Newcastle Photographer and Content Creator, Mandy Charlton, Always on a quest for adventure, often seen on buses, trains and planes. On a quest to be happier and healthier. Lives in Newcastle with her 3 cats, Iris, Maggie and Arthur. Loves good vibes, musicals and cakes. Full time professional wedding photographer in the north east of england alongside content creator on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

How Lockdown is Helping me Move on With my Life

Coronavirus and Lockdown have changed the world, probably forever, I don't think for one moment that the world will ever go back to the way that it was previously and for all of the bad stuff that's happened, I've personally found that Lockdown has helped me to move on with my life.

How lockdown is helping me move on with my life, mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger, mental health, coronavirus

Lockdown gives you a lot of time to think, the emotions we feel are so much stronger and I've been at the point of a mental health meltdown once or twice, those times when having a friend hug you and make you a cup of tea would have eased the pain but with no one there, you're left to your own thoughts and feel yourself slipping further and further into the abyss.  I spoke to a mental health worker fairly early on when I thought I was losing my mind and their reassurance that it wasn't a "me" problem but a whole world problem still carries me forward during the darkest days.

Losing 2 businesses almost overnight was nearly impossible but having had time to think and understand I know now that it was time to walk away from the one which had negatively impacted on my health and overwhelmed my mental health for so long.  When you spend each day trying to look after thousands of people it can be all-consuming so over the last few weeks I've learned to appreciate the joy and freedom that is time and space.  For the first time, I actually got closure with no chance of return and I will admit that I went on a spree blocking on mass not just on social media but also email addresses, newsletters, Facebook pages.  I wanted to be completely free and now, that I am.

The closure of my photography business was harder to stomach but over the last few weeks I have turned my attention to teaching children the joy of creative photography and now I'm going one further and have my first zoom chat with a marketing organisation on Wednesday to teach them how to make better images with their smartphones.  I've also completely redesigned my offerings to training aspiring professional photographers and I really feel the future is bright.  I've decided that I want to offer more photography tuition for kids and adults.  I know I have so much to offer after 13 years running multiple businesses, all of which had great imagery at the heart of them.

Some things have not changed, I have always been and will always be a photographer, I live my life creating images for myself and others, my main subjects may currently be my pets but the principles are much the same and I may only be using my smartphone but I reckon after 13 years I deserve a little holiday from my big camera, anyone who's ever seen my wedding claw the day after I shoot a big wedding would attest to that as would other professional photographers!

I think more than anything the time and space for self-development has never been more optimum, I'm not suggesting you learn a new language or write a book but if anything you can cleanse your life, your inbox, give yourself closure from painful things and difficult situations and more than that, maybe if you get one thing from all of this, it's to learn to be kinder to yourself.

By the time we made it to the weekend, I'd even managed to take a couple of photographs of myself that I didn't filter and I didn't hate and at the tender age of 46,  I didn't even hate my face so much, although, let's not talk about the bushy eyebrows.  The truth is, and this is the message, I've had such a battle with myself for years, I've been angry, I've been anxious, I've stressed myself out because of the bad relationship I've had with myself so if Coronavirus and Lockdown have given me one thing, it's that I love myself a little more and I can't ever see that changing again.

If you have enjoyed this article or had some value from it, I would really appreciate a virtual coffee


Gemmaslittleworld said...

This is a beautiful post Mandy! I'm glad you've come through this so positively

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