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Lockdown Life Lessons: What Have We Learnt About Ourselves?

Posted by Thomas Bynde on June 22, 2020

the image shows An old fashioned school room with some wooden desks and a blackboard that has some scribbles all over it

Photo by Belinda Fewings on Unsplash

When the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve, we entered a new decade. Twenty-twenty, there seemed to be a nice ring to it.

While many of us were deciding on our new year’s resolutions, others were excitedly jumping into the roaring 20s with gusto; nothing, however, could have prepared us for a year that looked like something straight out of a disaster movie. Covid-19 quickly evolved into something like no one has seen for a generation. So, what have you noticed about yourself since it began, and how has it changed your life?

The truth is, over the last few months, we have all adapted to a “new normal”. Humans are surprisingly resilient that way, well most of us anyway! We have found new ways of working, socialising, shopping and being at home, but what have we learnt? If we were told tomorrow that the virus had disappeared and we can go back to our old lives exactly as they were; would we want to? Could we do it? Have we learnt to live in a new way?

5 Ways Life Looks a Little Different

What’s New?
Whilst activewear sales have been on the rise and plain flour has become a commodity more valuable than gold, we have become a nation of Joe Wicks wannabes and master bakers. We have found a fondness in taking part in activities we never knew we needed. Many of us have realised the value in finding what we care about – family time, home renovations, becoming healthier, improving skills and even changing career. They say there is nothing like a crisis to identify what life means to you. Now is the time to explore those thoughts.

I’m No Waster
With a surge in demand for eggs, flour, bread, toilet paper and even garden furniture, we have become a more resourceful society. Making-do has become a fashionable trend; a trend I hope is here to stay. Popping to the shops is a luxury that does not exist in the same way anymore, so resetting your mind to use what you already have, or finish what is available to you, has become quite an achievement.

Who and What Matters?
Without too much thought, I bet you can name all the people you are desperate to see when this is all over. Isn’t it funny, there will be people who you think you should miss, but don’t – trust me, this is not a bad thing! Re-evaluating priorities is key and keeping the right people in your life is even more vital. For the last 11 weeks, we have been separated from our loved ones, we have been worried about our health and our livelihoods, but with that, we have seen the environment be less affected by our actions, we have enjoyed the work/life balance we have heard so much about, and we are appreciating what sincerely matters. I am not sure we knew how much we needed to press pause and readdress what we care about, and whilst this isn’t the most ideal of ways, it has forced us to reset. We have been gardening, taking online courses, pursuing our love for cooking, for painting and for exercising; it is amazing where fulfilment can be found.

Getting To Know the People You Live With
Funnily enough, most people do not spend that much time with the people they live with. With work commitments, travel engagements, school, external relationships, commutes and shift work, there can be occasions where days, or weeks, might go by without having any real conversations with those you share a home with. Parents are noticing new things about their children every day and vice versa. Husbands and wives are reconnecting, siblings are becoming friends and even if you live alone, there is nothing more therapeutic than learning to enjoy your own company. This time will be short-lived, so enjoying these moments is a must. Play games, cook together, plant flowers, watch films and talk; we all have the time right now!

It is unclear how the office environment will fair after lockdown, but with so many people excelling from working at home, going back to the office might not be the best solution for everyone. The UK workforce has discovered that spending 3 hours a day commuting is not the best use of their time, leading to thoughts that a more productive level of work can be done by staying put. However, on the flip side, many are missing the interaction of seeing other people, perhaps there is a happy medium for this new wave of office workers? Work/life balance may have been thrust upon us, but now that it has, can our mental health afford for us to go back to the grindstone in the same way?

How we react to our freedom being removed from us is ultimately how we learn to grow. Whether it is apparent to you right now, or not, we are all looking at life differently, appreciating what is important to us and how we want to move forward. This rare period in our lives has been undeniably unprecedented, in some cases heart-breaking and wholly uncertain, but if we can get some control back, if we can press forward, we must use this time that the world stood still for us to take stock, reset, and perhaps re-think those new year’s resolutions with the gift of hindsight.