When lockdown in the UK was announced, model and influencer Jada Sezer worried how she’d cope. Here, she explains how embracing her new life has turned out to be more impactful than she could ever have imagined…
Two months ago, my long-awaited birthday plans on a sunny Malibu beach evaporated as the world shut down. Shops boarded up and countries closed their borders. All my scheduled work as a model and content creator ground to a halt. With my entire life turned upside down, I found myself scrambling for control. My thoughts turned to what this new life – confined to a small one-bedroom apartment in central London – would look like. This was when the grieving process began – the happy little life I had known had come to an end.
In the home my partner and I share, we were polar opposites – seen in his collection of sanitisers, face masks and news update alerts. I, in comparison, had my half-packed suitcase, weekend plans still pencilled in and a reluctance to watch any news at all. We were both irritable, lacked motivation and felt deeply sad, each trying to put on a brave face for the other.
So we formed routines. We replaced our usual gym workouts with Joe Wicks YouTube videos, roping the family in for moral support via Zoom. We started enjoying long evening strolls around our new neighbourhood, discovering hidden parks and local grocery stores we’d been too busy to explore or appreciate before. We clapped for our NHS on Thursdays and had quiz nights and takeaways on Fridays. I fell in love with painting again, and made cards and care packages to send to loved ones. Connecting – with family, friends, nature and each other – became a priority.
I’ve always been somebody who thinks positively, but while I laughed and most days were happy, the sadness deep down was there, too. I only realised when one morning my arms started itching. Looking into this mysterious itchy sensation, I discovered it was a common response to stress. Was my body releasing the repressed sadness?
Then, the sun began to shine. My concrete patio which I never had any time to decorate was now my ’Bahamas’ (yes, I named it that). With the help of one specific online retailer, I went on a Prime shopping spree, ordering grass, wicker tables, sun loungers, bamboo fencing, seeds and fancy plant pots. The tiny outdoor space became my sanctuary, with mornings now spent sipping tea and reconnecting with nature. This inner calm I recognised, but hadn’t experienced in a while.
With my old life on hold, my stress levels have decreased and I’ve finally had time to contemplate what truly brings me joy. In this new space, my new YouTube series, The Quarantine Series, was born – a selection of videos about positivity, hope, happiness and how to find magic in the mundane. I guess this is what happens when you force two creatives into lockdown together! The project gave us energy, excitement and most importantly, purpose. I think much of my sadness came from missing that in the first place.
Amongst all the uncertainty, there’s been clarity, too. With less noise, meetings and long commutes there’s been space. Space to reconnect and learn how to find magic in simple things. Space to turn a concrete patio into the Bahamas, sofas into dens and Zoom calls into house parties. Here’s to finding the magic in the mundane.