Blog: My lockdown time capsule

Author, Hannah Sayle is a 3rd year Philosophy and Business student at the University of Liverpool.

As part of Wellbeing Week some of the University’s Career Studio Coaches were asked to take some time out from studying and working to try the global time capsule project.

When I was first asked, I initially thought I haven’t got time and I’ve got nothing to write about – all I’ve done is stay inside and work on my coursework.

I was reminded about a TED Talk called ‘The Power of Time Off’ by Stephen Sagmeister. He discussed the benefits of taking a year off every seven years of work. I’m not saying you need to take a year off, but there are many examples of people who have achieved great things while giving themselves time off.

So, I thought I’d give it a go, if nothing else it’s a good excuse to take a break and get away from my coursework!

This wouldn’t be the first time I had made a time capsule. I recently opened on my 21st birthday a capsule which I buried on my 10th birthday. I was surprised at how much I had forgotten about! My family and I loved looking back at the things I had cherished when I was young – my once favourite doll now seemed pretty creepy – where is its mouth?

We are going to be talking about the COVID-19 pandemic for a long-time, so why not make a time-capsule so you can be reminded of your own experience. My parents have always encouraged me to document moments in my life, they often-repeated the saying ‘A dull pencil is better than the sharpest mind’. Although writing has never really been a strength of mine, I have found great joy in being able to look back on old memories. I have always loved taking pictures and making little videos of our family holidays.

You might choose to make a video, create a piece of artwork or write a song to document your experience. Nothing is more constant that change, so if you don’t write it down now it’s likely that something else will come up or soon enough, you’ll forget about it.

Filling in the time-capsule document was quite fulfilling, it made me review and reflect on the past few weeks. From this, I became more grateful for the time I had referred to as like ‘being in jail’.

Greek Philosopher Epictetus said ‘He is wise who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has’ – aren’t we always asking for longer-weekends and more time to rest? And there has been many good things and positive learning experiences that I have experienced whilst being in quarantine; clearer skin, exploring the beautiful nature around my home and getting more sleep. Staying at home has made me consider – what parts of my ‘normal’ life are really worth rushing back to?

I felt inspired to get involved when looking at the incredible job my community has done in supporting and uplifting each other – even in the simple clapping for the NHS on a Thursday night. Everyone standing out together has helped me feel connected. Taking notice of the whole experience has helped me to have a positive attitude and feel more motivated in making the most of this time at home.

My favourite part of the activity was ‘write a letter to your future self’. Not only was I able to reflect on what I have learnt over the past couple of weeks, but I was also able to spend some time thinking about where I want to be in the future. It has given me the motivation to continue working on my coursework and caused me to reflect on how my current choices align with my future goals.

It is only when we are looking back on past moments, we realise the progress and growth we have achieved in a such short amount of time.

As you can see from the picture, I was attempting to dig up the garden in my sandals! It also seems it’s quite handy to live with my family during these times; I got my dad to dig the small hole in my back garden. I’m hoping to dig it up in 10 years – if everything goes to plan, I’ll hopefully have a child by then to share my experience with.

Don’t be afraid to take some ‘time-out’ to do something for yourself – ‘self-care is about giving the best of you, instead of just what’s left of you!

Give the project a go here and share your experience with us using #LivUniWellbeing #TeamLivUni