Lockdown: good, bad and sometimes sad

November 26, 2020

Collage created by Bas with images from Pixabay

Basmah Mohamed reflects on the past few months and discusses ways to stay positive

Although lockdown has been a rollercoaster ride of emotions, there have been some memorable moments that I will cherish forever. One of the most significant periods for me, was the month of Ramadan. I really enjoyed it this year because I had no school and no exams to worry about!

I spent more time with my family. The lockdown brought a wave of nostalgia for all of us. We reminisced about fun times we’d spent together. We spoke about our future goals and what steps we could take to get there. Sharing our thoughts and feelings made me hopeful and excited for the future!

Ramadan is the ninth and holiest month of the Islamic calendar as the Qur’an was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) during this month. Throughout Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating and drinking, from dawn to sunset every day (if they are well enough to do so).

Muslims also encourage one another to increase their spiritual devotion by praying (Salah), being charitable (Zakah) and strengthening family ties. This year was extremely important to me because, with the extra free time I had, I was able to learn more about our religion and I also learnt more about my family. It’s really important to appreciate every moment you have with those you love and hold dear.

I was most challenged during the first lockdown when I found it so difficult to find purpose and be productive. With no school, no exams, no gatherings with friends and family, and no routine, every day quickly became tedious and repetitive. I felt like nothing was going to change and I would be stuck feeling demotivated, bored and gloomy forever.

Productivity comes in waves. My advice would be to trust this notion; we can’t be working all the time because it’s just not possible or healthy!

One hot April night in the small hours I was overwhelmed by a sudden urge to create my own poetry journal. When I write poems I usually do so electronically but there’s something special about putting pen to paper. So I got into a routine where I wrote a poem every morning. Writing in my notebook kept me away from my phone and computer for longer periods each day, allowing my mind to slow down a bit.

I notice that my productivity comes in waves. My advice would be to trust this notion; we can’t be working all the time because it’s just not possible or healthy! We’re only human after all and we need to take breaks to refuel.

Although many people would argue there’s no right time to do something, I would argue that there actually is – when you feel like it!

Lockdown is extremely difficult for many of us so it’s really important to reach out to those you care about. Technology has made that easier for us. A phone call every day or a simple text message can mean a lot to someone, especially if they are going through a hard time. Set reasonable routines for yourself and get enough sleep and exercise. Be there for each other and for yourself.

You have got through the first lockdown and you can get through this second lockdown too!

If you are struggling, you can find support below:

Basmah is a writer and poet from north London and has been working with Exposure for many years. You can find more of her work here.

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