It seems odd now to think of how life used to be pre lockdown. Twelve weeks have passed and many of us have managed to gain order from the chaos and have carved out some sort of routine, without ever really venturing further than the front door. Despite the world continuing to battle a global pandemic, for some of us there seems to be a general yet unspoken view that lockdown has provided a ‘break’ from reality.
Before lockdown, many felt the constant pressures of society: to always look your best, to be living your ‘best life’, to be high achieving, to turn up to every social gathering you've been invited to…for many it felt like there was a constant expectation to have a full diary and to turn up as their ‘best self’, all without experiencing burn-out. There is no denying the devastating impact Covid19 has had both directly and indirectly on people's lives, but since lockdown came into force, many societal pressures have seemingly diminished. Now if you wanted to, you can sit in your baggiest t-shirt, eat an ungodly amount of chocolate and binge all the Netflix you want without the fear of being judged. The entire nation has been doing this for weeks and everyone is equally as understanding about taking this time to have a much needed respite from a busy life - there is nothing wrong with a bit of ‘me time’ and relaxing with some binge-worthy TV; everyone needs downtime occasionally. After all, you’re just following government guidelines, right? Who can frown and judge you for that...
By being able to retreat from the hustle and bustle of a busy life, lockdown has allowed many to enjoy a slower pace of life, with the time to notice and enjoy the smaller things - to ‘stop and smell the roses’ for want of a better phrase. Whilst uncertain and worrying at times, more free time has provided a space to breathe, contemplate and refocus. For some, quality family time has increased, be that in-person or remotely. Others have befriended their neighbours and many have rediscovered the power of walking and simply taking in the local area. Some have even used the time to start a new project, taking on the garden, learning a language or growing fruit and veg!
Lockdown has come at a great cost, but there are positives to draw from it too. When we look ahead to lockdown easing and and we begin life in the ‘new normal’, what then? Will people keep up with the fitness regimes they’ve started? Will families still organise frequent zoom calls to keep in touch? Are people's new found loves for baking and gardening going to be put on the backburner in favour of previous hobbies once restrictions are further eased? Only time will tell whether people will revert back to old ways or whether they'll stick with any new routines developed during lockdown.