"In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth returning to"
I love this quote.
I have also loved parts of lockdown. Hear me out.
I have loved that people have been forced to slow down and have time to relax and recharge. I have loved that people have found hobbies that they never would have had the perceived "time" for before. I have loved that families have been able to spend more quality time together (if they live together). I have loved that people are exercising outdoors more and dusting off their pushbikes and rollerblades. I have loved that people are cooking more, or even learning to cook for the first time. I have loved that people are putting their health first and realising the merits of preventative health care. I have loved that communities have come together to support small business and keep them alive. I have loved that we now all have a greater appreciation and gratitude for our freedom.
There has been a lot of sadness during lockdown.
But there has also been many silver linings.
We have been fortunate enough to have the internet which has allowed us to connect in ways we wouldn't have thought to before. Businesses have had to pivot and change the way that they operate, which has forced us to be more flexible and adapt. We have learnt to appreciate human connection and not take things for granted.
As we slowly start to come back to normal, I hope that some new habits from lockdown remain.
I hope that people continue with their hobbies. It is so important to have an activity that you do purely for fun and the outcome doesn't really matter. Making time for play and fun helps to nurture our inner child, which leads to an overall decrease in stress hormones and and increase in gratitude and happiness. You may not have as much time as during lockdown, but put it in your diary at least once a week, to cook, paint, knit, build, whatever you have discovered joy in.
I hope that more frequent family and friend catch ups continue. Personally, I used to catch up with my family once per month, and even then there was usually someone missing due to being overseas or caught up in something. During lockdown we have been having weekly zoom catch ups and even doing some virtual trivia nights which have been a lot of fun. We never would have thought of doing this if it wasn't for lockdown. It can be really hard to get everyone together with lots of different schedules. So hopefully virtual catch ups remain for the in between times, to keep us all connected.
I hope that people continue going on afternoon walks with their partner or friend. As this was the only way we were allowed outside for a while for 'essential exercise' it has become a routine for many. It's such a great habit to get into doing exercise and having a good chat after finishing work before retiring inside to the couch. If everyone maintained this, we would be a much happier, healthier humans!
I hope that people continue to check in on each other. The virus has led people to reach out to friends, colleagues, family members, or even people that they normally wouldn't speak to often, a lot more regularly. This has been a beautiful aspect, and possibly re-ignited some friendships. I hope that we continue to care for each other more diligently now.
I hope that people start to put their health at the top of their priority list. The virus has shed a light on the importance of preventative health care, as seen with the numbers of cases in people with pre existing health conditions.
And finally, I hope that people don't just fall back into cramming as much into every day as possible. Recognise how you have felt incorporating more down time, self care time, relax time into your day. Personally, I have felt amazing! I hope we collectively shift out of the mentality that being busy is something to be proud of. Taking time for self care, spending time with family and doing things that you love to do is something to be proud of.
Lets be part of the creation of a new and improved normal. Where we can be healthier, happy, less busy and more connected.