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An image of Jane Thomas, the valleys steps volunteer support officer

Happy Journaling

The Lockdown Hokey Cokey

I don?t know about you, but recently I?ve felt I?m in some sort of parlour game but where everything seems either unreal or just downright confusing! I?m glad that currently, we in Wales at least, have a bit more freedom of movement than other places in the U.K.

During the strangeness of 2020, I have reflected upon what that word ?freedom? has meant to me. The first ?lockdown? I don?t mind admitting, sent me into a bit of a panic. I would have to stay in, unable to meet friends and family or go where I wanted to. My personal freedom was being compromised!!

I had been so used to being out and about, juggling a busy home with a busy job that it got me thinking what the impact would be on my personal wellbeing. I realised It would be so easy to become bogged down with frustration and negativity. What actually happened was I did struggle with the restrictions but I learned to appreciate and look forward to my hour a day outdoor exercise in (for the most part) lovely sunshine.

During the recent ?firebreak?, I continued to try and stay positive even though some days it was difficult. Every bit of news on the radio or t.v. seemed dire. I made the decision to limit the amount of time I listened to the news.  I just caught up with the headlines or any relevant news on restriction rules. I didn?t view this as burying my head in the sand. I knew I was doing my bit to keep myself and others safe so felt justified in limiting my exposure to this one type of news.

I cannot say I was happy during either of these times of imposed restrictions but I had moments of real joy.  Joy in the simple things that previously may have taken for granted. I have re-learned the skill of really looking at things.

The changing light, the intense colours of nature and the shapes in clouds. This all may sound very fanciful but I promise you if you just change some of the ways you see things it can make a huge difference to your mood.

I found joy in observing my small granddaughters ability to sing and dance – totally unaware that her voice can shatter glass! Her sheer exuberance, unaware of what?s happening in the world was and still is, wonderful.

As we approach Christmas and I think we can agree, it will be a different sort of Christmas this year. I will find it helpful to try and find joy in the small pleasures and appreciate any small kindnesses. So for me, freedom has come to mean the ability to find joy in what one might consider the mundane.

I am convinced everyone can achieve some moments of sheer joy if you practice, use your imagination and if you look hard enough.


By Jane Thomas

Course Wellbeing Practitioner