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  • vikki-houlden

It's never the right time

Updated: May 6, 2021

So I've been toying with the idea of starting this blog for a while now. I set up all the fancy website front and drafted a first post last Februrary. When the first Lockdown rolled around, I thought I'd have more time to reflect and start commiting to some regular posts. In the end, with much of my life and research up in the air (like many of you, I imagine), I spent the subsequent weeks, then months, figuring out how to move my entire life to within four walls, and juggling a new home-work dynamic. I also wrote my first book Chapter (coming soon, I hope!), which was pretty exciting, but ended up being very time consuming too! So, in between repeatedly chasing my cat out of my Zoom meetings and finally getting round to painting the new house we moved into over a year ago, time got the best of me. Just when things were beginning to open up again, I started a new job at the University of Leeds, and so settling in with colleagues I've never actually met, at a University I'm yet to visit, while planning a new Msc, has made the past year feel like one of the busiest I've had, despite not really going anywhere!

A year on and Lockdown 3.0 coming to an end has given me the motivation to finally share what I've learnt about how nature is so vital to our wellbeing at a time when are lives are more restricted, yet more free, than ever.

Let me explain.

We haven't been able to go far, but for those of us who are now working from home or furloughed often have a bit more flexibility with how we spend that time. There's no commute, dashing between meetings, booked gym classes and those 'have you got a sec?' chats we often dread. Admittedly it's been difficult, especially to start with, to separate home and work when you do your washing, eating, crafting, working (and occassionally napping) in the same room. I've never spent so much time at the kitchen table.

But, on days where I'm free from back-to-back Zooms, and with the days lengthening I can get out for a walk to see the sun. I can go for a run outdoors before breakast, rather than sitting on the metro on my way into the office. The neighbourhood parks that I never had time to visit during the week are now accessible on a lunchtime stroll. Extra time spent in the garden over summer means more money spent on plantpots and spring bulbs than I'd like to admit (but then, I have saved a lot from my commute and gym membership over the last few months. All I buy is food, wine and novels. And all the plants).

Yes, it's a been an incredibly stressful, chaotic and uncertain time, but there's never been an better opportunity to pause, take a deep breath and connect with the world around you.

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