The last two years have certainly seen a lot of changes, including using words that weren’t even in our national vocabulary before Covid hit: lockdown, furlough, WFH, social-distancing, self-isolation, LFTs, Long Covid. To use another oft-repeated word, it’s been unprecedented. At the very least it’s been a rollercoaster ride and not one we’d ever want to repeat!
How We’ve Adapted
We’ve gone from going about our normal lives, often juggling busy working lives, a social life and multi-generational needs to having that stripped back at best and lost at worst. From being in crowds of friends hugging each other to enjoying each other’s company while being two metres apart in a garden having a drink, trying to keep warm and viewing that as the height of social excitement.
We’ve attempted to work from home, often juggling home schooling too, but slowed our lives down in so many other respects. We’ve savoured the small joys in life. We’ve been respectful of others, thought about their needs as well as our own, done our utmost to protect the more vulnerable amongst us.
I can’t lie, I don’t think any of us would say this has been a walk in the park (that was pretty much all we were allowed to do at one point anyway!) and we’ve lived with an underlying anxiety for most of the last two years, whether we realised it at the time or not.
What We’ve Learnt:
- That our health and wellbeing, and that of those we love and care for, is central to everything. There is literally nothing more important in life.
- Gone are the days when we would work through illnesses. Feeling a bit flu-like but heck, you’ve got places to be and work to do so just get out there and carry on, right? Umm, no. We are ALL better for listening to what our bodies are telling us and looking after ourselves. Resting or staying at home if we don’t feel well. And by doing that we can help others too.
- That positive touch and physical contact is more important to our sense of wellbeing than we’d ever realised.
- That we are stronger together.
- That it is entirely possible to be ‘zoomed out’ and spending days on end in your pyjamas can actually get boring.
- That exercise is far more appealing when you know it’s restricted to an hour a day. But that might just be me!
We’ve lived though fear, uncertainty, frustration and smaller lives than we were used to. Some of us can’t wait to get back to ‘normal’. Others want to keep elements of the life they were initially forced into living in place because they’ve found that it works better for them. And some are feeling a little nervous or overwhelmed at the prospect of life returning to something that feels more familiar than the last two years have. All of those feelings and needs are completely valid.
But we’ve also learned that we can do things in our own time. We can do what we feel comfortable with, while respecting that others may be doing things in a different way. We now know there is lots of support available and we aren’t alone in how we might be feeling. For each one of us, our physical, emotional and mental health comes first. So take baby steps or take a massive leap in to normal life again, just focus on your own health and wellbeing as you do it.