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  • sharonbell0

Planning for life beyond lockdown

Last week I enjoyed three very soggy, windy days down in Dorset. As I drove back, I was struck that in more normal times, the bad weather on a much-awaited mini break would have been very frustrating. However, after a challenging 15 months (which let’s face it, they have been for all of us), to be able to stay away with friends, eat inside a pub, explore a different area – was, as the advert goes …. priceless. Simple pleasures that previously were taken for granted, are the things that we now value in a new and precious way.

I wonder how you feel about the easing of restrictions …. and what that means for your day-to-day routines? For those of you who like me have been working from home, you are probably learning new terms like ‘hybrid’ working – even if we haven't quite figured out what that means. Some people feel anxious about the easing back of restrictions, and it is important to be kind to ourselves, and take small steps. It will be an adjustment to being out and about again, and being able to meet up with friends and family. I am so relieved to see restrictions easing back, and will be very thankful when travel restrictions ease so I can visit my brother and family in Australia. I am someone who enjoys nothing more than hanging out with close friends … but if I am honest, I don’t want to reach the same levels of busyness as pre pandemic, because having had far too much time in the last year to reflect, I know that wasn’t sustainable.

We don’t yet know whether restrictions will fully easy on 21 June – but either way we are in a better place than a few months ago. These next few weeks and months feel like a bit of a transition phase. There is a lot of talk about the ‘new normal’ – well I don’t know about you, but I don’t think life will feel normal again. That said, we will find a new way of doing life together again.

Perhaps in the weeks to come, before lockdown fully eases, we have an opportunity to think ‘intentionally’ about some of the routines and habits we want to put in place. We might want to keep doing something we have discovered in lock-down … or bring back something from pre pandemic. This isn’t about setting ourselves a list of goals and beating ourselves up when we don’t achieve them. It’s about being intentional, rather than ‘drifting’ into the next ‘season.’ Above all, we should be kind to ourselves – but maybe not so kind that it’s an excuse to do nothing! I realised that some lockdown weariness had set in when I was struggling to find the motivation to go back to the gym. That had nothing to do with Covid anxiety – instead, I had got used to a new routine that didn’t include it, and it was going to take a bit more effort (and an earlier alarm!) to make it happen. Having returned a couple of weeks ago, I now remember why I enjoyed it in the first place!


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