Page 6 - HGS Suburb News 145 - March 2021
P. 6


                                       L OCKDO WN REFLE CTIONS

                                                               After a year of COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns,
                                                           the Suburb News Youth team share their personal reflections
          Back in March, time came to a                                     and coping methods.                     Like everyone else, my plans changed significantly on
        jerky halt, I had been so busy and                                                                        that fateful day in March when it was announced schools
        in the blink of an eye everything                                                                         were to be shut and I wouldn’t have to do my GCSES
        had gone. I had all this time and                                                                          anymore. Suddenly, the months I had spent revising and
        nothing to fill it with. I didn’t know                                                                     stressing over my exams didn’t have as much significance
        how much longer I could “just relax”,                                                                      and I found myself having a lot more free time than I had
        like everyone told me, I needed to feel useful.                                                            ever expected in my wildest dreams.
        It felt like we were on a timeline that was very slow, weeks                                                 Initially, I took the time to just rest. Knowing that there
        blended together and I could go days without doing                                                        would never be a time where I had so much freedom to
        something worth remembering.                                                                               do as I pleased, I took the opportunity to sleep as much
           So, I planted sunflowers. It gave me something to do                                                    as I wanted to, catching up on the hours I had missed
        and a focus for all my energy. Every morning I would                                                      while staying up late at night to revise for my exams. For
        check if they had budded or blossomed and that made                                                        once in my life, I could finally lie in instead of being forced
        every day seem important because, even if I hadn’t done   Lockdown should probably be the buzzword of the year,   to wake up because of school.
        anything important, the sunflowers had still grown. I   next to “stay safe”, “unprecedented” and “front line”. But   Whilst I tried to stay productive and tried to take up
        really think that all of that care and attention is what   to  brighten  up  a  gloomy year,  here are  some positive   some new hobbies, I’ll admit that I took the time to watch
        made them grow over 2 metres tall!                    reflections from the lockdowns.                      a lot of different  TV shows and movies as  well as
           I also got to watch a family of swans grow up, I would   I’m sure all commuters will relate to the extra time   basketball, staying up every night to watch my favourite
        visit them every week on my walks and they would be   gained in the morning – whether you spend it catching up   team play. I think I binged on around a dozen shows and
        bigger. Feeding them and watching them flourish, gave   on an extra 30 minutes of rest or starting your morning   found myself watching anything and everything out of
        me a purpose and something to look forward to. I went   with a meditation session, it’s nice to have a break from   sheer boredom.
        back a few weeks ago and they were all grown up, it felt   the (sometimes hectic!) morning routine.          However, I also took this time for self-care
        like the end of an era in a strange way. I feel like I haven’t   I’ve learned to appreciate school: the truth is, every   and did try to become active,
        done much in the last 9 months but these cygnets have   year my six-week summer flew by and I never seemed to   though  not  without  some
        hatched and grown into beautiful swans and I have had   have enough time to do everything. The closer it got to   struggle! I found myself taking
        the privilege of watching them on that journey.       September, the better an extra week or even two of   daily walks for a change of
           Over the last year I have come to appreciate that not   holiday sounded, but this year, by the time August was   scenery, something I never
        everything has to be so fast paced. Slowing down has not   nearly over, I realised that if the summer holidays actually   used to do and got into a
        only given me the time to value this, but has also made   went on for longer, I’d just be… bored. I recognised that   Yoga routine with my mother, which was not only great
                         me more grateful for the time that I   school stimulates us, and yet we take it for granted.  for its health benefits but also because I got to spend time
                           have to spend doing the things       But of course, not having to work around a rigid school   with her, something that was hard with the hectic schedules
                           that I love.                      timetable also makes it so much easier to appreciate the   we both had before.
                                                            MADHU   things that were always there, but you just couldn’t see   Overall, lockdown gave me a chance to rest and do
                                                              until the background noise was gone. In a literal sense,   things I wouldn’t have been able to do before. I’ve learnt
                                                              seeing the stars in London is usually difficult what with   to cherish the good times after losing out on my summer
                                                              light pollution, but during lockdown I saw the North Star            and  also  learnt the importance  of
                                                              and Cassiopeia; and Uranus and Mars – all very bright                  family, after being blessed with
                                                              and very beautiful. And even compared to that, my                       time to spend with them.
                                                                              favourite time of the sky was a golden                                     KAYA
          The first lockdown came at a                                         sunrise – so next time you go out,
        very frustrating time for me.                                           don’t forget to look up at the sky.
        Others reported feeling lucky to                                                       ISABELLE
