PSA: It’s my lockdown. I’ll do what I want

I applaud the people who are taking this time out to achieve amazing things; acquire new skills; learn new recipes, and work out sequences. Despite this, it is important to remember that it’s perfectly okay for your body to change: you are allowed to get fatter or hairier. You’re allowed to spend all day eating, binging and making awful TikToks.

It’s okay to have some time out to come to terms with what is happening and adjust. You don’t have to learn a whole new language just yet. Whichever way you choose to deal with it, everyone is different and there is no right or wrong way. No one should be judging other people’s preferred way to spend time during this lockdown. Remember this: it is your lockdown and you can do what you want.

Take this time to be with your family: this is a privilege many people don’t have. Whilst you are allowed to feel bored and frustrated at times, it is also important to count your blessings. Some people are trapped in lockdown with their abusers, children and adults alike. For some people, work or school was their only escape, and now it is gone. We must remember the sacrifices that everyone is making.

If you are lacking motivation: when this is all over and you are asked what you achieved during the lockdown, what do you want the answer to be? Now is the time to focus on your goals, whether you want to grow physically, spiritually, or mentally. If you want to start your own business now is the time to plan; now is the time to create, and now is the time to help others.

One of the worst things about all of this is seeing your plans get cancelled, knowing what you could have been doing and what you’re doing now instead. To combat this, I suggest making a list of things you wish to do, places you wish to go once this is all over. Although the university experiences of millions of students were wildly disrupted, if you are lucky enough for it not to have ended, you can plan your goals for next year. You still have the opportunity to make your remaining years count.

Anything you wish you had done before all of this, you can correct in the future. Transform this awful event into something positive for yourself. Consider thinking in the mindset of the lockdown gave me the time I needed to ___. Now is the time to fill in the blank and do everything you were previously putting off doing because you simply didn’t have the time.

COVID-19 has forced the world to hit pause. Now more than ever, we can be grateful for everything we once took for granted. We were becoming so selfish, consumed in everything that didn’t really matter. We forgot about our family and our impact on the world. It has taken a pandemic for many to appreciate our NHS staff, who have been overworked and underpaid for decades. This is a time to reflect on how lucky we are to have had the liberties that have been taken away from us.

Take this time to acquire new skills or grow existing ones. Are you able to use your creativity to help others?

Finally, please don’t forget to check up on your family and friends. Look after each other and support each other. This is a hard time for everyone, and it’s crucial to ensure that your loved ones are doing okay.

Stay safe and well.

Saminda Sidhu