The Upsides of Being Locked Down #3: Being Impulsive

I’ve been finding positives in the COVID-19 lockdown, being more impulsive. If you’re on furlough, try to appreciate being able shape the day however you feel.

Article by Sarah Williams.

Paradoxically, not being able to do anything has given me time to do whatever I want. 

The absence of work and social commitments has left a yawning chasm of free time in my day. Zero plans to adhere to mean I can be impulsive in a way that my anxiety-addled brain rarely allows.

I believe that the pace of modern life is out of sync with most people’s natural rhythms. Anecdotally, I know some people work best before 11am, whereas people like me are most concentrated and creative in the late afternoons and early evenings. Some people need nine hours of sleep a night, others survive on five. Many people who’ve been on furlough for months will have been able to get up and go to bed at whatever time they want.

In my furlough freedom, I’d wake up at nine-ish every morning. I make a black coffee and retreat to my bed with a book in the company of my cat. Once I’ve absorbed a chapter or so, I ask myself what I feel like doing with my day. 

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The Upsides of Being Locked Down #2: Connecting

I’ve been finding positives in the COVID-19 lockdown, including connecting with people I’d lost touch with, checking in with my family more often, and enjoying the new online social events on offer.

Article by Sarah Williams.

Ask anyone in my family or friends: I’m a terrible replier. Whether it’s a text, a missed phone call, an email or a flaming dog turd squashed through my letter box, getting a response from me is virtually impossible. 

Contacting me is like shouting into the void, unless you’re one of the (approximately) three special people that I maintain regular daily contact with, who probably hear from me too often. I have no doubt that anyone who’s contacted Shout Louder asking for a review will be familiar with this phenomenon, if the number of bold, unread emails in my inbox is anything to go by (NB: I don’t write reviews, please don’t expect one). 

In the UK’s quasi-lockdown, we’re unable to interact with our friends in person, which has left me rather hamstrung by my self-imposed failure to reply to all communications. I’ve been forced not only to start replying to people, but also to actively reach out and contact my mates. 

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The Upsides of Being Locked Down #1: Reading

I’ve been finding positives in the COVID-19 lockdown, including taking a new, more active approach to reading than I had before.

Article by Sarah Williams.

I consider myself an avid reader, but the reality is that I’ve not read consistently since I was in high school. As an only child, both reading and writing fiction was my primary pastime. As I’ve grown up, reading’s been shoehorned into train rides, bus commutes and bedtimes when I’ve been trying to stifle the restless din of an insomniac brain. I go to the library twice a week, trawl charity shops for second hand classics and naively promise to read gifted books that are often guiltily remanded to a shelf. 

Lockdown’s given my reading a new lease of life. Unable to seek dog-eared novels from my usual sources, I’ve been devouring the stand-by books that have dusted-up my shelves, unread for years. Those Christmas gifts and obligatory charity shop purchases from years past have finally come to good use. Books I’ve been ‘meaning’ to read have finally been cracked open.

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Punk Rock and Mindful Hope

Mark McConville reflects on the importance of punk rock in uncertain times, and its power to mentally uplift us.

Written by Mark McConville. Cover photo by Cold Front Photography.

Punk rock can save us from the mundanity of life. It can aid us in silencing the demons at large who thrust their voices in our heads.

They say punk is a lifestyle, one which only some can endure. That’s not true, as punk is a universal genre of music and culture, instilled in the framework of this breaking planet. To be truthful, punk is needed more than ever in these unprecedented times where animosity is overthrowing human affection. People are changing, they’re frightened, which is understandable, but love has been undermined by stupidity and panic.

Punk rock isn’t a cure, nor is it a foundation to lay problems upon. What it does is create collaborations amongst musicians and writers, even in virtual terms. It also has the charm to build friendships and conversations.  

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