What a year this has been so far…one of the most surreal most of us have ever experienced. The ‘coronacoaster’ journey everyone is experiencing has definitely had its ups and downs and moments of frustration but also calm.
And while we are each facing this situation with different challenges, I wanted to share my lockdown reflections; what I’d like to take forward or continue to do and remember more than ever when normality does resume again…
Slowing down can be good for the soul-Looking back to three months ago, I’m amazed at how much I used to cram into a single day or week. 5:30am alarms to teach back-to-back gym classes followed by a full day of work and then socialising in the evening. I knew I was a busy bee, but on reflection, I probably do need to slow down every now and again! I shouldn’t wait to burn out to take a rest, I should say ‘no’ sometimes, and not necessarily rush back to the hundred miles an hour pace that life was before…
Long Live the Small Businesses-I have always loved purchasing from and supporting small businesses but when lockdown hit I realised that now more than ever I needed to seek out their products and services. The big shops and businesses have not been as effected and some may have even seen increased profits, but the small businesses are the ones I want to see still standing when this is all over. I want a local cafe to return to and meet a friend for brunch, I want to nip to the salon at the end of my street for a facial, I want to see those friendly and familiar faces again. And I want them to thrive. I’ll make an even bigger effort following lockdown to shop local and support small businesses-as a small business owner myself, every sale brings a genuine smile to my face!
Nature is number One-How many of you have wandered further afield on your daily exercise and explored areas local to you that you didn’t even know existed?! We’ve found so many gorgeous new footpaths, trails, villages and views, and vowed to keep up the walks together at least once a week when things get back to normal. Living in an apartment, the balcony has been a real blessing but me and my husband definitely have dreams for a big garden for our next move!
Experiences over things-I’ve been saying this to myself for a few years now whenever I get a little carried away with retail therapy, but it feels even more powerful now. Our opportunity to enjoy experiences has been put on hold-experience celebrations, seeing friends, experiencing new places, and experience activities. And we’ve all missed ‘experiencing’ so much. While the regular arrival from the friendly postie has certainly brightened my day (for one he is a joyous character), there is only so much enjoyment I get from a pretty new vase or shiny new make up brushes. I’ll hopefully always remember to put money into experiences over materialistic things when I have the choice, except for the odd treat from time to time of course…
I have so much more to learn-In practically all senses, but the one at the forefront of my mind right now stems from the Black Lives Matter movement. This week has been such an eye opener for me and I’m so grateful to have been able to watch the instagram stories and read the content, sign petitions, start open discussions on the topic with friends, family and fellow industry professionals, and to most of all absorb and listen. I hope to continue educating myself and not only supporting diversity in the wedding industry, but becoming a strong advocate for it. It’s a small step but I plan on seeking out a diverse range of models on my upcoming styled bridal shoots, to showcase the beauty of diversity. I also hope to connect with and work with more fantastic BAME businesses in future, both in weddings and in my personal life too. Small steps but we all need to move in the right direction, whatever that equates to specifically for each individual.
While this lockdown experience has been a whirlwind of emotion and uncertainty, I hope that by reflecting on it before life resumes, I can capture some of the positive outlooks and takeaways from this time, and carry it through to ‘normality’-whatever that new ‘normal’ looks like!