir-crazy teens missing their school and social connections as well as countless young adults thrust into unemployment. As a small business owner, I had to accept that it was no longer feasible to continue leasing my physical therapy office, as I live in a country that failed miserably to contain the Coronavirus pandemic (I’m not so proud to be an American). I also had to accept and participate in the outrage resulting from ongoing systemic racism and police brutality plaguing the United States.
“I’m not gonna lie, embracing radical acceptance in 2020 has been difficult.”
I’m not gonna lie, embracing radical acceptance in 2020 has been difficult. As a therapist, I’ve never been busier; after all, mental health struggles were bound to result from the aforementioned mayhem. On a personal level, I have had to adjust to working from home, seeing clients through telehealth, and raising an infant who has spent more of her life within this pandemic than outside of it. Self-care has been the key to my survival and I have a daily to-do list of self-care tasks so that I don’t burn out. The list includes: reading the news (in moderation), spreading inspiration, reading books, running, and yoga.
The lesson is ongoing and I’m determined to make it out alive… or until Mr. Trump’s tweets get us blown off the face of the Earth. God help us all…
More about Johnzelle:
Johnzelle Anderson is a Licensed therapist and owner of Panoramic Counseling in Richmond, Virginia, USA. Johnzelle specializes in helping teens and young adults facing anxiety, depression, life transitions, and relationship challenges. You can learn more about Johnzelle at PanoramicCounseling.com and follow him on Instagram @Counselor4RVA.
From a business point of view, I’ve learned that one small business cannot survive without the help of dozens of others. The metal leg guy we took for granted can’t get steel. The delivery drivers were not allowed to deliver. The woodyard closed and the resin ran out.
Our businesses are part of a link, a chain of mutually supportive and essential links that help us do our job. We are not alone. Everyone is struggling, adapting, learning fast. Supporting each other, understanding each other’s struggles, and not putting pressure on each other has been essential.
More about Tracy:
Tracy is the owner and creator of Fretwells Urban Living, the owner of Florals By Fretwells, a proud parent, wife, friend, boss, and puppy momma. Fretwells Urban Living can be found on Facebook, Etsy and Instagram. Florals By Fretwells can also be found on Instagram.
Now, I’m no stranger when it comes to quarantining. As a chronic illness warrior, I can guarantee you not only am I a professional quarantine queen but I was also very familiar with hand sanitizer, social distance & wearing a mask way before this pandemic… Just saying!
Who Doesn’t Want Joy?!
We all want joy whether it’s tied to doing something, experiencing something, or just simply being. No one wants to feel a burden of any kind and especially when going through a global pandemic it is even more important to understand where to find and attain joy.
With constant bad news all around it’s hard to feel joyous about anything that is going on. Even the things that you actually enJOY can become unjoyous, simply because the general energy in the surroundings drowns the goodness out and it can become very easy for you to no longer view a loveable hobby or activity as a positive, but rather, something that causes frustration. This frustration can also be due to burnout which actually ties in with another lesson I spoke about, ‘REST’.
I have to say, for me, ‘TRUE JOY’ actually comes from a place within. This is something that has taken some time to reach in my personal faith and connection with God. Recently, I heard something mentioned from a virtual annual convention I attended that hasn’t left my mind:
“Circumstantial joy can come & go. A person’s True Joy isn’t dependent on external factors but rather, it is to do with a deep-seated quality of the heart. Godly Joy is not superficial.”
Knowing this has helped me to get through what we can absolutely call an extremely difficult time in history. This is not to be confused with delusion, as that would be having a total disregard for what is going on in the universe. Having true joy rather helps to keep a healthy outlook on things because otherwise, the world events could engulf you, and then it becomes an extremely difficult place to climb your way out of.
“There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.”
So, if you’re wondering, “How can I start to feel joy even now?” You can experience Joy in helping out a friend or a stranger in need, maybe you have something that you see another person doesn’t. Acts chapter 20 and verse 35 says it best:
“There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.”
You can also find Joy in sharing an encouraging word with someone, over the phone, in a card, on video chat. Another unmatched type of Joy is in the simplicity of admiring the beauty of God’s creation; the birds, the bees, the flowers, and the leaves blowing in the trees that can keep you to stay joyful no matter the circumstance or chaos.
More about Laura:
Pinterest – Follow @LauraSpoonie
Etsy – Follow @LauraSpoonieArt
Twitter – Follow @LauraSpoonie
Just a quick aside: Laura’s lesson was originally featured as part of a longer blog post over on her website. Laura has kindly shared a section of her original post for the purpose of this blog. Thank you!
To begin with, I’d like to say that, similar to most people, lockdown was not a smooth sailing journey. However, what I will say is this: it led me to where I am today, and I honestly could not be more grateful for this lockdown. I’ve learnt a lot during the past few months – about myself, about the universe, and how it’s all interlinked… but at the very core of it, the biggest lesson was actually learning to listen to myself again. Getting in tune with my needs, my feelings, who I am, what I stand for. What I need to let go of.
I’ve felt extremely stuck and in limbo the past few years; graduating from my fine art degree six years ago with zero creativity and drive left, to go into hospitality full time – and then full stop. That was it. Locked in a restrictive, exhausting box on repeat – for six whole years. Sure, I worked my way up to management, and I moved cities twice… but I still felt like I had been standing in the exact same spot since graduating and taking that first unforgiving step into full-time hospitality work.
“I had been standing in the exact same spot since graduating”
Fast forward five months after lockdown: I have cut off my ties with hospitality, I have rediscovered and opened pandora’s box of creativity and have multiple sketchbooks, canvases and random bits of paper all on the go at once, desperate to make a mark with the overflowing expression that was inaccessible and suppressed for so long. I have also found the confidence to start sharing my love for food and plants online, sharing tips and recipes that are cruelty-free in regards to animals, people, and nature.
I volunteer and grow food at food banks, learning every single time I’m there whilst also meeting like-minded people. Helping myself, whilst helping others. On that same note, I have just applied to start a horticulture course too, I’m midway through a nutrition course, and am about to finish an EFT & TFT Practitioner course. At the core of it – learning to listen to myself – it has become so very clear to me that by starting to find harmony within myself, I can help and be a part of others finding their own harmony on their own personal journey, too.
More about Samantha:
Find me on Instagram sharing my art @samgregm_art. And my plant-based food, sustainability and hormone balancing journey page @plantbasedplantmama or alternatively plantbasedplantmama.uk
A heartfelt thank you Johnzelle, Tracy, Laura, and Samantha for sharing their lockdown lesson. I appreciate your time, wisdom, and insight. I encourage people to head over to their websites and social media channels to learn more. They certainly add a touch of brilliance to my newsfeeds 💜
Thank you for spending some of your precious time in my online abode today. Do you have an important lockdown lesson? If so, leave a comment below 🙂
P.s. If you find my content useful and enjoy what I share, why not buy me a coffee by clicking the button below?