Posted on 15th January 2021 by Sarah Johnstone

Taking The Pressure Off This Lockdown



Here we go again guys; it’s back into lockdown once again.

It’s a frightening, challenging time for all of us, especially those who have been ill, their families and of course, our dedicated NHS and key workers who are fighting on the front line. For them, we must persevere with this strange new way of living, and I just wanted to use my voice within the lovely Countryside Ladies Community to take this opportunity to talk about a few points I’m keeping in mind this time around.

For me, it’s imperative to keep reminding myself that besides abiding by the ‘stay at home’ rules, it’s okay to expect absolutely NOTHING from myself during this lockdown. I know that sounds a bit dismal but hear me out.

I’ll start with Social media, specifically Instagram, which is a confusing place where reality and fiction collide. Everyone posts a perfect, productive, happy version of themselves, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it’s lovely to see the best of someone. However, this lockdown, I am reminding myself that this is not necessarily the whole truth and nothing but the truth. IG influencers are not perfect, and that’s okay, it’s healthy to embrace our imperfections. Sometimes I find it helpful to shut out the noise and put my phone in a drawer for an afternoon – try it, it’s liberating!

Secondly, there is no pressure to live this perfect lockdown life full of crafting and DIY. There is no pressure to start a business, learn a new language or turn into a Joe Wicks prodigy.

If you want to bake banana bread and cook new recipes, do it. If you don’t feel up to cooking anything, a cheese toastie for dinner is okay.

If you want to schedule this months exercise regime, do it. If you don’t feel like you can face the lycra and the kettlebell at the moment, don’t.

If you want to ditch the joggers and look out your office clothes/makeup for working from home, do it. If it gives you comfort to work in your PJs, don’t beat yourself up.

If you want to start a “new year, new me” reduced carb diet, do it, but if you need the comfort food to get you through the next few weeks, embrace it.

If you need time off or time to yourself, take it. If you feel overwhelmed in any way, tell a friend, or if you think someone might be struggling reach out to them. Lockdown is the time to stick together, ironically from a distance, but stick together, we shall.


Here are a few of the things I’ve been doing to keep myself busy, or not so busy in some cases, over the last few weeks:

  1. I’m re-reading all of the Harry Potter books – I haven’t read this surprisingly complex series since I was a teenager and I’m finding so many details I missed the first time around, therefore discovering new joy within its pages. Is there a series you’ve been meaning to read or re-read? Now is the time.
  2. Dog walking (or just walking in general)- this is an obvious one, but getting out of the house for a 30-minute walk can turn your whole day around and boost your mood.
  3. Playing cards – before lockdown we would never have had the time to sit down with a cuppa and do something like play cards, but we have such a laugh playing together, it’s one of my favourite indoor activities now. Our favourite game is Sh*t Head – you can google it!
  4. Be silly – we had a whole load of snow dropped on us this week and even I, the snow hater, found it in me to go out and “play” in the snow. It’s okay for two fully grown adults and their dog to throw snowballs, make snow angels and roll balls into dashing snowmen!
  5. Put a film on – get in your PJs in the middle of the afternoon, make a hot chocolate and put your favourite movie on. I find real comfort in rewatching films; I don’t know why, but I love it. Some of my favourites are Legally Blonde, The Wolf Of Wall Street, The Intern and Clueless.


Stay safe, stay at home and remember to wash those hands.

Sarah x



#ladiescountrysidecommunity  #lccscotland  
Sarah Johnstone

Posted by Sarah Johnstone

Regional Reporter - Scotland

A short, artificially blonde, just-turned-30-year-old with a healthy mix of positivity and sarcasm. We are based in Tweedbank in the gorgeous Scottish Borders and I own and run my own equestrian performance brand. My two loves (excluding my long suffering non-horsey other half, of course) are horses and wine and during normal non-pandemic summers we spend most of our free weekends competing, mainly eventing, plus we have recently welcomed our first foster dog to our family. When I’m not on the back of a horse I’m probably walking, eating, drinking or watching trashy films on Netflix … usually a combination of the above!

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