Lockdown 3.0 Diary: What I’ve learnt from isolation

Hey everyone, I hope you’re doing great and looking ahead to the end of a long and difficult lockdown? I fully intended to keep the lockdown diaries series going, but somehow I got swept away in work. Sometimes that’s a good thing, and sometimes it’s not. This lockdown has taught me a lot about myself, and others.

I’m pretty bad at checking in on here, so I wanted to let you know that despite falling off the radar for a very long time. I’m ok. In fact, for the first time In a long time, I’m really excited about the future, and I see where I’m going. There are big changes coming in my personal life and professional life. 

The start of 2021 didn’t look promising

I don’t know about you but 2021 started off pretty bad for me. I’ve really struggled with depression as a result of extreme isolation, as an extrovert not having regular contact with people has affected me more than I ever realised. I need hugs often, and I had no idea that living alone, something I always treasured, would end up feeling so bad. COVID-19 lockdown made it easy to detach from my friends and throw myself into work. Despite that, I was surprised to see a few people reach out, beyond a simple WhatsApp message and really check in on me. I am forever grateful and surprised, as it wasn’t who I was expecting!

When work IS your passion

My work is my passion, so it’s not been all bad. I find great joy, a sense of purpose and satisfaction in my work, so in that respect, I am pretty blessed. I know it’s not the same for everyone, I don’t take that for granted at all. If lockdown has taught me anything, it’s to appreciate the things that make you feel good, and my work does that.

A few lessons I’ve learnt from lockdown 3.0

  • Seeking the right support ASAP is essential if you’re struggling to cope. As soon as I acknowledged I was struggling to cope during the lockdown, I wanted to deal with it. Sometimes you can open up and share with the wrong people, that’s ok. But don’t stop opening up, as the right person will be there to listen + support you. It may not be the person who you first think it will be, or want it to be. And sometimes it may need to be a professional. 
  • Asking for help isn’t a weakness, it’s a sign of strength. At the same time it’s important to actually deal with what’s going on, and not just seek out empathy, but take action and not leave it to evolve into something that could become much worse. Since I reached out to get some professional support I have found myself getting back on track. I’ve seen first hand what can happen to people who don’t get support, try and deal with it themselves, fall into repetitive patterns and it’s not a road I fancied going down. 
  • I’ve realised, or should I say, I’ve known for a long time that numbers of likes on social media means nothing. It’s about the quality, not quantity. Feeling a sense of self-worth through the number of SM likes + comments is a sign you need to work on yourself. It’s easy to fall into that trap… 
  • Never give up on what you believe in. If you are fortunate enough to find something that you consistently put your all into. Don’t let others’ negative thoughts steer you off course. Personal and work relationships should be easy. Difficult ones will run their course. It’s nobody’s fault, it’s just sometimes the universe has other ideas and plans for you all. 
  • People won’t get you. And that’s ok. Not everyone has to, nor will feel the same. Sometimes we expect to click and work effectively with all people, just because we share similar passions or can have fun over drinks. It doesn’t make you or them bad people, you’re just not compatible. There is great strength in acceptance, moving on and not holding grudges (something I have learnt takes up far too much energy!).
  • I have found that having a sense of purpose and belief so strong in something can alienate people, you can come across as a bit self-righteous and they will struggle to see what you see. But don’t ever let that stop you from doing you! 
  • Keep moving forward even if it’s very slowly! If money is an issue, do what you must. Get a second job or a third one. Who cares what it is – pride can be destructive if it’s not channelled properly. Just find a way to stay on track. Yes, you may feel like you’ve gone backwards, but know at some point you WILL find your way again. I’ve had to take on contract work, at pay grades much lower than my experience in the past. It sucks, but sometimes, you’ve got to do, what you’ve got to do.
  • Feng Shui yourself, be in the presence of the light and positive people. You will rise with those who share your vision – and good things will come for all of you!
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Finally, good things DO come to those who never give up: I am seeing proof of that.

This year, my passion project turned business venture Ethical Brand Directory (which has evolved into the Ethical Brand Network) got its first round of investors.  What makes this extra special to me is that they are all super excited by the chance to do good – and of course make some money!  But they are looking at it from a 10X perspective, much bigger than I could ever imagine going at this alone.

I’m about to embark on a powerful commercial business opportunity that can afford to make a positive impact in this world.  Since this has happened, we’ve had 2 more VC investors reach out after seeing me pitch, and it would seem that what we are doing is attracting the right people, finally!

If this is the start of things to come… I feel positive that I’m on the right path. Moral of the story – never give up. Let go of what doesn’t inspire you. 

Don’t hang on to situations, people or places that hold you back. 

Roberta xx 

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