Updated: Apr 9, 2021
So it finally seems like the lockdown is lifting and the roadmap out of this current lockdown is going to plan. The Prime Minister announced a few days ago that I, along with many other face to face businesses, can re-open our doors on the 12th April. He didn't actually mention me by name haha, although that would have been nice.
With so much uncertainty and false starts it seemed as though this could be delayed or changed many times! I, as well as many other small businesses have been hoping this would go ahead and now it's actually happening, I wanted to share some thoughts (and some great offers) with you all.
The headlines have been filled with warnings about the massive impact on mental health and wellbeing this has had. And unlike many of the other headlines that were unclear or confusing, this one has been sadly accurate. The impact on everyone has been vast and far reaching. It seems that no-one was immune to this part of the virus. Retired, adult, male, female, teenager or toddler...we have all been affected to some degree.
Top impact factors:
Jobs & Financial losses
Housing insecurity & quality
Working in a front line service
Loss of coping mechanisms
Reduced access to mental health services
These have lead to a raft of mental health issues and effects on our wellbeing, including:
Memory problems -Lockdown meant we lost our normal reference points such as events like concerts, parties, family celebrations etc making it hard to recall things without this framework
Loss of confidence
In teenagers especially:
Loneliness & isolation
Worries about school - A feeling of 'What's the point?'
Worries about the future
Loss of confidence
Lowered self esteem
It really has been doom & gloom! BUT - the future is not lost, it's not all doom and gloom. We are finally heading out of this and back to our lives. The economy is opening up, venues will soon be welcoming people back and by summer time, we should be on track to enjoy all the usual things we love. Ok, maybe there will be a few adjustments such as slightly fewer people in pubs or cinemas etc, but this in time will also change.
So what's stopping us from feeling good about it all?
The simple answer is, we have been conditioned over the last 12 months to accept a restricted way of living. Many people initially probably started off feeling that they wouldn't want to wear a mask or stay at home or even have the jab. However, what happened over time is that the reality of the situation started to erode those thoughts and in time we all began to adapt to the new way of living. Either out of a change of heart, fear or a feeling we should aquiesce or comply with what we saw happening around us. It really was a very personal journey for everyone, however the end result is that now it's beginning to open up again, we feel hesitation or nervous. The mixed messages and indecision of leaders around the world almost certainly added to our fears and worries. You could say they messed up or you could say they didn't have a clue...ultimately they have never faced this scale of event in modern politics and were ill prepared and literally making it up as they went along (It certainly seemed that way) - whatever your views, that's a whole other blog post right there!
The thing to understand is that it's a perfectly normal response. We adapt to our environment. It's how we survive. BUT, the lockdowns have left many of us with emotions and feelings that we really don't want to carry forward. Now, I'm not saying we should throw safety or awareness of Covid out the window, but we definitely should throw the negative attributes as far as we can throw them! We mustn't live in fear and we mustn't be reckless, so we need a balance. It's all about 'resetting' our wellbeing and creating a mindset that allows us to step out, join in, re-connect and re-discover our social lives, whilst being aware of Covid, but without the dark cloud that may be trying to keep you in the starting blocks.