This weekend I’ve been reconnecting with myself and I’ve learnt that I’m craving so much more of what nourishes me. I want to be in the moment and moving my body and breathing fresh air and getting creative and working towards something. So I’m going to take some time away from these squares so I can step back from outside influence and really connect with all things me. See you in April, loves 🖤

@knitspleaseuk, 15th March 2020

It’s been almost three weeks since I uninstalled the Instagram app and took myself mostly out of the loop of current affairs. I could feel the tide of trying times begin to turn, and I knew that I needed to prepare myself. I can so easily get lost in the consumption of other peoples thoughts and feelings and opinions and before I know it hours have passed and I’m left with an uneasy feeling that I just can’t shake. And I didn’t want that for myself.

So I made the decision to step away and focus on the things that felt like priorities to me and now, coming out of the other side of it, I know that it was absolutely the right thing to do. We are living through unprecedented times, and I can honestly say that I’ve done the most I could do to set myself up to cope with it well.

I have prioritised moving my body. I’m 18 days into 30 days of Yoga with Adriene and feel like I want to do it forever. I’ve dabbled with at-home yoga in the past, but I’ve always stuck to the same few videos and so I never learnt just how much I could do. I’m constantly surprising myself with what I can do with my body, and it feels so good to move in new ways. I’ve found it to be the perfect way to start the day, and it’s keeping me calm, centred and open. It’s also teaching me so much about my posture, and I’m learning how to be so much kinder to my body because of it.

I’ve spent time reading books, not social media feeds. I’ll be honest, I thought I would have read much more than I have in these past few weeks, but what I have read I’ve enjoyed immensely, without the distraction of social media keeping me from a good story. I’ve also learnt that reading tends to be what I do when I’m on my own, and with Sam not working it takes conscious effort to move into another room away from noisy distractions to get through a few pages. I’ve also downloaded the Kobo app on my phone. Usually I’d buy physical books or Kindle, but our latest book club read wasn’t available in my usual formats and I managed to find it on Kobo. Having a book to read on my phone is never something I was interested in, but now I’ve seen how easy it is to read part of a good story with as much ease as 30 minutes spent scrolling on Instagram, and I’m not sad about it. 

I’ve been flexing my knitting creativity. Most of my knitting time has been spent on my September Sweater (can we all please take a moment to recognise how slow brioche grows?!), but I’ve also been mulling over some new design ideas. There are a couple of stitch patterns that I’ve had in mind for ages, years even, without the motivation to do much with them, but over the past few weeks I’ve been feeling inspired. I’ve worked up a couple of swatches, and think I’ll see where the mood takes me so there may be something new on its way soon.

I’ve been reminded how much I connect with living slowly. I thought I’d come back from this break with stacks to report, a whole host of things achieved and dozens of items ticked off, but I’m not coming back with much progress at all. And that’s what feels just right. I used to be a do-er, forever wanting to have things done and show just how productive I am. But that’s not me anymore. Now I like to spend time over things, and savour the moments. I like to enjoy a slow cup of tea and while away hours in conversation and curl up with re-runs of my favourite TV shows and movies. I like to do just the right amount of stuff to keep me ticking over, without succumbing to my old pal, overwhelm. And it’s in filling my life with all of the things that I enjoy, that I get to sit in a steady state of contentment.

It really has been a joy to take a step back from all of the outside noise and re-connect with what it means to be me in this season of my life. And I think I’m going to use these lessons to inform my behaviour going forward. I don’t want to cut out social media for good, because there are so many connections and friendships that it helps keep alive, but however I use it, I want to do so consciously. What that looks like, I’m not yet sure, but for now I’m happy to be back.

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