Lockdown.It started 23 March and Sue Peart and I did our first podcast discussing how weird it was going to be, how hesitant we were about what would happen next and how it was all overwhelming (you can hear that podcast HERE).Lockdown was all of those things but as we come out I thought we'd have a look at what some luminaries in the beauty world, who have podcasted with TOYL or have been kind enough to put products in our box, say about their time in isolation. Meg Mathews - founder of www.megsmenopause.com"I felt lockdown help to connect with myself .... sitting with my feelings learning to breath and meditate long walks on my own .... just become in tune with Meg ... and slow down completely as I feel I am always running 🏃🏼♀️ and this helped me slow down and become at peace helping towards my anxiety and stress which has been a large part of my life so this lockdown has taught me to sit with one's feelings 🙏🏼" Lucy Tucker - Instagram Nail Star and Nail Technician to the Stars"There's not one particular thing, I've really enjoyed being at home so much & not working. I never ever get to spend this much time at home or with the kids so it's been an amazing experience to all be together so much. We play games most days which is something we never can do... I have really enjoyed the slow pace we've experienced for the last 13 weeks. My life (like everyone else) is utterly hectic & super busy so taking this time out to really re charge, exercise every morning & clean bits around the house that I'm never able to do!" Tracey Woodward - Beauty Industry Guru"Lockdown has brought me into living in the present more than ever before, because the future is out of my control for now, although I realise now it never was completely mine to control. Being in the here and now has created a peace in me I never really knew before. However I cannot deny I went through the whole Dabda process to get here, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. I have also been able to spend a little longer on my Selfcare, all great and cooking has been fabulous thanks to The Fish Society, Farmison, and Able and Cole I have recreated restaurant standard food which I have truly missed.. People friends and just the general hum of activity living alone through this had been my biggest challenge." Marishka Dunlop - Founder of Life Armour Supplements"Lockdown has taught me that it’s ok not to have a jam packed diary all the time. Slowing down has made me really appreciate my surroundings so much more and take joy in the most simple things nature has to offer. From a business point of view focus, determination and positivity can reap great results, when you least expect it." Helena Biggs, Managing Editor of Scratch Magazine“Lockdown has taught me that it’s OK to take a step back from the daily grind, press pause and prioritise. I’ve learned to delegate work responsibilities that would often consume me and enjoy what’s around me. ‘Forced time’ at home has helped me relax, to refocus and to reenergise in all areas of my life and take time for self-care, including more responsibility over my skincare and nail needs. It’s opened up conversations with loved ones and made me more appreciative of hobbies and daily movements that have for too long been taken for granted.” Lyndell Mansfield - Schwarzkopf LIVE Spokesperson and Celebrity Hair Colorist"I’ve learnt so many things in lockdown. I knew I was a complete social creature and making people feel good, being around them and creating things together was what I thrived on. I love being super busy and filling everyday to the brim! At first, without that everyday, I over filled that void, setting challenge after challenge for myself, till I was exhausted and then experienced some real lows. At that point, I decided to take each day as it came and to give compassion to myself, as well as others. I’m still challenging myself but I’ve learnt that I need to give myself time to breathe. Oh and I have mastered vegan baking and the use of a drill!" Scott Hutchinson-McDade - Founder of Wellbeing Radio"Lockdown has taught me that I can get so much more work done in my pjs, but the flip side is it’s also harder to switch off. It’s reminded me that no matter how great the collective experience we’re all having, it’s totally individual to each person. My productivity has increased but so many people have lost motivation and are stuck in a perpetual state of overwhelm." Amanda Winwood - Founder of Made For LifeFor me, this time has represented an opportunity to step back and catch the breath. My husband Geoff, and I were able to be with his 90 year Mum. We cared for her whilst her health deteriorated, sharing laughter and stories and were there as she passed away peacefully in his arms in her home. This was a gift and there has been much to learn about what is truly important in life. Made for Life has changed its focus in terms of what we offer but what has stayed true and been more emphasised is the importance of the connections of human beings with health – of our own health and the Planet. That is what is at the heart of what we believe and what we do as a brand. I feel more connected to our vision now than before.” Jayn Sterland - MD of Weleda"Lockdown has taught me so much about what is truly important and what is just ‘noise’ in my life. I feel as though I have physically and emotionally decluttered my life through a lack of busy-ness – before constantly on the go, whereas now I just stay put, be still, listening and reflecting to my surroundings. It’s been a time and connection and caring for me, spending time with my loved ones and in nature.I hope, when life gets back to a new normal, I am able to hold the space, put up stronger boundaries than before and keep enjoying the simple pleasures of family, food and nature, less fluff, more substance." Sarah Cross - Founder of CodeBeautiful"Lockdown has taught me on a personal level I’m more agile than I thought juggling a 3 year old and a business on my own has been brutal at times but I've adapted and my best has been more than enough."On a business level I’ve realised I don’t have to travel here there and everywhere when Ive successfully used zoom for all meetings i will continue to do this... I also think “the four - hour work week by Tim Ferriss is more achievable thank you think. I’ve been so much more productive in shorter time frames. . Also Our decision to move predominantly to on online business over the last 2 years took lots of time and investment but was the smartest move we made, we were ready, our systems our digital strategy everything was just where is needed to be." Fay Afghahi - Founder of Kerahealth"Covid was the wakeup call the world needed, a ‘prise de conscience’ of the ugly direction that we were going in. People wrapped up in a culture of abundance, extravagance and waste when all we need in reality is simple and humble. A lesson that we are all equal; elitism and excess are not necessary for survival, but the maintenance of a healthy society depends upon our emotional and intellectual abilities to recognise the need to care for the weaker and more vulnerable." Karen Davis, Founder of TOYL"Lockdown has made me thank my lucky stars for so many things. For work, even the bits that are less exciting, that my children are in their twenties so I don't have to juggle home schooling with work, that I have a strong relationship with my husband, for those who works selflessly for others (particularly volunteers) and that the people I most care about are well. "I realised that it's okay to feel overwhelmed and it's not weakness to give into that. I had a memorable moment early on when I was brought up short as the District Council (I am somehow Chair of our Parish Council) phoned to ask how many spare burial plots we had, how fast we could bury people, where the plots were and what we needed to do this. That was sobering and I may have taken the rest of the afternoon off at the thought of what might be coming next."It's also made me value health and again, it's reinforced how important it is to exercise, get outdoors, eat well and give real time to self care. In short, I've been taught a true sense of gratitude and more forgiveness towards fellow humans, as you never know what they are struggling with."