Lessons from lockdown #1
As the UK is seeing the easing of government restrictions and the country is preparing for life after lockdown, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on what lessons can be learnt from the last few months. Over the coming weeks I will be writing a series of 'Lessons from lockdown'. This week will focus on the positives of staying at home.
On 23rd March the UK government announced measures restricting people's movements in attempts to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The clear message for the majority of people was 'Stay at home'. For some people this meant trying to continue working as best they could in 'makeshift offices' such as from the living room sofa or kitchen table and juggling their time with home-schooling children. For others, on furlough, who lost the opportunity to work overnight, they were suddenly faced with hours of time and not knowing how to fill it.
Leaving financial pressures and potential psychological issues to one side lockdown did offer many positives. One of these was a slower pace of life. Without time pressures of getting to work or school and facing traffic jams with the daily commute combined with shops and businesses being shut this meant that people had to look at other ways of filling their time or using their time more productively. Slowing down for many people was a natural result of this.
Many people started to look at taking up new hobbies or reviving one that they had given up because of a lack of time. There was renewed interest in books and music, cooking, online fitness programmes, gardening and diy and some people began to find pleasure in the simple things in life. The realisation came that pleasure could be gained from activities which may have previously been perceived as a chore and that relaxation was not something that was gained purely from passive entertainment, such as going to the cinema or watching sport.
As lockdown eased and people were allowed to go to the park for daily exercise and picnics, the sunny weather allowed people the opportunity to relax and observe the world and its beauty, to sit and be at one with nature and moreover to let all the pressures and angst of modern life to melt away.
Lockdown has given people the chance to find pace in their minds, to organise their thoughts, gain greater clarity and re-evaluate what things are important to them.