The UK first went into lockdown in mid-March – some five months ago. That’s a long period of time by anybody’s standards. While much of the country has gone back to some semblance of normal, certain industry sectors and geographical locations (including our own city of Leicester) have faced more long-lived restrictions.
While many of us are eager to return to normal, it’s important to remember that what we think of as ‘normal’ is very much a fluid state. Some aspects of lockdown have had a positive impact on people’s lives, particularly those who were working from home or temporarily furloughed. For many it meant a break from their hectic day-to-day schedule, offering an opportunity to reflect and take stock of their life. For others, it granted them more time to do things for themselves, be it spend time with their family, start a new hobby, or simply catch up on their reading.
As we move into a post-lockdown world, it’s worth looking at how we can incorporate those positive aspects into our new working patterns. Try to strike a balance between what we missed about our old routine and what we’ve enjoyed about our new one.
Here are some top tips on how to do just that:
People adjust to new ways of living at different rates, and that’s okay. There’s no need to rush back into your old routine. Take the time to adjust at a pace that works for you. Remember that this is not a competition and your concerns are entirely valid. It may be worthwhile discussing those concerns with the people you’re close to. It’s quite likely they will be struggling in their own way.
Remember what you liked about lockdown – those positive aspects that kept you going through such a time of uncertainty. Write them down somewhere so you don’t forget them just because your schedule has reverted to normal.
Once you’ve identified the positive impact lockdown had on your life, make sure you don’t abandon them. Find a way to incorporate them into your new way of working. Find a space in your post-lockdown schedule to fit them in. Even a couple of hours a week to continue pursuing those interests can make all the difference to your personal happiness and well-being.
Now is the time to learn to say no. Focus on the things that make you happy and remember that everybody has their own set of boundaries that we all need to learn to navigate. This includes you. If you’re not comfortable doing something, you can say no.
Talk to work
If this lockdown has taught us anything it’s that nothing is set in stone. Can you work effectively from home? Why not ask your boss if you can make it a permanent thing? Many companies are just now realising the benefits of remote working, making it as good a time as any to take advantage of it.