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Life, Mind, Wellbeing

Leaving lockdown: 8 lessons to lead us to a brighter future

A sign at the front of a tree-lined road, saying its closed due to a pandemic. The image is being used in an article about lessons we can carry forward with us as we are leaving lockdown.

Leaving lockdown will be a gradual process, as the government balances protecting the public, with the economy. But hopefully there are some lockdown lessons we can take from all of this, to lead us to a brighter, happier future. Here at the lessons I hope to carry forward as I leave lockdown. 

1) Spending time as a family is important 

If you’ve been locked down with your immediate family, then you’ve probably spent more time together than you have in years. You might even have been playing teacher, homeschooling the kids. If you haven’t others, then you’ve probably missed certain family members, so these lockdowns have probably made you realise what you have. 

I think I’ve always really valued seeing friends, and don’t get me wrong, I am very excited about getting a lodge with a hot tub and spending some quality time with them. But this lockdown period has highlighted just how important family time is. And hopefully I will make it more of a priority going forward.

2) Appreciating our location 

Since lockdown, I’ve discovered a duck pound, a lake, two new playgrounds and some woods, and they’re all within walking distance of my house. Usually we venture out of the town we live in to exercise, but the lockdown has given me a greater appreciation of my immediate surroundings. There are some beautiful locations close to my house and I hope, after leaving lockdown, we won’t always jump in the car and drive to go for a walk. 

3) Appreciating our neighbours

Normally, as a family, we are so busy that we don’t give that much thought to our neighbours. A quick chat in the street or a wave when we drive past is the sum total of our interaction. 

But since lockdown, I’ve really grown to appreciate the value of good neighbours. Not only has it been lovely to see everybody on the doorstep cheering for the NHS staff at 8pm on a Thursday evening, but I have been speaking to my neighbours more than ever. Over the garden fence, as we pass on the street during walks, via Facebook and text. 

One neighbour didn’t know my name before lockdown, but he’s brought us fresh bread on three different occasions since. It’s leftover bread he’s picked up from the bakery where he works and he’s been keen to share it. I now know what his grandchildren are called, I know what his cats are called and he’s started stopping to wave at my son. None of this happened before.

Going forward, I would like to spend a bit more time interacting with my neighbours. There are some good people around and it’s a shame I’ve been too busy to notice that before now.  

4) The advantages of working from home 

Others didn’t work from home until lockdown, but this crisis has proved that we have the technology to do some jobs well from the comfort of their homes.

Working from home cuts costs for the employee who doesn’t have to travel to an office location and going forward it could save companies money on expensive office rentals. It’s possible that a 4-day week could also become a regular fixture for some. I’ve written an article about ways to increase your productivity whilst working from home, if you’re still trying to adapt.  

Homeworkers may have been used to operating from home, but have still faced changes and they have been forced to adapt to lockdown life.

5) Embracing technology

Who’d heard of Zoom pre-lockdown? I hadn’t, but I’ve been using it consistently for weeks now. Being forced to find new ways to communicate has made me embrace technology. It’s also made me more open to it. 

6) Making the best of what we have 

The first lockdown lead to us to expand our home office space and I feel really grateful to have somewhere I can dedicate to learning and working. It’s also spurred us to clear up our backyard. Our son now has a sandpit in the back garden and we have a place to sit and enjoy the sun. But instead of lusting after the luscious gardens that others have, I’ve found that I appreciate our space. I am looking at ways to utilise it and to make it nicer to look at.

This lockdown has certainly made me look at what I have, rather than what I’d like and I want to continue to do that because being happy at home is so important. I’ve also found that drilling down into my inner self and working out how to thrive in isolation has helped me to cope and I hope to do further personality profiling work in the future.

7) Stuff is just stuff

During lockdown I have bought much less stuff. Things don’t matter. Family matters. Friends matter. Stuff is just… stuff.

If I can take this feeling into the future then my bank account we look a lot more healthy. 

8) The environment matters

There have been countless reports about the environment and how it’s improved since lockdown. Hopefully the public will begin to consider the environment more as things move forward and they will question if they need to make every journey.

The picture shows a group of people sat around a table, making a toast. Over the picture the text reads: ‘8 lessons that will lead us to a brighter future when we leave lockdown’.

Anything else?

Have I missed anything? What lessons do you hope to carry forward upon leaving lockdown?

If you enjoyed this article, then check out my happiness section.