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My priorities have changed during lockdown 

When the lockdown started and later when I was furloughed from my part time job, I thought about all the things I’d be able to achieve.

I’d finally finish writing that one woman show, I’d have loads of time for songwriting, poetry and that novel I’ve been trying to write for years.

It’s been a month now. I haven’t touched the novel, I’ve written one song, one poem and added a few lines to the one woman show.

What actually happened

So what have I been doing? At first I was cancelling events and plans, grieving for the loss of normality and future visits to favourite people and places.

Then I became obsessed with food. It was something to give me a sense of control. There were endless lists of ingredients, what’s in the freezer, what can I order to be delivered, a plan for the meals we’d eat that week.

I’ve been spending time on Zoom, catching up with friends or hosting quizzes. I’ve been exercising at home, weightlifting and meditating.

I’ve been walking my dog for my allowed outside exercise every day and I’ve been trying to keep a positive mindset.

My friend has been leading a gratitude practice on Zoom every Tuesday which I’ve found invaluable.

What I’ve learnt so far

I already knew that keeping my anxiety levels down would be helpful for my MS. I read recently that anxiety is a combination of fear and imagination. If we let our minds run away with imagination and fear it can affect our bodies too.

Somewhere along the way I had lost sight of the benefits of really slowing down, I probably thought my life was already slow anyway.

Yesterday I spent an hour in a breathing meditation that was led by my former yoga teacher on Zoom. It was such a great use of an hour. Having an hour to focus just on breathing seems like a luxury but I’ve realised actually it’s a necessity. We need breathe to live and I wasn’t giving it nearly enough focus.

So my priorities have changed, if I get some writing done that’s great but every day I will focus on my breathing and the things I am grateful for.

The more you practice the better it gets and it’s these things that bring me more joy, peace and enthusiasm for life.

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