I dedicate this blog post to someone I haven’t met yet – Rachel. Thanks for inspiring me to write this series.
When I re-entered the world after 3 months of living and working out of my bedroom ‘shielding’. I ended my Lockdown Diaries after weeks of documenting my time under lockdown. Each Sunday I had written what was going on in my world, which had grown very small as I couldn’t leave the house due to the fact that I was in the highest risk group for COVID-19. Looking back, being confined to my room for 3 months was quite challenging, although I would spend the weekends blogging which I love.
So thanks to Rachel for asking – what happened next?
When I re-entered the world after 3 months of living and working out of my bedroom shielding. I ended my lockdown diaries after being sucked back into a new reality; a world of commuting with face masks and establishing new norms of behaviours, which none of us really knew what they were.
I had started a new marketing role on 1 April and even though I had been working long hours at home. Commuting for hours across London and engaging with people once again, was exhausting. I have to get the 7:10 am to travel from South to North London, in time to be in the office for a 9am start….the route home can often be longer. Most of my first month out of lockdown has been working and sleeping.
To go from one extreme to another was rather overwhelming. After being repeatedly warned that I could die if I left the house. There was no transitional phase. I was expected to make a daily commute across London, even though the Government were telling people to avoid public transport where possible. Suddenly I was working with people I had only met previously on Google Hangouts and talked to on the phone. So began an initial period of readjustment.
Wearing a mask for the first time
Technically I am exempt from wearing a mask on public transport. However, I don’t fancy being stopped by a vigilante on public transport, so I have decided to wear one. As long as you wear a light one, I have found that it is usually fine with asthma. Every so often I struggle and so make time to stop recover my breath en route. I would prefer to feel safe, not just from COVID-19, but from other people, so my new morning routine is to check I have my purse, house keys, inhaler and now mask when I leave the house. So easy to forget still!
Oh yes! I had no idea just how much weight I had put on under lockdown, not leaving my bedroom for 3 months. My housemates had rather politely not brought it up, and so my own bubble was burst when I tried to fit into clothes before I went to work again.
I managed just about to squeeze these buttocks into some jeans for my first day, but all of the clothes I bought as an emergency one size up…
….ALSO DIDN’T FIT!
I am not generally a vain person, but this shoot up in size was rather concerning, as I didn’t want to keep spending money on new clothes. Finally, I had a cleavage of sorts post lockdown, but I am not sure if that was a trade-off for the fact I had to buy all of these new clothes. Mark Doyle’s Hed Kandi session is my new walk to work workout session and I now have an emergency new wardrobe (thanks Primark!) to get by.
Life after lockdown full treatment needed
I hadn’t coloured my hair the whole time under lockdown to give it a rest. So I had to also spend money getting my hair cut and dyed ready for my re-appearance from lockdown. You forget you can spend so much on your appearance just to look work-ready! Not spending money on these things was a welcome relief under lockdown, as I try not to spend too much money on things like money and clothes.
Life after lockdown – Money Tips
When I recently talked to Laura Whitmore on BBC Radio 5, I discussed how to recession-proof your finances. I fully appreciate not everyone has jobs to go back to, and many people are still on furlough. No-one is safe right now in the current economic climate. So this is the time to be so careful about your spending.
Don’t get me wrong. The lattes started creeping into my life as I was too tired to make myself breakfast. Instead of preparing a packed lunch, I bought food daily from Tescos. Excited to be around people once again and new colleagues. I was guilty of spending money going for lunch – and drinks – in a social distanced way of course!
However, I always capture everything in a spending app, so that these behaviours and spending are flagged straight away. On a positive, I have been putting a small amount of money away each month too, towards an emergency fund.
5 Top Money Tips after lockdown:
I thought I would share my 5 Top Money Tips from coming out of lockdown with you below:-
Keep using your spending tracker
Reduce your day-to-day expenses
Don’t go too crazy spending being around people again
Save for that emergency fund – you might need it
Budget for the personal maintenance costs
Do you have any questions for me?
Let me know if you have any questions for me, or if there is anything you would like to see more of in this blog? I want to include things to do on a budget, but am very conscious of the fact things are thought right now for many of us.