        have a chance to slow down and ground themselves
        after a few hectic months, but I felt the opposite: my life
        which was on the cusp of long-awaited changes, was
        now indefinitely on pause. Instead of sitting my GCSEs
        and having the wild summer of festivals and holidays I                                                      For many, the absence of
        had been planning for months, I got endless days in my                                                     routine  was the  most terrifying
        bedroom to rot. Every day that I’d ever spent at home   When  the  third  lockdown  was                    part of lockdown. I found the exact
        revising became my biggest regret, and I felt a constant,   announced, the main thought                    opposite. By changing how I viewed this gaping empty
        low-level rage all the time.                         running through my head was “here                     space of time, I was able to really enjoy my second
           I filled my time well enough. My daily walks were the                                                   lockdown. Instead  of regarding  this  blank  canvas  as
        highlight of my days, and I found joy in discovering local   we go again”. I had been enjoying some relative normality   overwhelming,  I  approached  it  as  liberating.  And  I
                                                             in attending school in person, and was feeling a lot better
        spots  I’d  never  seen  before.  Sometimes  I  would  go  out                                             encourage all you readers to do the same!
        with a book and not come back for several hours, and in   for having seen my friends face to face each day. Now   My advice is to establish a regular and early sleeping
                                                             that school is back online again, I find myself struggling
        the spring sunshine, this was not a bad way to spend an   with my mental health once more. Being stuck inside all   schedule 11pm to 8am for instance. While I spent my first
        afternoon. I took up sewing, focused on my painting,   the time is difficult for all of us, especially kids and   lockdown being the only soul awake at night – apart from
        redecorated my bedroom, and did the Zoom parties – a   teenagers, who are social creatures that need interaction   twittering birds – with the second lockdown I discovered
        quintessential lockdown experience. Despite this, I felt at   to grow. As I am sure you have noticed, lessons online are   that the key is to prioritise the morning.
        the time, and still feel looking back, that lockdown was   more challenging as it is much harder to focus, and the   Not only does waking up early make you view the
        nothing more than a waste of my 16th year.           workload seems to have increased exponentially.       world through fresh eyes, but it also provides you with
           Since then, I’ve started sixth form at a new school,                                                    time to make a hearty breakfast every day whether that
                                                                For me, what helps are three things. The first is getting
        where I’ve met hundreds of new people and had some of   outside. I would recommend going for a short stroll in a local   be eggs on toast or pancakes. I discovered that the magic
        those teen moments I craved throughout lockdown. I’m   park, or even just around your block, as the cold winter air   to living a successful lockdown is an early, satisfying
        still coasting off of that excitement. The biggest lesson I        will do wonders to clear your mind. My   breakfast. Maybe you can make a cup of tea too?
        have had to learn is that not every moment of my life has          second suggestion is keeping up with       But lockdown is also the opportunity for… you guessed
             to be transformative: I think that’s an easy trap to           your friends. It can be so easy to feel   it... reading! My personal patience for reading diminishes
              fall into as a teenager. I’ve had to learn to sit with        isolated in times like these, which is why   throughout the day. Because of this, I advise that (after your
                           the discomfort that idleness brings,             I recommend reaching out, whether it   lavish breakfast, of course) you force yourself to read for
                              and try to overcome the anger                 be in person, for a socially-distanced   1-3 hours. After reading, a workout or a midday run are
                              I feel over being robbed of my              exercise outside, as is permitted by law,   great energisers before lunch.
                              chance to be 16.                                                                        If you keep to this healthy morning routine, I can
                                              ROSA                      or through social media or with a phone
                                                                        call. You could even write a letter and stick it   guarantee that this blank canvas of time will transform
                                                                         in the post. My friends and family are    itself into a beautifully colourful painting!
                                                                         always  excellent at cheering me up and                                         ALLIE
                                                                         putting a smile on my face. My third
                                                                        recommendation is to do something fun for
                                                                         yourself.  Whether  it  is putting  on  some
          CALL OUT TO YOUNG TECHIES                                      upbeat music and having a dance, or
          HGS Heritage – The Suburb’s Online                             watching  an  episode of your favourite
          Virtual Museum is building its new                             show,  it  is  incredibly  important  to  have
          Fun Size/Youth Zone Collection.
          We’re looking to put together a                                time to relax and treat yourself. Remember
          small team of programme developers                             that it is absolutely okay to not be feeling your
          to help in this project.                                       best right now, and that just getting through
          Want to be involved?                                          this time is an amazing achievement.
          Contact                                                        JOANNA

      6                                                                                         SUBURB NEWS IS PRODUCED AND DELIVERED TO YOU BY RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION VOLUNTEERS
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