Lockdown habits I'm going to continue
If this is the new 'normal' - whatever normal is/was for you - which things do you do since Lockdown that are good ideas?
For us, the first complete lockdown meant I couldn't have piano pupils at home, and instead some pupils were taught via Zoom.
This worked well, I lost a few pupils who have chosen not to return, and some who didn't want to be taught remotely but have subsequently returned to face-to-face lessons.
Our income took a hit but I was able to apply for ESA (Employment Support Allowance) due to my disability and this helped.
There are other things we had to alter that seem useful ideas to keep on.
So which habits have we continued?
- We became more careful with our spending - just how tight can you squeeze a budget? We tracked every penny, where it came from and where it went.
- We made no 'big' purchases - we just don't buy new, but having a little windfall we decided to replace the threadbare sofas (on order) and are saving up now to replace the broken bed. Daughter said she felt faint when we said we were buying from a 'real' shop!
- Meal planning - we do this anyway - but whereas before we would be flexible, (for example if the kids asked us to go halves on a takeaway) now we have said no; partly due to pennies, partly due to COVID-19.
- Buying a weekly box of fruit and veg - this is a superb value and quality thing to have.
- Not going out to restaurants - we used to go out with friends once a month or so - and I know you can again, but I just don't feel OK about it. We have eaten at a friends' house a couple of times, but I'm quite content to save the pennies towards the bed!
- Not socialising very much. Every now and again I get tearful because it feels like I don't go anywhere, but apart from daughter's house and occasionally to our friends' house it is a huge event to go to the supermarket (sadly!). It's like post-war times, isn't it?
- Choosing where - and when - to shop carefully. We choose a quiet time, where we really need to go, and take our list.
- Ensuring there is no food waste. Regular readers know that I keep veg peelings and trimmings in the freezer to make soups and stews, but I've stepped up now to swapping extra food with our neighbour who has an allotment.
- Exercising - before Lockdown I'll be honest, pottering around the house or mooching about with the dog was really the only exercise I got. When we were allowed to exercise for an hour a day, we went out and walked the dog for that hour. We live in a really beautiful part of the country and can walk to see the coastline within 20 minutes. We live between the sea and Dartmoor, and once the initial Lockdown was lifted, we started going out in the car to beauty spots for our hour's walk a day. Now I have also joined a ladies-only gym and go 5 days a week. Our fitness has improved due to the scare of the coronavirus.
- Home improvements. During the Lockdown walks, I noticed that most folks were spending time and effort on their houses. We were no different, and got around to - almost - completing those niggly jobs we had on our list. One area we didn't spend money was on paint, as I asked on the local selling page for free paint and got everything we needed!
- Talking to the neighbours. We have always chatted to the people right next door (over the fence) and two couples within our cul-de-sac, but due to the 8'o'clock clapping we have got to know more neighbours, which is another positive habit.
- Medical appointments. We like online consultations. It has cut down on excess time travelling and waiting to see specialists, and we like the online/telephone GP appointments. Long may they continue!