While restrictions surrounding this pandemic have taken away many of our freedoms and pleasures, there are those individuals who have managed to relish their time in lockdown, and not just because of the extra hours to breathe or take stock either. Some have found themselves busier than ever, uncovering a brand-new passion or indulging in an existing one.
Here are five ideas from individuals whose stories will hopefully inspire you to discover a little more joy of your own during the remaining lockdown.
Get YouTubing, like Hulya.
Chef Hulya Erdal has used lockdown as an opportunity to experiment with filming YouTube videos around her take on life, food and living.
“Lockdown has given me the opportunity to push my business forward by giving me some time I would never have had, and I’ve used it wisely. I’ve completed a rebrand and update to my website. I’ve also been able to develop my YouTube channel and shoot regular videos as part of my business brand.
Getting out there on video has been scary but worth it. I wanted to create a presence online and make known what area I was in now. To be able to put out my message to the world. Plus, it was a way for me to push myself out of my comfort zone. Face my fears. It was a way to speak my truth and build confidence in myself too.
It’s certainly made a difference in terms of exposure – a real kick-start, and it’s been fun.”
You can find Hulya’s YouTube videos here.
Paula Gardner has spent much of her time in lockdown writing a career book, The Career Pause and Pivot.
“I was speaking to so many people about how this crisis has changed the way they look at their current career path. There are some who don’t even have a career path at the moment, such as those in the travel industry. I wanted to do something to help them make sense of this, and what comes next and so poured all my careers psychology know-how into a book that addresses just that.
I’ve got a lot out of writing it myself as it has kept me to a routine of writing in the mornings, much of which I’ve been doing out in the garden. Having this uninterrupted time has allowed me the space to really think about what I want to include and the opportunity to put it together. As well as lockdown itself, I’ve been going through a bereavement, and the pure act of writing has a lot of comfort in itself.”
The Career Pause and Pivot is available on Amazon.
Get down and dirty, like Pete.
Pete Maclaine is a news and portrait photographer but during this lockdown, Pete has been doing something he never thought he would: getting his hands dirty, growing vegetables.
“The idea came to me during the food shortages at the beginning of lockdown, it seemed so passive to sit there and rely on other people when we had all this space in the garden. I’d worked in a florist in the past, tending people’s balcony gardens, but nothing on this scale.” Pete has planted potatoes, cauliflowers, leeks, tomatoes, beetroot and carrots amongst others.
It’s brought out a whole new side of my personality. I am now very slug alert, and have a potting shed! I’ve also toned up and lost some weight with all the physical exercise, and I’ve enjoyed asking my Mum who is a keen gardener for her advice. The garden has become a big focus for me, I’ve bought myself an Infrared camera, and we can now see what the foxes get up to in the garden when we are asleep which has been huge fun.”
Sketch away the day, like Sophie.
Sophie Dique is a 17-year-old who has had her A levels cancelled on her. She’s spent her lockdown indulging her passion of art, painting her bedroom, drawing at the living room table and allowing herself to spend slow, lazy days just creating whatever she wants.
Her recent project has been to fill a notebook of artistic creations. Once finished, she has been uploading these onto a newly created Instagram account which you can find at @artbysophied.
This is the time Sophie would have spent studying for exams, stressed and anxious and instead, with an unconditional offer under her belt, she has been able to pour herself into creative work. She has experimented with new styles and materials including Gouache paint, and is quite happy to say that lockdown has been one of the best times of her life so far!
Rachel McGuinness is a wellbeing consultant who has seen her business explode during this crisis.
“Since it all began, I have launched an online wellbeing hub – workplace wellbeing for small to medium sized businesses. It was already planned to launch on 1 April and it did, however this crisis means that businesses are really realising that they need to look after the mental and physical wellbeing of their staff.
I’ve really enjoyed thinking on my feet, pivoting the business, looking at different opportunities and actioning ideas. Prospects and clients are very amenable at the moment because they want to do the right thing and look after their employees.
I’ve loved being in ‘flow state’ and being really proactive during this time.
It’s also changed the way I work. Whatever the new normal looks, I will certainly be doing fewer face to face meetings in London in the future as I’ve saved so much money and time during lockdown!”
Rachel’s business can be found here
We hope you found inspiration in the stories shared by our fab five above. If you’d like to share your own story about a joy discovered during lockdown, please feel free to share it with us in the comments below!