With darker and shorter days, there’s no doubt this second winter lockdown will be tough and present its own challenges.
But, in the spirit of keeping things positive, we’ve come a long way since we first locked down back in March.
The time at home with our families, partners and housemates gave us all a chance to stop, reflect and gain a little more understanding about ourselves and the people we live with.
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So, as we approach Thursday, we’ve asked people to share the lessons they learnt from the first lockdown as we head into the second one. Here’s what some had to say…
‘A major lesson I learnt is that you need to try and find a space in your house that is work-free.
‘We’re all spending a lot of time in our homes right now, that it can be hard to maintain a healthy balance. If you can preserve a corner of your house for non-work activity – no calls, emails, or zoom meetings – it will help maintain that distance you need.’
‘I learnt just to get out… literally. I moved to London in February and every weekend I would walk into central London.
‘I’ve learnt more about my new “home town” by walking and not using public transport. With these four weeks, I will be walking across central London to new places. Great for mental health and great for exercise.’
‘Simple things actually make us happy – friends, family, walks and cooking.’
‘I’ve learnt to be more comfortable being alone which I couldn’t really do before. Not being able to see friends and family, I was forced to distract myself and find things other than social media and screens to spend my free time.
‘The weird thing is I’m actually looking forward to lockdown 2 because I now enjoy spending time with myself.’
‘I’d say the greatest lesson I learned is that everything is relative and all emotions are valid. Between myself, my friends, family – everyone has a completely unique relationship to the lockdown restrictions and the challenges they will bring, but everyone’s feelings are completely validated.
‘I am lucky enough to still be working full-time so naturally that is keeping me busy with a stressful workload, but I feel bad moaning about that, for example, when other friends of mine are being made redundant or being placed on furlough.
‘However, that doesn’t mean my stresses and emotions aren’t valid, it just means that I maybe have to channel these thoughts differently and try to dissect them in different ways – be it through finding new joys in new music, catching up on the old TV/films you’ve been meaning to watch, or investing in some new books to keep your mind occupied.
‘The main thing is keeping yourself busy, talking about your feelings when/how you can and finding enjoyment in whatever is accessible to you – and living in hope.’
‘I’m consciously grateful for the slowed down pace. I really enjoyed the change from our manic leaves to things being a bit slower and more chilled and trying to actively enjoy it.’
‘That I could cope living and working alone. I’m more comfortable than I would have ever imagined in my own company.’
‘Getting outside is really important for my mental health – especially now I’m working from home.’
‘I live at home and kind of take that for granted. My house is separated into two parts so I used to go days without going into the other side or speaking to my parents for days at a time. But then the pandemic happened. I got bored and in recent times started chatting to my family more, especially my mum.
‘While I would never chat to her about her life, in lockdown I spent more time with her, chatting to her about her childhood, the last words she said to her own mum when she passed, getting those oral histories about her life, the history of my country which I always meant to chat to her about but never did.
‘In the second lockdown, I hope to spend more time with my family (I guess, because I have no choice, but I’m looking forward to it).’
‘I think what I have learnt is that my previous life was too fast. I don’t think I even realised just how stressed and busy I was until I was forced to stop. I have learnt that it is OK to be less busy, to have a slightly slower pace of life. That I don’t have to do everything at 100 miles per hour to be successful, productive or have a fulfilling life.’
‘Now more than ever, I appreciate my family and what I have, like our house and the fact that I still have a job unless many people out there.
‘I made sure to enjoy family time more and I think we all rediscovered nature. Or even enjoying simple things such as playtime with my son or even a walk in the woods to get some fresh air.
‘And last but not least, I have learnt the importance of have some “me time” even if it is only 15 minutes in the evening to read a book. I feel less guilty to ask my partner to spend some time with our son as he works from home too.’
Do you have a story to share?
Get in touch at MetroLifestyleTeam@metro.co.uk.