Updated: Mar 26
Twelve months have passed since we saw the nation plunged into the first lockdown in our life time.
There was much uncertainty about security for people’s jobs that required manual face-to-face work while office based companies scrambled to adjust their staff to operate from home remotely.
We were all informed that it would only be a 3-month lockdown while we “flattened the curve” of the Coronavirus spread. At the beginning 3-months to most felt like a life sentence. Three months of not seeing friends and family members, not being able to attend birthdays, weddings, funerals of those that we love, not being able to visit shopping centres, and other amenities.
Fast forward to a year on and the whole nation has ridden the waves of various lockdowns, tier systems, relaxations, and tightening’s of the rules once again. We’ve collectively endured forward leaps and backward steps, resulting in more confusion, anxiety, frustration and concern about our most secluded family members mental health. A rollercoaster of emotions and thoughts and feelings.
However, over the last few months of 2021 there appears to have been an almost calm mindset with many where this once called “new normal” has now simply become “normal”. There’s a comfort many people are having in which working from their home offices, sofas, or even beds, has become much more appealing that being boxed back into the hustle and bustle of a work office. Where people who have spent years working away from home have adjusted to the surroundings of their family, partners, and pets!
So what do we do now the comfort blanket of our sacred home could be taken away? With the government’s latest roadmap we could potentially see many people “forced” to step outside again, to be forced to attend meetings, events or return back to workplaces, some without the option to work from home at all anymore.
For some, life will return to how it was prior to the original 2020 lockdown, almost slipping back into a pair of old shoes you’d forgotten were at the back of the cupboard. For others, life could look unrecognisable with bereavement, lost jobs, changes in family, friends and work relationships.
With vaccinations still rolling out there can be some anxiety about mixing with others and socialising in large groups again. This year having distance always from others means that even watching old movies or TV programmes we are quick to point out "where's the social distancing?" "don't touch your face!" Even finding it alien to watch characters hugging each other as a greeting. So how do we adjust to a closer knit society after such a long break?
Listening to ourselves and being mindful of our own pace seems to be key. Everyone has had their own experience of lockdown and own anxieties about the "lockdown blanket" being taken away. We could find that some of our friends, family members and maybe colleagues feel "different". All of us having gone through such trauma that values and needs could have shifted and no longer align with those we found closest to us.
Many have found that at the beginning of the first lockdown there was a large increase in online socialising, Zoom catch-ups, online quiz's, and a general focus on "staying connected". However as the year has gone on, more people have began to isolate a bit more, friends not staying in touch as much as before and there could be some resentment or shift in an idea of where other friends you thought you could rely on had not "been there" when they were needed the most.
Ultimately we are all going to be using the next year as an adjustment period in which life can feel very different and new. Everyone is processing the past year in their own ways and may feel different to yourself and your viewpoints. It's key for us all to listen to ourselves internally.
So perhaps this is a time for self reflection?
"What feels right for me?"
"What do I feel comfortable with?"
"What feels safe for me?"
"What do I personally need to consider for my own physical and mental health and wellbeing"
Maybe also taking time to reflect on the last 12 months, and the positives you can take from the pandemic. What have you learnt about yourself, what have you learnt about others. What has changed for us in our own personal and work lives. Most importantly, what is important to us now?
As you start to think about taking off your 'comfort blanket', what does this mean to you, and what will you do with your 'blanket'. Will you be glad to throw it away, will you fold it up and keep it close by just in case?
There is so much for everyone to process, and consider. It's completely normal to be experiencing feelings of anxiety, depression, fear, uncertainty, confusion and many other emotions as we hear about the roadmap out of lockdown.
Remembering to reach out where possible to a trusted friend or even seeking professional help in a supportive counsellor can be key in assisting this transitional period.
Contact www.therapycentreservices.com/selfreferral if you would like someone to talk to, we have appointments available within 24 hours of receiving a referral for counselling.
We would love to hear your thoughts and comments on lifting your own lockdown comfort blanket. What new "normals" are you not ready to let go of?
Please CLICK HERE to leave your comments.