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If someone had told you a year ago that people would be wandering around Tesco in face masks, and that your hairdresser would need to don full PPE just to touch up your roots, you undoubtedly, and quite rightly, would have thought that they had lost the plot. In fact, you would probably have smiled politely and backed away slowly so as not to provoke this clearly insane stranger. But, here we are, living through a time that resembles a disaster movie, but with no sign of the credits rolling anytime soon.
There is nothing like a global pandemic to make you re-evaluate your life. In the midst of all the chaos of panic buying loo rolls and endlessly applying hand sanitiser, you have most likely had a lightbulb moment or two along the way. It’s strange how in the most confusing of moments, snippets of clarity can suddenly appear from nowhere when you least expect them.
Undoubtedly, these are the strangest of times, so the only thing that can be done is to keep on trying to stay safe, and to use this as an opportunity to make some positive changes in your life. This unexpected break from normal life has given everyone the chance to hit the pause button for a little while and to reassess their lives, even if they didn’t know that their life needed reassessing in the first place.
As restrictions slowly start to be lifted, and the first glimpses of normal life begin to appear, it is crucial not to let the lessons that you have learned during lockdown go to waste. Not meaning to get too deep here, but these moments of clarity that have popped into your head during the pandemic, are all opportunities. These realisations are the perfect opportunity to re-shape your life and make changes that help it to become more closely aligned with the life that you want to live.
Apart from realising that many people have no concept of how big a two-metre gap actually is, there are some other surprising revelations that have surfaced during the pandemic, here are the lessons that have been learned in lockdown…
Lesson One: Exercise is Essential
Even if exercise was never a big part of your life before, the chances are that it has now become something of a highlight in your day. Being ‘allowed’ outside to partake in some daily exercise has become an ideal way to break up the day. Your daily exercise may now be something that you have probably started to look forward to, and let’s face it that anything that gives you a break from the endless cycle of Zoom calls is to be celebrated.
When much of your time is spent indoors, it can leave you longing to move your body more and put it to work. For many people, the lockdown has completely changed their attitude towards exercise. Exercise has helped to provide that feelgood feeling that has been missing amid this pandemic. Focusing your mind on exercise and noticing the positive impact that it has on your mindset as well as your body may have spurred you on to make exercise a more regular part of your routine.
It is a good idea to look for exercise options that you will be able to do right now and then continue with once life starts to move a bit more towards normality. Choosing an online personal trainer such as Andy Griffiths Online Personal Trainer is an excellent choice that will work both in the current situation as well as in the future. If you are concerned that your motivation levels may dip, or that once the world begins to reopen, you won’t find the time to hit the gym, an online personal trainer provides an excellent solution. Being able to exercise from home using an online personal trainer will mean that you are not dependent on gyms being open to be able to exercise.
Lesson Two: Routine is Good
The usual routine of getting up, doing the school run, rushing to get to work on time, working, and then doing all this in reverse, plus making dinner at some point has long disappeared. The weird thing is that although you may previously have dreaded those chaotic mornings and the panic of looking for lost homework and misplaced shoes, you may have started to miss it.
So, there you have it, it turns out that it isn’t just kids that need a routine to feel secure and settled, it is pretty important to us adults too.
Lesson Three: You Already Have Everything You Need (Well, Pretty Much)
Remember those days when you would wander aimlessly around the shops window shopping? Well, contrast that to those early days of lockdown when you were wandering around the supermarket desperately scouring the shelves in search of any grocery item that remotely resembles something you would normally cook for dinner. Seeing all those empty shelves, cleared of all their stock by panic buyers certainly provided a wake-up call and the opportunity to reassess shopping habits.
Let’s face it, clothes shopping is always going to be fun, but as for visiting the shops each week as a leisure activity and browsing loads of stuff that you really don’t need, but buying it anyway… maybe that’s better off being left in the pre-coronavirus world. Plus your bank account will be grateful for all the money that you will save, which is a big bonus too.
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Lesson Four: Comparisons are Futile
When you are at home, at a loose end, and the lure of social media calls to you, you may find yourself scrolling through your timeline. The thing is that your timeline during the lockdown resembles a roll call of everyone you have ever known’s achievements. It seems like everyone has been busy learning how to speak new languages, whipping up a storm in the kitchen creating cakes that wouldn’t look out of place as a showstopper on The Great British Bake Off, and so on. All of this can make your most significant lockdown achievement of managing to change out of your pyjamas by 11.00 am this morning pale in comparison.
Sometimes, social media makes you feel bad, (not blogs, of course, blogs are great!) we’re talking the self-congratulatory posts here, the ones that scream ‘look at me! Look at all I have achieved.’ Other people’s achievements are to be celebrated, congratulations to them for discovering how to make the perfect buttercream, or learning to ask where the nearest toilet is in Mandarin. But, if these achievements make you feel bad about yourself, and leave you comparing yourself to them unfavourably, it is time to step away from your timeline for a few days and have yourself a mini digital detox.
Lesson Five: Your Health Matters Too
As a parent, it is easy to put everyone else’s needs first and always put yourself last. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a pandemic to highlight that it’s not just the kids’ health that you need to take care of, but your own too. Coronavirus has been something of a wake-up call and demonstrates that putting as much energy into taking care of your health as you do everyone else’s is crucial.
After spending all this time together in lockdown, eating healthily and exercising can become a family activity where everyone plays their part in supporting each other and helping out with mealtimes.
Lesson Six: It Turns Out That Small Talk is Actually OK
When your contact with other humans becomes limited, surprising things can happen, and the little things begin to count more than ever. One of the biggest surprises is actually something quite little; it turns out that rather than being something to avoid engaging in at all costs, small talk isn’t really that bad after all.
Perhaps it is the lack of school run chats with other parents, or maybe it is the absence of office gossip, but small talk has definitely increased its appeal over the last few months. In these strange times, the value of connecting with other people has been magnified. Sometimes a stilted chat over Zoom with friends just won’t cut it, and speaking to a real person, in-person can brighten up your day.
Whether it is a chat over the garden fence with a neighbour about bin collections, or a friendly exchange with a complete stranger, these snippets of socially-distanced small talk can make all the difference to your day right now.
A Final Word (OK, A Final Two Sentences)
Remember, no one really knows what they are doing right now; after all, none of us has ever been in a situation like this before. Everyone is moving through this at the same rate and taking things day by day. So, all you can do right now is to be kind to yourself, take care of your mind and your body, and do your best – no one can ask any more of you than that.