They say it takes 21 days to form a habit, and sometimes habits can be ingrained into us for a lifetime, whilst others only last a week. In the last lockdown, time seemed to be at an abundance. It became the hourglass where days fell into weeks, weeks spiralled into months, and it was as if time itself had truly stopped. So much time meant that banana bread became a regular occurrence on our Instagram feeds and at-home workouts became all the rage.
Before lockdown, anytime anyone asked me what my hobbies were, I would stare at them blankly as the realisation would come over me: ‘what hobbies do I actually have?’ apart from being glued to my TV screen as the next Netflix series flickered on whilst I cradled a packet of popcorn? However, as the world slowed down I found myself taking up new hobbies and picking up habits which I am still practising today.
One habit I can say I have kept up is daily walking. I am the kind of person you will see outside no matter what the weather is and, even if it’s just a 10 minute walk, I always find myself in a better mood afterwards. Since coming back to Sheffield and further restrictions becoming the norm, we are all facing online Uni. I find after many coffees and hours spent staring at a computer screen, I crave being outdoors. Especially since Autumn is here, and the trees have turned shades of golden brown and amber and fallen leaves crunch under our feet, everywhere just seems more beautiful. This has meant I have been able to shake off the claustrophobia of the indoors and switch off from technology.
One of the smaller habits I picked up was baking, and I too am guilty of falling into the trend of baking banana loaves. My lockdown kitchen became an aroma of warm bread, cookies and cakes with my brother acting as my personal Paul Hollywood. Even in my attempt to become Britain’s next great baker I did find something relaxing about it. I hadn’t baked anything since I was a kid and now I have the scars to prove my countless attempts to become a better baker. However, it would be a lie to say I’ve kept it up since University resumed, as it was a short term habit to fill days in isolation. But I do believe that like riding a bike, baking will be something I will always come back to.
Out of these habits, one I have kept up, whilst the other kept me busy in the slowing down of the Spring and Summer months. But, with the second lockdown here, it will mean that time will once again become a blur. However, forming habits is definitely the most positive aspect of the unprecedented times we are all facing. It creates a routine and allows us to remove ourselves from the fixation of our phones and University work.