In recent weeks of lockdown, the world has been turned completely upside down. Like most, my day to day life as I knew it came to a complete stop after Boris’ 8pm announcement in March.
For me, I expected to see a slight decline in my mental health, there is a global pandemic after all, and you cannot expect yourself to be okay 100% of the time. I also knew I would miss the daily route of going to work, day trips with my friends, and seeing my family. But my sense of purpose, surely not?
What I did not expect during lockdown
My job has always been a big part of my life and identity ever since I began working. I started my job whilst studying at college and then went full-time once I had completed my course two years ago. I suddenly realised that with my job on hold I was lacking the motivation to get up in the mornings and do anything with my day because I felt there was no purpose to doing it.
After talking to a few friends, both who work with me and those studying at university, I found that this was a common feeling amongst all of us. We went from being engaged and having a lot to do to suddenly nothing. No wonder why the days became long, boring and almost meaningless!
Three steps to re-discovering your new purpose
I found my journey to re-discovering my purpose could begin once I understood WHY I was feeling the way I did and that I wasn’t alone. Speaking from personal experience exploring my new purpose took three steps.
Step 1: Taking time to process what is happening both in the world and to me as an individual (as things affect all of us differently as we are all different). It was in this step that I reminded myself that staying at home to protect myself, others and the NHS is a purpose in itself and I should be proud that I am doing my part.
Step 2: Giving myself something to focus on and work towards. Over the last 5 weeks this has changed, and I am happy that it has. I started with signing up to a free 2-week course on Social Media Marketing Strategies as it is something of recent interest to me and meant I could gain skills for the future at the same time. I also began writing some articles for my work newsletter that I had wanted to engage in but never had time in the past. In recent weeks I have been doing more work with No5 and been planning the content that me and the other young ambassadors are creating! Doing this and having some deadlines not only gave me something to aim towards but also gave some structure to my week with deadlines.
Step 3: Re-discovering my passions. I have always been very focused in either my schoolwork or my career that I have neglected my passions and creative outlets. One big thing for me is my bullet journal so I created a spread of activities I would like to do during this time. This list included Netflix and Disney + series and films, origami, writing letters, writing poetry, editing (previous) photography, and a bit of home organisation & decoration. Having this list allows me to pick and choose what I would like to do when I am feeling bored and unmotivated, and to do different things each day/week.
During these stages, I have kept in touch with friends who felt the same and we discussed what we have been doing. We are all individuals so something I have done may not have worked for them and vice versa.
This is still a journey for me, but by combining the three steps above, alongside keeping up my mental and physical wellbeing, I have been able to re-discover my sense of purpose and now feel a lot less lost!
If you have any questions about my journey in finding my purpose during this lockdown feel free to send them to our weekly Q&A using #AsktheYAs.
No5 Lead Young Ambassador