While it is inevitable that most of us have probably endured our fair share of wobbles during lockdown, given the fact we have never experienced anything like this before, people have naturally had to adapt their mindsets to navigate their way through social isolation.
I’ve noticed a number of ‘groups’ emerging.
The fitness fanatics
Walking, jogging, running – whatever the pace, they are out there. Walking dogs, walking with children. Cyclists have popped up everywhere. A friend told me she had done a 38-mile bike ride recently. I’m lucky if I do 38 steps some days! Joe Wicks’ PE lessons, online workouts, Clubbercise via Zoom, bouncing on the trampoline with the kids – the fitness fanatics don’t sit still and will inevitably emerge from lockdown a healthier, trimmer version of themselves.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have the foodies, whether that’s grazing through lockdown or trying out new recipes – the foodies are sure to know which takeaways are in operation and which restaurants in the locality are set to open a delivery service. I’m afraid I fall into this category. I love food at the best of times, but lockdown has given it a whole new prominence in my life. I don’t think a ‘better, fitter’ version of me will be coming out of lockdown.
The amount of impressive DIY projects I have seen on social media from furloughed workers is mind blowing. From decorating a living room, to creating a 10 ft play house for a toddler in the garden – the talent is phenomenal. I think most of us are usually so busy that all of ‘those jobs’ get stored up and subconsciously stress us out. But not for the renovators – they’ve attacked those projects with gusto. Nick Knowles would be proud.
When I’m asked if I have learnt a new skill during lockdown, I can confidently say I can change a nappy with one hand – which on a wriggling toddler is impressive – while talking on the phone with the other. But many, it seems, have used this time to learn a new hobby or skill such as painting, sewing, baking bread. These upskillers will be emerging from lockdown with new life skills.
Let’s face it, children need a routine, and it can be beneficial for adults too. I know some people who have found it essential to have a routine, albeit a different one from before the restrictions. Sometimes when we feel helpless and out of control in a situation, a routine can help ground us and keep us on track. And in fairness, the routiners will probably find the adjustment back to ‘the new normal’ far easier than those watching box sets in their pjs all day.
Box set bingers
That brings me onto the group that are constantly asking for recommendations for good box sets. Why not? The trivia learnt will come in handy for pub quizzes when pubs are allowed to re-open.
Getting off the hamster wheel for a time has certainly made some question their direction. I think many of us are so busy all the time, that you rarely get time to sit back, reflect and weigh up whether your work/home balance is good, whether you are getting satisfaction from your job, whether you need a new challenge. I predict many will be using this time to make some fundamental changes to their lives going forwards.
I have seen a lot of social media posts from people really appreciating the nature and wildlife around them. Being able to just go for one walk until recently has led to many of us appreciating the baby ducklings in the river or the beautiful magnolia tree in the neighbours garden. I mean, I’m no twitcher, but recently we found a nest in the garden that had fallen out of the tree above it. The ‘dad’ bird then gradually rebuilt a new nest for his Mrs and it’s been riveting to watch and show the children. We've even given the birds their own voices with Mrs Bird dishing out her orders for an en suite to a busy Mr Bird (thinking about it, maybe I do need to get out more?)
The armchair politicians
There have been many Facebook posts from people who, having never mentioned anything remotely political before, have suddenly used the platform to vent their political frustrations during COVID-19.
Then there are obviously the rule breakers too who seem to have continued the same as they were prior to lockdown regardless of the restrictions, but, aside from that group who are acting irresponsibly, I don’t think it matters what we do to cope with these strange times. Everyone manages things differently and the challenge is to emerge from lockdown as mentally and physically healthy as we can be. So whether that is baking cupcakes or writing lists, painting your child’s bedroom or building a new pond (as my neighbours have done) if it works for you, that’s all that matters.
For me, when the restrictions are eased I will have to get used to putting make up on again (I’m claiming I’m letting my skin breathe in lockdown when in fact I’m too lazy to put it on every day apart from when my boss ‘Zoom’ calls me), tidying the house more for when we are allowed visitors (with three children at home my current philosophy is what is the point?) and try and reintroduce my toddler to clothes again as he has taken a different tact to most in lockdown and become, not so much a nature lover, but a naturist - useful for potty training, not so useful when I eventually take him back to the childminders.
Whatever your group, enjoy.