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What can we learn from lockdown?

What can we learn from lockdown?

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I came into this situation (as we often refer to what we are going through) with the mindset that we will be at home for three months.

I’m not a person who likes working from home unless I have to get something done or have an appointment near home.  And taking the working situation out of the way, I was doing ok.

However, as time has gone by and no massive change to the isolation we are facing, I have found it more and more difficult. And I can’t say it’s the staying at home that’s proved difficult, nor the working from home, as technology has shown us how great it can be. It’s the not knowing when this will end – and it doesn’t look like it will anytime soon.

One of the things I have started to feel more anxious about is food shopping. I have only been to a supermarket twice in nine weeks.  Finally, after seven weeks at home, I was able to get a click and collect slot for my weekly shop, which has helped.

But ultimately the issue is having our lives put on hold, unable to make plans. Or unable to make the changes to our lives that we may want to, especially following all the time we have had to reflect on them.

It seems to me that part of the issue is having too much time to think when we would typically be kept busy with other things on our mind or distracted by things happening around us.  Therefore trying to embrace new hobbies and setting personal challenges for ourselves can help to boost positivity. And remembering to be kind to ourselves: it’s ok to feel the way we feel.

The uncertainty remains and even though there are signs of a return to ‘normal,’ this uncertainty is a big part of what the ‘new normal’ will mean.  Speaking to friends, colleagues and family members and discussing how you feel, what is making you anxious and which options could improve your personal wellbeing can help us come to terms with this.  The chances are that others will be feeling the same or have ideas and solutions that you haven’t thought of.  It may surprise you to find that even the people who you think are the most outwardly positive are, in fact, struggling with the same issues themselves.

These are very different times and not anyone’s expectation of how we thought 2020 would pan out, but we will get through it and we are very likely to have reviewed the way we look at life moving forwards.

One thing that has become evident is that little things make a big difference, and therefore if we all try to make small positive changes and continue to support each other, life will change for the better.

It may be Mental Health Awareness week and the focus is good and needed at this time, but let’s not just focus on mental health this week: let’s use it as an opportunity to think more about each other every week.

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