Posted in Guest Post

Guest Post by Rodney Laws about How To Take Advantage of Your Time During Lockdown

Some Of The Things That Lockdown Has Given Us More Time To Do

by Rodney Laws

Image credit: PxHere

It’s easy to get lost in the despair and uncertainty of a world besieged by a pandemic. Enough weeks have passed since the first stay-at-home orders were issued that it can no longer be dismissed as a blip. Instead, we must view it as the new state of normalcy, expecting the lifting of restrictions to be glacial and accepting that social conduct may never revert to type.

In these conditions, though, we must focus on the positives — and there are positives to be found if you’re willing to consider them. It’s easy to see why you might be reluctant to do so with so many people dying or seeing their livelihoods ruined, but there’s no sense in adding to the misery by dwelling on the negatives. Life must be embraced.

And while lockdown measures have left social lives in tatters and left people feeling isolated emotionally as well as physically, getting to stay at home has been beneficial for some: and it can be beneficial for others if they’re willing to try. In this article, I’m going to talk about some of the best things that lockdown has given us more time to do:

Work on our writing

So many of us aspire to be decent writers, and many more just want to tell some basic stories that reflect their lives (either directly or indirectly), yet more often than not we leave it as a possibility: something to try one day. Eventually, we tell ourselves, our schedules will clear, obstacles will disappear, and we’ll be ready to put in the time and effort needed.

Some don’t actually believe that, of course — they just like the idea of writing far more than they do the reality of it, but they’re unwilling to admit it to themselves so they come up with excuses. But some really do expect to spend their twilight years learning to be decent writers. If they’re proactive, though, they needn’t wait that long.

What better time to start writing than now? You have creative inspiration aplenty from the complex circumstances. Relationships are being strained or strengthened, lives are changing, and you can focus in a way you ordinarily couldn’t. With your new-found surplus of free time, why not start writing about your experiences during this lockdown?

Attack our reading lists

Great writers must first be voracious readers, naturally, but it can be hard for even the most dedicated readers to keep up with recommendations while they’re busy dealing with other things. Is there a particular novel you’ve been putting off because you want to give it your full attention? A long-running series you’d like to get through in relatively-quick succession?

If you want to buy paperback or hardback books, you don’t need to go to stores: you can order them online and have them delivered. Alternatively, you can use an ereader like an Amazon Kindle and simply download the titles you want. It’s quick and convenient, so if you wince every time you think about your reading list, take this chance to make a dent in it.

Make smart long-term decisions

If short-term thinking is all you could previously handle during the working week, you’re not alone. When your calendar is packed with events, you need to keep your eyes on the road just ahead of you, and that makes it much harder to make any decisions about what’s over the horizon — decisions that can be hugely important.

Now that you have some time stuck at home, you can make smart long-term plans. You can think about where you want to be in five years, and what skills you want to develop. You can also put effort into tasks that will benefit you over time: tasks like planting fruit seeds in your garden or investing your savings.

You can also audit your finances to look for room for improvement. What are you paying for subscription services? Cancel anything you’re not using. Even your mortgage (if you have one) can be reconsidered: have a mortgage broker find you some quotes, and if you find something that better suits your current financial situation then you can go for it. It might not be fun to put time into these things, but it will make a difference in the end.

Reconnect with old friends

I talked about how relationships have been strained or strengthened, and that was always going to happen. Some people living together have found solace in company, while others have seen their differences drive them to distraction — and those kept apart by lockdown have either become closer because of it or started to feel their connections weaken.

What of old relationships, though? Do you ever think about the friends you’ve lost touch with throughout your life? Some due to petty squabbles, others due to paths simply diverging. A situation like this can produce a lot of nostalgic rumination, thinking back on all the mistakes you’ve ever made and what you’d do given a chance to set them right.

This is that chance. Right now you can be quite confident that almost anyone you care to contact will have some free time to talk to you, and you’ll have shared experiences to talk about without needing to delve into your history together. So why not give that old friend a call, or reach out to them online? You might find some pleasant closure, or you might find yourself resuming that old friendship as though it never ended. People change, and this is a great time to see what that means.

Lockdown has been tough for so many people, and we still don’t know when life will move significantly towards its former state, but we shouldn’t be too fixated on what might change. Instead, we should seek to make the most of the opportunities afforded us by the lockdown measures. It’s the best way to grow and thrive in tough circumstances.

Rodney Laws
Editor at Ecommerce Platforms
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I'm a retired librarian and the author of the Cobble Cove and Buttercup Bend cozy mystery series and other novels, short stories, poems, articles, and a novella. My books include CLOUDY RAINBOW, REASON TO DIE, SEA SCOPE, MEMORY MAKERS, TIME'S RELATIVE, MEOWS AND PURRS, and MEMORIES AND MEOWS. My Cobble Cove cozy mystery series published by Solstice Publishing consists of 6 books: A STONE'S THROW, BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE, WRITTEN IN STONE, LOVE ON THE ROCKS, NO GRAVESTONE UNTURNED, and SNEAKY'S SUPERNATURAL MYSTERY AND OTHER COBBLE COVE STORIES. My new Buttercup Bend series published by Next Chapter Publishing includes THE CASE OF THE CAT CRAZY LADY and THE CASE OF THE PARROT LOVING PROFESSOR. I've also written a romantic comedy novella, WHEN JACK TRUMPS ACE, and short stories of various genres published as eBooks and in anthologies published by the Red Penguin Collection. My poetry appears in the Nassau County Voices in Verse and the Bard's Annual. I'm a member of Sisters-in-Crime, International Thriller Writers, and the Cat Writers' Association. I live on Long Island with my husband, daughter, and 2 cats.

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