Five lessons from five levels of lockdown

The Spring Equinox (when the sun crosses the Earth’s equator) marked the first day of Spring on 22 September this year. Springtime is associated with new life, fresh beginnings, and of course – spring cleaning. Our days are longer, and the warmer weather gives us renewed energy to start again.

We’ve certainly been busy at Chartered with spring cleaning. Chartered House has been readied to welcome all our clients back from 1 October, and we look forward to seeing you in person, sharing a cappuccino and perhaps even indulging in a fresh slice of cake. 

This will be another new beginning. It won’t be the “new normal” as we’ve come to refer to life during lockdown, and it won’t be the “old normal” either. It will be a different normal. It will be another time of change. And with change, comes courage … and resilience, and adaptability. We will have to remind ourselves to be constantly vigilant about our health, to keep practising social distancing and to keep wearing our masks. We have to be ready to adapt to fluid circumstances, unexpected events that may impact our lives, and we’re going to have to be patient with one another. In many ways, the Coronavirus has brought us so much closer together, as we shared and felt each other’s experiences and emotions with grace, empathy and a better understanding.

I have used this time to spring clean my mind. To get rid of all the clutter, to organise my thoughts and to carefully safeguard the lessons that I don’t want to forget. I have reflected that life has a way of perpetually reminding us of our fragility as humans, and the Coronavirus has brought this message home once again. We have all gone through a process of self-discovery, and the pandemic has taught us many things about being human. Here are the five lessons I have learnt, one for each of the five levels of lockdown, that I want to hold on to.

#1 Overflow with gratitude.
Be grateful for who you are, what you have in your life, the people that surround you, and all the memorable experiences and joy life has to offer. I missed this during lockdown – human interaction and connection, and I am especially grateful for the special bond I have with my family and the beautiful experiences we created at home. It’s the people that make your life special, not what you own.

#2 Live wholeheartedly.
This is perhaps the most challenging lesson and also the one that I really don’t want to forget. Wholeheartedly, in this context, means to live every day with complete sincerity and commitment. Unfortunately, we do get bogged down by busy schedules, mundane chores and doing work that we don’t like. We spend so much energy just trying to survive or get by, that we forget to fully experience the wonders and joy or every day. Living your best life should not start one day – it should begin with every day.

#3 Grieve with grace.
Give yourself the time, space and self-love to mourn, to feel sad and to walk through the long passage of sorrow so that you may be open to receive the many blessings that life still holds for you. It does not matter what or who you are grieving for. Whether it’s for the world as we knew it, the loss of your family home, ill health, or the death of a loved one, be kind to yourself in the process.

#4 Self-compassion.
Life will always be in ebb and flow, like the spring tide. We will experience highs and lows, influenced by many events that aren’t really in our control. Love yourself through this process, and remind yourself that you are doing the best you can. Let go of the things you can’t control and focus on that which you can. It does require patience: patience with yourself as your work through your emotional space, and patience with your fellow humans as they navigate their reality.

#5 Take action.
Don’t let fear hold you back from doing what you can. The biggest mistake you can make, is to do nothing. Setbacks do happen, and you don’t know what the future holds, but don’t let this define who you are. Don’t dig into your fear and allow it to make you feel powerless and helpless. Find out the facts, make a plan and be brave.

I would love to hear from you. What are your top lessons learnt during lockdown?

As we all get ready to say goodbye to cabin fever, remember to stay safe!


  • I have learned to love being at home during lockdown, Zooming with family has been a daily delight, We have managed to do some terrific studies during lockdown, stories in the Bible that we all know off by heart, but unpacking and digging deeper has been a special thrill for us all. Writing down and revisiting a gratitude journal has been especially enriching, we have so much to be grateful for, and to remember to say thank you for answered prayers and daily blessings. I have learned who really cares for us, and amazingly its not always the folks you expect! What a treat to know how many people love and care for you. This has been a six month learning experience, which I’ll remember always.

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