There has been so much loss but small, tiny comfort is to be found in my new found love for fashion, fitness and nature. At the start of lockdown, fully convinced it was going to only last two weeks, I marked a countdown in my diary and got stuck in. I was doing an online course, writing, both for my own blog and for media. I was also exercising up to three times a day. I was living a regimental life where every minute was mapped out for maximum productivity. So full of determination to emerge from lockdown like a butterfly from a chrysalis! My yoga teacher training hadn’t yet moved online. Teaching or indeed participating in yoga classes via zoom had yet to hold any appeal.
As lockdown got extended I got more and more fecund, until I realized what a pain in the neck I had become. I had zero spontaneity in my life. That’s when I recognized that all I was trying to do was put order on chaos and self-soothe by controlling what little I could, myself. After this, I eased up on the reins a bit and slowly began to enjoy myself. My yoga teacher training was progressing. As I could no longer hold practice classes in person, I had to move them online. I started to relax. Drinks in the garden on sunny days in floaty dresses became the norm. Which leads me onto fashion.
I would be pretty confident describing myself as a fashionista, I know my Biba from my Balenciaga, but I had slipped into a rut. I was wearing a uniform of high waisted jeans and Rolling Stones t-shirts as my go-to all year round. Layering grey sweatshirts over the top in winter was a different as it got. All my “good” clothes and my beautiful and prized accessories were kept for special occasions and going “out, out”. Lockdown changed that overnight.
Faced with the prospect of the world actually ending and having watched too many disaster and sci-fi movies, I decided if I was never going to go out again, I might as well wear my best clothes WFH. I became a much more considered shopper, not least because my budget was cut to almost nothing. Every single item I purchased during this period was a dress.
Each dress was debated and considered before purchasing and then waiting for the delivery driver to come became my favourite hobby. Each item took an age to arrive and then was duly photographed with its own specially planned shoot in the house or garden or in our 5k radius. Wearing these dresses and wearing makeup lifted my spirits at a time where I couldn’t get my roots done or a manicure for love nor money. I didn’t spend much over 100 euro and it was money well spent. Not important in the scheme of the seriousness of Covid but important for self-esteem, self-care, and wellbeing.
One of the other things that got me through the darkest days of lockdown was fitness. Some days I did three activities as I mentioned already. Strength training via Instagram live at 7.30am, a long walk or run and a yoga session. Sounds a lot but when you have a lot of time on your hands and your eating more than usual! Nothing like it for staying sane.
You might have correctly assumed that I am a tree-hugger, given that I am a yoga teacher (we did indeed complete our course and our exams online during lockdown!) But nature really came into its own for me these past months.
Watching the same birds visit the garden became our entertainment when Netflix made us square-eyed. Feeding carrots to the lone horse became a daily ritual when we noticed all the other horses were in groups and getting loads of attention. Watching and waiting for the local swan couple to hatch their eight eggs was as exciting as anticipating the next installment of a box set. And that’s the way I want it to stay. As much as I want so many things to go back to normal, maybe some things have changed forever.
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