So I am well aware how Lockdown and the pandemic has impacted our daily lives as humans in so many ways. It has affected the whole world, not just one or two countries and it is across all cultures. People have lost loved ones, and had to find new ways to grieve. Some people have had to fight to survive this unknown virus. Businesses have had to close or find new ways of operating, there has been redundancies, furlough all unexpected. Poverty has increased as people struggle to maintain work and income. Traffic on the road and in the air has been at an all time low. Gyms and leisure centres forced to close and people had to find new ways to get their exercise. People have had to learn to live in isolation not see their loved ones. Weddings and other social events all cancelled and rearranged. The NHS has seen unprecedented levels of admissions and again adopt new ways of working. Clapping for the NHS as a show of support became a regular weekly event. Schools had to close and parents had to become teacher as well as parent. Working from home is now a daily practice. People have had to shop in different ways. Panic buying became the new "thing" . Mask wearing is now the "new normal". Wildlife started to visit in our towns and gardens due to people staying inside.
The Covid-19 virus has been difficult for so many reasons, social distancing and isolation goes against our very human instinct, which is to have connection, feel we belong and be in close relationships. People have helped in many ways and have a greater community spirit something that our busy lives robs us of. Many people have found an increase in anxiety. Some people have found the isolation has helped make relationships stronger some have found it has had a detrimental affect on their relationship, being at home together for long periods has caused arguments and increased domestic abuse cases. There have been scare stories and lack of information causing lots of confusion. As we are slowly re-emerging into this new way of living it many are finding they now have a new "social anxiety", (a fear of mixing with people again). The vaccine roll out is going well and yet this too has areas of confusion and concern.
This last year or so, has thrown many challenges our way, and yet it has also given us so much to learn and be thankful for.
So what are some of the lessons I feel I have learned and what we could take from lockdown?
We can find an inner resilience if needed, we are stronger than we think. We can adapt to change if we have to. For me I have had to learn to use technology in ways I had never imagined I would. I have grown my and adapted my business online. I have built a website, and learned things about myself that I had never thought possible.
Don't take life or our freedom for granted. Isolating and travel restrictions have shown me how to appreciate what is around me and again just how easy it can become to take these two for granted.
Family and close relationships are so important. I have witnessed how hard it is when you cannot just meet with family and share a hug or two, to have new members born that you cannot meet for sometime, to have a family member die without being there to hold their hand or say goodbye. To have older family member who are in care homes who feel they have been abandoned because they are unable to understand why the family have stopped visiting. Let's try to make the most of the family and time we can spend together.
Exercise is important and does not have to cost anything. It is so nice to see people out riding bikes that have been in a shed or garage for years, plus the dog walk now involves so much more interaction with people saying, "hello, how are you?"
Ingenuity can go a long way in helping to adapt to change. I have adapted to changing how I work, from face to face therapy and now being able to offer online therapy with greater flexibility, where I can offer support to many more people.
Nature is all around us and we would benefit from appreciating the role nature plays in the world and how fragile nature can be. I now ask myself do I need to keep the lawn cut short, can the insects enjoy a few more wild flowers and just to stop and appreciate the outside world a little more.
Helping feels good. A smile a text or a call to see how someone is can go a long way in helping, so it doesn't have to be a big gesture.
Appreciate all the hard work and benefits the NHS offers us. Many countries do not have this fantastic resource.
Inequality matters. this pandemic has highlighted that inequality still exists even if we are choosing to ignore this, lets make this a time for change to end inequality.
We need each other. however busy we are always make time for a call text or a visit to let someone you care about know you are there.
Foreign travel now feels like a luxury. I have always assumed if I can afford a holiday then it will happen, not anymore as money hasn't stopped the virus and allowed travel to continue, in fact I have had to look for other ways to take a break and feel rested.
So whilst lockdown has had many challenges to confront I like to believe I have learned so much more about myself, the human race and the world around us.