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6 Lessons from lockdown

July 18, 2020 4 min read

6 Lessons from lockdown

To help us get through the wringer of ongoing lockdown. 

My good friend recently posted an Instagram story of her young children (3yo and 1yo) watching Frozen in the middle of the night, eating crackers, complete with a perfectly selected “Elsa” GIF singing “Let it go, let it go” alongside - It made me laugh because it was SO relatable - but it also made me feel emotional.  

This is what lockdown is all about. 

If we learned anything, getting through is about doing what you and your loved ones need to do to feel good. Doing what makes you (and your cohabitors: family, flatmates and/or pets) feel safe, sane and happy. It’s about letting go of any pre-COVID life expectations and being kinder to yourself -because this IS HARD.

For me, it’s taken the form of: 

  • Watching too much daily ABC kids, way more than I’d like to admit, just so I can write the emails I keep trying to get done but struggle to find a full focused 10 minutes
  • It’s letting my 3yo stay up past his usual 7 pm bedtime each night so that I can spend some one-on-one time with him after my 7mo has gone to bed
  • It’s breastfeeding my 7mo, sometimes up to 2 hourly overnight, when I know it’s probably just comfort feeding (he has lots of solids and milk during the day), but I can’t bring myself to sleep train him yet because I need the comfort and cuddles as well
  • It’s staying up late myself (when I know I should be catching up on sleep), just so I can grab some Kate-time (which now involves streaming Bachelor in Paradise)! 

Here are some life lessons we've learned in lockdown.

1. Your new life skill is “getting through this”. 

The thing is; you don’t have to come out the other side of this having learned a new language or perfected your sourdough. It’s easier and far less heartbreaking to buy a loaf from the bakery. It won’t taste like a brick. We’re probably not jetting off to Spain any time soon either, so it’s ok to cut yourself some slack. 

If you’re motivated to do any and all of these things, that’s fantastic! You’re not a failure if all you do this time is survive. If things are getting a bit much, we wrote onhow to flatten the anxiety curve back at the start of lockdown 1.0. You got this! We got this!

2. It’s ok to talk about your feelings.

It's ok to talk about your feelings

Is she laughing or is she crying? Probably both.

Covid-19 has seriouslyaffected women in the Australian workforce. Additional child care hours, and two to one being roughly the division of domestic work means that working women are under a lot of strain. It can also be the reason we band together to move forward as a community; with open and honest conversation about mental health.

I don’t know how many people (mostly women), I spoke with via phone or Zoom that quickly blurted out their anxieties during the first round. They talked about the struggle of isolation, working and home-schooling their kids, their worry about staying on top of finances, or how flat they felt within the first five minutes of the call. Some of these people were brand new acquaintances.

It was the quickest (and weirdest) bonding experience I’ve had with new people in my life.

3. Try not to feel guilty about things you can’t control.

With so many people unable to work and being laid off, a shedload of guilt accompanied my continued ability to work in lockdown 1.0. Women arestatistically over-represented in work that is casual or part-time and are losing their jobs at an astonishing rate. It’s hard not to feel empathetic to our sisters doing it tough, and that empathy can quickly turn toguilt

People have experienced guilt about not visiting their elderly parents. Employees feel guilt around not being as productive. Parents have been feeling guilty about not homeschooling their kids as effectively as the teachers. It goes on. 

Psychotherapist Amy Morin writes “Guilt isn't likely to be helpful right now. In fact, it can lead to some unhealthy choices if you're not careful” forthis article on Business Insider, which we found super helpful in challenging guilt grief. It’s not your fault.  

4. Schedules are amazing. But don’t be busy for the sake of it.

What is free time anyway? Like most startup founders, I don’t like to feel unproductive or I feel stagnant. If we learned anything from lockdown 1.0 though, is that it’s HARD to do everything when work, life, parenting, relationships and your entire existence is contained under one roof. 

Referring back to lesson one above, your new life skill is “getting through this”. Be kind to yourself and do what you need to do to feel sane; which might actually be stopping and taking some time to unwind.

However, if you do feel like you could use a productivity boost, here’s a little something we wrote aboutmaximising productivity (and staying sane) back in April that rings true today.

5. We’re not all in the same boat. Perspective is essential.

“We’re not all in the same boat, but we are in the same storm. Some of us are in dinghy’s, some in yachts and some are clinging to bits of driftwood.” 

This phrase is so salient because, while it’s true that the storm is rough for everyone, some of us (myself included) have pretty good support crews or “boats”. Having perspective doesn’t mean your feelings are irrelevant, it’s just a small reminder to practice gratitude and to look out for others who need assistance. 

6. Support local

2020 has thrown a lot of curve-balls at local businesses. 

First came the devastating bushfires that decimated regional tourism and small businesses, some of whom still haven’t seen monetary support yet. Then came the first wave of Covid-19 lockdowns, shutting down hospitality, tourism and pressuring the health system overnight. Now Melbourne based businesses are in lockdown 2.0, just trying to stay afloat. Many are failing.

She Lion is still hanging in there and we want to do something to help. We’ve learned that it’s not enough to merely share thoughts on social media, support and change demands action. So we’re using our connections and business savvy to create a campaign and a vehicle for local assistance.Watch. This. Space.

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