10 Things I Discovered During Lockdown

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Hello friends,

Months in lockdown are not a joke. If you’re in a lockdown area, I know you will appreciate what I’m meaning! This is the first time in my life that I’ve not been able to travel further than 5kms. I’ve literally gone around in circles in my car feeling like I’m in a cage. I’ve watched as hundreds of police circle the CBD, I’ve seen queue’s of cars stopped at checkpoints, I’ve glanced down at dozens of dirty masks in gutters, I’ve seen elderly people moved on from sitting on park benches. It’s been one of the strangest times in my 38years of life.

What’s odd is, as I sit here, tapping away, glancing up at a blue sky and watching the bees in the lavenders, life seems pretty “normal”  but once I step outside my apartment complex (which is just outside the CBD in Sydney), I’m reminded of this bloody thing all. over. again. Get what I mean?

So! After about a month of hating it, overindulging and grumbling a lot. I decided I wasn’t going to be a negative Nancy anymore. I started to discover things that started to make me feel different. I wanted to feel more present (less future-tipping), more peaceful (less anxious), more optimistic (less pessimistic).

These are the things I’ve discovered:

A routine is keeping me sane – I figured out early on that if I didn’t have a routine (specifically morning) my day would drift away and I’d feel frustrated and unproductive. I’ve been making sure I get up at the same time, go to bed at the same time, exercise (pilates) first thing, drink water, do work in segments, get out in the air, cook nutritious food and do something to wind down like a movie, a meditation session or a bath.

Meditation is a must – In the first month meditating stopped. Everything seemed to go out the window, so sitting in silence did too. Then, it came back. A Yoga Nidra here, a visualisation there, sitting in silence. The training of the brain to calm and regroup became a must for me and it’s truly such a powerful thing!

Walking TOO much wasn’t a good thing! – I actually got so annoyed at one point and I felt so hemmed in, that I walked and walked and walked annnnd I ended up with an inflamed second toe joint from overuse (and ballet pointe work, but that’s another blog!) Anyway, it just shows, you can do too much of a good thing. I wound up with my foot raised up for a month and only able to do pilates!

I’m loving sending letters – I am an old fashioned gal and I love receiving a letter and I love writing a letter, so I have been doing more and more letter writing. Friends who I would normally see every couple of weeks were delighted to receive letters. Letters really have a personal touch and if you’re a writer it’s a wonderful way to express one’s thoughts.

I’m loving a natter on the phone – I’ve found an enormous amount of comfort hearing a familiar voice down the phone. Nattering away and laughing like teenagers is something you can’t get from text exchanges so I’ve really been loving, reclining on the sofa or cooking a meal and just chatting away. Have you done more of this in lockdown?

I’m becoming rather good at cooking – cooking was not my strong point, but now it is! I’ve been cooking and cooking a lot. I do salads and roasts and sweetmeats and brownies, smoothies and more. I actually love cooking now! This is a revelation! What about you? What’s your fave dish to cook during lockdown?

I only go on social media on the weekends – Lockdown has been the first time where I have gone off social media for a period of a fortnight. The most I’ve taken time out from social prior to lockdown was a few days, but two weeks was something I’d not done and it made me realise how much I don’t need to be looking, scrolling, flicking and clicking on social. For now, I am only looking, engaging and posting on social on the weekends (apart from a few posts that were scheduled for my business account on a Monday…) – on the weekends I feel happy to be more free and easy and less focused. This is working really well for me up to now. Interestingly, I thought I’d be the opposite. I thought I’d be wanting to connect and be on social way more, but this just hasn’t been the case. What about you?

I’m reconnecting to my inner bookworm – I’ve read more during lockdown than I have all year.  This also ties into the no social during the week – I found that when I picked up my phone for a scroll sesh, I couldn’t, so instead I picked up a book. This is deliciously wonderful and so much more rewarding for me 🙂 Lockdown has made me return to more old-school ways of doing things and I’m really delighted by this! I’ve read Untamed by Glennon Doyle, The Things You Think You Cannot Do by Gordon Livingstone, The Last American Man by Liz Gilbert and a book about film director John Hughes.

I’m loving a good bathe – At times lockdown has made me feel frazzled so having very sacred moments throughout the day for meditation, cloud gazing or having a bath has been important. These baths aren’t always about long, luxurious indulgent evenings with candles, sometimes, the bath is just a practical jump in with Epsom salts for a 10-15minutes soak for tired muscles. It’s been less about ‘how’ I’m doing a thing in lockdown and more about just doing it.

I’ve been having visions 😉 – there have been many, many discussions with friends and clients about the stress and strain of lockdown. Dealing with a sense of loss, missing out, anger, claustrophobia and any other number of things. Future visioning allows us to feel fired up with ideas, plans and goals. This gives us something to hold onto and its been a godsend for me and my clients. What about you? Even though, we have often not been sure when we will get out or how it will look, holding onto a vision has power. I’d highly recommend this practice.

I’m consciously focused on listening – my clients, colleagues and friends have been tired. Me too. I’ve found in client sessions sometimes when creativity is stifled and writing is impossible, the only thing someone wants to do is share with me how they’re feeling. It has been an honour to understand more about the inside of people’s worlds and I don’t take it lightly. As a result, the role of guide and counsellor is something I’m exploring more and more as I see many more people in my practice needing this. I also feel deeply attracted to helping and working with people in this way. This is the perfect addition to creative work and working with authors and artistic people, so I’m looking forward to seeing what unfolds.

So, what are your thoughts? Do some of these things resonate with you?

What’s helped you, what have you discovered?

Let me know in the comments.

Emma xo

>> If working with me is something you’d love to do, check out the things I’m offering at the moment to see what will work for you.

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4 Comments

  1. Christine Bergsma on September 27, 2021 at 9:47 pm

    What a beautiful way to look at lockdown! Hope your toe is fully healed 🙌

    • Emma Franklin Bell on October 5, 2021 at 7:41 pm

      Thank you lovely Christine!! The toe is getting there, lots of exercises to strengthen it. Always have to find the lessons in the madness I find and then you know there’s a silver lining 🙂 xo

  2. Kate Gilbert on October 5, 2021 at 1:14 pm

    Love this Emma

    I feel like I was the same, except I was working, driving and walking in the same circle on rinse and repeat as well for weeks and weeks. Low in energy feeling depleted as I had to give more and more of myself at work, as there are no visitors allowed!!! Getting annoyed with the big voices of the anti vaccinated people, and I really did not want to engage or share my point to avoid online confrontation. To then watch people around us walk away from their jobs, we were told we could lose our jobs and now all of our holidays at year-end are suspended as tired as we are !! The ones working with less energy have to wait to rest.

    So I have had to take a big breath, trust the process,quiten my mind and now have found myself in another beautiful space to create exactly what I want so I can make more choices of when I do and don’t work. A time when I thought I could not take anything else on !!!

    Amazing how clarity comes out of turmoil. I’m actually sharing my life and becoming a storyteller to find my niche audience and manifest the life of my dreams.

    • Emma Franklin Bell on October 5, 2021 at 7:46 pm

      Powerful points Kate! I love the point about rising above the commentary online too. So good to allow ourselves to feel the frustration, anger and annoyance and be able to acknowledge that, stay the course and be present to let each day unfold. Loving this line ~ ‘clarity comes out of turmoil’ – beautiful xo

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